I use to think, “What can one vote do with all the millions of people voting?” Through the years, I’ve voted occasionally, but not on a regular basis, especially in national elections. It always seemed to be more trouble than it was worth, having to change addresses. When you’re homeless, it becomes more embarrassing than it should be. It’s just easier to forget about it than to go through the steps of getting registered, then hoping the polling place is on the bus line. Since we’ve called Hermitage our home, voting hasn’t been at the top of my list. The polling place isn’t on the bus line so, I just don’t vote.
I find it interesting that homelessness isn’t on any of the politician’s agendas. The subject almost seems to be taboo to talk about. On the HIP Facebook pages, if you bring up homelessness and things that go along with it, it brings out a very diverse group of comments and becomes very heated, very quickly. So, that tells me that, in fact, homelessness and all the things that go along with it are on people’s minds and they do want something done about it. Yet, no politician running for president brings this up in their campaign and very rarely is it brought up at the state level. They are concerned about the African American, the Latino and the gay/lesbian vote, but what about the homeless vote?
Homelessness doesn’t appear to be on anyone’s agenda – like it doesn’t exist. So, if we, the homeless, aren’t on anyone’s agenda, then why should any candidate be honored enough to get our vote? If we aren’t on their minds, then why should they be on our minds? Could it be that there is no solution to the homeless issues or they just lack compassion? And the biggest question of all: Why are we still giving aid to other countries when we can’t take care of our own?
Is voting important to me right now? No. When they bring the subject of homelessness in America out in the open and real solutions to an ever-growing epidemic, then and only then will I give my vote to a worthy candidate.