Sunday, March 31, 2013

Be Happy This Easter

I know it's Easter, but I can't help it if we just finished watching a documentary titled "American Winter". Being as it was filmed in Portland by HBO, I figured I'd give it a quick review while it's still fresh in my mind. As usual, I only talk about timely movies. This one's REAL timely!

The film is about 8 families who have called 211 ( like a 911 for social services) due to unforeseen economic circumstances this past winter. It's very upsetting to see people moving into homelessness in the place you live. It's a gradual process beginning with the loss of a job. There's been a lot of that going around in the past few years, and Suzanne and I have experienced it first-hand.

We used to feel pretty secure, with a combined income of around 50-55 thousand per year. Now we're getting near the end of all forms of savings, unemployment insurance, and retirement money, but I don't want to talk about us. We've yet to get to the place these other folks found themselves. We haven't faced eviction, our chidren are grown, haven't had the electricity turned off, and so far we still have water. We'r e a step up from these other folks.

I was taken by the words spoken by the people who have a solid understanding of what poverty means. Their fears not only for themselves, but also for others really touched me. Watching as they slowly went under with what was described as a shredded safety net was just plain frightening. I sure hope we wake up here in Portland/America, sooner than later, and see that we are all in this together. And I don't mean to throw a wet balnket on your Easter festivities, but I'm reminded today that poverty knows no holiday.

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