The Humanities and Communication department once more demonstrates how Florida Tech is committed to the human touch by launching the “Share the Love” drive to benefit homeless children and young adults. The department of Humanities and Communication is collecting clothing, canned soup, school supplies, backpacks, blankets, and blankets. Homelessness is a problem plaguing Florida—and is steadily on the rise. Here’s my opinion on why we need to be involved.
Last week, I had almost reached by breaking point—as a graduate student in Global Strategic Communication, I have tipped my toes in the water of “grown up” life, and, to be perfectly honest, find it difficult. I felt suffocated by student loans and constant bills, of having to make decisions like fixing my car instead of attending my friend’s wedding, and bewailing the fact that I had to move back in with my parents. In the midst of my melodramatic woes and pity party, I made a new friend: August.
August is 18 and a true Floridian, born and bred. He’s very tall, about a foot taller than me, with soft eyes the color of gentle ocean waves.
He is also homeless.
I think in America there is the perception that if you are homeless, you’ve done something to deserve it: you’re irresponsible, you’re a drug addict, you’re a drunk. We label homeless people with these brands (regardless of the actual circumstances that led them to life on the streets) and are quick to discard them from thought. But how can you apply any of these excuses to children and teenagers? You can’t. And yet within America over one million 18 to 24-year-olds will be homeless at some point this year. Just under two million children under the age of 18 will find themselves in the same circumstance. As a society, we are allowing this to happen.
August’s story of how he wound up homeless put things in perspective: while it is easy to feel overwhelmed at this point in the semester, we need to realize that we can’t get caught up in the minor bumps in our life’s journey and must appreciate how lucky we are. August was born two to people heavily addicted to heroin. His mother would die from her addiction, leaving him to his abusive father. He stopped attending school halfway through seventh grade when he started living in the woods. He was finally placed in foster care at 17. When you turn 18, you are branded an “adult,” and any intervention the government could have provided is cut-off; which is how August found himself homeless once again. This is not story from a distant place—all of this happened here in Brevard County.
We have the opportunity to help August and the hundreds of people like him here in Brevard. Sharing what you have—even if it seems like something small to you—can literally change someone’s life. The Humanities and Communication department’s decision to get involved is a perfect fit for students seeking a degree in humanities or a degree in communication: humanities and communication is about exploring the essence of what it means to be human, and human interaction.
August hasn’t had any opportunities: isn’t it time he was finally given a chance?
The Share the Love drive will ongoing through December. Donated items can be brought to the sixth floor of Crawford.