Haley’s Comment

Haley columnHaley Mulder – Columnist

I think it’s about time we rethink

Unfortunately, I was one of those people that cringed when they saw homeless people on the street. I admit that I thought they were in some way less important than us “normal” people. I have been ashamed of my past thoughts on people living without an address, but over the last few years my view has changed

Recently I have been volunteering at The Banquet in Sioux Falls. The Banquet is a food kitchen for the homeless and low-income families in the area. At The Banquet, I have met some pretty amazing people. I began to realize that some of the most hurting people in this world have the most genuine smiles and honest stories. These people are willing to share their stories with me, and I feel honored to be able to know them and learn precious snippets of their lives. So far I’ve met an old man who insists I am the 60’s movie star Hayley Mills, a cosmetologist mother of two, and a father with two extremely energetic little boys.

Most homeless people have a different past than maybe you would imagine. Some were on their way to becoming professional athletes, and others had gone through college and a gained a reputable degree. So why are they

Things happen. Family emergencies, health conditions, and economic success may crumble. But these people have a heart, they have a soul and they are just as much of a human being as people who live in the most glorious

If you haven’t seen the movie, “The Soloist,” I recommend you do so. This movie helped change my perspective of the homeless population. The film follows a true story of a homeless man named Nathaniel Ayers living with severe sciztsophrenia on the streets of Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles; the most heavily populated homeless community in the United States. Ayers had previously been accepted to The Julliard School of Music for his ability to play the cello, the most prestigious performing arts school in the nation, with an acceptance rate of only six percent. Nearly no one gets accepted, but he

Because of his severe mental illness, he ended up homeless on the streets, but still played the cello when he could. He carried a grocery cart with the few essentials that he owned. When a journalist by the name of Steve Lopez       discovered him and his talent, Ayers became a person of interest. His talent gained recognition once more despite his life-changing mental disorder.

“The Soloist” just goes to show that maybe homeless people aren’t all we think they are. And that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to rethink the way we perceive the homeless population.  Just because a person may have a mental disorder, or may be living in poverty does not make them less important than any of

Whether they are dancers, baseball players, teachers, moms or dads, they are talented, they are gifted, they are important, and above all, they are children of God. Just like you and me.

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