One of the nation’s most devastating and complex social problems is homelessness. When it comes to homelessness, it doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can be left homeless whether children, adults, parents, teenagers, and people from every race. The main issue when it comes to homelessness is the lack of affordable housing.
More than five million households are of low income and have trouble finding housing. The housing costs are way too high compared to their salary. Being homeless is a very difficult situation to be in, especially for providers for children and seniors. More than half a million people have been left in this situation in a single night in 2018. Even though most of these people were individuals, 33% were families with children.
The demographic for homeless people show that most of them are male (70%). Out of all homeless people, the white race contains the largest number. However, Native and African Americans are overrepresented in the population.
Even though many businesses are doing their best to give aid to the homeless population, there’s still much more we can do as a country to help these people, especially single parents with children.
One such single parent is Joseph Cantu who is living in a nightmare situation. Aside from being homeless, he has to live in a van with his five children.
Homeless Father with Five Children
Joseph Cantu had one of the worst luck a person could ever have. It all started after his wife left him with his children. After that, the family got evicted from their home, leaving Joseph to find creative ways to find places to sleep for his children. If Joseph couldn’t find a place to sleep, they will go to a rest area and sleep inside his van. Other nights if some people were generous enough to donate enough money, Joseph would take his children to a motel room.
The final straw was pulled when Cantu lost his job as a polisher in the automobile business. He couldn’t manage taking care of his children and to work at the same time. Only two of his five children were going to school. Without a job, it becomes even harder to take care of five children.
The children always pose questions like when are they going to go home and about the future and the answers are almost impossible to say. Almost no shelters in southeast Michigan house men with children. Joseph found that he qualifies with the Michigan Department of Human Services. The problem is, this service won’t cover all expenses for Joseph and his family until he finds a stable job.
Major Support for the Cantu Family
Cantu’s story was aired on Fox 2, allowing millions of people to see the situation he’s in and offer help. Many people contacted the station through emails and phone calls. On Facebook, the story was shared thousands of times within a few days. Joseph was overwhelmed by the support he got from that many people.
Additionally, an auto salon reached out to him and offered him an interview for a job. Other people made donations to this family and even offered to host the father and his children until they’re able to take care of themselves. People even created a Go Fund Me page and a Launch Good account to raise donations for the family.
Cantu even found a shelter in Michigan which allows fathers and their children to station there. The family is on the waiting list and cannot wait to get to the shelter.