By Trinity Nash, 15
In the past four to five months, the world has been through many different stages, from social and racial injustice to a worldwide pandemic that forced everyone into their homes. Everyone except those who don’t have homes, of course.
According to the Florida Dream Center, over 50,000 people in Florida are houseless and 7,000 in Pinellas County alone. Hunger and poverty are the most significant factors that play into homelessness, and Florida, it seems, withholds a lot of both.
With this information instilled and first-hand experiences with the houseless population, I decided that it was time to make a change. I’d watched so many other people go out and help that it really influenced me to do the same.
In this current catastrophe, though, it wasn’t necessarily safe for me to go out on my own. So, with the help of my boss and co-workers, we made it happen.
There had been many individuals donating food to the St. Pete Youth Farm, and there was no way that we could have eaten it all by ourselves, so we did what any kind-hearted, selfless person would do: we spent the past month bagging it up and helping those of whom are less fortunate.
The dull brown bags were plain and boring, so we wrote and drew colorful and inspiring images and words on them just to brighten someone’s day. After we decorated the bags and made sure to seal them with love, we partnered with peaceful protesters to distribute.
I was told they drove to multiple sites in St. Pete, such as Central Plaza, Williams Park, and all along Fourth Street, which is stricken with homeless individuals. Amid their weekly distribution, I was finally able to get out and go pass out some food myself.
The Saint Vincent de Paul Center of Hope is a very popular spot for homeless people. So, that’s where my sister and I decided to venture.
To see the number of people living out there was very sickening and tear-jerking. It was upsetting to know that I, and many others, can sit at home in the AC with food, water, and TV while there are people out there with none of those things.
It makes you wonder what life would be like if you were in their shoes. In the scorching Florida heat with no type of conditioned shelter and no water, having to walk through the pouring rain just to get to where you want to go and struggle for your next meal and a drink of water.
To see people living in these conditions was unfortunate, which is why I’m making it a point to provide continuous care to those in need. This experience was quite humbling and taught me never to take advantage of the things that I have — little things like a bed and a blanket, let alone a roof over my head.
I will never know or understand the struggle that these individuals go through but what I can and will understand is that I, Trinity Nash, have the power to make a difference in my community and I will continue to do so.