A Small Footnote. At this time every year, we await the Christmas celebration, it is also the time that as President of the Liberty Regional Homeless Coalition, start to gather all the data from the past year in order to see what have we accomplished and where do we need to improve our ability to serve the homeless of the coastal region.
As with any annual report, it includes the number of client we served and how we served them. How much money did it take to provide those services, and how much money did we raise to provide the services we offer. But unlike other non-profit reports, we also gather mortality data in preparation for our annual Homeless Memorial Service.
This year’s data threw me for a loop, no it wasn’t the numbers. For the past seven years, the death rates among the homeless of Georgia has been 67 to 100 deaths, but this year what caught me off guard was one name on the list. It was Alannah Maries Smallman. She died in Atlanta. What struck me the most was not that she was homeless, I’ve have gotten used to dealing with homelessness, and that for various reasons; we lose the battle, no what struck me the most, was that Alannah was an infant.
This child never had a chance, and that falls on all of us as a society. This is why the concern for the homeless has to be taken on by all of us, and not just doing the holidays. The Coalition has been dealing with the plight of homeless children for the past ten years, and I have heard all the stories. Sadly Alannah we will never know Alannah’s story. Please help us prevent Alannah from becoming a footnote in the efforts to end homeless.
We as a community can come together and make a difference, Alannah is proof that homelessness can strike at any age, This year as you celebrate the birth of the infant Jesus, please remember those we have lost to homelessness, and like the Good Samaritan, go and do likewise.