Hamilton Families
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Hamilton Families

New Year, New Aspirations

What will your resolutions be for the new year? Say “good riddance” to 2020 and embrace 2021 by dismantling stereotypes of family homelessness.

The end of January is already upon us. As we embark into this new year, I have found that one way we can stick to keeping our new year resolutions is to say them out loud.

We all have personal resolutions. They usually are along the lines of “ I am going to go to the gym more, I am going to eat better, and I am finally dumping a certain someone who held me back this year (maybe their name is ‘2020’).” We all come up with one or two, maybe a whole list of resolutions that we try to stick with for the next 12 months. Resolutions are meant to help us move on, grow stronger, become healthier both physically and mentally. They are also meant to enforce, start, or break habits like procrastinating on learning that second language you always wanted to learn, or committing to volunteering for a nonprofit that has been struggling during the pandemic.

Resolutions do not necessarily only have to be for personal gain. Frankly, we all need to start incorporating more resolutions that involve going outside ourselves to ensure this year is better for everyone than the year before.

I am taking on a resolution inspired by an organization I support — Hamilton Families — which I hope you feel compelled to embrace. Resolve and release the stereotypes that are placed upon those struggling with homelessness whether they are individuals or families. Research and reach out to local organizations that are assisting your members of your community who are experiencing homelessness. Volunteer at shelters, invite staff from these organizations to come and speak to groups or companies like our own. Start becoming part of the change versus letting the stereotypes of homelessness continue to hinder those without a home.

Ask yourself, “what stereotypes of homelessness do I harbor?”

Do you feel uncomfortable walking by someone sleeping, sitting, or holding a sign on the street?

Do you hesitate or are unsure of how you can best assist someone you think is experiencing homelessness?

Do you assume they have substance use or addiction?

Do you think or assume that they did it to themselves and had complete control over their situation?

Think about your answers. Think about how they made you feel. Do you want to reconsider some or all of your responses? I hope you do.

The reality is most families experiencing homelessness have no control over the circumstances that lead them to this condition. For families and individuals who face homelessness, they need all the support and assistance they can get in order to stabilize and thrive. Resolutions lead to actions, and actions lead to change. Be a part of the movement to end family homelessness and dismantle the stereotypes that have been branded with the word “homeless.”

Remember it is a new year, and this year will be a good year! Write down your resolutions, challenge yourself to add at least one that is outside of yourself or even out of your comfort zone, and manifest the best for you and those who need hope and change the most.

If you know of a family who needs housing assistance in the San Francisco Bay Area, visit hamiltonfamilies.org/get-help. To see how you can donate, volunteer, or become more informed, visit hamiltonfamilies.org.

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