What’s Your Thing?

What’s Your Thing?

The number of homeless people in our country is staggering. Without going into too much detail, the total number is well over 600,000 and more than a third of these people are part of a family living on the streets.

So I introduce you to the 100,000 Homes Campaign.

100,000 Homes has set a goal of providing permanent homes and the necessary services to 100,000 homeless individuals and families by July 2014. Thanks to the 235 participating communities (find one closest to you) they have placed 88,888 individuals and families, including 23,784 veterans, into permanent housing.

100,000 Homes is based on the idea of Housing First – the belief that the only lasting solution to homelessness is permanent housing. So instead of treating symptoms (no job, alcohol, poor health, etc.) they are attacking the root cause first: permanent housing.

And I couldn’t agree more.

I was talking to a social worker in Bergen County, NJ last week and she was explaining to me the importance of having a permanent home. The sense of pride one feels, the sense of accomplishment and the sense of hope are overwhelming once provided the opportunity of a home.

She also made me aware of the difference between a house and a home. A house is a place to put your head down at night and get some sleep. But a home is so much more. It’s where you raise your kids and where you create lasting memories. A home is when you take a house and turn it into something that is a part of you and your family.

When I think about my first home, a sense of pride rushes through me. Great memories with friends playing in the house and spending the holidays with my family come to mind immediately. And the thought of not having that home, not having those memories leaves a pit in the bottom of my stomach.

So I circle back to the title of this article: What’s your thing?

We all would agree on the importance of giving back to those less fortunate. There are so many great causes out there that sometimes it’s hard to choose. My advice? Just choose a cause that means something to you and you will continue to work with for a long time because you are passionate about it.

I am proud to be a part of The Junkluggers because of our efforts to help organizations like 100,000 Homes. Our office is based in Manhattan and almost 10% of the United States homeless population lives in New York City – that leaves a lasting impression.

So, in Manhattan we are providing household items that we pick up from our customers and donating them to veterans who recently were provided a permanent home. In New Jersey we have partnered with several social workers to provide household items to individuals and families who also recently were provided a home.

Get involved. Be a part of a cause that makes a difference. I can promise you that you won’t regret it. The smiles and appreciation that we see on the faces of people receiving items to help them create their home are amazing. It continues to inspire us to get involved more and make a greater impact in our communities.

Get involved, you won’t regret it.