By Beth Barker-Hidalgo

Chair of the Curry Homeless Coalition

Would you climb into a dirty Dumpster filled with trash because at least inside a Dumpster you would be shielded from the wind and covered from the cold?

Would you find your way into a dark and abandoned building, huddle under newspapers and try to ignore the rats scrambling on the floor around your feet?

Would you escape underground to the subway and lie on the dirty floor, praying that no one will kick you or hurt you while you sleep?

If you were a homeless kid, you might do any or all those things... you might not have a choice.

Homelessness brings a sense of loneliness that erodes the core of a person’s self-value. When you are homeless, a simple smile and a word of kindness can make a big difference in a day full of hardship.

Acknowledge the homeless you encounter in the street. Say a simple hello. Talk to them and engage in a simple conversation. When you take your time to learn about your homeless neighbor, his or her story and family, you show them that you care.

Avoid stereotyping or stigmatizing the homeless. There are many paths that lead to homelessness and each person has a different story.

The Curry Homeless Coalition is a grassroots effort. We are a handful of concerned people who started working to make sure the neediest in our community are cared for. We rely on the kindness and generosity of supporters to make our mission successful.

Contact the coalition at