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Hungry for home
November 8, 2013

In a couple of weeks, the movie sequel to “Hunger Games” will hit theaters. As a huge fan of the novel trilogy and as someone who stated, “That was much better than I expected,” after watching the first movie, I am eager to see if “Catching Fire,” the sequel, lives up to its potential.

“Hunger Games” had it all: a good plot, excitement and explosions, beautiful actors.

But what I enjoyed most about the book (definitely) and the movie (for the most part) was how it grappled with issues of power and poverty: poor folks having to resort to survival skills simply to feed and house themselves; how where someone lives can dock years off their life; how media often uses poor individuals who’ve “made it” to inspire and entertain the rest of us without seriously questioning the reasons such obscene levels of poverty are allowed to exist in our land of plenty.

These issues are confronted by homeless advocates every day. 

Homeless teens frequently fall victim to prostitution simply to put a roof over their heads. 

The life expectancy difference between residents of the highest poverty areas and lowest poverty areas is 8 years -- eight years added to your life because you live on the right side of the tracks--according to The Wilder Foundation’s report “The Unequal Distribution of Health in the Twin Cities."

And, be honest, how many times has some poor person’s awe-inspiring perseverance sent shivers down your spine? I’m guessing because of social media, for some of us it’s a daily experience. Now, did you follow up those shivers of inspiration with an impassioned call to an elected official demanding that we move the line of poverty just a bit higher?

I’ll admit it. I’m quite often guilty of not acting.

And so I have these requests: Go see “Catching Fire.”  (I hope it’s as good as it can be.)  Ask yourself some tough questions. Then challenge yourself to act.

Of course, I can’t end this post without asking:  “Are you a Beacon Citizen?”

By showing support and taking action, Beacon Citizens will help a major piece of affordable housing legislation move forward. Legislative leaders and housing advocates are supporting a proposal that could provide $100 million for the construction and rehab of affordable housing for our lowest income residents. Let's show the world we're hungry for home.

 

Michael Dahl
Michael Dahl is Beacon's advocacy coordinator.