A letter to an individual experiencing homelessness

by Su on July 23rd, 2022

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Letter envelope and card, embedded image

To the individual in poverty and despair, 

I know you’re hurting. Bleeding. Your spirit, limping from the ordeal you endure day after day without rest. The uncertainty that comes with not knowing the next time you’ll eat, the terrifying realization of having no choice except to sleep on the streets, the loss of dignity that accompanies an arduous job search —- it must be monumentally taxing for you to trudge on. 

I see your crestfallen face, the bloody pain that glistens in your eyes. I can taste the frigid gust that bites your mouth, freezing tongue as you lie outside on a winter night without anywhere to go. I hear your pained sobs, your pleads for love, survival, basic human necessities. I feel your despair, your gnashing of teeth, as you yearn for but only a glimmer of relief. 

I know I’m merely typing on a laptop at the moment, but I long to do something — anything to add a little sparkle to your day. Desireth me nothing more than to comfort you - hold your hands, give you my sandwich, whisper you sweet somethings that make you feel believed in. Anything to assuage the melancholies of a precious human being. 

And don’t you dare tell me that you aren’t precious. For precious are you as the most unblemished of gems. After all: money, mansions, emeralds – such all have a finite value. Conversely, people — their personalities, their strengths, their unique personas — human beings are invaluable. Infinite. Irreplaceable. No quantity of wealth can replace a living, breathing person who has the capacity to love, and be loved. 

Poverty doesn’t make you any less of a human being. Hunger doesn’t make you any less of a human being. Despair doesn’t make you any less of a human being. You, me, 7 billion people — we are all capable of laughing, of crying, of feeling, of being moved to tears by a soulful song, of dancing our heart out to a catchy beat, of loving others with every muscle in our bodies. Is that not the very definition of human? 

Deserving are you of love, and kindness, and respect. Deserving are you of a friend who believes in you (that is, me), someone who is cognizant of the wells of fortitude your soul holds. No, cross that out — deserving are you of a community that believes in you, and one that treasures your humanity and your personhood. 

Please remember that, okay? 

May you heal, 


Su is a member of the Blankets for T.O. chapter at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Writers wishing to contribute pieces to the Blankets for T.O. blog are free to contact us.

Credit of the photo used in this article goes to Mediamodifier on Unsplash.

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