Any part of this may be true, but here is what I am learning. As the mothers walk into the large room where we are tutoring, they will not make eye contact with you. They know that I know that they are living in the shelter. They feel like a failure and shame bows their heads and diverts their eyes. I struggle with my self image, but the struggle they must face has to be over-whelming.
The children are wary of you and look at you with distrust in the beginning. They have to change schools while living in the shelter---they must attend the school in the district where the shelter is located. New school, new teacher, new temporary home, and most are struggling academically. Who knows what they have seen, what they have heard, or what has happened to them. It is disturbing at a minimum to think about this while with them.
One student had a note in their backpack from the teacher--"Not paying attention". Perhaps they have other things on their minds---perhaps it is difficult to sleep in a new place---perhaps the other children are bullying them--or perhaps they think everyone in the class knows they have no home--they come from the shelter. It is enough to break my heart.
These mothers are still mothers and love their children. These children are still children and love their mothers and daddies. They walk into the study hall out of breath and reeking of sweaty child smell which comes from time on the play ground. If you saw them on the street, you would see no difference in them and your own children or grands. They are sweet precious children--who live in a homeless shelter-through no fault of their own.
So the next time you are given the opportunity to help one of the homeless---remember this---It is not our responsibility to question their circumstances--it is our blessing to offer help. We have all been scammed--and shame on those who scam you---but remember the shame that must come from resorting to beg--and just help them.