Last night I went to a homeless shelter with five of my girls. During one of the rounds of serving food (there were four) a boy who looked to be the same age as my own four year old son came in. He had clearly been there before. Most of the staff knew him by name. He waited around until someone got him a high chair. As soon as he sat down, he pulled out a toy car that he had with him and started playing with it while he waited for someone to give him some chicken and some chocolate milk.
The kitchen manager came out and asked the boy, “Where’s your mom tonight? Where’s your sister and brother?”
The little boy shrugged, and just kept playing with his car.
The kitchen manager seemed unsurprised, but still visibly irritated that his mother wasn’t there.
Eventually she came by and had a very small baby and another toddler with her. We served them food, but it definitely hit me deeper than any of the other people we fed that night. I can’t even imagine. Three kids four and younger. Homeless. Relying on a shelter for food. Relying on the charity of others for her and her children to survive.