"Tell me what you think a homeless person is like?"
It's the question with which I start every presentation to children and teens. The list of adjectives - which I always assume comes from talk over the dinner table - is not pretty.
Scary. Dangerous. Dirty. Crazy. Lazy. Sick. And it goes on and on. My favorite response came at the end of a presentation to about 100 fifth graders. A quiet voice in the back of the room said, "Human."
That one gives me hope.
I then ask the kids to 'look to your right, look to your left and see yourself in a mirror, because that's what homeless looks like. It's people just like you and me.
And every once in a while, we get a reminder that it can also be someone famous, one of the celebrities that grace magazine covers and movie screens. Someone like Academy Award Winning Actor Hallie Berry who today lives a life many envy with beauty, healthy children, success, fame and fortune ...