Motel Kids

It's been so hot over the last few days that I haven't really been venturing outside. Aside from busing myself around the house, I decided I'd take the opportunity to catch up on the HBO documentaries that I've been recording on our PVR.

Generally speaking, I love documentaries. I like hearing about and seeing how others live, or feeling like a participant in the movie-maker's quest for knowledge. Maybe that's why I like "reality" shows so much; because they're a watered down version of someone's lived/ing experience. The one that's stayed with me, over the last day or so, was Homeless: Motel Kids.

Heart-wrenching in a most unbelievable way. It focuses on the children of families who live in motels, in Orange County, because they can't afford to rent an apartment or house. The families featured in the film have, at least, two children and one adult living together in one room. There's no storage, no privacy and nowhere for the kids to play. The motel doesn't allow them to play in the parking lots, so a lot of the children get into trouble or wander off to the parking lots that surround Disneyland. They can't go to the local parks because, according to the kids, they're full with gangs, taggers and drugs.

You heard me. Disneyland.

The self-proclaimed Happiest Place on Earth is surrounded by the working poor of America, whose children lay just outside the gates each night to watch the fireworks. In fact, a few of the parents work at Disneyland yet their own children have never been inside.

The parents are trying their hardest to make the best of a clearly horrible situation, and all the children want (no matter how the filmmaker poses the question) is a home.

Putting aside the obvious political melodrama and outrage, it's awful to see such poverty in such a wealthy nation. The no-cost school that provides the kids with government-funded food and school supplies takes the kids out for field trips, and the smiles on their little faces while playing on the beach left tears streaming down my face.

End the fucking "war" already and use the money to get these kids somewhere to stay where they don't have to worry about being shot, bitten by bed bugs, offered drugs or being otherwise harmed by their surroundings.

Seriously, how is the next generation going to make it if they don't have enough food to eat or have to wear the same clothes, every day, for a week? I'm all for foreign aid and everything, but I'm sure that those whose meagre pay is halved by taxes, would appreciate that money staying in the country and being used in a way that could support their move into a permanent home.

I'm no politician, or money-manager, but I think there's food for thought there (pun obviously intended).

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