When a 101-Year-Old Is Evicted, Our Country Has Failed

Texana Hollis is 101 years old. She has lived a long, full life, raised at least one son, and been in the same home for 60 years. But last September, because her son failed to keep up with the property taxes on the home, the woman has been evicted. After an outcry, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development promised her she could move back in. But now it looks like even that won't happen.

The home has been deemed unsafe for anyone to live in, and until that changes, Hollis will not be allowed in her home. The images of the woman who has lived more than 10 decades looking so despondent would break anyone's heart. But, thus far, only a few friends have stepped in to help her.

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We like to pride ourselves on being a bootstrap kind of country. Phrases like "welfare nation" and "Socialism" are bandied about and hurled as judgements as though they are actually true or meaningful. We don't help the people who really need help. We bail out major corporations with one hand while condemning those who overextend financially with the other. It's ridiculous.

If this story doesn't break your heart and make you want to help, then what might? We can all talk a big game about financial responsibility and what not, but in the end, we all view money differently. One family might live fine on $60,000 a year while another family might struggle on $200,000. We may disagree with how they spend their money, but I would like to believe that if either family found themselves in a rough place, regardless of "life choices," we would all have empathy.

The fact is, none of us can predict the future. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring or how the choices we make today will affect our future. We could make one bad investment and lose everything.

Personally, I would rather believe the best about people. I think part of what makes a country great is helping others. A country isn't made up of corporations and each man for himself. It's made up of community and compassion and some kind of empathy for choices we may not have made ourselves.

It seems many are too full of themselves and convinced of their own valor to really examine how easily any one of these calamities could happen to them. Some who claim so proudly to live "debt free" are also the same ones who will turn around and condemn someone else who made different choices. Does that make them feel superior? Smarter? More accomplished? Kicking people when they are down is no point of pride.

It makes you look like a bad person. And in fact, if that is how you think, then maybe you are. Texana Hollis should have a home. I want to live in a country where we take care of our elderly, not put them out in the cold because someone in their lives "made bad financial choices."

I don't want to live in a country where CEOs get richer on the backs of people who then turn around and condemn others who aren't "fiscally responsible." It's backwards and it's wrong.

Do you think the government should help Hollis fix her house?

 

Image via Daquella manera/Flickr

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