In th U.S., as many as 3.5 million people experience homelessness in a given year, and about 842,000 people in any given week.

And for those who are under the impression that homeless people are all just drunks and drug abusers who don't work hard enough... 40% are families with children (the fastest growing percentage of the demographic).

The general philosophical premise in America is that people can all be "successful" if they work hard enough and pull themselves up by the bootstraps. And, sure, that happens sometimes in unique situations (I saw "The Pursuit of Happiness" with Will Smith), but very few who are poor are even offered the opportunity to better themselves. Poverty is not a result of people not working hard enough, it's the result of a system that favors the privileged and where the rich are encouraged to get richer. Thus the larger mission is not fixing broken people, but repairing a broken system--a system which favors the wealthy.

There are experiments in breaking this trend and working against the system in the favor of the poor. The only action that may break the pattern is sacrifice. What does sacrifice mean? Well, it might mean even more than generosity... it may mean dining with the poor and identifying with them until you share their identity and it's no longer "poor" and "privileged," it's just people.