What if your dream is small?

Dream big! That’s what we’re supposed to say to our kids and our friends and to the world in general. We’re supposed to pursue audacious goals and work hard to achieve them. I believe in dreaming big, otherwise I’m in the wrong line of work. But, I also believe in dreaming small.

Imagine that the only place you have to live is in your car with your family and you have run out of food. Dreaming of a bed and a plate of food makes a lot of sense. In fact, you realize whatever dreams may be bigger than those basic needs, won’t be possible without those basic needs being met. But, food and shelter seems to be a small dream.

There are, sadly, thousands of Angelenos who are forced to dream small today. At one point this year, 95% of our adult shelter guests had full-time employment. They were pursuing goals and working hard, yet, their basic needs were out of reach. Their dream was to have their own apartment, to open their refrigerator and have enough food to make sandwiches for dinner and to have enough money to buy their kids new shoes. With the help of our community, volunteers and donors, 85% of our shelter guests move out of our shelter and into their own apartment where they are able to achieve this small dream called survival.

Some of them go on to pursue greater dreams. But, it occurs to me that it is a sizable dream to provide for your family in Los Angeles. And, that’s okay because maybe we need more people to be dreaming of ways to help people make their basic needs a reality.