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It’s a difficult reality, the level of homelessness in every country’s population today. The world wide declining economy is taking a toll. The number of people living in shelters, sleeping in cars or on the streets in every city is staggering. It is not just one group of people facing these tough times. It’s affecting all of us in one way or another.

What happens to a couple when facing times like these? Shelters rarely have options for couples; many find themselves having to split up if they want a cot inside for the night. Even if they can find beds, there is rarely enough privacy to share any level of physical intimacy; in fact, that’s often a stipulation of the shelter, which is understandable. Sleeping in a car provides no way to be discreet, and sexual exchanges can break indecency laws. And yet, what more necessary time to connect and reassure one another? How many of us rely on our ability to draw close to our loved one when times are the most difficult? This connection keeps us grounded and sane. And how does a single person contemplate romance or dating when facing homelessness? For most homeless, the benefits of sharing that close bond are lost.

ZARZAND can’t change each person’s circumstances, but we’d like to suggest the following to those ministering to the homeless:

As you hand out food, clothing, toiletries and job information, would you hand out a few hard copies of some of our Daily Inspirations for Romantics? Obviously not all of them will be helpful, but we’ve made a serious effort to modify many of our suggestions in order to give those whose circumstances won’t allow the average dating or romantic experience a way to still show some effort. Our black and white drawing options are cheap and easy to pass out. The instructions could go on the front, with the sample drawings on the back. Or, all the instructions could be copied for several ideas, and then the sample drawings copied on individual separate pages. Perhaps giving couples or interested singles a few extra papers in order to communicate that society does care about them succeeding in their relationships might be an option for those of you reading this. Those relationships HAVE to matter to all of us because we’re ALL “US.” And as the old saying goes, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Doesn’t it just make sense? Without food, people perish. Without feeding a relationship, relationships perish. That’s as much a tragedy as the enormity of people’s homelessness.