Mobley shared what happened when a disoriented woman showed up on his doorstep asking for help

We all know a little kindness can go a long way. But sometimes, a little kindness can also peel back the lid on issues that are inadequately handled in our society. A generous donation to help a teacher buy classroom supplies is great, but it also points to how poorly funded our schools are. A famous athlete building a medical center for uninsured or underinsured Americans draws praise, but also shows the sad state of healthcare in our country.

Musician Mobley shared a story on Twitter about a random woman who showed up at his door needing help figuring out where she was. And after taking just a few minutes to help her, he explained how the woman fell through the gaping holes in our social safety net multiple times.

Mobley wrote:

"Something incredible just happened. My doorbell rang and I answered to find an older woman I've never met before. She politely said, 'I'm trying to find a place to sleep tonight. My sister used to live here. Can you call her? I might be listed as a missing person.'

This was a little disorienting, so it took a little more conversation to get on the same page. She told me her name and her sister's name. I live with someone at high risk so I couldn't invite her in, but we brought her some water, food, and a fan while I started searching.

It took about 3 minutes to find her sister's phone number. I called - went straight to voicemail. So I texted, explained the situation and she called me right back. She excitedly confirmed that it was her sister and said she was getting in her car now (from an hour away).

It turns out her sister had been on a mandatory, temporary stay in a psychiatric hospital. 3 weeks ago, she learned that her sister was somehow no longer in the hospital's custody and was out on the street with no money/phone. She filed a missing persons report.

While her sister had spent weeks searching, the woman at my door had spent weeks trying to find a way to get back to her sister (who, remember, lives an hour away from me). First, she'd gone to the police multiple times...

The only thing she asked the cops for was 'directions to her sister's house'. She gave them her name and address and asked how to get there. They refused to help her.

After that she spent weeks walking across the city, looking for houses of people she knew decades ago.

She told me some of the places she had walked and one is a 45-minute drive from my house. I can't imagine how many miles she must have covered. She'd been sleeping on the streets for weeks for want of access to information/connection that took it me 3 minutes to find/make.

I hung out with her while we waited for her sister and she told me about how much the neighborhood had changed and we talked about how big the trees had gotten. Eventually, her sister arrived and they exchanged a very excited/relieved hug before thanking me and leaving.

Anyway, the reason I share this story is because it illustrates the violent hostility of the world we've created for unhoused people and disabled people in this country. Where the small task of looking up a number and making a phone call becomes a weeks-long epic journey...

I deserve zero credit for the small effort it took to help this person. The 'market value' of my house is predicated on a system that makes housing a 'scarce quantity' that only people with enough money get to have (even as millions of houses sit empty).

This already tragic story could've ended much worse. We must ask ourselves if we're okay with a society that's set up to needlessly hurt/kill so many.

If we're not, let's treat it like the emergency it is and change it. If we are, then the path ahead seems grim."

After Mobley's Twitter thread went viral, he said he won't be giving interviews and won't divulge any information about the people involved in the experience (which is wise as far as privacy goes).

Though the musician said the only thing he wants to promote is "the end of capitalism," we don't necessarily have to go that far. Plenty of western democracies have managed to balance free market systems with government-provided social services. For example, the Nordic model of the Scandinavian countries, which many refer to as "socialism" is more of a "compassionate capitalist" system, according to the Foundation for Economic Education.

We can point to the various points where the system seems to have failed this woman while also acknowledging that we don't know the whole story. However, there's no question that unhoused people and those with mental health issues are often overlooked or dismissed, even by people who seem like they should be in a position to help them.

It's a reminder that if everyone's life truly does matter, we need social systems and safety nets in place that prove it.


Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less

Biases, stereotypes, prejudices—these byproducts of the human brain's natural tendency to generalize and categorize have been a root cause of most of humanity's problems for, well, pretty much ever. None of us is immune to those tendencies, and since they can easily slip in unnoticed, we all have to be aware of where, when, and how they impact our own beliefs and actions.

It also helps when someone upends a stereotype by saying or doing something unexpected.

Fair or not, certain parts of the U.S. are associated with certain cultural assumptions, perhaps none more pinholed than the rural south. When we hear Appalachia, a certain stereotype probably pops up in our minds—probably white, probably not well educated, probably racist. Even if there is some basis to a stereotype, we must always remember that human beings can never be painted with such broad strokes.

Enter Tyler Childers, a rising country music star whose old-school country fiddling has endeared him to a broad audience, but his new album may have a different kind of reach. "Long Violent History" was released Friday, along with a video message to his white rural fans explaining the culminating track by the same name. Watch it here:

Keep Reading Show less
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep Reading Show less
@frajds / Twitter

Father Alek Schrenk is known as one of the "9 Priests You Need to Follow on Twitter." He proved his social media skills Sunday night after finding a creepy note on a parked car and weaving a lurid Twitter tale that kept his followers on the edge of their pews.

Father Schrenk was making his nightly walk of the church grounds to make sure everything was fine before retiring to the rectory, when he found a car parked by itself in front of the school.

Curious, he looked inside the car and saw a note that made his "blood run cold" attached to the steering wheel. "Look in trunk!" the note read. What made it extra creepy was that the two Os in "look" had smiley faces.

Keep Reading Show less