We will be reissuing a 2nd Edition of Bend Me Shape me in June with a brand new cover to match the others in the series. What do you think of it?
Here are the covers from Painted Black and Box of Rain. Good match, right?
“I speak four languages.”
“I’ve built robots.”
“I have a degree in biology from West Virginia University.”
These aren’t statements from renowned business leaders or well-known academics. These are truths written on cardboard signs by homeless people living in Orlando, Florida.
Their stories are highlighted in Rethink Homelessness, a campaign created by the nonprofit Impact Homelessness, to change damaging stereotypes about those living without stable shelter. The campaign — which also features stories from accomplished athletes, a computer geek and individuals grappling with serious illness — is taking on “a problem that has dogged Central Florida,” as the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell noted.
And the facts back Maxwell up.
Florida has an estimated 47,862 homeless individuals, which is about 8 percent of the total U.S. homeless population, according to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. What’s more, Florida was deemed the most dangerous state in the nation for homeless people last December, by the National Coalition for the Homeless — the third year the Sunshine State took the No. 1 spot since 2008. In 2012, Florida had more than double the number of hate crimes against the homeless as the runner-up California did.
But Impact Homelessness believes its message of compassion and understanding can prompt positive change.
“Since the recession began, the face of homelessness has been changing,” the organization’s Facebook page reads. “From school children to the elderly, from the barely employed to the victims of abuse … homelessness can affect anyone … unless we all come together to make a difference.”
Boy, they really gave me some thought provoking questions to answer at Mysteristas. What do you think of my answers?
Just in time to help spread the word about my attendance at the Dekalb Library Author Fair tomorrow, Mysterias Blog posted an interview of me today. Here’s one of the answers I gave, but I hope you will click through to read the whole interview.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
The volunteers and staff at The Night Ministry in Chicago were influential in helping me see the importance of reaching out and how much of an impact compassion and acceptance can make in someone else’s life. If I have to name three people in particular, I think it would be three homeless young men I met while I volunteered with TNM. Eric was my first lesson in how to give unconditional love. He was messed up, involved in male prostitution to feed his drug habit, yet so kind and vulnerable that I…
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We've had a look at Jo Sullivan and Snow Ramirez's journals, but what about Dr. Mordechai Levinson? Here's an excerpt from one of his research papers.
It’s really very simple. To achieve anything in life, you must focus on your goal and with a clear mind work toward it. The brain has so much ability we don’t use. Brilliant men have spent their careers finding ways to awaken those dormant brain cells. I have spent my career in that same pursuit. Now, I‘m not saying I’m as brilliant as Scientist A or Scientist B, but I believe as they do.
Our country is in danger, our lives are in danger. How could any fool witness the pictures of the September 11 tragedy and not realize that? Our enemy has found a way to tap into the minds of their followers and imbue them with a selfless, unstoppable passion. No hesitation in the face of death. No compassion for the humanity of their victims. A profound belief that what they do is right.
If humans could only tap into the enormous resource of their own brains, who knows what we could achieve. We need men who will stop at nothing to achieve what is good. We need heroes unencumbered by debilitating character flaws like compassion and self-doubt.
Oh my God. I had not heard about this in the news and am appalled at the audacity of the double standard employed by this judge. This screams injustice louder than anything I’ve heard recently. But then perhaps I should not be so surprised. This happens too often, but more importantly, is too seldom railed against in the media. Where are the main stream news reports that call attention to this kind of bullshit? “Judge Boyd, also presided over a case last year in which a 14 year old African American boy punched one person, who subsequently fell and hit his head and died from the injury. He was sentenced to ten years in prison.”
Nice job of doing the math in this article. I wish him well and hope he can stay positive in these increased frigid temperatures
I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about life in the shelter, my day to day trials of living in my vehicle, the cost of being homeless. I found out something I never heard of before and that is Giving Tuesday. I figured it was time to take my previous post of the economics of being homeless and expand it to what it will actually take to get out of this situation.
In the previous post I broke down that to barely survive it costs $10.75 a day or roughly $350.00 per month just to barely squeak out life in this city. I’ve mentioned to some people that I was able to obtain a temporary position that is going to run through the end of the year. Congratulations, right? Definitely, but that is just the tip of the iceberg to getting out of the truck. A few people have…
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This poem sounds to me like one Leonard might have written, or at least appreciated: "I have shed enough blood to know that the wound is the place where the light enters you"