Anne-Marie Walsh used to be homeless, a result of PTSD from abuse and painful rheumatoid arthritis. Her blog, though, shows that you can climb out of that rut, with help. Thi post linked below suggests that those who have succeeded are best equipped to help those still struggling. She does.
The homeless such as myself can actually teach others how to survive homelessness! I also believe that non-homeless people can volunteer to mentor the homeless–for social skills or being a “e-pen pal”, job search skills, addiction recovery. Homeless people also have skills and knowledge that someone needs! Why is there not a job agency that matches homeless people with employers who are looking for new talent with the opportunity to help someone in need? Why does the homeless services agency not offer a program in which the homeless receive specialized job skills training to advocate for themselves and the agency by going to businesses themselves to inform them of homelessness and needs, and to ask them to consider helping the homeless with services, discounts, or job postings? Currently they have only a lawn care services crew during warmer months as “job training”. The job training services and others should be expanded!
via @padschicago’s blog
Life’s story isn’t always dark and hazardous. We can all put happy smiles on faces with very little effort. Just smile first.
What do people on the streets want? It’s often as simple as “a bottle of water, a hug, and some eye contact.”
Listen to Waterman Dave talk about how he learned this basic truth.
Anyone and everyone connected to homelessness in San Diego knows “Waterman Dave”. Dave Ross, who most people call Waterman Dave, spends his days handing out bottles of water to people experiencing homelessness. Dave also advocates for our homeless friends in big ways. A few years past he successfully sued the city over people’s belonging. That lawsuit created temporary storage facility. Dave was also instrumental in getting the seasonal emergency shelter extended, and he is currently battling to keep a few portable bathrooms open.
Dave is almost larger-than-life. As he walks and drives though San Diego’s worst neighborhoods, Dave almost has a draft effect of smiles. People who are down on their luck, living in small tent communities all over downtown, see Dave and know that for at least a moment they’ll get a bottle of water and friendly conversation.
via Mark Horvath at Invisible People TV
A cousin pointed out this article to me on Facebook, which makes some good points about what some might see as a controversial subject: homeless people using their slim resources to pay for cell phones.
As Kat Ascharya points out, people are often inclined to judge a homeless person talking on a cell phone as being wasteful with their limited financial resources. The truth is that a homeless person who understands and makes use of the advantages offered by today’s cell phones should be applauded for making smart financial choices. If you read the article, you will see what I mean. I’ve posted just a small tidbit below but encourage you to click through and read the whole thing.
I also want to point out, however, something that is less subtle about the article. Street Stories can be found anywhere if you just take the time to stop and listen. The article author not only bothered to smile and say hello to someone she knew was homeless, but she engaged him in conversation. Only by asking and listening can we see past the “homeless” label to the humanity of the person inside.
His phone, then, functions as an important conduit. On the surface, it’s his most important, practical tool. He can call places for work with it. He can call up shelters and other social services to see what’s available. He calls public transportation to find out which bus lines are running and check out schedules.
E-mail and text is especially important. He can reach out to friends to see if he can crash with them for a night or two, especially if the weather is rough. But he has to be careful. “You don’t want to impose,” he said. “You can’t exhaust your friends. Otherwise they’ll get tired of helping you, thinking, ‘Why are you still struggling?’” The hidden worry is that you’ll never leave.
via A Homeless Man and His BlackBerry | TIME.com.
In this video David talks about the needed culture change in homeless services. David also goes on to share how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is leaded the way to change in the Pacific Northwest, with their focus on ending family homelessness. Even if you do not work in homeless services this is a must-watch video.
via Mark Horvath Talks to David Wertheimer from Gates Foundation About Family Homelessness – YouTube.