Homelessness in Savannah Social Tools

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Young Christians Seek Intentional Community Among Poor

Sorry if I misread your comment there PopeRatzo :( - I am just sensitive to comments that deal with those issues! But, still take a look at the referenced documentary - I write about it on my blog a lot & it spoke to me when I firs saw it.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Young Christians Seek Intentional Community Among Poor

Test response to all places..
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Young Christians Seek Intentional Community Among Poor

You've got to be kidding - that's exactly why young people aren't engaging with the Church - your views are not inclusive, they are exclusive - take a look at "Lord Save Us From Your Followers", a documentary, book, movie & DVD you could find reviews of on YouTube even - when he took it to preview at a college & a church - they seem to get how the Church treats people & why that drives them away...
About Christianity
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Monday, September 13, 2010

Murdering Hope – The Life of the Homeless, in America

Murdering Hope – The Life of the Homeless, in America

"The Question Mark of Cain"
I'm not exactly sure how this works
Grieving I Grieve You
Last time I looked it was me that lost
But it seems my loss
Has inconvenienced you
I am bewildered by how this is
Hating myself you hate me
My face, my body, my breath is abhorrent
You detest my stink
My being & the thought of me
I'm unsure of how again to be sure
And in my confusion you are certain
That I and everything that has to do with me
Isn't worth a moment,
An inkling,
The fleck of paint on the caboose
Of the thought train in your mind
And victimized
I feel
I should apologize…

(This is the state of the nation today 9/13/2010)

The continued plight of WE, the Homeless in America, is not just the problem of lodging or a decent living wage to afford affordable housing. The problem isn't limited to the crushing need for health care and social services reform. The main problem of WE, the Homeless, is the stigma of homelessness. You see, the perception of WE, the Homeless isn't tender like poverty stricken children or heartbreaking like women suffering with cancer, or devastating like the victims of war (not taking anything away from these very worthy causes in saying this).

But WE, the Homeless, suffer under the dark cloud of being inconvenient, ugly and in the way. WE, the Homeless, stand on street corners in tatters, selling papers and trinkets with scruffy beards, uncombed hair and dirty disgusting fingernails and OMG THE STINK! If you are lucky we only smell of B.O. and maybe faintly of urine. Scabby, dirty, vile beggars that intrude on your clean life and it's all you can do to force down the bile in your throat at the sight of us. WE, the Homeless are the modern version of the lepers, soup lines & donations the Bethesda pool and shelters are the colonies, the Lo Debar/ Skid Row that we should be confined to. Forget that we were pilots and professionals, people who work two or three part time jobs and still try to raise our kids as best we can. Don't let the facts influence your perception.

So when you see us on the corners you don't feel too bad if you can't wrestle the change from the ashtray in time before the light turns green. Or when charities ask for your time there are soccer games or sewing circles and other whatever somethings to get to. Why, when legislation can help curtail the relentless advance of unemployment (by giving substantial stimulus monies to help foster retraining programs and desperately needed infrastructure jobs), it is all too easy to vote no and turn thumbs down. So as the job market collapses & the housing market collapses and the ranks of the Homeless swell like a blood-engorged tick you can kick your feet up on your desk, glad that you didn't add another dime to the national debt (though if our kids starve to death today tomorrow's debt seems like a moot point). OK, I'll take a breath now.

Dirty, unsexy lepers. Question, if you don't do what you can to help the poor & middle class build a solid foundation for this country's future, what will happen to America's future? Let's look back in history – How many societies have survived without major upheaval if the middle class evaporates and the poor get trampled into the mud? (…see America in the 1920's and 30's, The French Revolution, The Cuban Revolution, The Bolshevik Revolution etc…)

The recession of the Bush 41 presidency was a direct consequence of Reagan's trickle down (VOODOO) economic policies. We didn't learn from that, our most recent past, obviously given our present situation. Nothing trickles down if everything is sopped up with the sop of greed. People, if you kick out the rest of the house and expect the roof to 'magic' itself alight somehow we are fooling ourselves and courting disaster (again).

As a country in 2001 President George W Bush commissioned a report on how to end chronic homelessness in America from several of our country's major cities. Great information was gathered and it would have been an amazing aid in helping to bring down the ranks of the homeless had this program been able to proceed (unfortunately the events of Sept 11, 2001 halted most of the progress in this area). 

But the past is the past. Now we have the opportunity to infuse our job market with a work force that is ready, willing & able to work. (And statistically, the homeless & disenfranchised's desire is to work instead of relying on even unemployment benefits or welfare.) But obstructionists have fought tooth & nail to defer any change in the status quo no matter what the lingering effect of homelessness does to us in its ranks.

The loss of self-esteem has seen a sharp increase in the rise of depression in our population. The Homeless have a higher stress level, just living in our situation, not counting the daily grind of looking for work, housing and suitable meals - especially if you have children to care for as well.

We, the Homeless are susceptible to higher incidences of staff infection, tooth decay, respiratory & viral infections due to our living situations...be it in a shelter, vehicle or tent.

Homelessness is draining emotionally, physically, mentally & spiritually.

And when you need to seek help in the social services system (a system put in place to help) the number of hoops one has to jump through (both necessary & extraneous) only aid in making a human being feel as inconsequential as the designated number assigned to us on the top of a mountain of forms.

We, the Homeless feel helpless, hopeless, unwanted & unloved. A feeling only reinforced by the way we are treated, the vicious and thoughtless way we are talked about and over and around and sadly, the way people look at you when you're Homeless with a mix of disgust folded in with a type of pity that doesn't bother with a hand out or lend a hand up.

We, the Homeless only ask to be treated one way – as living, loving, blessed brothers – we just want to, need to, demand to be treated as fellow human beings.

S. LaDon Ware ©2010

The problem is molecular.

This post is part of our new Op-Ed, Opinion & Contribute Writings effort! (e-mail us to submit your content, comment on post to respond to the opinions herein!)

Here's two cents worth of candor.

The problem is molecular. Let's examine the productivity of saving bodies and souls.

Society has spent centuries in a gold rush pushing the under-privileged into unsustainable fringes. Like nomads constantly on the move leaving the helpless behind in despair. Society in competition doesn't tolerate weakness. Many simply do not want to witness social and economic failure.

Then came a solution that originated and operated in the fringe-Christianity! Christians through their strong faith and need for Salvation, built a [sense] of importance and community for the most needy through their dedication and wealth with hospitals, shelters, missionary villages, etc. Many built sustainable communities almost out of nothing for people to rise out being poor, sick and needy. The problem and solution is as old as the Bible.

Who cares? Everyone cares. Some from the heart. Others, especially those who operate urban hotels, restaurants, shops, and airports care about nuisance and perception of social misfits.

The problem is growing and getting too big to hide and fail. So don't let it. Demonstrate solutions. But have one. Have a plan that scales and earns support through love and charity not politics.

Countless solution (models) exist for those who care to look. No need to reinvent the wheel.

More often, success is through faith and the untiring will and dedication of those who love caring for the poor, sick and homeless. For 25 years, I found a joyful way to give back by spending thanksgiving, Easter Sunday and Christmas day annually serving food at http://www.fatherjoesvillages.org/.

One of the largest national funerals in India (and the world) was held in 1997 for Mother Teresa, who as a young sister from Romania founded a simple organization that helped solve huge poverty problems in one of the poorest countries from the bedside and shelter not the pulpit and voting booth. For 45 years, she cared for all faiths and non faith. The Missionaries of Charity continued to expand, and at the time of her death it was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools.

Good reading - "Something Beautiful for God" by Malcolm Muggeridge.

Often complexity can be reduced and new reality determined by identifying, measuring, prioritizing and scaling the problems and common denominators into efficient and effective solutions (who, what, when, where and how much capital to start). Sister Teresa was successful by not commercializing and  publicizing. She and a few like-minded souls solved social problems from the inside out. The poor country then saw the benefit and support from all over the world and the rest is history.

Who is their champion?

John Carbonell

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Our post on 9-11-10, thoughts on burning Qu’rans & the call from Christ to NOT burn them & be Peacemakers!

Blessed Are the Peacemakers
(An American Christians Perspective 
a Message to 
Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center)

These are dangerous times that we live in. It seems to be the norm today to let our emotions (or feelings) about what is happening define why and how we should react in any given situation.

A mentality of "offense first" then find the facts and hear the reasonable arguments has turned our beloved nation more and more reactionary in the last three decades.

And, most striking in these debates, the people who seem to take the lead more and more often in these cancerous battles tend to raise the cross of Christ as their standard in their venomous attacks.

And yet the Christ that I know, that the Bible attests to, seems to stand in stark contrast to his followers in His words & deeds.

In Christ's first 'stadium sized' service 'the Sermon on the Mount', Christ taught "Blessed are the merciful (those who show unmerited favor) for they shall obtain mercy & blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." [Matthew 5:7,9]

It seems evident that Christ began His ministry with calling for an attitude of Peace.

He goes on to state powerful lessons in forgiveness [Mark 11:25-26, Luke 17:1-4], compassion [the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-31], more on Mercy [the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37] and humility [Matthew 20:25-28]. The Lord then tops it all off with the traits of those He considers righteous and those He does not [Matthew 25:31-46]. If you love Him keep His commandments, are your actions keeping His commandments? And as an American where should I stand?

The First Amendment to the Constitution states that we have 'Freedom of Religion', the right to believe in and practice your choice of religion, unencumbered by the state. And yet we see purely political calls for curtailing religious freedom under the guise of sensitivity to people's feelings. Thankfully our founding fathers knew better and built this freedom into the foundational document of our republic.

So, what do the words of Christ and the Constitution have in common? Neither the Lord's word nor our Constitution rely on, are contingent or even acknowledge one's feelings. The responsibility to the rule of conduct must, in both these instances, trump emotions always, every time. Why? Simply put, our duty to our standards cannot be trusted to what we feel (since there is such a variety & diversity of feelings) on any given occasion. Imagine a total relinquishment to this mindset of 'feeling over responsibility' what chaos would ensue. Religious and civil anarchy would tear this nation asunder surely & quickly.

I have said this in the past and I will continue as long as the Lord gives me breath "Are we yet Christians, are we yet Americans?" If we claim these banners doesn't it matter what they, foundationally, are calling us to do and be?

To be a peacemaker often means forgoing one's emotional response all together and standing behind higher principles than one could attain from liking or disliking a person (action, place or ideology). "But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." [Luke 6:27-28] These are giant words and a supernatural call to a whole new mindset in regards to how we should live - how we should want to live. Dare we, who wave the banners, aspire to their heights instead of the common, uninspired knee jerk reactionary existence? [Romans 13:9-10, Matthew 5:11-16, John 14:12]

Friday, September 3, 2010

For Homeless Services, One Size Does Not Fit All

For Homeless Services, One Size Does Not Fit All

I have read an article I wish I wrote.

Please read it. Mattie Lord has written cogently, with heart, and with awareness.

For Homeless Services, One Size Does Not Fit All

As a person who is definitely one of the square pegs trying to be stuffed into a round hole; and as a person who has consistently been screened out, I avidly ask you to spread this to everyone you know.

It'll take you 30 seconds to a minute and a half to put it up on your blog, send out e-mails, or post to your fav social networks with the link and a genuine request to those you know to read it.

Whether you or those you know respond with action for homelessness or another issue near and dear to your heart, you will have helped me fulfill my goal ... to get the word out; to rally people to make a difference in their life and world; and, to be actively listened to.

I urge you to urge those you know to consider a paradigm shift. I cannot tell you how uplifting it was to hear (okay read) another person on the internet use the same term I've been using -- paradigm. It was like finding a kindred soul.

Also, compliments of: A Homeless Blogger - we copied into our own post since the information wasn't directly linkable as a referenced blog post - it is on the right hand side of his blog!