Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

It is great when someone from the street is able to get into an apartment or home of their own.We take for granted a roof over our head, but not for all. It takes only a little bit of your time to help someone. A little help goes a long way.Some people may get discouraged, please don't!!!!!!!!!!!Even taking someone from one place to another is a way of helping. There is always a needy person out there.Remember they are looking for a hand up not handout.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Just a quick entry because we are getting ready to leave for SC to finish paperwork for the ministry. This will be a quick down and back trip for us (we will be back Wed. night.) But because our littlest dog, Dida, is 'becoming a woman' at the moment and we can't take both dogs (God only knows, we don't need any puppies right now,) again we are having a married couple that we are friends with house/puppy sit for us. So if you see anyone coming in and out of the house, it is them (and no they aren't homeless.) And FYI, they drive an aqua 4 door mitsubishi car.

Monday, July 28, 2003

I just wanted to say hi to whomever is in WV visiting the webpage.
A family we have been trying to get into a home will be moving into a 1800+ sq. ft house with an acre of land today! An incredible and deep hearted man in Williamsburg has made this possible. He gave up his home 2 years ago and moved to NN, since the basement had been flooded. I approached him about the possibility of renting the house, in return to repair the basement; supplies being at his cost, labor being volunteers to complete the work over time. While the work is in process, he is charging a rent of $100.00 for the family + electric ($75.00). The work will be long and hard since we must rip out the sheetrock, trench around the basement and install a french drain, then re-sheetrock. CALLING ALL VOLUNTEER CONTRACTORS. After the work is completed, he will only charge $300.00-400.00 for rent, with the possible option of a lease purchase by owner! And it is complete with many lovely rose bushes, apple trees, a pear tree and swing set with a fort. It is in their daughter's school district, as well. I asked the family how long it has been since they were in a place of their own (not a car or weekly hotel) and it has been shortly over a year. So God is wonderful and bartering works.

With as many abandoned houses around the area, if we could negotiate a home with repairs out of each, we wouldn't need a shelter.

Thursday, July 24, 2003


A helper for the homeless
"Sister Dee" Manning has inspired her church to serve the homeless in Wichita and launch plans for a multimillion-dollar homeless ministry.
The Wichita Eagle News

Dee Manning's cell number spreads quickly among the homeless. They learn to spot her black sport Dodge Dakota SUV -- loaded with jackets, blankets and bag lunches. She's giving back to the "Good Lord" to whom she committed her life two years ago at Central Christian Church in northeast Wichita.

Now the church is matching her work with plans to expand the homeless ministry called "His Helping Hands" with a multimillion-dollar project.

The church was given an 18-acre property in north Wichita and a five-acre property in southeast Wichita where a distribution center, offices and recovery facility for alcohol and drug abusers will be built. The outreach could begin as early as next fall.

Church leaders say Manning's example has inspired them to enhance their homeless outreach.

"We know there are many people in this community who are suffering from unemployment and the downturn in the economy," said the Rev. Joe Wright of Central Christian. "The scriptural command, 'To whom much has been given, much is required,' is motivating our hearts."

Manning's motivation grew after reading "A Call to Die" by David Nasser, who spoke at Central Christian about sacrificial living for God.

It's at the heart of her 40-plus hours a week of volunteering.

"This is about my walk with God," she said. "This is not a ministry. This is obedience to God. The Bible tells us we are to do this for the poor, widow and orphans."

Manning, 50, knows the daily schedules of many homeless. She finds them at the library, under bridges,, in lines waiting for a bed at local shelters or a meal at a local agency.

She often gives out food and clothing, but she's discovered another critical need: birth certificates, drivers licenses and identification cards.

Without them, the homeless can't get jobs. Many lost them in their travels, had them stolen or just were revoked due to criminal punishment.

So she's the go-between, doing meticulous paperwork, often out of her SUV.

An accordion file stores government forms, temporary bus passes and driver-instruction manuals. It also contains job applications that she hunted down through newspaper classifieds, agency listings and "help wanted" signs.

She provides envelopes, postage and notary public. She picks the homeless up and take them to the drivers license office. She pays fees and makes calls to courts in cases where criminal fines went unpaid and are holding up the paperwork.

The church is the homeless community's mailing address for correspondence, though the church doesn't pay for any of her work.

She receives one-time donations from church members that go into a separate fund which the church oversees. She uses that fund for direct purchases for the homeless, she said.

Many of those expenses come out of her pocket, including the two tanks of gas for her SUV or an occasional lunch when someone missed a meal from a local agency.

The homeless call Manning "Miss Dee" or "Sister Dee." Her compassion, she says, isn't naive. The Holy Spirit and her experience in the business world help her separate the jokers from the genuine.

Few know that Manning is executive chairman of her neighborhood association or that she was a successful business owner in Utah. Many see her at the downtown library where she coordinates a Wednesday afternoon Bible study for the homeless.

On Sundays, she arranges for about 40 to 50 homeless to be picked up at shelters to attend a service at the church and then a hot meal there afterward.

Wherever she goes, Manning never dresses down. She wears business suits, her diamond earrings and a gold-cross necklace.

Charles Brown, a 51-year-old homeless man originally from Illinois, met her at a local shelter two years ago.

Now, he's a member at Central Christian. Manning got him a temporary job as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army this Christmas season. It's his first job in a year, he said, and a start toward independent living. His golf shirt, khakis, sneakers and baseball cap came from a clothing bank.

Last Sunday morning, Manning gave Brown a new Bible. He immediately wrote the date and her name in the front cover.

"She always has a hug for me. That always starts my day," he said. "She never gives up, even though we may throw in the towel."

His dream now is to drive a cab or a semi-tractor trailer, jobs that would end his 12-year homeless streak. He has to study the drivers manual first, pass the test and then go job hunting.

Manning promises to teach him driving in the church parking lot. It's been nearly a decade since he's driven a car.

"I wish I had about 10 percent of her strength," Brown said. "But I know where she gets it from."

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Well well, again I had a call from Zoning yesterday. This time, not about a shelter, but the fact somebody in our neighborhood had called and said we were housing people. I explained to the lady, who knows I am not doing this. Once again, people are basing this association on our black friends and Jes. A married couple that we are friends with and also are big volunteers that pick up donations for us have been in a jam the past week and a half. Why haven't we blogged about them? Well, they aren't homeless! As I explained to the lady at Zoning, yes, they rent a house in the next city over, but both work in Williamsburg. The basement of the house has a bad leak and had flooded, to where all the sheetrock had to be replaced. Since we are all friends, they asked my husband about doing the work. We are just waiting for the go ahead from the landlord of getting the supplies. But, they were staying with friends in Croaker. That is no problem. The big problem they ran into was the fact their car (the only one they have) broke down 2 Sundays ago. Since their work schedule was different from each other and the couple they stay with, we help them out with rides to and from work. This is convenient for us as well since one of them works at a hotel that donates all their 'old' linen to us for the future use of a shelter. (So if you have ever seen them at the house at night or in the morn dragging big trash bags into our house, it is bath linen, bedding and blankets the hotel sent with them for us.) Unfortunately, where they stayed, the other people's schedule was different, they usually got dropped off here about 6 am have coffee, fold the donations for storage and morning devotionals while they wait for my husband to get ready leave for his work and drop them off. I usually go and pick the husband up, who gets off work 5 hours earlier than his wife. Sometimes he'd come here and goes fishing with my husband or goes with him to help on a job and sometimes not. The good news is that their car should be completed by this afternoon. Today, actually, we let them use our car, since Geoff has the truck and they had some errands to run on their lunch break. Will you see them over here again? Yes. They are our friends, go to our church, part of our Bible Study and volunteers with our ministry.

Jes, well this is a temporary foster situation. As I have said before, she will be leaving us to move in with her parents at the end of the week. We rarely get to see Geoff's kids, since they are in summer school and since we have had Jes, we have only been able to have Geoff's oldest son for a weekend. I never complain about your kids or the kids that occassionally come to visit and/or stay with you.

Robert, yes, many times he is here throughout the day. He is now going past 50+ days of sobriety and no alcohol. Because his Mother has had both legs amputated and is just learning to walk with prothstetics (mostly she is in a wheelchair) and Robert needs to be watched 24 hours a day, he spends the day with either Geoff or myself. His resident is with his Mom. Although he can't ever work again (or at least until he finds out about a heart transplant,) he goes with Geoff and 'hang's out. Or sometimes he will stay with me and help prep food or work on testimonials since he is wanting to start going out with me to speak on homelessness and alcoholism. Sometimes he has us drop him off to see his kids. But yes, he is with us until after dinner. His diet is very very restricted due to a blood clot in his lung and the weakness of his heart.

I will gladly open our door any time of the sleeping hours for you to inspect, if you do the same for me. What people in this area doesn't understand is that others have done things against the zoning here. Others have businesses in their home with traffic constantly going in and out from the house. Others have people staying with them in their house. Many on the street have parties/social gatherings on a regular basis. There have been a drug incident during the 4th of July by a person's party guest. And many let their dogs run free. Few cause problems except for one who has attacked me on 3 occassions, busted through our screens and attacked our dogs on our property.

I don't complain when you have a daytime party of over 30 cars parked along the street and it becomes hard to get through to our house. I don't complain about the guy who runs a business out of his home with people coming and going; fedex drop offs constantly. I have rarely complained with the dogs running free, unless it is the one who has been causing a problem at our house and even that took a while before I did say something (and yes, to have them not on leashes and off the property is against zoning.) I don't complain about the 2 property owners who rent their house out to friends or others as a weekly get away or resort house (which is also against zoning.) I don't question people who stay with you overnight, whether they are related to you or not or even the ones who live with you. I can accept a party into the night, but not early into the morning with guest being rude and not respecting others who are sleeping next door or even the guest park on the easement of our property smoking pot. No, that is unacceptable! And I don't think I would be the only one to think so. I didn't even have a problem when a lady called me from above accussing that a homeless guy was wandering the street looking for me and it turned out to be the father of the guy who has a business here and his father has alzheimers. I just laughed that people again assume anyone who looks homeless is associated to us. I don't complain when you have people over to your house in the daytime, go fishing play outside or whatever. It isn't my business or place to as long as you aren't bothering me. So with all this also going on within this area, why complain against us, when yall do in many ways the same as we do? Again, I don't want to go back to the issue of race, but I find it odd, you never complain when it is our white friends who come over.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

It has been awhile since I have blogged, but things have been very hectic, once again. Jes, our foster child had 2 birthday parties this weekend, Robert thought he was having another heart attack and we took him to the hospital and I have been sick as well. We found out yesterday that Jes will be leaving us the end of the week. I have been careful to not 'get attached' knowing she was a temporary placement, but she is such a darling girl.

Geoff bought a pickup truck the other day. This does make it easier for me in regards to picking up donations. And to help the family move their stuff out of storage into their home.

Because of Robert's heart attack and hospital stay, he has to have 24 hour care. He now has 40 days of soberness, attends church several times a week, and is loving his new life. He stays with family at night and we help to maintain him during the day. Geoff will either take him with to work or Robert goes out with me. He is saddened by the fact he will never be able to have a job, but he enjoys being reunited with his kids, that he sees often. As bad as it sounds, I have been very impressed with the clearness of his mind and how intelligent he has become since he has stopped drinking. He does go out and help talk about what alcohol can do to you and the second chance at life he was given.

I had to red flag for the first time. A couple we have worked with, sadly enough, have been abusing the system. I also let the church know, who has been helping them.

I talked with Zoning yesterday to see where we stand at the moment. I was informed that the County felt there has been enough Caine raised to where Social Services is doing a study. So we have been put on hold for Eastern State. Ugh, this is concerning. A study can last a long time. And if the government handles the shelter, who is to say it will not through the people back into the same loop they have been caught in when they went for help in the first place. So now we are uniting the churches and ministries in hope to press for the shelter. Yesterday, I had 6 churches call and schedule for me to come and speak to their ministry about homelessness and what we pray to achieve. Ironically, enough, I had just stuffed envelopes of letters to the churches to be sent out.

Unfortunately, I must stop. Geoff's son just hurt his foot fishing. Bye

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

One of our shelters in Greenville that houses the homeless.

Housing that was built for lower income families in Greenville. This is just one section of many in the area.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Our Salvation Army in Greenville
Front View Of The Chapel
Chaplain's House
Men's Shelter
Women's Shelter
Dining Hall
Every minute someone becomes homeless. Why can't people think before they do something terrible like kick out their elderly parent or troubled teen. The way I see it, it is easy to become homeless.We need to look into our hearts and (for some) dig deep deep down and you will see it is the right thing to help this ministry. We may not all agree with each other but the main purpose here is to help people.,wheter it is behind the scenes or in the open.
Do something nice today for a stranger, without wanting reconition.thanks

Friday, July 11, 2003

Thanks Suz for blogging while Geoff and I were out of town! We left Tuesday to head down to SC and took a couple of 'homeless' guests and our foster child with us for a mini vacation and to fellowship with Mom and Dad. Although we arrived late, Mom and Dad had pallettes set up in the living rooms. Wednesday while Geoff and I were handling family court issues, Mom and Dad introduced themselves and spent time with all. Robert went with Dad to do some light work and our foster child, Jes spent time with Mom making cookies. Later that night we went to our favorite restaurant for my birthday dinner (even though today is actually my birthday.) After 2 hours of eating, we went home for games.

Praise God, the next morning, I found out my best friend, Cat who was in Iraq, was back in the States and staying for the night a few miles from us. Geoff and I rushed over to spend an hour with her, but sad to hear she came back, due to a tumor on her pituitary gland. But, nonetheless, she is back from the war!!! God is Amazing, since we had just had our church pray Sunday for her safe return in a YEAR!

After lunch, we all headed out for some sightseeing. We took them by OUR Salvation Army in SC. Wow, they were amazed! You see, our SA in SC where we moved from is like a small campus. We have a medium size chapel, a large warehouse for all their supplies, a women's shelter that holds about 40+ people, a men's shelter the same size, a large dining hall and 6 transitional houses for families. Then we went by to the Greenville Rescue Mission that holds about 200 people. Then we drove down around the county supplied housing district, where the city built several affordable houses for the homeless and low income families.

After my birthday dinner, I will upload the pictures of the different places we visited.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Today we received 3 bags of donations and picked them up at the James City Fire Station #4..We are very greatfull and so are the people that can use this. Do you ever look in your closet and say "I don't have anything to wear" Do you ever really mean it?..There are a lot of people in Williamsburg who say those same words ! The only thing different is they mean it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Let me tell you a little story. There once was a husband and wife, both with full time jobs. They rented a little apartment above a store. The couple lived there for 3 years.One day out of the blue the landlord ask them to leave because he wanted to sell the property which was next to a newly built aquarium. The landlord thought he could sell it to the town for parking space, which is limited in this small eastern Long Island town. Well the couple had to start looking for an apartment ,they only had 1 1/2 months. Everything they found was 1600.00 a month which meant they needed 2 months security and 1 months rent up front. Well 4800.00 is a lot to come up with, even with full time jobs. Could you come up with that? Some of you can. This couple could not. The wife stayed with a friend until money could be saved. The husband stayed with his friend for a while so it would not burden one person with the both of them. Meanwhile they each had to pay rent where they were staying.The wife paid 400 a month to rent the bedroom, the husband paid 350.00 a month to stay at his friend's house. Forget a motel which is 139.00 a night.After about 2 months they had to find somewhere else to go. They both moved into the husbands parent's house and stayed there. Without paying rent they were able to save up some money.They saved up 2000.00. That was very hard for them since the wife is an insulin dependent diabetic..Rents in New York were on the rise. The wifes company ask her to relocate to Williamsburg, Va..The husband was not sure if that was the right move. Well the couple took the 2000.00 they had saved and moved..My point is you do not have to be a drug addict or an alcoholic to be homeless..Homelessness means not having your own place.....It is a scary place to be...

Sunday, July 06, 2003

CBS) In any American city, on any given day, the nation’s economic downturn can be measured by those down on their luck — and that population may come as a surprise reports CBS News Correspondent Lee Cowan.

These days, homeless families are the norm on the street, not the exception.

“Homeless looks like a young mother with a baby in her arms and a 2-year-old tagging along beside her,” said Brenita Jackson-Brown, Genisus Shelter Director. “That’s what homeless looks like in this country.”

A recent survey found that out of the 800,000 people who are homeless in the United States, 200,000 are children in homeless families. This is an increase blamed not only on rising unemployment, but a decrease in affordable housing.

New York City is just one example. The lines for soup kitchens are getting longer and longer. In fact there are now more homeless families in Manhattan right now than during the Great Depression.

"Back in the 80's the typical homeless family was a single mom who was on welfare,” said Patrick Markee, Coalition For The Homeless. “Today we're seeing more and more of the working poor being forced to turn to emergency shelter.”

An Atlanta couple, living in an abandoned house is one example. The husband had lost his job while she had just given birth to their son. But every shelter they tried was full — so they ended up in an abandoned house.

"I sold my rings to even get food," said Enestae Kessee, the father.

It didn't work. Their baby died of malnutrition, 25 days after he was born.

"They told me he wasn't breathing still, and I wanted him to wake up,” said Bonita Williams, the mother. “I told him, 'It's your Momma. Wake up for Momma,' but he wouldn't do it."

Patrick Markee of the Coalition For The Homeless told Cowan he isn’t surprised that in this day in age, in a city like Atlanta, children are dying of malnutrition.

“Every city across the country is reporting rising demand for emergency shelter among families with kids, and rising demand for emergency food,” he said.

And with record numbers of homeless families expected to flood shelters this summer, 10,000 in New York alone, it's expected to get worse before it gets better.

A family is seen hugging and crying next to a picture, and for them, it's hard to imagine how much worse it can get.

©MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
4th of July

Our cookout was much fun! Although the turnout wasn't as many as we thought, Geoff and I was thrilled to see Robert! We were able to meet his children (it has been 4 years since he has spent a whole day with them) and his sister, where Robert now resides. We had basically a turnout of 30 roughly. We enjoyed swimming, the kids challenging the adults to 'vollyball' and kareoke. It was a day of fun, food and fellowship. We finished up around 8:30 and by 10:00 the last person was driven home.

But, what Geoff and I experienced afterwards demonstrated the dangers of people who are homeless and others in society. The fireworks display done by our neighbor was nice. He was also having a party. Around 11:30, their party was just starting to kick. He had easily over 100 people. Cars were everywhere. By 1:30, we couldn't take the loudness any longer. I had already gone outside and asked them to quiet down some. Unfortunately, this area doesn't have a noise ordinence. I noticed cars all parked in front of our house (technically on the easement,) but still within our property. Geoff and I approached one of the cars to ask them to move somewhat off of our property (other cars were still trying to squeeze inbetween others and our mailbox.) We noticed 2 girls, who were guests of our neighbor's party, smoking a joint in their car! We asked them to move and they became defensive. By that time, our neighbor came over and I discussed with them the fact their party was way too loud at this hour and how somebody from his party was smoking pot on our property (the easement.) How this was disrespectful and even moreso than us having anyone who is homeless over.

So, now I ask you, who disrespects this neighborhood more? Us, for having people over, who work hard, yet can't get a home? Or somebody who works and off time does drugs on others' property? Who has brought danger into the neighborhood? When our guest come over, they don't do drugs or drink alcohol and respect others' property. I would fear damage to our property by one of our neighbor's guest than any of the homeless we are friends with!

Saturday, July 05, 2003

What does a homeless person look like? Can you pick out a homeless person in a crowd of people?...I really don't think that you can. One day my husband and other christians from local and long distance churches were feeding the homeless in richmond,along with spreading the word.When it was time to get in the van and head back to williamsburg someone from another church stopped him and said they would drive him to his shelter. They thought that my husband was one of the homeless men...Why do you think that is?????????

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Another response to the Last Word:

If people were to follow the "illogic" of the "bigotry" exhibited in the "last word" of June 16 concerning an increase in crime if there is a shelter for the homeless on the campus of ESH, would we not also have to conclude the following?

The tourism industry attracts people with money: people with money attract pickpockets/gypsies: therefore, should we not do away with tourism in order to keep the crime-rate lower?

Serving alcohol at restaurants attracts drinkers: drinkers often drive drunk: should we not ban the serving of alcohol in Williamsburg?

Colleges attract young people: young people often experiment with drugs: should we not ban colleges in Williamsburg?

Older people drive cars: older peoples' driving often creates traffic problems or accidents: should we not bar older people from driving in Williamsburg?

People in ESH have emotional/mental problems: when the patients are released they often have relapses and do "crazy things": should we not oust ESH from Williamsburg?

If these things seem extreme to you, then I beg you to go back and rethink your opinion concerning establishing a "shelter" for the homeless at ESH. None of the things listed above are any less ridiculous than your bigoted opinion as expressed on June 16.

Any person who has investments in the market knows that it only takes a slight down-turn to radically effect your financial well-being. Any company executive knows that he/she could be "Pink-slipped" at the drop of a hat. Should these people find themselves in need of assistance, would they automatically become pan-handlers, or thieves, or drug dealers? I say not! So, why should we be afraid of those who are currently homeless? Must we assume that the currently homeless are criminals, or somehow "less" than we are? I say not! These humans were no less "created equal" than any of the rest of us. The only difference between "them" and "us" is that we have our own roofs under which to sleep. The only difference between those who are helping the "roof-less" and those who are objecting to helping them is that the helpers have laid aside any bigotry, fear, or prejudice they may have had and have decided to "do something about it" instead of just yammering vacuously from behind their newspapers.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Sonoma may lease school for homeless shelter

May 26, 2003


Sonoma is moving cautiously toward serving the homeless with a $50,000 shelter proposal that would accommodate a family or single person in an unused school building.

Negotiations have begun between city and Sonoma County education officials to remodel a former continuation high school classroom on First Street West for overnight use.

If the school district agrees to a lease, Sonoma would get its first shelter since a church-run operation closed several years ago.

"We're going to start small," Councilman Ken Brown said. "Small and manageable."

The shelter is being promoted by Sonoma Overnight Shelter, a group that ran the church shelter and is offering to manage a new one.

Sy Lenz, board president, said a few dozen people sleep in cars or outside in the Sonoma Valley each night, and the area has an obligation to do something about it.

The 1,750-square-foot portable school building is ideal because it is isolated from residents who might complain and it can be expanded in the future to house more people and administrative offices, Lenz said.

For now, the school district is offering about a third of the space, provided it is not needed next school year.

At maximum, the shelter would have beds for two adults and two or three children.

"If we only had five people, we'd still want to get them out of the rain," Lenz said.

Jerry Lapinski, the county Office of Education's director of school and community services, said the school was closed in February for lack of students.

Lapinski said the district would decide within a few months if it will lease the building, saving maintenance costs.

The city would pay to renovate the building but is not likely to subsidize its operation. The council balked recently at a request from Lenz for $20,000, city planner David Goodison said.

However, the council has authorized officials to negotiate with the district for the building, which is on city land near the police department, Goodison said.

Homeless shelter advocates countywide lauded the effort, which would take a small but important bite out of the homelessness problem. A county task force estimated that up to 1,800 people are without shelter on any given day.

Nick Baker, director of Catholic Charities' Homeless Services Center in Santa Rosa, said because communities are not always receptive to shelters, a small start is wise.

And David Brigode, housing director for Community Action Partnerships of Sonoma County, said he would lend technical expertise to help the shelter expand, build a budget and set up house rules.

"When you move into people's neighborhoods, you have to be respectful," Baker said. "I think proceeding with caution is entirely appropriate."


"Stepping Stones" is the overall program that encompasses all that we envision to provide to men, women and families, who enter the shelter:

provide a safe place to live for up to a year or more
mentors assigned to each person when they enter the shelter
3 meals a day (planned by a nutritionist)
teach life/social skills
teach daily responsibilities for a healthy lifestyle
job-skills to ready them for the workplace
job-networking to help them acquire a job/career
bank accounts/financial management/debt reduction programs
clothing/laundry services
childcare for working parents
legal services/mediation
in house medical care
AA, NA & ALNON meetings
seminars to provide advice for a healthy mind, body and spirit
daily devotionals & weekly Church service
exercise program for a healthy body
fellowship with others through extracuricular activities
home placement at the end of the program
continued support for those who have moved on their own into society
First off I want to wish Patti well.
Did you do a good deed lately? Often times we forget. Please look into your hearts and see what you can do for someone. We are still taking donations for the homeless. We will be glad to come by and pick up your donations no matter how small or large. Remember the homeless on this 4th of July day. Have a great day!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Not trying to 'steal' Kevin's words, but the info he gives is so well put, I enjoy adding his exceprts to the web blog. Besides, we are trying to get ready for our 4th of July celebration "A True Day Of Freedom." We have invited those who are homeless and in the weekly motel, along with church members and organizations to come out for a cookout and sit down together, one human to another.

Kenin's Post
Where Is The Problem?

Trying to solve the problems of homeless people, while they are still homeless, is like trying to impregnate your wife while wearing a condom.

Homelessness is not, itself, a problem, but only a symptom of a problem, or problems. Actually, being homeless is the greatest obstacle to overcoming the problems causing homelessness. Only when the person is removed from the homeless environment can his/her problems be dealt with effectively.

Still, the organizations developed to handle the problem of homelessness operate with blinders on. They deal only with the homeless within the confines of homelessness. They keep people homeless while trying to work on their problems.

The environment created by most homeless service providers is restrictive; in many cases they operate similar to prisons. Homeless people are warehoused, are moved from one place to another within the homeless facility like herded cattle, and are afforded no personal space, or individual consideration. Is it any wonder, when homeless people go to such facilities for help, that their problems only worsen?

Of course, taking a homeless person out of homelessness, without dealing with the problems that lead him/her there, is the best way to guarantee their return to the streets. It's called recidivism.

So then, what would be the way to solve the problem of homelessness? First get the homeless person back into a home - a real home - not some "facility." And hire a case manager to guide the now formerly homeless person toward cures for their problems.

Given the same amount of money being spent on homeless people at "facilities," my idea could also be enacted. And I believe that my idea would be more effective - would be a more permanent solution. Of course it would put a lot of social workers and "chaplains" out of business.

And, of course, putting a homeless person back into a home means ending their homelessness. Homelessness, then, is no longer a consideration, no longer a problem. With homelessness out of the way, the real problems facing these people can be addressed.

It would be the end of homelessness.

Today's Nashville City Paper ran an article on homelessness. In the article, Father Strobel, of the Campus for Human Development, put the price tag of dealing with homelessness at anywhere from 15,000 to 50,000 dollars per person per year.

Wouldn't it be better for a person to deal with his problems, that lead to his or her homelessness, in a home, rather then in a facility.

Certainly some folks would not be able to function within such a framework as I suggest, but many, if not most, could. Wouldn't it be worth a try?