#1 My brother Dan = On June 30, 2015, Dan Brettler day was proclaimed by Seattle Mayor Murray for his extraordinary commitment to helping end homelessness. Check out Dan’s work to end homelessness: truly inspiring and remarkable.
#2 All the volunteers who participated in Project Hope (including me) from 10 pm to 4 am on January 22/23, 2018* This event was a yearly census The National Coalition for the Homeless create and inspire to count the homeless on one particular night in NYC. There were several sites throughout the 5 Boroughs. Teams of 4 were created amongst the volunteers at each site, routes were assigned – maps given – a bit of training and off we went. Our assignment was to elicit information and offer assistance if we came across a homeless person on our route. If the homeless person was sleeping, we were told not to wake him or her. The team I was on was assigned a route in East Harlem. We had one encounter with a homeless man who was happy to speak with us and only one other that was sleeping. The man we conversed with did not want any help which would consist of being transported to a shelter because shelters in NYC are notoriously precarious at best and you are kicked out at 6am. So we were utterly helpless, with nothing to offer but a smile, hug and kind words. Yes, he appreciated it, but obviously far from satisfactory. How do we as a society allow anyone to have to spend the night on our streets? I’ll never understand why more cannot be done*
via Daily Prompt: Treat
Everything I am is a treat
Everything I have the opportunity to become is a treat
Everyone I have in my life is a treat
Everyone I meet is a treat
Every breath I take is a treat
Every hug I give is a treat
Every hug I receive is a treat
Each day I work is a treat
Each day I walk is a treat
Each day I breathe is a treat
Each day I pray is a treat
All moments of silence are a treat
My solitude is a treat
Nature is a treat
Life is a treat
Love is a treat
Family is a treat
Laughter is a treat
Education is a treat
Knowledge is a treat
Learning is a treat
Growing is a treat
Blossoming is the greatest treat of all
A Place to Call Home is the Treat we ALL deserve. Please help our Homeless to their fair share of TREATS. Why do you or I deserve more? Why?? Treats = Blessings. Imagine*
via Daily Prompt: Miraculous
Curtis is Miraculous, he personifies the true essence of this word unless of course you believe in miracles happening all by themself. I believe we create our miracles.
I am working on feeding Curtis’s page with all his wonderous words from his own personal interview he did for us and I hope that when you get to know him you will agree with me. I have been blessed with 2 long morning walks with him this week. As soon as I get to his spot on my way to school, he now picks up and walks with me about 30 blocks. Miraculous, yes, for Curtis took miraculous steps to the path he composed today. As Curtis will tell you himself, if he didn’t alter his journey, he would likely be gone or locked up for a very long time and then his future would be grim. What is miraculous is how this path diverged for Curtis. About a year ago, when he was still drinking and drugging and living on cardboard at a NYC Pier, he was smoking weed one day and he was so far gone that he didn’t even realize that a policeman was right in his face. What is miraculous is what this kind and generous soul did. Instead of slamming him to the ground for example or beating him up and/or locking him up, he asked Curtis if he was o.k. and suggested that he get help and he took Curtis directly to a hospital and Curtis has been clean and sober since that day. Miracles are waiting. I hope you architect your own ‘Miraculous‘ today.
via Daily Prompt: Compass
I only read two extremes on the homeless compass this morning, while riding on the subway from Grand Central to 14th Street. I’m not going to pretend that when I stepped on the train, the stench did not attempt to blow my compass right off, but having my feelings regarding homeless in check, it wasn’t possible. There was a man flat-out, taking up about 5 or 6 seats and not having any way to know how long he was there, and how long he has been out there on his own without a home, a foul-smelling odor gained a pervasive entrance into the subway car. On one side of this extreme was the notable man or woman expressing their dis-gust openly and then spending the rest of the ride covering their nose like they were going to check-out if they allowed themselves to breath. If I could read these people’s minds, I think it would be safe to assume that he or she was deeply offended by this homeless man’s presence on their train and that how he got there, what he was experiencing, what would become of him didn’t enter even the farthest corners of their sanctimonious minds. Is that too harsh? Maybe I’m wrong. I hope so. Maybe they just couldn’t bear the smell. The flip side of the compass was the 2 men who sat directly across and next to this man. I wanted to applaud, rise up and shout, these are our heroes, these are our hope. The compass in constant flutter while our homeless man was consumed with covering his face with his hoodie and hat with what one could only perceive as shame and shame for what? Why are you better than him? What if it were you or your brother, son, father, grandfather, uncle, friend? Imagine if you knew his name? His story? His dreams…? Is your compass fixed or flexible? Just asking…penny for your thoughts.
via Daily Prompt: Theory
Look the other way
Don’t turn back
pretend it is not there
It doesn’t matter anyway
Where would you like to dine tonight dear?
Shall we go someplace new?
Oh dear, would you look at that?
disgusting, shameful, horrid
Where do they come from?
Who knows – Who cares
Just another ‘bum
Did you decide where we should dine tonight yet?
I have some more photos for you. I wish I didn’t. Every day, we have another homeless person on the street.
I’d like to talk to you about my experience this morning. The most beautiful part to share is it wasn’t ‘my’ experience alone, it was deeply shared by others. So far on my cite and blog, I’ve only been talking about homeless on the streets. Let’s think today about the homeless in our shelters as well. Allow me to introduce you to Curtis.
Curtis will be telling you all about himself soon. I’ll leave that to him. As you know, I walk a ways to teach daily. Every morning on my way, I visit with Curtis. Curtis lives in a shelter in Brooklyn. I don’t know how or why he chose the particular spot that he did to sit or stand at every morning, it works for him – for now. Remember my premise that if we get to know our homeless, we will feel driven to help. Curtis has achieved that foundation all on his own. When I stop to see how he is, almost always some one else says good morning, god bless to Curtis as well or gives him change, dollar… This morning, I think Curtis may have been kind of waiting for me. He was so cold – shivering – and lacking his usual surreal smile. We decided it would be best for him to go back to the shelter today because it is so cold and he hasn’t been feeling well lately. We began walking together, he was heading to the 59th street Subway or bus and a man stopped to see Curtis because he was so happy to see him because he had been holding onto a pack of cigarettes for him for he said: a year. Can you imagine that? What a sensational and thoughtful act of kindness. He said he had promised them to Curtis* As we were saying goodbye, a woman said: excuse me sir and gave him some money and then she turned to me and praised me for stopping to talk to him each morning and I hugged her. All I could think was the power behind each of these movements; the voice, the strength, the passion*
I am an example of what I am beginning to preach: My premise is simple really, the more homeless people you see, the more names of these people you get to know, the more stories you hear, the less viability that you will continue to look the other way. We are after all, feeling, thinking beings and despite the lives we live, we know that we are here for a purpose. Why not give your time and heart to follow this blog, I promise I have only the most noble intentions in mind and I will design each word and step with all of us in mind.