Helping the Homeless
Tonight, J & I went on another brandy walk. Now, before you go and start thinking that I have an alcohol dependency, consider that in days past, I would kick back a fifth of whiskey with the girls and end up on the other side of Indianapolis with a raging hangover, wondering how I got there.
I’ve scaled back to the reward of 1 shot per quarter mile. That’s right. Much like a horse and carrots, I’m rewarded with brandy. Do the work- you get a shot! I’ve found that this actually works where walking in the frigid cold is concerned. Rather than thinking you deserve a few shots “just because”, it’s much more gratuitous and effective if you actually “do something” first, then give yourself a shot. After a while, you become trained that “doing the work” gets you the “reward”. And it’s not a bad reward if you don’t exceed 5 shots or so. More than 5 on a regular basis and you’re setting yourself up for dependency.
I received a letter today from a head official in my community:
Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. there is a meeting on homelessness in the Mayor’s office, can you come? It is going to be interesting and the truth about homelessness in this community needs to be told. Feel free, I will be there and I would love for you to come. It is in the Quadrangle in City Hall. Let me know if you are coming. We are revamping and want to use all the pictures, is that ok? The design will basically remain the same but stats, twitter, etc. will be added. Hope you all are doing well. Take care. [Name omitted for confidentiality purposes]
This is great news and I’ll tell you why.
I’m an x-resident in that particular homeless shelter. I was there 13 different times in my life. I saw and mentally recorded numerous accounts of people “using the system” for their benefit, not only that, many people using their food stamps for currency, trading “up” on drugs for 1/2 on the dollar. Meaning, if a quarter bag is $60, they would buy it for $120 of food stamps. I saw this over and over again.
You will never know the inner workings of a systems unless you get down in the gutter with the people and get your hands dirty. I do know what I’m talking about because I was there, with the people, for many years. The difference between me and many homeless people is that I’m passionate about “change”. If you don’t grab the reigns of life and believe you can make a difference, you never will.
And we all have the capability and strength to make a difference- some of us haven’t been taught that yet.
So, I’m pretty stoked that I’ll be joining one of the top dogs of the city for a meeting with the mayor discussing the homeless and change. The “higher ups” have the master’s degrees and know the ins and outs of diplomatic exchange, but I’m from the street, and I have a double masters in life. I’m able to share with them some things that their degrees will never teach them. And what an honour! I want to do what I can to make a difference in my city.
I built a website for my community:
I took all of the pictures, I did all of the write-ups, I built it from scratch. For the past few years, I’ve paid the annual fees to host it- it isn’t much, but I feel good knowing that I’m doing something for my community. If you are reading this, and feel like you can make a donation, however small, to the website above, there’s a donation tab inside the link there and believe me when I say, every penny counts.