I’m not going to post a tab here, so that I can collect donations for myself. Although I would have good reason; since the recession, I spend much of my time scrimping and scrapping, much like many other people I know. But I’m quick to remind myself that there are lots of people who are worse off than me.
My heart is close to the homeless, particularly those in my town. Southern Indiana is chocked full of homeless people living under bridges. Many have lost hope completely; others, simply don’t know how to change their circumstances. I’m a former resident of the Haven House, which is the homeless shelter in my town.
Because of the discipline and structure that I gleaned from staying there, I was able to carry those valuable tools with me throughout my life. While I was in a housing program, known as, Transitional Housing, I was able to write my children’s book, “Peanut Butter Soup“, to inspire kids to reach for something greater in their lives, as well as having the opportunities to reach them in the areas of anti-bullying, being kind to the obese, the elderly, and impressing them to respecting all people of different races, creeds, and religions.
I’ve never let my limitations or titles placed upon me by others to define me, or hold me back in life. I want to do what I can for my community, and really change the system, because it is obvious that the current one is not working.
But I’m only one woman, and as much as I’d like to do, I simply cannot do alone. I’ve been able to accomplish quite a bit without a penny in my pocket: I simply do not give up. But, that said, monetary donations and contributions are crucial where the reconstruction and rebuilding of others’ lives are concerned, particularly those who are homeless.
For these reasons, I am posting the website address to the homeless shelter in my town, the Haven House. This particular shelter is very close to my heart, as are the residents. Many of the residents are caught in the vicious cycle of ongoing, perpetuated tragedies. If we can bring more money into the program, we can develop better programs that will not only help the residents there, but give them the life skills they need to succeed in life.
Thank you so much your your care in this matter, and thank you in advance if you would like to contribute. Every penny makes a difference. I’ll be posting a tab at the top of the page here, so that it acts as a permalink, and will remain there.
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.