Monday, December 21, 2009

I won't be blogging until after Christmas.

There is some really important news (evidence) I gathered about homelessness in Dallas that will prove what I have been saying for many years. I'm still waiting on a few more responses to emails to wrap up this story. Hope everyone has a grateful holiday and thanks for all the responses.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The child

Every now and then you come across a person who just has this internal light inside of them and makes you feel better when just standing in the the same room.
The three people came into the office all bundled up in their layer upon layer of clothes. He had a smile on his face as if there wasn't a care in the world. I introduced myself to the three and was drawn to this person to ask why of all people was he homeless. He told me the story of how his father was abusive and how he, his mother and sister escaped the violence with just a bag of clothing and enough gas to make it to Dallas from Oklahoma. They had tried to get into a shelter the night before but Mother did not have enough documentation to prove the children were hers, so they denied them a place to sleep. Instead they stayed in their paint faded 1985 station wagon and huddled together to survive the freezing cold.
They were looking for work to earn $40 so they wouldn't have to stay another night outside.
Little Moses, being only 8 years-old, said he would help and do anything for his sister and mother, even if it meant begging out on the roadways, so his family would have a safe and warm place to sleep for the night.
I don't know if they ever earned enough money that day to get out of the cold but often I will think of Moses when the nights turn frigid and the light he carried inside and surprisingly, I will be warm.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Truth versus compassion

I know there are those out there who would want me to tell the whole truth about homelessness in Dallas. I cannot because I know that there would be such a fallout, the collateral damage would affect to many good people. I worry about the single mom receptionist providing for her 2 children and how she would be affected. Because as we all know, expose the top of the echelon and the bottom suffers as well.
But there are somethings the general public deserve and need to hear. In 2002 while I was in Americorp, I was assigned to do research on the amount of monies being used to address homelessness in Dallas. Paula (another Americorp assigned to help with the formation of MDHA) assisted. We were given access to information not available to the public. Faith base organizations do not have to report any monies to the government or to the public. 2/3rds of the way through the project, we had reached the 60 million dollar mark. I notified then the chair of the MDHA and it was decided to end the project because of the possible backlash from the community due to the fact millions were being wasted. I have no doubt the number is in the 80 million dollar range today.
$80,000,000/homeless population 5,800 equates to over $13,300 PER INDIVIDUAL.
Are we really ending homelessness or building a mammoth industry on the backs of the suffering?
I give this information to the Dallas community because it is your monies and your charity being abused. It is also your choice whether or not to hold people accountable.
Conclusion: since that study 1/2 billion dollars has pured into ending homelessness and we are still (population wise) at the same place.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Why would anyone care?

Question: Why care about people you don't know? Why care about that neighbor you have never met? Why care about that child you don't know getting an inadequate education due to lack of funding for quality teachers and material? Why care about that dirty, grungy man standing on the street corner asking for money? Why care at all about anything that doesn't directly effect your dinner time meal? A even more important question: Why even try to do anything about it?
The DMN News has done a more than adequate job showing that ending homelessness is economically beneficial for our community. If that neighbor up the street loses their job and has to put his house on the market and than another and another, your value in your house goes into the tank. Having a proper education means a stronger economy for all Americans while having a uneducated population burdens any economy.
If helping other Americans in fact not only benefits you personally economically but also enlightens society, than what's the problem?
Never mind the historical inevitable social unrest that comes when societies stop caring about each other and focus completely on self. Never mind the fact that uncaring societies lose their freedom and fall to Fascist/Communistic forms of rule. Never mind that what we do today decides the type of reality our children will have to be burden with tomorrow.
Today we blame everyone we can point our little finger at for the recession except ourselves.
Helping our fellow Americans helps not only America but ourselves.
So why is America so bent on committing suicide?
Long before any economic and national collapse comes, you can finger one harsh truth; We stopped caring about one another.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fellow Americans

I learned a long time ago in advocacy, that putting yourself out there for others vocally means also putting a target on your back and that is o.k. ( it still hurts but that goes with the territory)
While recently there was a "blog" about me, what really matters is that the issue of homelessness was discussed and regardless, that is the most important part. Any discussion is a good discussion whether it is mean spirited or not. Challenging both our society and political norms means you have to be willing to take a few bullets. Questioning, complaining, promoting is American. Letting people vent their personal views shows the challenges ahead. Human life is a hot topic (as evidence by the number of comments). Yes, I could be quiet as many would perfer or I can take what goes with vocal advocacy and make a differance in maybe one persons' life.

I think I'll chose the latter. Homeless people have thick skin or atleast have learned to deal with many different viewpoints and then move back on to survival.
I thank all for their comments and hope the discussion continues as I have a very good target which people can shoot at if needed. lol

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Man cannot live on bread alone unless it's on the dollar menu

Big Texas cheeseburger, two tacos, double cheeseburger, etc... These are a few of the items which keep our homeless from starving. The dollar menu at the fast food chains are a Godsend for the hungry. Never thought I would be saying that, as I never really cared about fast food after having a child and having multiple battle of wills with him every time we past a McDonald's (He normally won and got his Happy Meal), but under current circumstances I'm the happy person whenever I can walk into one of these chains and order something from the dollar menu for my daily meal. My Big Texas Cheeseburger was as satisfying today as the $100 dinner (Steak & Lobster) at the Palm Restaurant was decade ago when I could afford it.
It's hard and very humbling to look back and see what I took for granted and not really understanding what I should have been thankful for.
As my veteran friend Eric says; he has a box full of medals he earned during his 20 years of service and what good are they doing him today while living in a parking lot. He would better off auctioning them on EBay for the necessities of survival.
That is what being homeless does. It brings you down to the basics of reality. Reality that survival for another day is the best blessing of all and of course the Dollar Menu.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Poverty saves lives

Today was plasma day. Go to any plasma center in Dallas or across our country and you will see the lines of unemployed, under-employed, homeless and poor waiting hours to sell their plasma and receive $25 just to survive another day. But isn't that really the dirty little secret in our nation. The poor have always been victimized in many different ways to benefit the economically advantaged. Homelessness is a 8 billion dollar business. That equates to $4,000 per homeless individual (2 million homeless) for the economy. One would think that $4,000 per person would be used to end homelessness but then what would we do with those who would be unemployed because we ended this National travesty.
Now we say we care but the numbers just don't add up. Over the last ten years according to FBI statistics, homeless Americans are attacked due to their economic situation 10 times more than all the other populations combined who are protected under Hate Crime legislature. (Over 200 homeless attacked or killed) We care, but won't even protect our most vulnerable population with equal justice. No wonder the line of acceptable behavior in America has virtually disappeared. If we turn our backs on saving human life (which ending homelessness achieves) than what does righteousness, moral action and compassion really mean anymore.
It just isn't political advantageous to truly put country first. Nice tag line for a pipe dream, but reality is that kind of political courageous leadership ended after L.B.J. signed the civil rights bill and the democratic party paid dearly for doing what was the right thing to do.
Saving human life looks good on a resume but doesn't pay the mortagage or garnish votes.

Monday, December 7, 2009


The tip of my nose was so cold, it actually hurt. My hands tingled with pain as I poured hot water over them trying to thaw out the frozen veins. Holidays... I don't think so. Depression, cold, clouds and the heartache of happier times. Cheer... you have to be kidding. Survival doesn't lend itself to seasonal celebrations. The best gift during these times is just good ole' warmth when it's freezing outside and the knowledge that there will be some food available tomarrow.
A shower would be nice but that is way down the list of necessities. If your cold, the nose is so clogged, you can't smell yourself anyway. Tis the season to be jolly... not for those Americans without homes. Not for the 2 million children, veterans, domestic violence victims, disabled, etc.
Certainly, I can find things to be grateful and happy for, but they fade away quickly when I can't feel my toes anymore and my stomach is empty.
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." ~ Proverbs 31:8-9 ~
Happy Holidays to all that can afford one.