Pack your bags, here are the keys.
Economic security is the umbrella which makes life possible. Anyone who has a few thousand dollars in the bank can take a vacation. They have money for hotel rooms, groceries, gas or bus tickets, and a little left over to buy some fun. However, when the money runs out — it’s back to work.
Those who have no job and no state supported income are unable to earn the money needed to afford a hotel room. They can’t buy groceries or even a bus ticket to some place better. No, those who have no means of achieving economic security have no means of securing life it’s-self. They are like someone stuck in the rain with nothing but an umbrella and a whole lot of wetness.
As one sits upon the park bench, the rain hissing on the umbrella, and wondering where there is a dry place to be…that is when one thinks of the things one can do to better one’s life. That is when the thoughts discover the circle of broken hopes. That is when the circle of thoughts follows a path much like this:
I need a job, to get a job I need to have skills, to have skills I need education, to get an education I need money, to get money I need a job…Aaahhhrg! Okay, I need a shelter, to get shelter I need money, to get money I need a job…Aaaahhhrg! Okay, I need a place to stay for free, to get a place I need to go to social services, to go to social services I need an appointment, to get an appointment I need a phone, to get a phone I need money, to get money I need a…JOB! Aaaahhhrg! Okay, my job could be to panhandle. Where is everyone…oh it’s raining, so their inside their homes or at work…I can’t get to anyone…Aaahhrg! Okay, when it stops raining…I’ll try something else.
Or, there could be a program that is a walk in shelter which gives immediate case management, access to resources, and a guaranteed safe space to sleep and three hot meals. But what does that really look like…is there really a hand holding a new life and a new home just extended to the person who thought change depended upon having the impossible dream of a job? Maybe.
The big dream of anyone who lives on a sidewalk, or in tent in the woods, or surfs couches…that dream is to have their own four walls and a roof. The dream is to have a space to call their own; to be free from police, weather, and public scrutiny. Like a cloud drifting in a sunny sky, this dream drifts through the darkest days of homelessness.
Those who desire to help those in need are like artists who desire to bring a vision to life through their art. An Advocate of social justice is someone whose art is sculpting effective action to fit the needs of the moment. Our communities are the clay with which the new shape is formed. Our efforts to educate, teach, and lead are the tools which bring about the new shape. Using a clear vision of a new social shape; the artist dedicates themselves to bringing that vision to life.
The community comes in all shapes and sizes with many different occupations and contributions to life in the community. When everyone is asked to play a part in the venture which fits their community purpose — action and progress can occur.
Invite the right people to the huddle and talk out the problem. Then act on the new plan which brings the dream to life.