A Bigger Vision, who brought us the films “Uncharted” and “Under the Bridge”, is working on a new documentary called “Beyond the Bridge: A Solution to Homelessness”. What is this solution? It is called Housing First and it is a proven model that provides immediate access to permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals with mental health and addiction challenges. Please check out the web site at bit.ly/EndHomelessCrisis to learn more!
It is both delightful and sad when I come across a homeless person with artistic talents. They are to me like diamonds in the rough, lost and forgotten by society. This sculpture of a tree was made for us by one of our homeless friends as a token of appreciation for the help we’ve given him. When I saw the sculpture, which, to me, is equal in beauty to the pieces of art that I’ve seen in galleries and gift shops, I couldn’t help but wonder. . . What if he is discovered by certain influential people with connection to rich people who would appreciate his art and buy it? Would he then be able to start a business making sculptures and get out of homelessness? Perhaps I’m just dreaming. But I’ve got to try to help make it happen for him. So here is my effort to share his art work, hoping that somewhere out there, someone with such influence and resource would feel moved to help him in ways that I cannot.
Lost diamonds. . . So many of them out there, homeless in Indianapolis.
Coming soon: information on Indy School on Wheels and Outreach, Inc – two organizations working to help children and young people experiencing homelessness in the Indy area
I recently came across this simple, yet profound, little phrase noted above and have adopted it as a key theme not just for my own life, but for my work helping friends experiencing homelessness. Trust me, I have become very aware of the fact that I am neither a case manager nor a social worker. The trained professionals who pour themselves daily into the cause of helping the homeless deserve so much appreciation. Amateurs such as myself do our best to fill in gaps and also supplement their efforts to meet the most basic needs and provide friendship and encouragement. But, if we are not careful, weeks and months may go by with little, if any, real progress in getting someone off of the street. The result is that we bring a meal and have some of the same conversations every week. Now I realize that every situation is unique and I never have all of the facts about why someone is homeless and what they and others may be doing to “fix” the problem(s) (much of the time, virtually none of that information is available). But, once we begin to establish a relationship with someone and earn their trust, we MIGHT be able to have input into their activities and be of some influence to their thinking/actions, and THAT is where I want to be sure that I am reminding folks of this simple phrase…
We, collectively, must be willing to take action and accept the fact that it will take time to make substantive progress – and there likely will be setbacks. Nevertheless, we must not ever give up!