Friday, December 24, 2010

People to Know About in the Homeless Community

I have never listened to Sirius radio.  There are two reasons for that:   1) When I listen to something I devote my full attention to it, or should I say it takes my full attention. Radio, TV, a movie-- if it's not the only thing I'm doing at the time, it's like the static of white noise to me and I have no conscious awareness of it.  I'm a firm believer that the multi-tasking craze that has run rampant in our society for decades is detrimental.    2) Sirius costs, and it's not something I have the coin for.

However, thanks to a free week trial download, I was able to participate as a listener; and as a tweeter annoying the heck out of those that follow me by tweeting my enthusiasm for a few of the important conversations that went down on Zo Williams' "The Voice of Reason" broadcast with The Foxxhole.

The show "Homeless for Christmas" broadcast live from The Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles.  Those whom I share the streets with went in to eat and got to see the broadcast as it was taking place. Now that's class.  We may be the people of the streets because we have no homes, however, that doesn't make us second-, third-, or fourth-rate citizens.

In order of appearance, Zo Williams; Andy Bales; Joel Blau; Mark Horvath; Tony Rock; Jessica Page Morrell; Jeremiah Johnson; Andrea Richardson; Anthony Ortega; A.J. and Mary Goode; Kevin Sessions; Shareema Williams, and a special mention to Kitty Davis-Walker.

Apologies in advance to anyone's name I didn't spell correctly.  ::grin::  It's not intentional.  Between my dyslexia, hearing and the rapid flow of information on the show, I may have caught your name incorrectly.  Please let me know the correct spelling of any names!  (and links for ya!)

Of the myriad topics covered, here are some of the things that stayed with me longest (paraphrased):
What are some of the things that can effect change?
  • heart change
  • get rid of the stereotypical myths
  • regionalize the solutions (housing, bad weather shelters; transitional housing)
  • facilitate life transformation
The impact on individuals and society?
  • The trauma of dealing with homelessness
  • Stats are overwhelming! Single women and families –> homeless numbers are escalating
I feel fortunate to have learned of more service providers during the show, and to have heard some folks who have shared the streets with me.  You hear me talk about Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal) all the time, since he's a mentor.  Thanks to his loud-mouth (yes, he takes that as a compliment and it's thoroughly how I mean it) I now have the opportunity to widen my communications circle.

If I could give you all what I consider to be one of the most important gifts of any season, it would be the gift of active listening.  You can give the gift to yourself.  Listening is not agreeing.  It is hearing and acknowledging.

Listen to yourself.  Listen to those around you.  Listen.

And acknowledge those who listen to you, they are giving you a true gift of love.

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