Saturday, March 26, 2011

Joseph Twodogs -- It's a pleasure to meet you!

Mr. Twodogs -- if I may ... I am not certain what the altercation between you and @hardlynormal is, it's none of my business ... but you did include a tweet mentioning me that was inaccurate, and I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify, not only for you but for the world, because it's my mission to give any assistance I can to my comrades still in the streets. And I believe there is a fallacy that "the system" is going to help them.

@PATHAchieve is a phenomenal emergency shelter.

I stayed there for the first 3 months of my homeless adventure. (Allow me to use the word adventure instead of trauma-drama, because I believe that the verbiage we use is part of the means of transforming paradigms. It is part of my mission to transform the bottom-line world view to one of human-being world view, because I believe this will alleviate homelessness and a spate of societal ills.)

@PATHAchieve is responsible for the greatest psychotherapist I have ever had the opportunity to deal with. She is one of the crowning gems of @PATHAchieve's services to the homeless community. I cannot recommend her enough. Their Wellness Wednesday program is heads and tails above anything I had access to as a housed person.

I would not be coherent enough to write this had I not been able to take advantage of their option for Wellness Wednesdays.

@PATHAchieve is a superb organization for getting homeless families off the streets and into safe housing.

@PATHAchieve has one of the best outreach teams I've come across, and they are a foundation that does their absolute best to be humane, and aid the homeless community. When you walk into their offices you are treated as a treasured individual (or family) and their caseworkers do their absolute best to help you regain what you have lost ... housing and self-respect.

Mr. Twodogs, even with their awesome track record, they were unable to assist me into housing. This is not a diss. They tried with everything they had. My caseworker is one of the best, and he gave every venue an attempt, he answered my questions, and responded to every query I came up with, both positive and negative. The best @PATHAchive was able to get me considered for was Hayward Hotel, which I turned down as an option, because I could not psychologically accept living in that location.

I went to @PATHAchieve as my first stop on my homeless adventure because I came across Mark Horvath (founder of @hardlynormal on Twitter. I went to Twitter, because I came across HomelessGirl due to our homeless blogs, on the internet. Without HomelessGirl I would not have made the connections I have today.

My three months at @PATHAchieve came and went, I moved onto sleeping at other venues because there are time limitations at emergency shelters, and I was hoping for another opportunity to pan out. Unfortunately, it didn't. Thus I wound up in the Glendale Winter Shelter on January 1 of 2011.

I don't know if you are familiar with the Winter Shelter and how it works in the Southern California area.

The Winter Shelter happens because of The Union Rescue Mission. Without Winter Shelter, and @hardlynormal I would not have survived January 2011.

Certainly I still had my caseworker at @PATHAchieve while I was in Winter Shelter, as I do now, because they are gracious enough to allow we, the homeless, to utilize their services for 6 months after we have been housed. I was housed February 2, 2011, and it is through @PATHAchieve that I still attend Wellness Wednesdays -- which I intend to do for the entire 6 months allotted to me. I will say again, Wellness Wednesdays are one of the gems in @PATHAchieve's offerings to us (the homeless). I am grateful beyond words to @PATHAchieve, and for Wellness Wednesdays alone, I recommend them to anyone, homeless or housed.

They (@PATHAchieve) did not, however, place me in housing. That is no diss to them. They tried. My caseworker gave it his best shot. Their housing expert provided me with listings of places that I might go to and apply for housing, once my SSDI was awarded.

It just wasn't happening.

I lived for over a month in Winter Shelter ... with my poor health, I wound up in ER for bronchitis. I was rescued during one of the blackouts of Winter Shelter when everyone is bussed down to Union Rescue Misson by a plea sent out by Mark Horvath to his followers to donate to a hotel room for me.

This immediately preceded the incident where I was sent to ER for bronchitis, the bronchitis flared up while I was in the hotel room, but I didn't know what it was. On one of my next nights back in the Glendale Winter Shelter, I was sent to ER.

Can you imagine what might have happened to my health if I had been with all the people from the 4 winter shelters that blacked out at the same time, thereby sending all the homeless using those beds to Union Rescue Mission? I was lucky to be put up in the hotel then, because the bronchitis began taking it's toll during that time. I prefer not to think about it because it was a tumultuous time. However, I will reassure you ... without the action taken on my behalf by, the outcome could have been much different than me sitting here right now writing this.

I was not housed because of "the system".

I was housed because of one man with a very loud mouth.

I was housed because he connected a very brilliant organization ( with me.

I was housed because of Twitter, and the power of social media to connect people.

I was housed because of conversations like you and I are now holding, Mr. Twodogs ... and I appreciate the opportunity to clarify information for both you and the world.

It is my mission to share my experiences, difficulties in dealing with homelessness and "the system" and to share with people what works.

@PATHAchieve has Mark Horvath on their staff as part of their Outreach team. It is another of the brilliant choices they have made, in my humble estimation.

I personally thank Mark Horvath, Shelene Bryan, and for being housed.  It is due to the fact that they connected on social media that I have housing.

I personally thank @PATHAchieve for all that they do to assist the homeless .. they are a premier service provider for the homeless community, and I support them both in my heart and with my volunteering.

I personally thank all of the people I have connected with through Social Media, including you Mr. Twodogs, because each and everyone of you is a part of the circle of life that encourages, teaches and supports me.

If there are any questions regarding my personal situation, I can answer for you Mr. Twodogs, I would consider it an honor. I cannot speak for others, I can speak for myself.

I look forward to our continued dialogues on Twitter. Thank you for the opportunity to express my gratitude to the people and organizations that have been so instrumental in my recent life.

Signing off for now, while I continue to deal with my sporadic internet service.

Thank you everyone who honored me by coming to my housewarming, and who wished me well in absentia. Good journies one and all!


  1. @as to you ending up in the post it was my err Mark had included you in a tweet and in my hasty reply I did not notice your @lostawareness being in the post and yes you were included in my reply to mark in our conversation, In everyones touting of the what is being done by this agency or that agency of the goodness of the these or the those, i will say only this It is there Job and it is what they are receiving millions in federal funding for and in your own trials that you faced let us in no way lesson the struggle you faced with agency after agency to obtain what they are obligated by there grant monies and there private sector donations to provide for you.
    in that a person can stay at a winter shelter for the whole of the winter and that is as far and as close as they will get to housing when the winter shelter in the Greater los angeles area is funded by a federal block grant issued to the city of los angeles and the Counties surrounding in excess of 21 million dollars for this year alone and that independent of other Grant monies and private sector donations allocated for people such as yourself let us not forget or relieve them in any way for what they are being paid to do.
    as To Mark and His efforts to get you into housing I understand your appreciation and your thankfulness I do, I will now say and as not to offend you I believe it is also His Job He works for path achieve an arm of common ground common ground has received grant monies and low income housing tax deferments in amounts that would if spent as should be in the last 2 decades able to house every homeless person in this country.
    to continue to ignore these simple truths is to allow the abuse to continue.
    I have watched this agency grow from a small localized firm to a nationally recognized entity and in all of there dealings and the money they received they as you stated couldn't even provide for someone such as yourself and you had to seek assistance elsewhere I also want to say I am beyond happy for you and I am so glad you now have a place to call your own it is why I do what I do I wish what you have for all, the money is there and is being spent and people should not have to face the sufferage you did to get it
    I am so Glad for you and In no way wanted to cast a foreboding shadow on it on the eve of your celebration it was not my intent.

  2. Thank you for continuing the dialogue with me!

    Mr. Twodogs, I think the points where we agree and where we disagree gives us, you and I, unique leverage to be effective activists in bringing about transformation.

    We (and many of the people we know and connect with who face similar dilemmas) are the people involved in the affected-end-of-the-fray.

    You and I, along with those we affect daily have the ability to cogently, passionately, and globally share what is and is not working. As well, we have the tools with which to reach out and empower more folks to do the same thing.

    Not all of the folks I come across have the tools, or even the knowledge of how to use them to communicate the way you and I can.

    Setting aside our differences in affiliation and whom we deem to be effective or ineffective, I'd love to hear some of your ideas for transforming the current economic bottom-line worldview that perpetuates homelessness.

    What can we, you and I do, in your estimation to end the local and global epidemic of homelessness?

    Let's brainstorm!

    Thank you everso for the warm and welcoming wishes for my housewarming celebration! I am honored to have you wish me well!


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