|It's a big idea, worthy of a big name.|
For many months now, I've been daydreaming of creating a homeless shelter in Louisville. Certainly, there are already homeless shelters, but I have an idea of a place where the homeless can come to shower, wash their clothes, or just stash things in a locker. I want to have a place where the homeless can get mail, where they can have a street address. Do you know how hard it is to do things, like get a job, without a street address? That just screams homeless, and homeless people are considered unreliable. Last night, I had a dream about a homeless person having difficulty opening a bank account because they were homeless. I woke up at 5 this morning thinking about that. How can a homeless person save money for a downpayment on a rent or utilities if they don't have access to banking services? So, I promptly added some sort of banking services to my wish list. I want to have psychologists and psychiatrists on staff to assist with mental health problems. I want to have a clinic so that the homeless can get healthcare. I want to run a dental clinic a few times a month. Healthy people are more likely to be able to return to a more normal life. I want to provide job training, and support groups. I want to have a temporary wet shelter, where homeless can sleep, even if they're high or drinking. I want to have longterm efficiency apartments for single homeless people who want to get off the streets and just need a place to start. I want longterm apartments for families who just need a little help getting back on their feet. And, I want it all to be secular run, because not all the homeless out there are religious, and I want them to be able to find shelter and a new start without regard to their religious beliefs. And, also, because Louisville has this wonderful multi-faith coalition that would be a wonderful resource for a project of this nature.
Story time: There are a few reasons I am so passionate about homelessness. One of them is my older brother. As most of you know, he died when he was 24. There were times throughout his short life when he was homeless. Because he drowned, his funeral was closed casket, and we never saw the body. He was identified by the coroner by his tattoos and the metal plates in his hand. For the first six or seven years after he died, I would see someone who looked like him and think, "Maybe he's not dead. Maybe he's just lost." It was always a homeless man, and it was an extremely emotional response.
A couple years ago, a friend went through a homeless period with her four children. The oldest one was a teenage boy. I can't remember how old he was at the time, 13 or 14, I think. Maybe 15. At any rate, the shelters wouldn't allow him to be in the same shelter she and the younger children were in. He had to be in the men's shelter. This was very distressful for all of them. And it exposed a problem I hadn't thought about before. We need shelters that families can stay in, together.
So, let me bring you to the point of this post. Obviously, when I start building this shelter, and I will, I'll need your help. I'll need all the help I can get. In the meantime, I'm working on something else. Because I'm not ready to start this yet.
Recently, I decided to become a Team Beachbody Coach. I'm planning to use this as a way to motivate myself to get back in shape. I'm tired of not being able to enjoy the things my family loves most, namely hiking, camping, and hiking. And, quite frankly, I need the added incentive of being accountable to multiple people to do what I say I'm going to do.
Team Beachbody just released a new workout program called The Master's Hammer and Chisel. And, last night, I found out that Team Beachbody is going to donate $5 to The Upward Bound House for every Master's Hammer and Chisel set sold during the month of December. The Upward Bound House is an organization that focuses on homeless families in Los Angeles. Their goal is to get families in homes, and they have an outstanding success rate of 90%. I am so excited to be involved with an organization that is passionate about homelessness. And, I've decided to match their donation, but give my part to The Healing Place, a local shelter and addiction recovery center that gave me the idea of a wet shelter, and is doing great things.
If you're interested in a new workout program, and you'd like to have a go at The Master's Hammer and Chisel, shoot me a message or leave a comment *to that effect*. I'll give you more information. Otherwise, feel free to comment about other things, and I'll put you down on my list for help once I start organizing my dream homeless shelter.
*PS: Don't worry, this blog will continue to be the mess it's always been. It will not turn into a sales blog, or even a workout blog. I love you all.