|And have you helped to enable a homeless person today? |
Why or why not?
HOP's greatest challenge, since coming into existence, officially 19 months ago, has been that of changing the minds of a stubborn and entrenched group of individuals and organizations, that refuse to adapt to a self-help partnering-paradigm, with the outdoor-citizen's community. The former should have been in place long before I returned to California, from the nation's capitol just 3 year ago.
Is it any wonder then, that there are an estimated 7 to 14,000 outdoor-citizens in the region, an ever expanding number? Several members of the outdoor citizen's community and their enablers, view HOP, an outdoor citizen's organization, in the manner that their benefactors do, as a threat or misinformed! Some have been known to say the following, "HOP, doesn't give you anything", in other words freebies for doing nothing to help oneself. And they are right, we don't and we won't. Doesn't that sound strange coming from an outdoor citizen's organization and think tank?
Don't just send money to HOP, and mind you we will use your donation to help turn lives around if we receive it, but turn on your headlights and begin to hold the organizations accountable, that you have been providing your benefactor dollars to. For all of the donors out there who give dollars to churches ... HOP, an outdoor citizen's organization, has not received one dime from any of them; and ironically, we are the ones who are trying, peer-to-peer, to get our people motivated and in the recovery lane!
Even some of my fellow clerics, unwisely and unabashedly, encourage their members to give money to individuals on the streets, sadly, individuals that refuse to do anything for themselves, as opposed to assisting organizations that help to jumpstart the lives of individuals who want, can and are willing to help themselves! That poverty pays, in this region of the nation, is a known fact. The problem is that the wrong individuals benefit the most, as opposed to the end user that is truly in need of more than financial aid. I really don't believe that some of our churches ... ever consider the possibility of solving the problem, instead of underwriting it.
There are organizations in this region, like many other regions of the country, that solicit, receive and retain 84 to 97% of donated funds. When I volunteered to help raise funds for the United Way of Santa Clara County, years ago, we used this information to help motivate would be donors to give instead to the United Way instead. Is what you are saying true, you might ak? Jesus, recognized that crowds, about the size of the outdoor-citizen's demographic in our region followed him, only for signs, miracle and to acquire food. Wake up Santa Clara County, and let's solve this problem, not perpetuate it. After all, we are Californians, the smartest people in the world, correct?
Use your gifts, to help turn lives around, not to underwrite dependency, even if you don't share your gift with HOP. Have you ever witnessed parents who enable and spoil their children? That is the kind of behavior that I have observed in the Valley, for several years now. And BTW, local police departments (just doing your job I know), chasing people from one camp to the other is not a solution either. HOP, is looking for more problem-solvers to participate and join with us to help solve this problem. We can work together to solve this problem. What will it hurt to try doing something in a different manner? One thing for sure, we can't keep doing what we've been doing for much longer, can we?
Please join us, and join in on our weekly Public Policy Think Tank Meetings, which take place each Friday at 10:00am. Come on down, and bring your ideas with you!
Peace & Grace