I hope you’re having a beautiful day. ♡
Here’s another light-filled ¤ Gem ¤
One of our most generous contributing artists, John Olander — aka Johnny O. — created this beautiful poem to read during Homeless Memorial Day service last year in Denver. John has had to say goodbye to many friends every year due to the hardships of life on the street.
Compared to the general population, people who experience homelessness are at greater risk of infectious and chronic illness, poor mental health, and substance abuse. They are also more often victims of violence, prior to and once homelessness. Homeless persons also have a mortality rate four to nine times higher than those who are not homeless. With an estimated 40 million Americans living in poverty, 19 million experiencing housing insecurity, and 28 million without health insurance, the risk of homelessness and poor health is a concern for 1 out of 8 Americans.
In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), coordinated by the local HUD-funded continuum of care (CoC) programs, conducted the Point-in-Time (PIT) survey to identify and estimate the United States’ sheltered and unsheltered homeless. According to the report…553,742 people in the United States experienced homelessness on a single night in 2017. This number translated to a U.S. homeless rate of 17/10,000, where 33 percent of those homeless were families with children, and within those families, 59% were children under 18 years of age.
The Gems Project
21 MAY 2018 – IMPORTANT UPDATE:
I promised to send artist packs to Sheltering Grace in GA, Shower Up Nashville, my friend MJR in Santa Cruz (our first Volunteer Biographer client); our friend JohnnyO in Denver for his writer’s group; Michelle (Chilis on Wheels) – our next Spotlight Saturday; and Nicole Huguien, friend and founder of Dream Together, (fka Wild Dream Walks) in Hawaii. Each artist pack costs about $25 and includes a disposable camera, waterproof notebook, pens, scarf (or baseball cap in summer), lip balm and chewing gum as well as a waterproof pouch to hold everything. We got several out since we started and so far we did get one film back which will be developed soon. To publish Elanthian Love Songs, we purchased a limited copyright for the use of Steph Law’s beautiful paintings. This was a loan which was repaid recently as a gift from a generous donor MDD. =) (Thank you!♥) That means that 100 percent of the profits from now on — that means every dollar now since it’s a digital book — go to into these artist packs, shipping and developing the photos. Very happy to announce that today. ^_^ In the meantime, I hope to find a place to purchase the cameras and develop the film in bulk more cheaply. The reason I’m plugging Elanthian Love Songs again tonight is because I really want to make good on this promise to get artist packs these beautiful people and friends who serve the homeless folks in our community every day.
Thanks for reading.
♥. Niki Flow