Weekly Links for Resources and Solutions for the Homeless: 4/13/11

Each week I will be posting about the weekly resources that are being offered for the homeless veterans. The only theme will be individual efforts to help this problem of our veterans being homeless. I believe if everyone chose a cause to help that we would all be healthier and happier. These are some ideas and solutions that I hope others may be interested in adopting.

1.  “Metro Atlanta Task Force” Homeless Shelter Provides an Art Studio for the Homeless:

“According to CNN, the program can also help provide a source of income for participants, who sell paintings to local churches, art lovers and passerby. The homeless artists can keep 80 percent of the money from the sale of their work, with the remaining percentage going back to the shelter to buy art supplies.”

2.  Homeless Man in Brazil Builds Car Out of Found Parts:

“This is Orismar de Souza, a homeless man in Brazil, who decided to build the car he couldn’t buy using junk, spare parts and a hammer and chisel. Four years later, the “shrimpmobile” has him back on his feet.”

“Souza, 35, had to panhandle in the Brazilian city of São José de Piranha and go hungry for four months in order to raise the initial $270 he needed for sheet metal, which he cut into shape using a borrowed hammer and chisel. He scrounged a 125cc motorcycle engine, and gathered other junked parts from all over the region.”

“While Souza had decorated and traded metal cans as a child in exchange for food and clothes, he had no other experience in working with metal, and almost gave up when the steelwork became too difficult.”

“Nobody believed, everybody laughed at me,” Souza told Globo.com. “I was very humbled by this, but I won and I built my car alone with my own hands.”

3.  Meals on bicycle wheels: Franciscan friar feeds, clothes homeless:

“On most days, Brother Al Mascia pedals his bicycle cart through downtown Detroit handing out much-needed food to homeless people.”

“Mascia, 56, is lean and lithe, and handles the cart with ease.”

“The idea of the cart came from the Franciscan friar’s memories of growing up surrounded by street vendors in New York. The food cart fits over the bicycle’s front end.”

“The cart, purchased from California with the aid of a benefactor, was outfitted with foldable countertops, insulation and a battery for lighting. It holds Thermos bottles of coffee and hot chocolate. Some days, Mascia dispenses muffins and cookies. On really good days, he has hot homemade breakfast sandwiches donated by church groups.”

“To donate or help the efforts of Brother Al Mascia, contact St. Aloysius outreach ministries at 313-237-5810 or contact Mascia at 313-320-0548 or e-mail alofm(at)hotmail.com.”

4.  Ready, Willing and Able Celebrates 20th Year:

Last night was a proud milestone for about 200 formerly homeless, incarcerated and drug addicted citizens, and family members who came to support the Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able 20th graduation ceremony yesterday evening.

The men and women who graduated from the Ready, Willing & Able program (RWA) have met the requirements to become self-sufficient contributing members of society. Requirements include a holding steady job and having a permanent address.

By transforming society’s burdens into viable members of society, the RWA program is saving the city billions of dollars. Each graduate that walked across the stage saved taxpayers close to a million dollars that would have gone towards jails and keeping criminals off the streets.

“This is a model that works,” president and founder George McDonald said. ‘There’s human proof and economic proof that people succeed in this program.”

5. Gen Y: We Are Our Future:

“Looking at the overall vibe of America can get very depressing. When I look at our “elders” and older generations who have been and continue to make important decisions on our behalf I can’t help but be disheartened. Environmental destruction, wars, poverty, disease, lack of education, and all the other problems, seem almost insurmountable. If we step back and analyze each one we begin to feel more and more helpless; to a point of complacency. If we continue down this path of non-action, our future will diminish along with our dreams, and more importantly, the dreams of today’s youth.”

“What if we had an easy outlet as young people to not only “step up” where our elders have backed down, but begin setting the stage for the country and world we want to see? What if we focused on one issue that needed support and through that support we took back our future? What if we took proactive action in helping young people who have been affected by circumstance and are struggling for survival right in our own community.”

“In an attempt to give college students an avenue to help homeless, foster and at-risk youth in their communities, we have started setting up Gen Why Clubs. The Gen Why Club will be a college club which connects students with homeless/foster youth organizations to support them in their efforts. I am excited to say that we have setup the first Gen Why Club at San Diego State University (SDSU), the alma mater of one of my partners on this project, Adam Steel. After reaching out to SDSU we got an amazing response from students who were eager to not only help setup the club, but actively recruit other students to join. It is our goal to have a Gen Why Club on every college campus in the nation and start a philanthropic revolution among young Americans.”

Photo credit.

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