Hello Compassionate's, How are you? Hope you are well.
Take a look at the photo above, what do you see? The photo is a empty building at the corner of Barton and Wentworth street here in Hamilton. When I look at it and other's here in neighbourhood I see a mission at home, I see the hope of creating it into affordable housing.
So why share this photo? one day in the long run, through the sales of my creations I would love to fix these types of empty buildings up, I don't know how many units are in this building plus the 2 store fronts but even a low impact project that could help 2 businesses and 2 families is still with doing.
Many groups believe in doing larger buildings that create more units, they call it high impact in creating affordable housing, I know a small project at a time doesn't make that huge impact but if done at the same time as those big projects, I know that access to housing list could start moving and no longer be referred to as a 10 year wait, that is a long time to couch surf.
I am in no way a developer, I don't know the building codes, bi laws, I am not sure what it would cost to find the owner, buy the building, get permits, and freshen up the building to be code and enviromently friendly to help families with affordablity and sustainablity.
My goal after reaching $20 thousand dollars to help city housing hamilton fix up at least one fire demaged unit to help one family with a roof over their heads is to find a company that would deal with the small and fund raise for them for a project like this.
I was homeless 5 times in my life, and I hope I don't ever have to go through that again, thank God for the first 2 times having my grandparents take me in, the other 3 times I was in a shelter.
I will say that in the times you struggle you can choose to show others the best of you or the worse part of yourself, I stayed true to myself and tried to help the others in the shelter with us, in one shelter it was a beautiful time of sisterhood and empowering each other, I was proud that all of us were keeping each other lifted up it such a hard emotional time, some of us all still friends today, one has come on to become a motivitional speaker.
Sadly I saw some of the worse parts in another shelter, some one who was stealing from the rest of us, I can only hope that since that time, they got the much needed help that seemed so clear that they weren't coping, I saw staff and others of us in that shelter reach out but it wasn't enough and it was sad and heart breaking to watch to see them arrested, I really do hope that they did turn their life around after that.
Here's the thing Compassionate's we all know there are different reasons why some one goes homeless, leaving abuse, couldn't afford a rent increase, a fire, etc. It's not all solved the same way, for some that have left abuse it means the shelter is the first step to starting over, if it has been really bad the staff can do calls around to another city to see if any of their beds are open so the person can start over in a new city, for some it's money bad credit they have to rebuild it and that takes more then most shelters can let you stay, 4 - 6 weeks can go very slow and yet very quickly, every day out looking for a new place, viewing after viewing you can be so tired and sore because it doesn't seem to end, all that rejection takes a toll on you and some times transitional housing is needed to rebuild credit and maybe healing to help you live alone if you had counted on the abuser, some that have to rebuild their lives from coming out of jail or rehab.
We live in a world that seems to have lost compassion, the anger and fear of stigma this whole not in my back yard attitude, thinking geared to income housing equals a ghetto and drug dealers, crack heads and lazy people milking tax payer dollars.
I am on assitance but I am not lazy, I got hurt when I was 23 and not alot of employers want some one with a bad back, but I work hard in my community, help clean up parks, create events, paint small murals and support local businesses, I can't stand being painted with the same brush as those who do scam the system.
I have had my share of people comment that they feel I only had my children for the Child Tax Benefit that it raised the money on that monthly cheque, I try my best to let it in one ear and out the other, but stigma hurts.
I don't understand why we don't build each other up, why tear some one down? I didn't get the bully in high school when I got bullied to the point I did want to end it all, but something always stopped me and I am so happy it did, I love my four kids, my family, and my community even when it struggles to be better and fails, at least the spirit of improvement is there.
I find it more rewarding to lift some one up, I get as much as I give, if only smiles could pay the rent, laugh out loud.
I don't know who my children will be, I see them at their worst and most compassionate, my oldest shows her leadership with the cooking share program she started, her love of animals and wanting to raise money to help low income families save their pets and is very much a artist and come Monday for two weeks working on her talent with Theater school on a scholarship.
I guess my point dear compassionate's is that my mission seems to be one here at home, not travelling to help others around the world on mission trips but enriching the lives of all I meet, doing my part in creating affordable housing, community inclusion and raising leaders who are compassion driven and helping send them to camp to improve their skills and enrich their lives so they bless others. Maybe even help end stigma!!! I think we can do it, if we remember to work together and for us all to do our parts.
That's it for now, as always I hope you are well, that you are safe and that you share your blessings with others daily, peace.