****UPDATE 5/26/2011 - On 5/23/2011 @ 12:22am Miss Gracie was born and is very beautiful. Her Mom and Father are very happy to have this little lady to take care of. The Father, wow, how proud of him i am, as he has stepped up to the plate big time! He was doting on his new daughter, changing her diapers and making sure she was warm. He surprised his wife, his Mother-In- Law but not me, i knew he it in him, i believed in him. He believed in his own self and he “worked it” made it happen, took control of his life and stepped up as a Father and husband and is now even getting more hours at work. He is excited! We are excited for him! We are simply excited that this family is together and not apart as they are indeed now living together. No, not in their own home yet, but i am sure that will come soon. Little by little, this family will be supported with commitment, love and drive in order for them to permanently gain their confidence in themselves and each other. They WILL succeed, all of them! The Mother’s job where she was working when she was pregnant has already signed her to come back to work. Excellent! No, i am not saying this family is out of the woods yet, but they have a much better chance then they did 3 months ago as a family. We Thank those who have given on behalf of this family as they have already received a number of items from us here at STA through you and from other of their family friends. THANK YOU! Lance Greene/Founder
Saturday 5-21-2011 @ 12:25am
I pray to Jesus for your help.
As i write tonight, i am finding myself troubled and confused, disturbed. I seem to feel like this a lot lately. Why? This world we are living in today is just so far gone, so numb to simply everything. So much so that i wonder if anyone will even be reading this besides a select few. And then i wonder further just how many will even care.
We have been helping a young black married couple, 21 & 22 since February of this year in St. Petersburg, FL. Their marriage was in severe personal turmoil and they were 6 months pregnant. We spend time with them, meeting, talking, listening, giving direction, giving ideas, transporting and intervening in delicate personal situations. They are doing much better personally as husband and wife now. The husband is learning how to be a husband and the wife is learning how to be a wife. Now, they must learn quickly how to be parents.
The husband and wife are both homeless, they live apart. They are and all 3, including the soon to be newborn, will soon be a full family of Friends In Need. It actually stretches much further into the family including both mother-in-laws and a cousin. Further, much further.
Where are they living? Hmmmmmm, lets just say they are living someplace they shouldn’t need to be living. The husband and wife were both working, the husband still is but at minimum wage, the wife/mother of course is no longer working due to the pregnancy and she was working part-time as it was.
This coming Monday or Tuesday 5/23 or 5/24/2011 a young girl, a newborn infant, named Gracie will be born into this self-centered world……….homeless, unknowingly, unsuspecting, fragile, vulnerable, a newborn………homeless. She will come home to an alley. She will come home to a family who cannot afford to financially live together. Her life will begin, homeless. It angers me to my very core. Is she the only one? Of course not, there are thousands across our country. Need to know how many? Go out and look for yourselves, because the “numbers” do not begin to tell the story. Federal, County or City Housing assistance? Don’t go there. Section 8? Not there either.
Tomorrow, Sunday we will deliver to the Mother, items donated by a very kind neighborhood family some baby clothing, a portable playpen, a high chair, a baby walker, and some other items for the Mom and baby Gracie. In addition we will deliver items for the Mom to make her feel good and comfortable, donated by another kind woman in Clearwater, FL. It will be all, all that they have. And now i begin to cry as i write, the keyboard blurring between my tears. My GOD i am mad!
Why? My small piddly ass 501c3 nonprofit can do nothing more than what we have done and are doing. It hurts, disgusts and discourages me. Why? Because it is not enough. We are so close, yet far way from gaining success for this family and it is due to money. Because for some reason it is extremely hard to raise funds to do what we do. Try finding a Private Foundation which funds a Mobile Crisis/Intervention unit like ours. We do not take federal funds or seek them because of how we do what we do, plus, try to find even a federal program which funds a Mobile Crisis Unit like ours. They just do not seem to be out there. We provide extensive services, we do not just hand out lists referring our Friends In Need somewhere else. We handle it. Period.
Have we done a lot for this family? Of course we have. More than probably anyone would do. One tiny example, right now at 1:00am on Sunday morning, this family knows they can call or text me and i will answer them personally. Or if they need to get to the hospital because the baby is on the way, they know they can call me 24/7 and i will jump in the van and get them to the hospital. But, of course there has been much much more.
So, come this Monday or Tuesday, the Mom will be induced as she was due on May 12th and is now 11 days late and not doing well herself.
What do i want?? I want to have a home to place this family, all 3 of them in. IS it a gamble? Maybe. Is it worth it? Absolutely. We will continue to provide support in multiple ways to this family to help them succeed. To teach them, to build their confidence in each other and themselves, to give them Hope and to help them to keep seeking the Hope. BUT, we need to get them some housing so they can be a…….hmmmmm……do i dare say….”normal” family?
So yes, here it comes, the part where i again ask for money. Well, we are a 5013 IRS registered Public Charity Nonprofit and that’s what we have to do, is ask the general public, that’s you, for money. Just so you know, if it helps you at all…..last year, out of our personal funds, my wife and i put over $9500.00 into our Mobile Crisis activities. That is out of our total household income of $36,000.00. That left us approx $25,000.00 to live on. We do not take a salary from Straight Ahead Outreach Taking Back Your Life) Inc. We do not have savings. We give, everyday. We are asking you to give, today.
WISH LIST for this Family In Need:
As you look at this list, keep in mind Gift Cards work extremely well as then we can go and make the exact purchases they need and or take them with so they can make the purchases themselves.
1) Diapers for a newborn -
2) Toiletries for newborn like wipes, powder, lotions/creams, shampoos, oils, and the like
3) Food for the baby, formula etc, groceries for Mom and Dad
4) Disposable Baby bottles
5) Baby blankets
7) Wash cloths and towels
and last but not least……..
#8) HOUSING: We want to raise funds to find them a small apartment or even trailer in an ok area so they will be safe and comfortable. We have a set amount we seek. It is $4000.00 – This usually will cover First 3 months rent, Deposit, Utility Deposits and proper groceries for 3 months. Is it a gamble? Maybe. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
Besides the obvious, what are a couple of benefits of you helping us with this Family In Need?
1) You will help to Improve the economy.
2) Preventing, Stabilizing and reducing Community Deterioration and Social Decay.
I Thank You for taking the time to read this and i will greatly appreciate you donating now, today and we also Thank those of you who have already donated and or donated in the past.
Lance Greene – :-))!/Founder/CEO/Sr. Case Manager
PLEASE, Right Now
Yes, we need funding, yes we have a number of Friends In Need and Families with Children In Need who are in need of help. We always will. Are we the only ones? No, of course not, so please, give what you can, what you honestly can do without, as we know you most likely give to others also. If you are able to give extra, then you are truly blessed and so are we and our Friends In Need.
With a very Serious THANK YOU. I, personally Thank You! Lance Greene :-))!