Re-Pressed from my blog on 4/21/2011
To actually prevent someone from becoming homeless when you have little notice is something STA is very accustomed to. However, there are times when it simply seems so far out of reach.
Shelters are not our housing of choice. They are our last resort. We work nonstop around the clock until we make sure the one in need will not become “Street Homeless” when they find out they will soon be homeless. For one of the first times ever, i do not believe we will succeed this time…..although we will still try.
It has been a busy couple of weeks since we got our Mobile Crisis Outreach Van back from being repaired, after being down for 7 months and it appears is about to get busier.
We have two of our past Friends In Need who are currently incarcerated and due to be released soon to…….Nowhere.
1) One (23 yr old) “might” have their old job back…but on a very minimal basis. Not full time as before. I spoke to the employer this week, great guy, but he understandably has a business to run. The apartment where this one lived and shared with another may not be there due to “games people play”. What people call “Love” sometimes or what they do in the name of “Love” sometimes can do permanent damage to others. Sad & tragic. Simply sad and tragic. Next week STA/me will go to court with this one and they should be let out that day possibly, into my/STA’s hands. It will be a busy intense full day. More then i can or will describe here.
2) The other one in need (22 yr old), will most likely also be released to no home or family. The plus side is this one may still have their job as they have been there a long time. But it is a minimum wage type job. The other thing is this ones daughter just turned one year old. (I sit here and shake my head in dismay). This one should be released sometime soon. THIS one, is completely up in the air and STA will not have much time ahead of time to prepare or deal with that situation. It will be a last minute desperate situation. The “games” for this one have already been set in motion. Games i do not like, but games others seem to enjoy playing. They are emotionally dangerous games for the “players” involved. My hope is we/STA will win. Simply not feeling overly positive at the moment, but if there is anything i know, in this work i/STA does…things can change in an instant. Literally. And often do.
3) Another young one (21), this one not incarcerated, but in a very volatile and desperate situation, currently living with some friends. This one we are scheduled to bring to a local school to see about getting them started on their GED next Tuesday. Will this one keep the appointment? Will they make that step towards “Taking back Their Life”. Towards freedom? This one has a baby on the way and one at home. STA attempts to keep in touch. Everything is up to this ones own decisions at this very moment. This one has possibilities, but do they see them? Can they see them? This one is hurting and very inwardly withdrawn, very protective of self. This one could be homeless in the blink of an eye. Will this one grab the reins and “Take Back Their Life”? That is yet to be seen. STA is ready and willing to help this one down that path if they so choose to take it…..God‘s “vehicle”, the one He is using to carry out His plan…is running, ready and willing. The rest is up to this one to answer Jesus’s call and opportunity to a better not so distant future. Right here, Right Now.
They are all kids really, 21, 22 and 23. SHEESH! And there are so many of them today. So many it is overwhelming quite honestly. They have not been given the “tools” and shown how to use those tools in order to grow. Many many many of them.
How can we prevent homelessness? 1) Do not just “hand out” the tools for someone to grow…..Show them how to use them, mentor them, teach them, over and over at every opportunity you get. 2) Be careful what Emotional Damage you do to each other. Demeaning words, constant bickering and arguing, control, manipulation all contribute to Emotional Damage which has so many times an end result of Homelessness, which results in Social decay. 3) Be the bigger person in a relationship, any relationship, whether it be personal or business and do what is right, what is good. Think of what you are doing to each other and is it the way you want to be treated? Are you the one being controlling? Are you doing it because you are scared about something? Talk it out, BUT, when you talk be sure to listen…A LOT. These are only a few things to think about. There are many more. 4) STOP. Damaging relationships cause homelessness, they cause Emotional Damage and physical injuries, many times even deaths. If you are in an abusive relationship whether you are the victim or the abuser….STOP…..stop and think to yourself….How would Jesus handle this situation. OR…before any words come out of your mouth, say to yourself… “What Would Jesus Say”? You Don’t believe in Jesus or God? You don’t have to in order to prevent damage to someone. Simply take value in yourself and the other person and walk away. Nothing is worth hurting another, getting hurt or ending up in jail because you did damage or have been damaged. If you are the one doing the damage, the control and manipulation for your own benefit, STOP…STOP and think how much stress it actually causes you. Do you feel that uneasy pain in the middle of your chest? That is stress, it is not cool, and it is not adrenaline. It is nothing but stress. IT WILL do damage to YOU Too. I guarantee you. It always does. Maybe not this time, maybe not next, but it will catch you when you least expect it. That is satan, do not let him win on you. STOP the damage and you stop satan. Stop being the victim and you stop satan. He won’t know what to do. I know this may sound like a fairy tale, but please be sure, it is very far from it….i know, i have been there, it is nothing but ugliness. Look at the stress in your life, the damage emotionally…i can tell you..if you are doing damage to someone you also are being damaged and do not even realize it. You too are being stressed out, damaged. STOP. Walk away. satan is trying to fool you….in fact…he is laughing at you. You the victim can change and step up and out, make the “call”, ask for help where ever you are. You, the one doing damage can change too. It is never too late as long as we are alive. It is only when we are dead and gone that it is too late for us to change here on this earth. Change Today, right now. Make the decision to Stop Hurting others, to stop being hurt.
Make the decision today to Prevent Emotional Damage, Which in turn prevents Homelessness, which in turn prevents Social Decay….which i guarantee you, will in turn create a pleasant, fun and good life for you and your family and or friends.
For now i have to trust that Jesus and His heavenly Father have a plan for each of the above 3 people in need above in addition to the babies involved and that Jesus just needs STA to be the “vehicle” to carry out the plans. We/STA will be there…with the vehicle running, ready and willing.
Please, Please Be Kind to Each Other.
From Huffington Post
I have to admit Nadia, there are some that do once they have been out there too long without the proper help.
Well, even though there is still much more to talk about here on all different levels, i guess the simplest way to put it is this: From now on i will be looking at Homelessness or what we will call Lifelessness (without God) from Jehovah God and His Son Jesus’s views. Hmmmm, yeah i know…..geez that doesn’t make ya feel any better either ….right? Well, here…. i am not going to just go by one or two scriptures in the Bible for example….like the one where God states to “Give Freely” to the poor. HE also states HE wants HIS people to be responsible to HIM and to be good “workers”, to “obey” HIM, to “Glorify” HIM. HE also wants people to be extremely accountable for their actions and also their lack of action. So i will be looking at and explaining our new outlook on helping the Homeless/Lifeless (without God) with all this in mind.
We must Lead. Lead in the way God instructs us to do in the Bible. He gives great detail and it is not found in simply one or two scriptures, but rather in studying and learning on what God wants us to build within all of us and how we do that. It is about sacrifice, humility, patience, doing away with fleshly (worldly) thoughts and desires and concentrating on doing what HE wants. Glorify HIM. If we do that HE promises He will do the rest. And you know what? I believe HIM. Yes, i believe in Jehovah God and also in His sent Son, Jesus Christ, but even more so….i Believe both of them.
What they Both want is for us to bring their Sheep and also their Lost Sheep back to them Both. They want us to Lead them back.
What this does not mean is funneling those in need through the Chronic Assistance Cycle of the nonprofit world, where those in need end up getting trapped in the very system which is supposed to be helping them. I say funneling, because that is what happens. Sure, getting ID’s, food stamps, Medicare, housing, clothing, food, and more is all important. However, there is much much more to it than simply that. Once they are funneled through so everyone can get their “numbers” satisfied…then what?
If we are to make an Impact, we must spend extensive time with those in need to get to know them. I mean, really get to know them. Their desires, needs, like, dislikes and hates and irritants, triggers and much much more. Sure, some may simply need food stamps or some simple aid for utilities, however most of those in need, need much more…many times much more than they even realize. That…that is our job as nonprofits to realize.
It is time to take another look at our nonprofit assistance world and make changes. A lot of changes. Funneling those in need through the system is not the answer, not the complete answer. Ten Year Plans are showing their “fruits”, they simply are too grandiose and seem to serve only one purpose and that is to glorify the Mayor of what ever city implements it. Ten Year Plans are not the answer and waste a lot of time and monies on frivolous, non-productive committees.
As i have stated previously, God stated “there will always be poor in the land.” So, trying to end it is simply a fantasy. You can however, end it for those who want it ended. However, in the end, it is a fantasy to think we can end even chronic homelessness.
Again, as i stated previously, most of us organizations who assist the needy, the poor, the underprivileged, are at some level Spiritual and state or make reference to the fact we are of God, or Jesus.
With that in mind, it is time to take a good hard look in the mirror, admit to ourselves what is happening to those in need, study once again or harder the Old Testament and New Testaments together and apply not just the 10 Commandments of Jehovah God, but rather the hundreds of HIS Commandments, yes hundreds probably almost 1000.
To God, homelessness in itself is not a problem. Think of the Old Testament and how HE moved His people from here to there constantly, from “camp to camp.” Sound familiar in today’s world? Of course it does as our homeless friends set up camps all over the place. In God’s wooded areas and plain and simple on HIS ground. He created the trees they sleep under and the ground they sleep on. To God, that is a compliment. HE takes care of all of us, no matter where we are, no matter what. It is up to us if we choose to take His help and do something with it. It is up to us as nonprofit, spiritual organizations to lead HIS Sheep back to Him and Jesus. Even the ones who do not know them yet or have anger towards them. It is up to us to assist the homeless friends in need and all those poor and underprivileged in the manner of which God would like to see it done.
Instead of focusing on throwing literally tons and tons of food, clothing, housing, etc…. we need to focus on God and what HE wants.
The following photo is from an article about navy Seals in Afghanistan ands was taken in 2002, yes.. 2002! Notice each little thing about how this Afghan is living. Look familiar? Could YOU do it? Do our poor and our homeless do it? Absolutely! God, focus on God. Even Jesus says to.
Soooo, For example:
Matthew 6:26 - Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
In reference to Jesus, He himself stated in Luke 9:58 - And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
So is homelessness such an urgent situation as we all try to make it out to be, to Jesus and His Father? I doubt it! The nonprofit world has made homelessness huge in order to serve an improper, self-serving agenda.
Wages: As much as i would love to earn a wage at this nonprofit stuff i do, i never have. IF i did, it would be very reasonable. There are people in nonprofits, many making in excess of $100,000.00 – over $350,000.00. Not only does that go against the United States IRS code but it goes again God’s code, God’s Command:
As to Wages: As Jesus was speaking to His Apostles and “sending them forth” - Matthew 10:5-10 - 5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9 Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.
Tents?? Joshua 22:8 - he said to them, “Go back to your tents with much wealth and with very much livestock, with silver, gold, bronze, and iron, and with much clothing. Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brothers.”
2 Chronicles 20:25 - When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found among them, in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more. They were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much.
As to Life itself, Clothing and Food - Matthew 6:25 - Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
As to those to focus on – Matthew 10:11-16 - And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. 16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
The ones who turn from you are the ones God Himself will take care of and someday have someone else try. Unlike you and i, God never sleeps, HE is always on the watch, always available to those who seek Him and to those He seeks. Psalms 121:1-8
1 I shall raise my eyes to the mountains.
From where will my help come?
2 My help is from Jehovah,
The Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He cannot possibly allow your foot to totter.
The One guarding you cannot possibly be drowsy.
4 Look! He will not be drowsy nor go to sleep,
He that is guarding Israel.
5 Jehovah is guarding you.
Jehovah is your shade on your right hand.
6 By day the sun itself will not strike you,
Nor the moon by night.
7 Jehovah himself will guard you against all calamity.
He will guard your soul.
8 Jehovah himself will guard your going out and your coming in
From now on and to time indefinite.
These are simply but a few examples of God’s instruction. I could go on an on and i will in other posts. You may also go to my http://jesusisms.wordpress.com/ blog to see more.
And a little something to close this series with:
Psalms 146: 3-10
What is it?? It is a Tzitzit, a tassel requested by God in the Bible for man to wear in order to remember to follow God’s Commands. Yes, it may be recognized as observed by the Jewish population, HOWEVER, bottom line it is in the Bible and GOD spoke it.
Numbers 15:37-41 – 37 The LORD said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. 39 And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. 40 So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. 41 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the LORD your God.”
Yes, as it states in the scripture above, our nonprofit world, The Chronic Assistance Cycle has “whored” after the governments and donors monies to pay excessively high and unreasonable wages, perks, benefits and more. All while the very people they are formed to assist and have misled end up suffering and fall through the cracks. We have followed our own hearts and our own eyes. Why? Because the system as it is has taken God out of the equation and made the people in need think we can all do it on our own.
We cannot. We must focus on God and His Commands first.
Remember what your 501c3 nonprofit application also stated…. That monies coming in as donations were to benefit the beneficiary (your client, the poor and homeless for example) and it states that you had to acknowledge that your wages would not be “in excess” and “within reason” or “reasonable.” $100,000.00 – $400,000.00 and above is in excess and not any where near reasonable. You, are in violation of your nonprofit status, no matter what sector you serve. Or are supposed to serve that is.
We must Lead, not Funnel.
Yes, i know you can come back at me with a myriad of excuses.
We must focus on God and His Commands first. Only then will our poor and homeless friends truly receive the help they need from their human Shepherds.
Disclaimer! ***BTW, although i may not be one of those taking a wage amongst other things… i want to be clear that i myself am not free of my share of guilt in the mindset of “I can take care of it” thinking. Yes, i got trapped in that also, being the superman, the crime fighter if you will. But thanks be to and the Glory be to Jehovah as……
I/We must focus on God and His Commands first.
I pray for ALL of your successes and delights as you resort your ambition and missions and concentrate on Gods Will.
Lance Greene/Founder/Straight Ahead Outreach-Taking back Your life Inc.
This is a Story about a homeless man who sought assistance from what i believe to be by far the single most incredibly pro-active group of change-makers in one location of any company, organization or public or private entity i have ever dealt with in the 26 years i have dealt with homelessness or those in need.
That place is the Tomlinson Adult Learning Center in St. Petersburg, FL. You simply will not find a better, more caring staff anywhere.
Just Because someone is Homeless and please keep in mind…..they could be a newborn infant child all the way to an elderly 85 year old female…..
Just Because they are Homeless does not mean they abuse alcohol and or drugs.
Give a Homeless person a chance today and help prevent Social Decay.
It could be You tomorrow.
Just Because… Especially in todays world…
Just because someone is Homeless does not mean they do not want to work.
Give someone Homeless a job today. Give them the chance. Prevent Social decay for someone today.
It could be you tomorrow.
501c3, Arrested, Chevrolet, Clearwater FL, donate, friends in need, jail, Mobile Crisis, poor decision, Released from jail, Social Decay, St Petersburg FL, Straight Ahead Outreach, Streets, Suicidal, Taking Back Your life, Tampa FL, Wandering
I rant, whine and complain on here how we help keep your streets safe, where ever we operate. Be it Knoxville, TN, or the Tampa Bay Florida area of St. Petersburg/Clearwater FL areas.
Do you understand what that means? Do you care? Well let me share, so you do care.
Today, 8/11/11 at 2:13am – I received a call from one of our Friends In Need who was released from the Hillsborough Florida County Jail at about 1:00am. It is across the Bay from us. In this case, the person was arrested in one county and brought across the bay over 25 miles one way to another county.
Everywhere we have done our work, we will get calls from our Friends In Need after they have been released from jail in the middle of the night. Usually around 1:00am – 3:00am. Do i agree with this practice? Absolutely not. Can you figure out why? Do you know why they call us?
First, is this the Police’s fault? No. Is it the Courts fault? No. Is it the jails fault? No. Of course it is the Friend In Needs fault as they should not have placed themselves in the position to get arrested in the first place and that is what we teach and coach them on. It takes time. But we are here to do it.
However, i do not support the practice of letting out arrested individuals to the streets in the middle of the night.
1) The individual is scared. Most of them are a target for “trouble”. They do not want to get picked up again for making another poor decision without anyone to coach them through to prevent that poor decision. Even if they try to stay away from trouble at that time in the night, no matter what happens they are going to look like the bad guy.
2) They dont want to be wandering as that is when the trouble finds them and if they do not participate, then a fight can ensue.
3) They simply want to get home and off the street. In this case the person was released into Tampa FL, over 25 miles from his home in St. Petersburg FL. Why make it all that more complicated and difficult? We are just asking for trouble. We are brewing it in fact. Period. We are more than Happy to pick them up and get them home safely if our equipment is in proper running order. This is our attempt and participation in Fighting, Preventing, Stopping Social Decay.
4) Normally, we would go pick up the Friend In Need. However, in this case we would have to go on the highway which involves 70 mph speeds here due to the traffic flow. Our Mobile Crisis van right now cannot get out of 3rd gear so we are unable to safely reach proper highway speeds. So, we were not able to go pick up this particular Friend In Need. He ended up spending his last monies taking buses. He was on the streets from 1:00am – 8:00am when he finally got home. Seven…… 7 hours.
5) This individual who does have a past record, but is “trying” key word, “trying” to the best of his capacity to change his life. Many do NOT try. He has done pretty well, going to school for Construction, getting his own apartment, getting his own part-time job and more. We have known him for approx 8 months. He has a good heart. But he simply needs to learn more.
6) We view this as our job. Not the Police’s job to escort them home and coach them, spend time with them. They have many other Civil needs to tend to. Our Responsibility to our 501c3 Certification was to help relieve the Municipal Police, Ambulance and Medical Facilities of “nuisance” type issues. These types of issues being released to the streets in the middle of the night can become very quickly a “nuisance issue”. Yours/Our local Police Departments have more than enough to deal with. We need your help to continue this work. This work is extremely valuable to everyone. Including you.
So, Did You Know, that in your area too most likely there are individuals being released to the street at all hours of the night? Did you know? They have Court 24 hours, right there in jail. Did You Know?
They are mostly scared and hyper at that time. They just want to get out of sight. Typically they are not out to do any harm to anyone. BUT, why should we take that risk. Why should we set them up to fail? Why? I personally really am not looking for an answer from you. I am simply wanting YOU to think.
We have a client who has been arrested 63 times for this kind of thing. 63 times! Trust me. This is a lot of work. Work which you as the General Public simply do not make yourself aware of or simply do not understand. Orgs like us do some intense work. Work no one ever sees or hears about. Sad. We keep YOUR streets safe.
Go ahead, do a Google search of Mobile Crisis units in the USA. You will not find one like us for the most part. We are one of the only ones of our type that provides the services such as described here for example. Most Mobile crisis Units are mainly for the most part for someone suicidal. They will not go out to just pick someone up because they are in a panic after being released from jail. We, STA does and will, as long as we have a working vehicle, 24/7, 365 days per year. Any time of day or night in other words.
Straight Ahead Outreach Inc. Needs YOUR support to help us replace our Mobile Crisis van. Please help today! We help keep YOUR Streets Safe!
We are needing to raise a minimum of $11,000.00 to replace our 1995 Chevrolet Van which has almost 240,000 miles on it and the transmission is not shifting out of 3rd gear along with other issues.
If Not You, Then Who?
I will be meeting in about 1.5 hours with a family in Crisis in St. Petersburg, FL. The adult son has Emotional Damage. Some inflicted by others and some put on him by himself……………due to the Emotional Damage inflicted by others which has made him think adverse things about himself, questioning himself, over and over. Not knowing which direction to go or how he should be or what others expect him to be or act like or live like or look like or sound like or move like or friend like or, or , or , or , or ………..he has been tied up into a pretzel and doesn’t know how to untie himself. He isn’t sure even IF he needs to be untied.
Treat a Person As They Are, and They Will Remain As They Are.
Treat Them As They Could Be, & They Will Become What They Should Be.
Does this person have some issues he needs to work on? Sure does. Don’t we all? Don’t you?
Today i will be speaking to and getting to know the Mother and the Sister. They are both also in Crisis. They do not know which way to turn either. I am going to work on giving them some relief, some Hope, some direction. We have spoke some already on a couple occasions.
Can this succeed? I believe it can. Is the person involved here worth it, even after all the hardship they are placing on others? Hmmmmm…..wait a minute. There isn’t just an individual involved here. The Whole Family is involved……in Crisis.
Will they be ok? Yes. How can you help today at this moment? Prayers, Prayers and thoughts of good for this Family please.
And in case the individual, i will call him a Friend In Need, is shown this writing, i would like to say to him……….. E.S., it is Time for you Sir, as the picture below is saying……. reach back, reach wayyyy back, it is Time, Time to reach back and Take Back Your Life. Go For It! E.S., Give me a call, lets get together. No bull, no pressure (well maybe a little, lol), lots of laughter, and lots of Hope. Will it be easy E.S.? Nah, but you can trust me. Give me a call Sir. Today. :-))!
Join us in preventing, Fighting Social Decay, Today. Make a decision, a pledge if you will to Stop Emotional Damage. Now, Right Now.
We wanted to give everyone a brief snapshot of our year so far. Our operating year is Jan – Dec.
Total Donations received to date in 2011: $1195.00
Plain and Simple Fact.
We need to rely on folks like You for funds. Folks like You need to rely on folks like us to do the work.
If Not You, Then Who?
Since January of this year, we have assisted on a one on one basis over 100 people with a number of our services. In addition, just this month we have placed two laptop computers on a “loaner” basis to two of our Friends In Need in order to provide them better access to look for jobs, housing and other needs rather than accessing the “Chronic Assistance Cycle”, we are showing them to do it on their own. This weekend we plan spending time with two of them training them more on the use of the Internet, Microsoft Word and Excel. The goal is to build them to self-reliance as soon as possible and get them Up&Out of the Chronic Assistance Cycle. In addition, we will be meeting with 3 others this weekend for follow up interviews. It all takes fuel and funds for meals at these meetings. Remember, we are meeting and spending Time with those in need. These are not Golf outings.
We spend extensive time with all of those we encounter. It takes money. Plain and Simple Fact.
If you do the math, assisting over 100 people with food, clothing, transportation, extensive time and more, while funds raised is $1195.00. This breaks down to available funds of $11.95 for each person we have assisted. It simply is not enough. The money needs to come from somewhere. When needed monetary donations do not come in, we are placed in a situation where we must use our personal funds. When our personal funds are depleted as they are now…….then what?
We provide the communities in which we operate an extremely valuable service. We need your help to continue this service.
Help STA Fight Social decay. Donate Today.
Please Donate anything you can right now. Please, even $1.00 will help as it all adds up together. We are a 501c3 nonprofit and your donations are tax deductible under the full extent of the law.
**Mobile Crisis van update. It is running and we are driving it, but the transmission still will not shift into high gear. Still needing to replace the van as it has over 235,000 miles and is beginning to nickle and dime us.
We Thank You for taking the time today to read and visit our site. We Thank You in advance for making a Monetary Donation today.