5 MAR 2015 :: An intersting online visual story about Homelessness in Silicon Valley

I was checking my emails and the one for Sisters of the Road CafĂ© (for homeless populations and other who support them) in Portland (Oregon, USA) led me to a site called WRAP, which is an advocacy group for poverty populations, which led me to a story about a woman and child living in a garage for $1000/month.  Somewhere in the process of reading the text and viewing the photo gallery for that story, I found a link to a CNN.com article about children in poverty in the Silicon Valley, CA, which is where all the rich technology companies are. 

This is the link it led me to  ::  http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/03/opinion/ctl-child-poverty/  It worked when I checked it. I hope it works for you.

I don't normally watch such long news items (this is a gallery format with video interviews and visuals mixed in with PowerPoint type pages), but this was a subject I am interested in. I had the volume off.  I didn't realize it would be a longer program. I think it would be worth your time.  At the end of the program you are able to link to one of four suggested interventions, or you can link to a place where you can suggest your own strategy for dealing with poverty issues.  I chose to give my own... some of my favorites.

Here are the three questions you can answer, and my replies...


Over the years, I have created and shared many ideas about poverty and its effects.  In watching this presentation, the San Jose campground stood out as a change vehicle.  It looks like a perfect location for an "official" campground for homeless populations... something like a KOA that has necessary facilities for ongoing living, a store that takes food stamps to serve the populations that would live there, an opportunity for tents, pets, food gardens, access to city services, the option for parking homeless vehicles, safe cooking, electricity for lights and heat and other needs, work trades for small fees, separate areas for families and singles, day workers and night workers, possibly safe childcare and education and mentoring options, and more...   -----------  About your suggestions for subsidies...  If the government is willing to pay so much money in subsidized rent, why isn't it willing to create a sense of permanence in housing with mortgage payments instead... which could become equity partnerships... which could become loans from a revolving fund that will increase to help the next homeless family....   Why isn't it willing to invest in tiny homes on small pieces of land and do the financing that no bank will ever do for homeless families...  Why doesn't it use the subsidy money to create Habitat for Humanity partnerships to help homeless populations help each other build their houses and learn those skills in the process...  and Why doesn't the government let homeless families buy the properties they take away and sell to homeless programs for $1.... and Why doesn't it help groups like  Street Roots in Portland to purchase apartment buildings that will house their homeless vendor populations as they rise from the gutters, making the program more involved in the change process with the people they affect....   I could go on and on and on and on....

I used my business email because it would lead you to what poverty inspired in me.  I also have attempted to learn blogging (working-together-inc.blogspot.com) for that reason.  In the past, I tried to increase my income through ebay.com/usr/work2gather  and fiverr.com/work2gather.  I recently discovered etsy.com/shop/work2gather as an income effort. Since then I have been learning about Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest because of my interest in several issues.  I started Working Together in 1987...but poverty issues and other things seem to have taken their toll.  In 2004 I tried to build an online presence.  So far, it hasn't helped too much, but there are other issues that affect my efforts. --  My struggles have led me to see how traditional services that are made flexible for the poverty population could avoid endless cycles of suffering and pain and abuse in poverty populations.   I think each person know what they need... they just need access to those things.  Poverty households don't have access to anything that helps them, they have access to things/programs that help other make money off them.

I think the main suggestion I have been trying to advocate lately is the idea of prison reforms by bringing both the government and the inmate into the internet income arena... creating one site where all US jails and prisons (all levels) can connect and sell the creations of inmates to change the lives of inmates, their families, their victims, the system, and whatever else can be changed, including staff at prisons.  -- The government has to do it because of security and shipping issues, financial issues like restitution and child support, etc.  This also creates another level for fraud and abuse, but I think safeguards could be created to protect inmates and their efforts/income.  ---   At a personal level, I have been trying to create a printed newspaper/newsletter that would reach inmate populations with the news and information they never get in prison...to keep them aware of changes in the world and help them to contact people who will help their situation.  Inmates are forgotten after time passes, and so many don't even get letters from anyone... it would help connect them with the world and offer them information they might not get anywhere in the system, and help with education and connection issues that might keep them going in a better direction...and help them after release.


I hope this will prompt you to view the CNN production, and enter your own suggestions.  They may be able to reach more people with the best of them.

4 MAR 2015 :: Catching up.

Today was spent finding sale items for my crafts and goals and other personal project development. I am sorry about yesterday's post.  I got up "late" this morning, and then left before doing much of anything, and nothing on the computer.  Hope that didn't bother anyone who may one day read my words.  :-)  It doesn't seem important to add to yesterday's words.  I may as well just keep going from here.

I like to go to the Salvation Army sale day... when they have things available at 50% off.  You can find treasures at every thrift store... but it takes time and lots of exploring.  I try to get a little of as much as I can. I found things to help me with my craft sales efforts and kitchen things. I try to buy some books, a VHS tape for my collection, and other things I might find as I search. I don't shop at other thrift stores much now... I try to have some money for the Salvation Army 50% off sale day because it makes looking and buying easier.

I decided to buy Pelican Brief for my VHS tape.  I don't think I have it in my collection, but may have had it in the past. I had to get rid of most of my belongings before moving to my son's. I think I kept the Disney Classics I had collected.  I have Matrix because it is about the future (in someone's imagination), and I like Pelican Brief because it is about money and manipulation of our country. I have a few more I hope to find, but still haven't been able to.  I want the first Rocky film, and Overboard.  If I find some of the really old movies I loved to watch as a young one, I might buy them if I have the money at the time.  :-)

I also discovered audio book tapes on Stephen Covey's 7 Habits series.  I haven't yet read the entire book, and one tape was missing, but it seemed like a good addition to my GOALS collection, which has Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and some others already in it.  I suppose I will be listening to these tapes through the rest of the week and weekend.  :-)  I learn a lot from some of the great teachers.  I hope to learn more by listening to these tapes.

Today was a hard day because I wanted to get more mileage out of my bus pass for the day...so I went to another sale event at the local recycling thrift store. I'm not sure what they are called, it is where they collect other kinds of things to repurpose... like discarded paper, envelopes, fabrics, office supplies, art supplies, anything that can be saved from the landfill and used by another person.  You have to search in this kind of store, too...but it is both cheaper than buying new art and craft supplies, and helpful to the environment.  Each community organization is different, but the goal and theme of their work is the same.

I didn't make it to WinCo, but I stopped at Safeway on the way home and found a great deal in the discounted meat section.  It will last me for some time... maybe the rest of the month because I cut it up and then freeze it, and then only use it a little bit at a time. 

Not counting food I purchased (cash is the main budget item for me), I wound up spending about $22 buying all my used treasures, and I spent $5 on new items.  :-)  Depending on your life, this can be a lot of money or just a little. In my life, it is a lot.  I won't be going anywhere for awhile... but that's OK... I need to work on my sales!!!

3 MAR 2015 :: Quick thoughts

I am sorry... it has been a long and terrible day... kind of.  :-)  I just can't write much... I have to get to bed and try to sleep.  I just want to make sure I write something for this day's blog post... which is heading into the topics of Basic Needs like food, shelter, community.

Hope you don't mind... I think I will write this in the morning.  See you then.


2 MAR 2015 :: WT Review :: Looking backward and forward.

After such a long weekend (for me), getting this blog post done as soon as I can is a necessity.  I am tempted to lie down and possibly go to sleep, for a bit or for the whole night!  :-)  I have been trying to catch up with a long list of things left undone in my ill times.

Concerning Working Together (WT), it seems that GOD is still developing it, or something unseen is going on, or it isn't the right time yet.  For me, it's like Noah building the Ark for a hundred years, Moses finding his way for 80 years before GOD talked to him, like Jeremiah in the prison pit because the people didn't want to hear his message, or like Job suffering at the hands of Satan for an unknown number of years.  Anyway, that's what it feels like!   :-)   I'm not sure the end is in sight, but I keep praying and watching for a way to pass through the trials I face for as long as I am alive.

Working Together's main connection with the greater Church is through the website I started for it.  (work2gather.us)  My Yahoo billing goes back to 2006, so that is probably when I upgraded to a regular website from Yahoo's Geocities platform.  Learning how to make websites was a great experience. I hope to learn more about HTML and how things function through websites. As I learn, I change things on my pages... keep watching, and make suggestions.

The website has been in need of a lot of attention for some time.  I haven't been able to do what I need to do for more than a year.  As I struggled to find the start-up money a business requires, I finally decided GOD would have to provide for WT in His own way and time. I do as much as possible with the limited resources I have, and continue to search for answers to the problems we will face as Christians. 

My constant battle between personal needs and business needs has helped me see the struggle our families, churches, ministries, organizations, and businesses will face.  The one temple in Jerusalem was GOD's resource center for the Jews.  We don't have that option... unless we can find a way to connect and provide using the internet.  That, too, will be taken over by the Antichrist, so everything we do will be temporary, just until GOD calls us home.

After discovering Etsy as an income opportunity for my creative talents, and applying for Early Retirement benefits through Social Security (only $381/month), I am a little more hopeful about my dire financial situation. I have been surviving on a small amount of food stamps and Christmas gifts for more than a year...Social Security payments seem like winning the lottery.

Since January, I have been contemplating my sales issues and creating a plan.  Last weekend I decided on some solutions, and today I started to create those planned sale listings at my Etsy shop and my fiverr account, posting to Facebook as a marketing activity.  I have discovered Group pages at Facebook that are associated with Etsy sellers, and I am looking for more networking opportunities in social media and elsewhere. 

I am still trying to decide what to sell at my eBay accounts.  After I figure it out, I want to expand my reach, my knowledge, and my sales.

Somewhere in the middle of this busy schedule, I must find time to reach the larger church.  Maybe you can help me sell memberships and CORD listings to build the foundations of Working Together.