Her Story, Experience, and Training, but mostly Her Unique View...
Jaclyn has a life-time of seeing life, needs, solutions and events from a different perspective. Growing up, she was always called "Pollyanna," not because she had a knack for finding the opportunity and joy in even the most difficult of circumstances, but because others generally felt she was incapable of grasping the negative and "dire" circumstances to which she was responding. Although life could get her down temporarily, she quickly rebounded, due to her natural and chosen perspective. Adults didn't relate to her views, but the children she taught in school did. The learning or socially "challenged" children were often channeled into her classroom, where they were infected by her sense of wonder, felt validated and learned well, building upon their special skills and talents, and the atmosphere of social justice and logical consequences.
Her students advanced beyond their grade level in the sciences, language and math due to her unique protocols. Most adults, however, were baffled by her successes and dismissed her views. Until, finally, in her early 40's, someone did look and listen more closely. A friend told her, and others, how important and valuable her views were, in the consultative process. When her views were carefully considered, they often provided the missing piece in the puzzle of effective executive decisions. She soon started an alternative, supplementary school in the Virgin Islands for children, from 4-14 years of age, who were not thriving in the traditional school system. It, and they, did thrive until a devastating hurricane, followed by a home invasion ended all that, and sent her into her first experience with homelessness. She moved to her daughter's, in California, to rebuild. As a substitute teacher, she was in demand with her two rules of "striving and caring," and one logical consequence of: "You abuse it, you loose it." Wanting to return to the tropical life-style she loved, she moved to Florida, and succeeded, against all odds & politics, to convert a child care facility into a progressive and nurturing pre-school/child care center. Completing that mission, she transitioned to her massage career, leading to her Body and Soul Wellness Island.
In the Bradenton, Florida, Village of the Arts she ultimately bought a home situated between the Salvation Army and the Day Labor Service. This home, with the help of befriended homeless, she remodeled into a massage therapy establishment, wellness center and transitional home for the homeless. This population offered many new challenges and rewards. The common sense rules she had developed through her years as a teacher and Baha'i consultant on child education and community evolution, were modified to fit the needs, capacities and goals of these transitional residents. She taught them accountability, responsibility and courtesy to her, other residents and visitors. She helped them develop money management, social and household skills, plus empowering spiritual core values. Over the years, her reputation grew, as being fun, while strict, but fair. There was a waiting list for her rooms which she rented, affordably, by the week, until her tenants were ready to evolve into their own homes, rented by the month, or leased. That experience taught her as much about survival skills required for the Guide, as the Guided, in helping the homeless transition from the need for external regulation and monitoring to internalized self-regulation and initiative. This continued for several years until her business crashed with the economy.
When she knew she was to lose both her home and business, she started developing her next dream home. This time, it would be mortgage free and on wheels, so she could feel secure, against natural, or economic disaster. But, there were many unavoidable delays in that process, and she found herself out of the old home, and income, before she had gotten very far on the new one. She was, again, homeless. This time, however, she was fortunate enough to be "adopted" by a group of strangers, and neighbors, who only knew of her through a friend. and gave her shelter in Sarasota, plus a place to build her tiny home. It took three years, but on just her social security income, she was able to gradually complete her dream home, and was getting ready to leave Florida and live her "Road Trip" life of adventure.
Jaclyn had been encouraged to start a blog, to share what she had learned about building her own tiny home, and not giving up on her dream, despite all odds. It evolved into a collection of stories and designs to fit different needs and visions of "Living Large, Tiny." One of the visions she shared on her TinyHouseAlternativeS.com Blog was how others had developed tiny housing, even tiny "pods" for the homeless, and how she envisioned it could be, even better. Then, she had a conversation with a Homeless Architect at a dance, and inspiration struck. What most of these prototypes lacked was beauty, cost effectiveness to the average town and, as she later realized, functionality and a community relationship that was appropriate to the gradually evolving skills of the transitional homeless resident. She was studying to be a consultant for an evolving educational model growing out of more than 60 years of research and application of principles of education and human development that had it's origins even earlier. The principles were old, but research was opening new insights into their understanding and application.
Jaclyn looked at plans "to eliminate homelessness," all over the country and found them to be very similar, very expensive, largely theoretical, and with very poor success rates. While they had developed many admirable systems and procedures, she found that they all lacked the strong foundational principles of community and human development, as well as those of administrative functionality, that she had been growing in, for so many years.
She is, now, evolving in effective ways, to offer her expertise to you-- concerned citizens, service and faith groups, business owners, educators and city administrators. She would like to meet & serve your community, in her Service Path, as she travels cross country, (see the "contact" page), in addition to offering Guides to assist you through the magic of the internet. She is now in the process of translating her vision and project proposal for Healing Homelessness into comprehensive, step-by-step Guides which walk you through concepts and processes that you can consider and integrate into your "Growing Community" efforts.
Jaclyn always appreciates feed back, for an organic process must be nurtured and grow from the input of many diverse perspectives. On the "Homeless" page, you are invited to participate in a continuing conversation through your questions to me and all. Downloadable/printable Guides will become available as interest and needs dictate. See the "Homelessness" Page for more developing details. Please feel free to contact her by texting to: 941-228-1742, and sharing your comments on Homelessness, or any of her services.