For the poorest of the poor, and the most embedded in street life, the chronically homeless individual, providing even a tiny house, or apartment is a sensory, space and responsibility overload, not to mention the isolation and “street cred,” lost from his/her relationship with his/her street family. Humane Housing begins with a beautifully designed and painted “micro-pod,” just big enough to accommodate mattress, fan, light, clothing, personal accessories and decor, with a “good neighbor” chair outside the door. It can be earned through participation in it’s construction, to the best of his/her ability, or other services within the sheltered “family environment.” of the micro-pod, "transformational housing" village.
A village would be formatted, with picnic tables, port-a-potties and security, around a common area that accommodate needed services and enrichment, or in the parking lot of established services, and common area. The basic requirement for that level of housing is peacefulness and engagement in the process of becoming more. This process involves sequential levels of engagement education, that include the development of an understanding and experience of obedience to rules of social order, sports, drama, music, games, group dialogues, community service, and activation of spiritual capacities like imagination, empathy, hope, creativity, personal passions and talents, as well as communication and life-skills for independent living and career goals in the path of service. The Chronic Homeless could evolve from these micro-pods, as their humane and life skills develop, to group homes, a-pod-ments, tiny houses, and beyond, as they strive for "higher ground.” They learn the logical consequences of life, also. To the degree that they are open to the process and maintain standards and skills learned, they advance in their quality of life. Also, logical consequences can result in the loss of privileges or perks if they are abused, or standards are not maintained. Their housing and access could bump all the way down to the “fall out shelter,” which is the most basic of the basic needs' provision. .....
By engaging in this process, residents learn to strive and aspire to higher levels of success. They are not given more to achieve than they are able, but if they choose to abuse a privilege, or fail to maintain a standard, knowing the logical consequences of their choices, they have the fall out shelter for reflection and preparation to try again. They are never “washed out" for their failures. They know they will be given encouragement and support to keep trying again at every level, until their highest potential is reached. These villages would come about through the activation of the community at large, demanding that ALL segments of their community have a right to their most basic needs and a loving family to nurture their humane development through established educational principles. With the proper community “parenting” and role modeling, individuals, and families can evolve from success to success, learning from failures.
I would like to join other activists, non-profits, students, business owners, elected civic leaders, residents of directly affected neighborhoods and stake-holders to begin community engagement and consultation gatherings, similar to the ones initiated by the Salvation Army. Being a “Consultation” as opposed to a “Dialogue,” they would be looking more to pro-active solutions than discussing problems. They would be very “Just Do It” oriented. We would first consult on and agree to principles and a plan to provide safety and security to all. Once that is provided the enabling “fall back” street services can be rechannelled to support the empowering housing and process provided, rather than encouraging and enabling the demeaning and parasitic street life-style. We would aim to quickly activate the civic machinery of providing the most basic human need to all, not waiting until every detail was worked out, but allowing them to be added and refined as part of the process. Although Bay to Bay Services is establishing a detailed DIY protocol guide, many of those details can be consulted upon, implemented and tweaked as best fits the local (Sarasota) community and needs.