Early in my career working with the homeless, I gained a life long friend by the name of Johnathan. Uneducated, abandoned at the age of 8 by his parents he was used to living a life of complete solitude under the railroad tracks. Johnathan will tell you that he doesn’t know why his parents abandoned him but that it is okay. He will tell you that he has a home and he has a friend that will let him sleep on his porch if it gets too cold. I tried for a couple of years to get him to come in off the streets, he wouldn’t. He wasn’t an addict, nor an alcoholic he just knew no other way. He didn’t know how to read or write, but yet he wasn’t bitter and always honest and kind. He told me one day he would like to have a trailer, like his friend has, to live in “that would be nice he said,” he thought a trailer would be good because they weren’t too big and he wouldn’t get lost inside. “Houses seem so big” he said. Johnathans favorite things that he would always ask me for were trash bags to keep the cold from getting him and the rain and white socks, because they looked so nice and glasses. Johnathan thought glasses made you look important, like you knew what you were doing. Johnathan and many others over the years have left an indelible mark on my heart, changed me, shown me how broken we all are in some way or another. And for this very reason Project Not Homeless was birthed. I won’t lie and get all rah rah - rah and say HEY PEOPLE !!!! we’re going to change the world!!! Don’t get me wrong I want to desparately, at least make a small imprint, but I am not so ignorant to think that this isn’t going to be an uphill battle full of red tape, road blocks, no’s and ill informed people who don’t completely understand. But we are up for the challenge, at Project Not Homeless this is our hearts desire to make a difference, to be transparent, real and be different amongst ourselves by setting the bar high within the program and to have people come on board and join us on this crazy full of life and heartbreak journey. Our goal is to provide sustainable affordable housing and the necessary tools and connections to help people get back on their feet, but also to start educating those who truly don’t understand the complexities of the homeless it isn’t always what it seems. Granted sometimes it is and I think there will always be those that won’t come off the streets, but for those that truly want that we HEAR you and we are here like many others. So for those of us on the front lines, I encourage collaboration and communication. And for any of you reading this and it has sparked hopefully something in you to get your hands dirty and cleanse your soul at the same time, support us in our mission, donate, volunteer or give us a call so we can talk further . I will be posting weekly with other personal stories and about our journey and experiences at Project Not Homeless. Be well.
Founder Project Not Homeless