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Showing posts from June, 2014

The Spirituality of Poverty and Advocacy (SPA)

Once in a while I discuss the spirituality of my homelessness and advocacy while making one of my many speeches to high schools, colleges, universities and churches. That's not to say that I somehow choose to be homeless in order to fulfill a spiritual mission. True spirituality is not mission-based, as a mission has a beginning, a middle and an end. Spirituality is a state of being that has a beginning and no end; therefore, it can't have a middle. My homelessness and advocacy have been spiritual insomuch as I have learned about the horrors that exist in the most powerful country in the world; I have tapped into abilities that I didn't realize I had; and, I have made various spiritual connections in my mind as to how power is attained (or obtained) and used vs. how it should be used.

Wikipedia defines advocacy as:a political process by an individual or group which aims to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social syste…

Ending Homelessness: DC's Failure and the World's Efforts

I am known for a number of things that I do – namely for my homeless advocacy. I'm also known for my bass-baritone singing. Then there is my dancing. But this past Tuesday dozens of people were reminded of my propensity for brutal honesty and for being the bearer of bad tidings. After all, homelessness is bad news and the grim reality is that capitalism is a hurtful system that permeates the world. Those who own or control large sums of money are driven by the profit motive and don't want to do anything that will cut into their ungodly amount of profit – such as lowering rents or feeding the poor. And they surely don't want land to be used for the social good of all by, for example, being made available for poor people to build modest homes on. It is truths like these that caused me to add this slogan to my e-mail signature recently: “Asking an advocate for the poor to be nice is like asking a soldier to fight a war without a weapon”.

On Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 the b…

DC Putting Shelter Closures and Public Housing Demolition on Fast Track

DC Government is putting the closures of multiple homeless shelters on the fast track. As a man of reason, I understand that shelter is meant to be a stepping stone and not a landing pad. Shelter residents usually have permanent, safe, affordable housing as a goal. However, that goal often remains out of reach for Washington, DC's 8,000 homeless and counting as well as the 70,000 who are on the wait list at the DC Housing Authority with DCHA housing approximately 800 to 1,000 people (about 200 families) per year.

Not only is the shelter which the homeless want to get out of being closed; but, the public housing which they seek to move into is being demolished. In either case, the government's argument is the same: “The building was unfit for human habitation”. Oh how sweet! They care too much about the poor to allow them to remain in a dilapidated building; so, they close down the shelter or public housing complex, only to put the residents into hotels, motels or housing situa…