exactly that

Posts tagged ‘homelessness’

Shameless Blegging

I rarely do this, but if any of you were following the Eviction 08 saga, RQ and her Kid have a chance for a place to live that they can afford.  It will mean the end of couch surfing and hot plate make shift dining.  The catch is that they need to come up w/ the first, last and deposit for the place in a little less that two weeks.  It’s not often that I find an opportunity to help even one person actually get into a home, so in addition to the offers RQ has made for generous donors, people making donations of $200 or larger will receive a hand made thank-you sent to a snail mail of your choice (this is the best I can do).  I am going to have to ask her to let me know to whom I should send the cards.

I think we can come up w/ $1600 in two weeks.  If you have the means, please consider helping.

Mahalo and Aloha for your help.


The Lost in Paradise

When you think of Hawai’i, what do you see?  I can almost guarantee that the image of sparkling Waikiki beaches and surfers come to mind.  The tiki torch lit street at night full of boutiques and the Night Market crawling w/ tourists from all over the world.  Perhaps you have read about or even traveled to Hawai’i’s historic North Shore on O’ahu, where after a day on the beach you enjoy one of Matsumoto’s Shave Ice in Hale’iwa.  You may have seen the Shipyard and toured the Arizona Memorial, paying respects to over 1,100 sailors and marines who lie there resting (or perhaps you are one of the people who bring their screaming children and touristy glee to what is literally a grave).  You may have been to the Polynesian Cultural Center and seen the world famous lu’au there.  Hawai’i, especially O’ahu w/ about 80% of the population of the whole state, is a beautiful and famous vacation spot, and some people save their whole lives to visit.  But they rarely see the other side of Hawai’i, the side that is exploited and overlooked.  The side that no one hears about and that no one even considers. (more…)

taking care of those who take care of us

say what you want about the war in iraq.  say what you want about mr. bush and his war.  i certainly do, and have mixed feelings about some of it.  say what you want about the military in general, but there is no excuse to not give respect to the men and women who have served.  many of us chose the military as a way to survive.  a paycheck, a way to take care of our families.  everyone has their own reason.  sometimes there are great opportunities and incredible training and skills you can take w/ you.  it is not the best way all the time, and i will say that the military is in desperate need of rehab in several areas.  “don’t ask don’t tell” pisses me off.  military medicine, while giving coverage to everyone involved, leaves a lot to be desired (b/c it is competing w/ private insurance, and it pays less money…this should not be…private = bad here).  we make far less money than our civilian counterparts doing the same jobs, and are looked at by a lot of the public unfavorably.  probably the biggest atrocity i can think of is the way we treat our veterans.

a shocking (to me…maybe i am not up w/ news) article on bbc really got my panties in a ruffle today.  approximately one in four homeless people are veterans.  i find this unacceptable for several reasons.  the military breeds its troops to be completely dependent on them.  your needs are taken care of, for the most part.  it is a universal system protecting a country that hates universal systems.  it shows.  a good deal of veterans joined the military at a young age, some right out of high school, and not even old enough to vote.  (i have one friend who joined the navy at 17, the day she turned 17.)  they do a few years’ service, and at then end are set loose.  some of them adapt to the ‘outside’ world, many it seems do not.  going through the separation process right now i can see first hand how this happens.  they do a piss poor job of getting people who have never rented their own home or paid their own bills or applied for civilian jobs ready to reemerge.  it’s sad and it is apparently having some really shitty snap back.  (you don’t know this maybe, but i just made a military pun.)  being homeless has a way of hurting your ability to improve your situation.  you are prone to illness, at risk all the time, and can’t even, in most cases, get a job.  a majority of employers will not hire you w/o a physical address.

lucky for me, my separation will find me in a good situation.  i hurt for my brother and sister service members who will not be as lucky as me.  i wish this military happy government of ours would focus a little more attention on its displaced veterans.  the VA does a lot, but it isn’t enough.  we need to find a way to take care of those who have taken care of us.

i leave you with this poem i found on the medal of honor home page in honor of veteran’s day this monday:

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,

who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the courts

who has given us the right to keep and bear arms

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,

who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet,

who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,

who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,

who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,

Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN, who salutes the Flag,

and serves under the flag.”

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