“Arctic air on the way,” headlines read again….
Meet the beautiful, exceptionally precious and compassionate 11 year old, Khole Thompson. As noted in her photo, she raised $50,000 at least for the homeless in Chicago during this horrifically cold weather.
“When an 11-year-year-old girl in suburban Los Angeles learned Monday how cold it would be this week for homeless people in Chicago, she decided to do something about it.
After watching a newscast about the impending cold snap, Khloe Thompson created a GoFundMe page seeking donations for the local Salvation Army, a nonprofit group whose mission includes getting Chicago’s most vulnerable to a warm place this week.”
I went from grateful to enraged at reading; Bill Gates, who in an unrelated article (I believe it’s unrelated) he said,
“You don’t need to have a billion to be happy but it sure does help.” –Read that article here.
Imagine how much money he could have helped Khole donate to people in cities across America that have been severely impacted by the cold.
Then during the research for this post I found a few ways to help, which I’ll post below. That gave me a little hope for humanity…
We need to ensure that hope lasts, through people such as Khole Thompson, and their selfless actions.
The most recent cold is ongoing and there are things people can do in the less impacted states such as Texas,
Here is an excerpt from an article about a homeless man who was stolen from this world because he didn’t have a home in the absolutely freezing weather. This is just, I hope, to bring this to you emotionally; remember these are actual people suffering… Even when it’s not as severe as now, anyone in the more northern parts of the states knows how hard that cold can hit. This is unacceptable please don’t just close this article and move on to the next. Please be as brave as the precious child and the others like her… Check out links below.
The Maslow’s Army are blaming the cold for Martin’s death. They are also renewing their plea for change. The organization advocates for people battling addiction, alcoholism and mental illnesses.
In a Facebook post, Sam and Susan Landis of Maslow’s Army, a nonprofit called the death “unacceptable” and said the city needs a 24-hour a day facility where the homeless can find relief from the cold and heat.
Martin was familiar to members of The Maslow’s Army.
“We met Ken on our first Sunday outreach on Fountain Square almost one year ago. He was inspired to get his life together and began taking steps towards self-improvement,” read the another Facebook post on the Sam and Susan Landis page.
In August, the post said, Martin slipped in his recovery effort but “Maslow’s Army still continued to love on him and support him every way we could offering to take him to detox, meeting his basic needs every encounter including just last week.”
Maslow’s Army intends to continue its fight for a 24-hour shelter, taking its request to city hall. They have their sights set on the old Queensgate jail, a seven-story, 30,000 square foot space, that could house beds, a kitchen and more, Sam Landis said. All the group needs is funding.
There is one point on which Kevin Finn, President of Strategies to End Homelessness, agrees.
“The reality is, there is no reason a homeless person should be sleeping outside right now,” Finn said.
In Hamilton County, there are 12 homeless shelters and in Northern Kentucky, there are six, he said. Some are for families, some for women only, others men only. There are also two drop-in homeless shelters, both open 24 hours a day, one on each side of the river. They have expanded capacity for the winter months.
Shelterhouse, The Barron Center for Men in Queensgate offers an additional 200 beds in its winter shelter space through the end of February. Space is open to men and women. The Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky in Covington expands its shelter space through March, Finn said. Neither has ever reached capacity.
“What they might not know is when the weather gets the way it is now, some of the rules and requirements that are in place during warmer weather months are not required,” he said.
Last year, 90 percent of the area’s homeless people resided in a shelter, Finn said. Another 16 percent stayed outside on the street, the six percent overlap represents people who both went to shelters but also stayed outside.
There are people who, for a variety of reasons, will not go to shelters, Finn said. Reasons can range from mental health disorders, addiction or something else.
For placement or help getting in a homeless shelter, call (513) 381-7233.
Both Susan and Sam Landis have experienced homelessness and addiction. They are also studying for careers in the social service field at Northern Kentucky University. The system is not set up to meet the needs of homeless, Sam Landis said.
“We want to go to city hall and fight this,” Susan Landis said. “Tax dollars are being spent on a stadium and a fraction of this money could be used to help keep people warm. There are many groups out there with multimillion-dollar grants.”
“We still have this problem,” she said. “Let’s face it, something’s not being done.”
Councilman Chris Seelbach was one of the first to tweet the news of Ken Martin’s death. While the coroner has yet to determine the cause of death, Seelbach and others have drawn the conclusion Martin froze to death.
“We must do better,” Seelbach tweeted. “It’s just a matter of priorities. More tax money for those most vulnerable. Less tax money for millionaires and billionaires.”
Exactly where that money would come from and how much, Seelbach didn’t elaborate. He didn’t respond to messages left by The Enquirer.
Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld said he anticipates the council in 2018 will look at the issue of homelessness and make sure there are enough 24-hour shelters to protect people from dangerous weather, either hot or cold.
EVERY LITTLE BIT MATTERS; HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
Do what you can, please… These are some basic, very basic ways to help…
- Volunteers of America Chesapeake’s hypothermia prevention and response programs provide emergency shelter, meals and crisis intervention during the coldest months of the year. These programs serve homeless men and women each night from November through February. The program provides shelter, two hot meals (breakfast and dinner) and a bagged lunch. Also provided is access to case management and medical treatment as well as mental health and substance abuse services.
In addition to the caring professionalism of Volunteers of America Chesapeake’s homeless services staff, this life-saving service wouldn’t be possible without faith partners throughout the region, who open their sanctuaries in partnership with Volunteers of America Chesapeake’s programs to ensure that no one is left in the cold.
2) How We Help End Homelessness
We reach out to homeless individuals through street outreach and mobile outreach services and once we engage with homeless individuals, youth and families with children, we provide assistance that ranges from paying a first month’s rent to offering permanent supportive housing so that people with disabilities can become stable and productive members of their communities. In 2017, we helped over 100,000 homeless individuals.
We have found that, without supportive services, housing is often not enough to end homelessness. From helping homeless youth, to providing assistance in obtaining disability benefits, to providing transportation, to offering intensive job training assistance to homeless veterans, we operate a number of innovative supportive services programs to support our efforts of ending homelessness in America.
While permanent housing, often coupled with supportive services, is the best way to end homelessness, many individuals and families need short-term stabilization before they can find housing that will meet their long term needs. That’s why Volunteers of America, for over 122 years, has provided emergency assistance to homeless persons in the form of homeless shelters.
Since homeless persons can be reluctant to leave the streets and accept emergency shelter or transitional housing, we operate drop-in centers — places where homeless youth or adults can get off the streets and find a temporary safe haven. And often, when homeless persons begin to trust drop-in center staff, they agree to leave the streets and enter transitional or permanent housing.
PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING
For a significant number of homeless Americans with mental or physical impairments, often coupled with drug and/or alcohol use issues, long-term homelessness can only be ended by providing permanent housing coupled with intensive supportive services.
Our transitional housing programs are operated with one goal in mind — to help individuals and families obtain permanent housing as quickly as possible. Our programs serve diverse populations — from women and children who are victims of domestic violence to homeless veterans who have spent years living on the streets.