Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Quiet Rooms…

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 Q

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

QUIET ROOM

I once told Sophie I just wanted to go up into my quiet room and relax. She told me she hated quiet rooms. Knowing the answer would probably rip my heart out I asked, “why?”

“When that girl beat me up and took all my Elvis collectibles, I asked the manager of the storage place to call the police. She called the police and they took me to the hospital. The officer and the hospital staff did not believe I was beat up because the woman at the storage place told them I was nuts. The cop wouldn’t let me take my stuff.  My grocery bags had everything I owned in them.

Because I was screaming and in pain the nurse in the emergency room sent me to the mental health ward. I kept telling them I was hurt. They put me in a straightjacket and put me in the quiet room. They told me someone would let me out soon. I was in there for twenty-four hours. I peed all over myself and couldn’t talk or see from crying so much. I was more terrified than I was of the junkies in the woods.

My back and my arm hurt so badly.

The next day they told me I could go. I walked out of the hospital wearing wet clothes and it was so cold. I walked to McDonalds to get a burger and some water and went back to the woods.”

The time patients are kept in ‘the quiet room’ or ‘the padded cell’ varies but it could be several days. This is still a common occurrence in America.

WTH

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

Choose Kindness…

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 k

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

A to Z KINDNESS BANNER

Some psychologists believe that ‘being nice’ isn’t really so nice after all. They believe being nice actually comes from a fear. We ‘act’ nice towards someone because we want to be liked or we fear what others will think of us if we are not perceived of as a ‘nice’ person. As kids, especially little girls we were constantly told to ‘be nice’ and to ‘be good’ even to people we didn’t like. We were taught to keep the peace at all cost even if we were filled with hate. Some girls learned how to use niceness as a way to get what they wanted or as a way to gain power. Being nice is telling the cashier in the supermarket to have a nice day because it sounds good but actually you could care less what kind of day she has.

Cashier sad

Overly nice people usually have very low self- esteem and are only nice so they can feel better about themselves and so others will like them.

Being overly nice can put you at risk of being used and mistreated. It can leave you feeling powerless and out of control. It can cause unhappiness and even illness.

Being nice is being selfish.

Kindness on the other hand comes from real love, compassion and empathy towards fellow human beings and all living things. Compassion and empathy are real needs that some people have to help others or ourselves. It makes kindness the total opposite of being nice. Being kind is looking that cashier in the eye and saying, “It looks like you are very busy today. I hope you are done soon and can go home and relax,” and meaning every word. Being kind is opening and holding the door for an elderly woman, looking her in the eye and then taking her bags to her car for her. It is easy for kind people to be assertive because they care as much about themselves as they do others. They earn and expect respect.

Quote always be kind

Kindness is not a feeling it is a choice. It is a character quality that we can work on until it comes naturally. It is choosing to do the right thing even when the right thing is the hardest to do. There is a direct correlation between being kind and being happy. When we are truly good to others out of love we feel real happiness.

Being kind is being selfless.

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard.

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

I am excited to be working with this bunch of fabulous bloggers …

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris

Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

Indigent…

 

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 i

My theme this year is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

Indigent-

adjective (Formal) destitute, poor, impoverished, needy, penniless, poverty-stricken, down and out, so poor as to lack even necessities; very needy,in want, down at heel (informal), impecunious, dirt-poor, straitened, on the breadline, short, flat broke (informal), penurious, necessitous

One of my readers called me the other night and told me this story. She needed a place to live for herself and her elderly mother. A friend suggested she take over the lease on her trailer. The woman moved herself, her mother, her dog and a couple of smaller animals into the trailer.

Right from day one she had problems with the landlord. He told her he wanted her to move. He had someone he wanted to offer the lease to. Months went by and he continued to harass her and her mother. She reached out to her county agency on aging and her county representatives for help with the harassment. Their idea of helping her was to take custody of her mother and assign a guardian. She was placed in a horrible place. The woman was then served eviction papers, had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. She called animal rescue from the mental ward and asked them to go get her pets. She got a little better and was moved into transitional housing. She was fined by animal control ($500.00) for leaving her animals.

664993_4446630479510_1139553004_o

The woman lost all of her belongings, her pets and her mother.

My heart was breaking listening to this story.

This woman was indigent in every sense of the word but she was strong, educated and determined. Every agency that was supposed to give her a hand up instead did everything they could to keep her under the soles of their shoes.

hand-up

Should the woman have been prepared for a rainy day, had some savings, a support network? Of course she should and she did. She was prepared for the rainy day not a tsunami.

The good news is this woman is on her way back to the top. She no longer wants to be a victim and she doesn’t want to fight organizations and politicians anymore. She is moving forward and plans to start a rescue for pets left in the situation her beloved pets were in when she was indigent, hospitalized and completely hopeless.

She is speaking this weekend, let’s wish her luck!

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard.

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

 I am excited to be working with this bunch of fabulous bloggers …

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

 

Hospitals and Homelessness…

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 h

My theme this year is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

Hospitals and Homelessness

Angelo Solis was a homeless man in his 60’s. He was also an alcoholic. When he would pass out in public the police and an ambulance would be called. They would take him to the hospital emergency room. Doctors would admit him, treat his chronic health problems, detox him and then release him. He would get drunk, pass out and the police would repeat the process. Because he slept outside his diabetes and heart condition could never be properly treated. Over a three-year period the medical bills alone totaled more than a million dollars and were paid for by the taxpayers.

Emergency

Angelo was only one case. San Francisco allocates thirty-million dollars of its one trillion dollar Health Department budget to cases like this.

Just imagine how many apartments could be rented, social worker salaries and mental health services could be bought with a thirty-million dollar a year budget. Imagine if done all over the country.

I imagine it could end homelessness.

A mother and her one-year-old son spent their nights shuttling between a hospital emergency room and Transit Station after a friend kicked them out. Another woman, eight months pregnant, huddled overnight on a beach with her 3-year-old. Neither of the women could get into a shelter because they couldn’t prove sleeping outside caused a health risk to them.

I’m thinking the children could wonder off and be hit by a car while the mother’s slept or be abducted. The women were at risk of being sexually assaulted. (One actually was sexually assaulted in a shelter.)

Hospital emergency rooms all over America are being overused and overwhelmed with homeless, mentally ill and addicted patients. The police, first responders and family members are using ER’s as default landing zones for those in crisis. Our first responders are good people and they want to help. We need to provide them with realistic and safe solutions. Either these emergency rooms need to be equipped, trained and staffed to be a viable solution to this epidemic or we must demand their revolving doors be closed.

Emergency room door

 

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard.

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

I am excited to be working with this bunch of fabulous bloggers …

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Empowerment Plan…

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 e

My theme this year is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of, Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years.

 

 

Empowerment Plan

I would like you to meet Veronika Scott. She is the CEO and founder of the Empowerment Plan. This beautiful, smart and inspiring young woman has renewed my faith and hope in our young people:

 

https://youtu.be/mo-kvh1w60w

Talk about walking the walk.

Mission Statement– The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the homeless community. Our goal is to help build a better life for those that have become trapped in the cycle of homelessness. We mostly hire homeless parents from local shelters to become full time seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and gain back their independence for themselves and for their families.

The Empower Team

The individuals they hire are trained to manufacture a coat that transforms into a sleeping bag at night, and a bag when not in use.  The coats are distributed to homeless people living on the streets at no cost to them through partnerships we have established with outreach organizations in communities around the nation.

​They believe in giving second chances to those who want it, and providing warmth to those who need it.

For more information, to write a post to spread the word or to donate:

http://www.empowermentplan.org

 

HUD Homes…

Welcome to my blog and today’s post which is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on this amazing challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

A to Z 2015 Badge*

My theme this year is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of, Sophie.  Sophie is the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The night that she walked through our front door changed me.

That book will be out later this year.

So; I decided this year’s posts will be on programs that actually help the homeless and the mentally ill, programs that don’t, when did homelessness become a problem and what or who caused it, famous homeless people, famous people that help the homeless and the mentally ill, what you can do that will help in a real way and a whole alphabet more…

Todays’ letter is:

a-z 2015 D

 

 

Department of HUD

Mission Statement- HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and to transform the way HUD does business.

This department was established on September 9, 1965, when Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act into law.

HUD is administered by the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. *Julian Castro, a former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, is the current and 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Julian Castro HUD

The secretary is responsible for dozens of programs, as diverse as the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise and the Office of Lead-Based Paint. In addition, the secretary appoints representatives or personally sits on dozens of committees, boards and commissions outside of the department. Commissions, councils and task forces on housing for minorities, the elderly, children and people with disabilities all have HUD members. Veterans Affairs and HUD have a joint committee on homeless veterans. The secretary must be familiar enough with the work of each and the HUD’s position on each to make recommendations to the president.

The quality of data on homelessness has improved considerably, due, in part, to initiatives by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the US Department of Health and Human Services, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and several nongovernmental organizations working with homeless populations. Since 2007, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued an Annual Homeless Assessment Report, which revealed the number of individuals and families that were homeless, both sheltered and unsheltered.

HUD is large. It employs thousands of people and oversees hundreds of programs. Just one thing that falls under HUD is buying abandoned and/or blighted properties, refurbishing them and either renting them to a low-income tenant or selling them to a lower income buyer.

A to Z Blighted home

I have so many criticisms of this organization. Like most government organizations it is wrought with corruption and waste but for this post I am going to keep it simple. I have only one question:

There are nearly four-million homeless Americans and the numbers are growing. Why are there more ‘empty’ government owned HUD properties, in fact thousands more than there are actual homeless people? Instead of paying government executives hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide reports and to provide grants to hundreds and hundreds of ‘hamster wheel’ referral agencies that do nothing to assist the homeless wouldn’t it make sense to just fix the properties you have, place homeless people into those properties and provide them with a social worker so that within a year they could be paying you rent?

A to Z Homeless Family

It will never happen because too many people would be bumped off of their gravy train including but not limited to politicians on all sides and unions.

* President Obama’s head of the scandal-plagued Department of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro, as the mayor of San Antonio misspent that agency’s funds-allocated to improve low-rent properties, according to a federal audit.

Another previous mayor of San Antonio who ran HUD pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about payments to a mistress. His name was Henry Cisneros and he was appointed by Bill Clinton. Actually HUD has been rocked by a number of scandals under both Democrat and Republican administrations, over the years. George W. Bush’s HUD secretary, Alphonso Jackson, was forced to resign in the midst of a federal investigation involving cronyism. Ronald Reagan’s HUD secretary, Samuel Pierce, was embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal that saw 16 people, including some of his top aides at the agency, convicted.

I could go on and on and on but will suffice to say that HUD needs to be destroyed from the top all the way down to all of its’ dirty little cracks and crevices. It needs to be replaced with one office, one leader and several employees. They need to hire legitimate companies to refurbish properties, move people in and provide them with a social worker. This would save taxpayers billions of dollars that could be used to create jobs and that would help to prevent homelessness.

A-Z Department_of_Housing_and_Urban_Development

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

For this years’ A-Z Challenge I am a minion (challenge helper) for the lovely co-host :

Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

Meet the other minions:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan  –   Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

*Tina was a blogger and a dear friend that we lost in August. She loved the A-Z Challenge and was a friend and inspiration to all bloggers.

 

 

 

 

 

The Scoop…

Typewriter envy

                                       My Writing Process…

Thank you to Kim Tackett for inviting me to share my writing process. It has been so interesting to read the process of some of my favorite writers. You can read Kim’s writing process here:

http://www.fiftyfiftyvision.com

 

Why do I write what I write?  

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300 Fraggin Fantastic Fragments and Heaven is for Real…

 

Today we are celebrating the 300th edition of Friday Fragments.  Congratulations to the creator of Friday Fragments and our lovely host Mrs. 4444!

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post and leave a link back to Half-Past Kissin’ Time in your post.

http://www.halfpastkissintime.com

Friday Fragmets Celebration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My weeks seem to be running into each other more lately than usual. It has been difficult to stick to one of my New Years Goals which is to be present in and feel each moment. I suppose I need more practice.

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Down in the Dumps or Depression? The A-Z’s of Mental Health

 

For the month of April I am participating in the annual A-Z Blogging Challenge. The Challenge was started by author/blogger, Arlee Byrd. http://tossingitout.blogspot.com

  Each day of the month (except Sundays) we will post something based on that days correlating letter. Some of us chose a theme and others are winging it. My theme is the A-to-Z’s of Mental Health, Raising Awareness. It is a topic that is very close to my heart. I hope you find the posts interesting and you will comment and share the posts everywhere. To see a complete list of the participants or for more information-click on the badge over there to the right>

Today’s letter is D

A-Z Letter D

 

 

 

 

 

DEPRESSION

Every single one of us at some time in our life will experience some form of depression. For most of us it isn’t serious. The sad, discouraged or blue feelings will pass after a few days. For some people those feelings linger for weeks, even months.  If you have been feeling sad for longer than two weeks you need to see a doctor.

  • 1 in 10 U.S. Adults has some form of depression
  • 3.4% of those have major depression
  • For people between the ages of 10-24 suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death

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10 Suggestions to help you achieve your 2014 goals…

 

 

InsecureWritersSupportGroup3

http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions a few years ago and moved on to creating New Year’s Goals. This year I am also planning to have a ‘word’ of the year. A word, that reminds me to focus on those goals.  It took me a few years to get serious about my goal list but I believe 2013 was one of my most successful thus far at achieving those goals. My list of goals for 2014 isn’t quite finished yet so I thought I would share a list of suggestions that helped me to achieve my 2013 goals.

     1.  Quit worrying NOW! Worrying is nothing but a major time suck. It is like running on a hamster wheel. You will use all of your energy and get nowhere. Worrying will NEVER change the outcome of ANYTHING.

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