Give me some ideas?

Discussion in 'Old Hippies' started by Goddess Om, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. Goddess Om

    Goddess Om Member

    I have this 'calling' (I think). In 2001 when I passed through LA on my way to somewhere else, I was struck by the numbers of homeless people near the backpackers hostel I stayed at in Santa Monica.
    So I spoke to some of them, and felt that I really wanted to help them in whatever way (big or small) I could. I was only staying there for a day, but I really hoped I could one day find my way back and help out.
    Well, that's fine and good, but I live in Australia, so its not like I can just pop in and out of LA whenever I feel like it. And it costs a damn fortune to get over there in the first place. Like most hippies I am not rich. But I still have this dream. I figure I just need some ideas about how it could turn into a reality (without relying on having to win the lottery etc).
    I have thought about finding a volunteer organisation that helps homeless people, but I'd still need somewhere to stay and some way to feed myself etc. I even thought about joining the Hare Krishna's in LA just so I could go and give out some free food, but I'm not sure how they feel about non-Hare's helping out.
    So I thought I'd see if anyone has a good suggestion of how this could be done...
    I just keep remembering two people from my time there. A lovely and kind old homeless woman who was helping the others sew up holes in their clothes and encouraging them to keep being positive and not give up hope. When I spoke to her and told her I was going back to Oz, she said "I hope you leave a piece of your heart here" (how lovely) and I promised her I would.
    And I remember a homeless young man, about 30 I guess, who also had a psychiatric type of problem and he was having heated philosophical discussions with non-visible entities. I gave him my last $5 for a packet of smokes just before I left, and I still worry about him to this day.
    My heart still calls me back there, so any good ideas would be really appreciated.
     
  2. shameless_heifer

    shameless_heifer Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Brightest Blessings Goddess Om,
    What a wonderful dream you have.
    When I lived in the Haight so many years ago. I too, saw and felt the suffering of the homeless. I remember it was around 73' and I had been watching this little old man in a black overcoat and black hat digging through the trash evry morning on the corner of Haight and Cole for several years. The trash can he rummaged through was located across from the donut shop and I guess he was looking for bits and pieces of donuts. I was compelled one day to do something about it. I had been involved in orgaizing free concerts in the Panhandle Park and did some distributing of free food back in the Diggers Day and while I was with the commune I live at.
    I know you can't do this yourself as you are not close enough, but maybe you will find someone in LA that will help you .
    This is what I did to get some food out to the hungry.
    I went from store to store and asked for the food that was to be thrown out. I went to resturants and asked for day old stuff to feed to the hungry. I called hospitials that were closing and asked for old utinsels. I got a whole kitchen donated to me one time from a hospital that was closing. I ran a five dollar add in the paper for donations. I panhandled spare change to add to the pot. I hit up the hippies on the street for donations.
    I was cooking in my own kitchen and serving in my backyard. I had two gals that helped me cook and serve. We served 50 to 60 people everyday for a year. Soon we had more than we could handle. We were not prepared for the masses of hungry people that began to show up at all hours to eat. We needed a mission for them to eat and sleep at, but we didn't have the man power, or a building.
    Things soon got to the point where I had to move. There were people sleeping in my doorway and sleeping in my backyard. Drugs started to show their ugly face and druggies and drunks started fighting and it became a mess. It turn out that I was just making it eaiser for people to spend their money on drugs and alcohol and eat at my place free.
    What was needed was more organized facilities and security to keep the peace. More people helping with the cooking, serving and cleanup. The supplies came easy the donations poured in steadily. It would have worked longer if there had been more people involved to do the actual work.
    I hope you find the ones you need to fullfil your dream to Feed The People. Keep on keeping on Goddess Om. Blessed Be.
     
  3. Wow, both of these posts are really beautiful and inspiring. You are both really caring women. I wish there was more we could do, but having known a few homeless people (even in my family) I came to realize that you can't really help them when they don't want to be helped. A couple of things struck me from both of your posts. Goddess Om, you said you gave that guy your last 5$ so he could buy a pack of cigarettes? And Shameless Heifer, you said all was fine until drugs and alcohol came rearing their ugly heads. I, too have had similar experiences. Everytime I have food that I know I won't eat or clothes that I won't wear I'll go find the nearest group of homeless people (there are alot where I live) and I'll give them away. However, the majority of these people are druggies or alcoholics and have actually told me that they would rather have $. When I asked why, they said so they could buy beer. I'm not saying all homeless people are like this, in fact some are quite grateful with the food and clothing. However, most of these people are dealing with some sort of an addiction whether it be drugs, alcohol, gambling (yes, I know people that have spent every cent on gambling so much so that they've remained homeless for 10 years) or whatever. We have to be careful that we know the difference between helping these people and enabling them to carry on with their self defeating lifestyles. Anyway, I wish you lots of love and luck in your dream and hope you are able to spread that out into the world.
     
  4. shameless_heifer

    shameless_heifer Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Lotus,
    I know what you are saying. I noticed that when the addicts started showing up the others, with the families or just the old ones left and a lot of them didn't come back. When I relized what was happening, that's when I moved.
    But to do this thing that Goddess Om is being compelled to do is a beautiful thing to offer. I wish her the best in her endevor.
    I pray there is some there in LA that can assist her. To pick up and carry some of the load, to make a contritution in any way they can. There are far too many right here in our own backyrad that need a little love and kindness. To be shown respect and reaching out to make a diference. Love moves mountains.
    I pray for this to happen with grace in a perfect way.. Blessed Be.
     
  5. peacedaisy

    peacedaisy Member

    This is truly beautiful what you are trying to accomplish. I'm not very helpful with giving ideas but I try my hardest to help out a brother or sister in need.

    I buy coffee for a few homeless guys, I've crocheted scarves and hats for the shelters. I try my hardest to spread kindness.

    Peace,
    Daisy
     
  6. Goddess Om

    Goddess Om Member

    Shameless my beautiful sister, those are such great ideas and I thank you for them so much. What you did was wonderful,and if I had been there we could have accomplished sooo much! I would have been with you all the way...as always you are an inspiration.

    Lotus, thanks for your great comments and good wishes too. I do understand that many of them have addictions etc., you are right, but even so kindness, consideration and respect is often just as important for what people truly need in their hearts and souls as money is. And I have a lot of that. I have done counselling before, but its about more than that. I can accept people for who they are and I can share compassion, companionship, support as well as whatever material help I may be able to give them. Of course food is essential, but so is just a loving heart and some hope and kindness.

    Peace daisy - I love it that you do what you do too...thanks sweetie.

    You know, when I came back I kept saying to myself "well, there are people here (in Sydney) who need help too, why do I have to go all that way?"...but I do volunteer here with the dying (people dying at home) and have helped people with brain injuries. But somehow that call back to LA sticks with me.

    You know I had a thought this morning.
    That homeless people are here to teach us compassion.
    It is so easy for some people to hear about the millions of starving men, women and children in Africa etc and not feel a kinship with them, for whatever reason, maybe cultural, social differences etc. But these people are right at our doorstep and need our help. And some I spoke to were homeless due to the illness of a family member or a child, and had to sell everything they had. And some people are living so close to the line, that the least little thing can tip them over the edge. The old lady I spoke to had to get out of the place she was living in and had no money to move etc. Some of them were in wheelchairs - Vietnam vets etc. Life can be so hard and we just have to open our hearts or no one has a hope here...
     
  7. There is not enough compassion in the world, but posts like yours are heart warming:) to read.....
     
  8. shameless_heifer

    shameless_heifer Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Goddess Om,
    Once again your words have touched my spirit.
    If it not for my man, I wonder what fate would have befallen me. I am most blessed and fortunate to have all that I do. Some may even call me spoiled, I am so rich. I have not a penny as I give it as soon as I recive it. But my wealth is uncomparable. Love surrounds me and protects me where ever I go. It has not always been so, for there was a time when I too was homeless and hungry. Alone with nothing but a backpack, a mear child of 16 with wide eyes and no sence. But I loved and was soon carried off by my Angel Guide into the sur-realistic kingdom of the Haight.
    I learned Great Lessons and saw many things that at times I wondered if they were even real. But I learned and I loved and had great compassion. I have always been a giver, and known that love was the answer to all the questions I had. I found that when you send harm to someone you get harm back, but when you send love out it grows and returns stronger. It's the nature of frenquencies that you send out and ultimatly returns to the source from which it originates, such is life.
    Putting it out there, whether good or bad, will come back, if we do good daily and so did everyone.. wow.. I can only imagain the LOVE LOVE LOVE that would be radiating through the universe touching each and every soul.. Can ya Dig It!!!

    Goddess Om,
    I'm sure there are ones that are in need of your help right there in your neighborhood.
    I was thinking of having a secret club where we have people looking for the ones in need, them not aware of what you were doing, and giving directly to them, let's say having a fund, where you take one or a family and set them up with a job and place to live, with enough to get them threw one month. After they work for a year and when they get their income tax return, they contribute a little back into the fund. Outside donations would cover food and utillities and such for the next one.
    It wouldn't be hard to set something like this up. I bet there are others that would be willing to help in a situation like this, even more donations to help you reach more people. The ones that you help get set can help with the next ones and so forth, like paying it forward. As the first family moves up they move on to better places to live or work and move over for the next ones.
    Here in the USA, we have a thing called Habitat. This is where people get everything donated to them to build houses for need ones, one at a time.
    I have learn, that I can't heal the world, well, not alone anyway. But with the right Spirit and enough help it can be done, even if it's just one at a time, ONE will get the ball rolling and the LOVE to take it from there. It will do itself with grace in a perfect way. Blessed Be.
     
  9. Goddess Om

    Goddess Om Member

    Thanks darling...
     
  10. Goddess Om

    Goddess Om Member

    You know that's the kind of thing I was thinking, but I did not think of it as a fund, where people could donate etc. I thought of just going and helping out one at a time, or maybe three or four people. A small group that might bond together and encourage and support eachother emotionally and spiritually. Where we figure out just what was needed to get each person back on track...is it clothes so they can go for a job interview, help with a resume, or just driving them to the workplace? Somewhere to shower and get cleaned up, and wash and iron their clothes etc...had really no idea how this could be accomplished financially, but whatever resources I had, could be focussed into the area of greatest need and into some kind of plan...maybe food, clothes, accomodation, job or whatever. You know I respect the right of people to live as they chose, and some probably are ok about living on the street, but the ones who want help and can accept it, they are the ones I'd like to see. Just one at a time is fine. Just to be there beside them and maybe a miracle can happen...ya never know...
     
  11. Goddess Om

    Goddess Om Member

    You know, now I think about it, starting up something like a soup kitchen might be a good starting point, so people could get at least one good meal a day...and while they are eating we could talk to them and encourage them and see if there is anything we could help with. I can see that something worth $10 might seem like an unreachable dream to one homeless person, but so many other people wouldn't even notice it if it went missing...
    Some kind of Foundation might work, non-profit, with a premises that has a kitchen, a bathroom and a couple of beds.
    Shameless, what you did with feeding people from your own kitchen sounds like the sort of thing I would have done...but it would be better to have a place set up away from home. Trouble is religions have money put aside for things like this...ordinary people like me don't...grrrr
     
  12. redresonant

    redresonant Member

    i have worked in shelters soup kitchens etc it works but is only a temporary solution ... we need more people like you who really care to make something work.....people sometimes keep jobs- instead of helping the ones without them.. i really do care ...peter
     
  13. Goddess Om

    Goddess Om Member

    Thanks for your comments, caring and encouragement Peter.
    I was thinking that a soup kitchen might be a bit of a big project to think about anyway.
    Really, if I did manage to get back to LA and get myself some temporary dwelling for a couple of months, or how ever long I was allowed to stay, it may well be that I could only realistically help one person at a time. And that would be fine.

    I would be so happy if it did make a difference to that person's life. And maybe when they got back on their feet, they might be able to help a homeless person too. You know, pay it forward, like Shameless says.

    I can only tell you that if we do open our hearts and live from that Oneness all of our lives would be transformed.

    People who care like all of us here are the ones who start it. We remind people that we are brothers and sisters and that the power of love between each of us is exquisite and transformative.
    I am sure it will happen one day...
     
  14. I really like the pay it forward idea. Goddess Om, I find it really inspiring that you are willing to start with just one at a time. Sometimes that's all it takes to get the ball rolling. Along with the food, clothing, etc., your inspiration may be the thing that people need the most. Just reading what you wrote makes me feel that you are super dedicated to to put your beautiful heart to use and like Shameless Heifer said, it's all about the love and if you can show at least one person that you care about what happens in their life, that just might work. Good luck to you. I live in the San Diego area (not for much longer for if the rent keeps increasing I will soon be homeless myself) but while I'm here if there's anything I can do, let me know.
     
  15. Goddess Om

    Goddess Om Member

    Aww, that's so beautiful of you Lotus - thanks so much!
    I hope your rent doesn't increase by the way! Sydney is the same - everyone's all focussed on buying their own homes, then getting investment properties etc, and us poor old renters just get to pay more and more.
    At least I am lucky to have a good landlord, who is happy for us to stay as long as we like.
    But you know what, if he did ring me up tomorrow and say "sorry, but you'll have to find somewhere else" I would be in big trouble. I couldn't afford to move my stuff and I couldn't afford to pay the bond and rent in advance that I'd have to pay on a new place before I got my old bond money back. Its a bit scary here too.
    But one thing, we have a good health care system here. God, I hope it doesn't get like in the US. No one here would be made homeless by medical bills, it just wouldn't happen. Maybe they could because of pharmaceutical bills - cost of medications etc, but we can be covered by the public health program for most things. In most respects we do live in the 'lucky country'.

    Really I just want to love and help people, it is as simple as that. I do what I can here, but one day I am sure I will get back to LA if I am meant to
     

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