I want to thank the 125 people who, at some point, visited this site. As far as thesis projects go, I am incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to conduct mine as I have. As of today, I will no longer be updating this blog as frequently as I have in the past, however, I am not completely shutting it down. I still receive information concerning homelessness in the area, and this problem is far from being solved any time soon, so I will continue to share updates about events, organizations, tools, etc. that I know of.
For example, the Maryville College Habitat for Humanity club is currently hosting a soccer tournament to benefit a branch of the organization in another country. The championship game is this Thursday at 4 down at the practice fields, so if you attend MC, go out to support this awesome group and enjoy what should be a good game.
I am going to be quite busy these next few weeks editing my final thesis and preparing for finals, but I hope that you stick around. Thank you for your readership and I hope you have at least enjoyed my blog, if not learned from and been challenged by it.
As a subgroup of the homeless population, veterans stand out especially. In honor of Veteran’s Day, I want to dedicate this post to covering issues many American veterans must face that make them vulnerable to homelessness. However, I am far from an expert in these matters so I sat down with John at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs to ask a few questions.
This post is largely for those of you who have worked with a non-profit (or are running one) and have either had a need for a particular service or had a client with a need for a particular service that you didn’t know how to find or contact. Well, thanks to Foothills Care, Inc., there is a directory, sorted by county and genre of service, to help you find the help you need.
Though it’s early in November, I can’t stop listening to Christmas carols (especially the “Glee” renditions), but I’m not the only one with Christmas on the mind. ‘Tis the season for non-profits to start organizing campaigns for gifts to give the children of less fortunate families. For smaller organizations, this is a difficult task and many of them must rely on larger non-profits who are more able to mobilize Santa’s troops throughout the community to collect donated toys for all the poor children’s Christmas joys.
So for you smaller non-profits hoping to make this Christmas a good one for the children you serve, here are a few organizations already taking steps and applications for Christmas aid:
Tennessee Association of Community Action (call and ask about their Christmas Clearinghouse)
The Knoxville Sentinel’s Empty Stocking Fund
The Salvation Army’s Christmas Charity
Toys for Tots (via Goodwill)
And if you’re not already actively involved with a non-profit but you’d like to make a difference this holiday season, these are some great charities that you can help organize toy drives for, donate money to, or simply volunteer your time at… ever wanted to dress up like Santa and ring that bell yourself? The links above detail how you can get involved!
This morning I walked out to my car and saw something horrible: the girl parked next to me was scraping ice off her windshield. As I write this, I am comfortably curled up in my bed with the heater gently blowing throughout our little house, but there are many people that are not as fortunate as I am to have such a safe, warm place to sleep and escape the cold night. Pastor Kip Worrell saw such a need in Morristown and opened the doors of the Life Center Church, inviting the area homeless during the winter months into the “Warming Station” for a meal and a warm place to sleep.
Tomorrow morning a group of deserving yet struggling area veterans will receive assistance with some of the basics many of us take for granted every day. Thanks to a conglomeration of volunteer associations that recognized the need and are taking action, the Knoxville Area Veterans Stand Down will provide food, medical care (dental, vision and flu shots), clothing, legal assistance, and information regarding VA benefits, job placement and spiritual growth to veterans.
What, exactly, is the purpose of Halloween? While I love dressing up and eating so much candy that I worry I may slip into a diabetic coma, there isn’t a lot of depth to the day. Maybe it’s a time for us to pay credence to some darker side of life, to recognize that not everything is sunshine and rainbows. Perhaps we seek to satisfy some inherent morbid curiosity for the disturbing and macabre that exists in the world and our imaginations. Or maybe it’s just an excuse for co-eds to show off their cleavage and claim they can’t be judged for it. I’m not really sure.
Sometimes images can say a lot more than words.
See Chuck Ferris’ Visual Exploration of the Homeless Community.
Since the last few posts have been kind of number-centric, I wanted to share one final and very important number with you: 2-1-1. Just like you’d dial 9-1-1 for an emergency, 2-1-1 is a phone number people can call when they need help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling, etc.
Basically, when a person needs a particular social service they can call that number and tell the operator what their needs are and the operator will locate agencies near them where they might find help.
I love this concept because, even if you don’t have spare change to give someone you see begging on the street, you can at least tell them to call this number for help. It doesn’t cost you anything except a place in your memory.
This is also a great way for people like YOU to get hooked up with volunteer opportunities. If you want to volunteer for a particular cause but aren’t sure what local places are nearby that serve the need, you can call 2-1-1 and they’ll hook you up.
A really functional aspect of this service is that it’s national with local operators, so even if you aren’t in East Tennessee, you can still use and recommend this service (e.g. if you are on vacation somewhere and you see someone that needs help, or you move after college and are looking for ways to get involved with your new community).
According to its website, 2-1-1 was launched in 1997 by the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta and now reaches 47 states and Washington, D.C.