I have been instructed to write. This isn’t a task; it’s like breathing to me. I have been a writer since birth (when my first words, “mama” and “papa” were written in yellow snow when my diaper was removed) and I consider myself a writer second only to being a Father to the two best Miracles in the World.
I have been cautious here, however. I want this Project to be LOTS of voices other than mine. It doesn’t have to be “about Dan” but about REAL people hurting.
The goal is to end homelessness. Not in a 10-year Plan, not in a 20-year Plan (because that yardstick will keep moving- TRUST me…) but in an “almost IMMEDIATE” Plan.
That would be New Year’s Eve, 2012. Less than two years away. That’s my new Goal. END homelessness before the New Year 2013 begins. I’m NOT kidding.
Pretend it’s a Middle East country we need to immediately bomb. Pretend it’s an epidemic or a terrorist attack or a serial killing spree, or the repeal of minority civil rights, or the repeal of the suffrage movement, or the end of Special Olympics and the horrid treatment that vulnerable community received until a family named Shriver came along. Pretend HOMELESSNESS consists of the MOST vulnerable people in our Community and enlist the mantra of Mother Teresa herself, who TRULY “walked the walk” in her life. “If you take time to judge people, you won’t have time to love them.”
Most people think that it’s useless to try. Why bother? Then let’s just go back to the dark ages of no votes for women, segregated restaurants, high curbed sidewalks for those in wheelchairs, no choice in vocations or careers like marriages or military. Why bother? WHY BOTHER?!?…Really? We’ll always have “it” with us?
BECAUSE…it’s the RIGHT thing to do. Duh!
This is NOT brain surgery. We don’t need lasers. THAT is difficult. This is easy. Truly. A cot and warmth for 5 million of our citizens each year (including 1.5 million children) aint no BIG THANNNNGGGGG……. My rant is done…for NOW!
So, I’ll write- a typical week… looks like this (using this week) of my own time:
Tuesday: Write Proposals for the three production companies I’ve met with. These include mission statements, budgets, and focus of Momentary Times. Two produce independent documentaries with a focus on “social conscienceness” and one produces half hour episode series in regional markets.
Wednesday: Meet with volunteer who is helping with data management (all the filming and audio is very cool high definition digital that makes a GREAT look and also takes time to “manage” in computers). Work with volunteer videographer as we film families (including children), case managers, and administrators at family homeless shelter. Spend three hours over hot tea with my amazing daughter (21) as we solve all the REST of the World’s problems other than homelessness.
Thursday: Will film a NH rally at the state capital of Concord (a mini-Wisconsin-like event) as the state budget has been announced. Those silly, silly children, families, and mentally ill people are S-O-L, evidently. Hand out Momentary Times business cards and hope some of the thousands of people at rally are motivated enough to e-mail me to request their voices being heard for more interviews. Perhaps most folks will be “spent” after the 12-1pm rally; perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Film (2:30pm) a few hours at Concord, NH shelter with Directors and clients. Spend rest of day there until a church arrives with hot meals for their monthly “gift” and I’ll stay and assist with this—direct service is the part I most achingly miss from my regular job on west coast. I may even partake of some “carbs” after all are done eating. Woo Hoo!
Friday: Film elderly, low-income clients in Keene, NH and those that care for them. Also, set-up meetings for next week with the already-established transitional housing people in the area, and the town officials and faith-based community members in Jaffrey, NH who are working with others on a plan for an emergency family homeless shelter.
Saturday: Work on Marketing, trying to raise the next step of funding to keep the Project rolling. I sense the importance of having film completed THIS year, before the 2012 election year, when focus and attention (timing is everything) will be paid to this issue. THIS Film is truly unique and will stand out and turn heads to make a marked difference. A 10-episode series is also an option and could be more rapidly produced (22 minute segments on each aspect of homelessness) while movie is being edited and distributed.
Saturday evening—Watch my amazing son (23) perform Improv Comedy in southern NH for the evening and drive two hours each way to see him. I’d drive ten hours each way if I had to (for either of my children). Laughing is a VERY good thing!
Sunday: Spend time at the 1269 Cafe in Manchester, NH (see film clips with Jerry and others) who make miracles happen every week working with the forgotten ones. Spend time working to organize a fund raiser in April to help raise the necessary monies to fund the Project. So much to do, so little time, as I head back to west coast on May 1st (driving cross country to get MORE voices heard on video and audio).
Do my personal bills and juggle credit cards, as there’s no actual income with a 4-month “unpaid sabbatical” (details, details…lol) except through the goodness and generosity of donors. Something tells me my credit rating will dip by the time I get back to work on May 15th! Oh well, a hundred years from now, who’s to know?
Monday: Give two (hour-long) presentations at Plymouth State University on the subjects of poverty and homelessness. 8am (ouch- a 90 minute drive!) and Noon. These are abbreviated versions of my two-hour workshop (given at Washington State Conferences in 2009 and 2010) with the title of “Hospitality, Humor, and Homelessness” (an original production).
Send Production proposals out to folks, plan the upcoming week, and ALL of this is done…..
…while I “log-cabin-sit” (with three dogs) on a deserted 25-acre piece of land that was donated for my time here, by a fan of Momentary Times who I first met nearly 24 years ago. I am grateful for the place and the dogs (awake at 5:30am), wood stove, yard work, and regular maintenance/ repairs are often welcome respite from the pounding my brain takes as it ponders…..
…the complete IDIOCY of Homelessness in our great country of America in the Year 2011.
Now—STILL want me to write?…..lol….I need your feedback. Stay well—I appreciate all that YOU do on a daily basis in your busy lives. Truly. Keep Smiling…Peace, Dan