Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From Homeowner To Homeless, Technical Issues & Why We Need to Deploy "Stone Soup" Techniques

Today's episode is brought to you by DSL service that runs as fast as dial-up and the rivalry between code of two blogging platforms....

Hey All! I'm in the process of moving from Blogger to Wordpress and I'd love it if you'd all come with me. I have a bit of behind-the-scenes technical glitches to iron out such as why my post disappeared this morning. Wow I'm glad I just checked because it was completely blank except for the title and the tags. Anyhoo, the new blog is at:


On a side note I'd already customized my permalinks at the new blog BUT I may need to change them so I can redirect the blogspot site directly without losing the custom features I'd set up. Plus all of you RSS readers are now my bestest friends. See what happens when you decide you can handle more responsibility....you get it. If anyone has any tips feel free to email me privately. In the meantime you can still visit me here and at my new net address. Onto the post from what I remember:
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When I read the article "Foreclosures Force Ex-Homeowners To Turn To Shelters in the New York Times yesterday I felt a shudder. Now aside from leveling a jaundiced eye at their decision to feature an African-American woman in peril angle I also took a hard look at how Sheri West wound up in this situation to begin with.

It could be summed up rather quickly. She was a formerly married working class person who lived beyond her means. The divorce wiped her out and once she went from a two-income family to one that was it. Yet there are plenty of people who face financial obstacles and other crises but they don't wind up on the streets.
The first night after she surrendered her house to foreclosure, Sheri West endured the darkness in her Hyundai sedan...The second night, she stayed with a friend, and so it continued for more than a year: Ms. West — mother of three grown children, grandmother to six and great-grandmother to one — passed months on the couches of friends and relatives, and in the front seat of her car...But this fall, she exhausted all options. She had once owned and overseen a group home for homeless people. Now, she succumbed to that status herself, checking in to a shelter.
Now here's a woman who once ran a shelter needing to use the services of one! She has three grown children according to the article. So it begs the question - where's the help from her family? I suspect this is a woman who was very self-sacrificing, someone who went out of her way to help others perhaps to her detriment. When we think of preparing for a rainy day we're not always planning for a monsoon!

That is of course if we plan for that rainy day period. You know how a lot of us women are: we think about family, friends, the neighbors, the entire world before we think of ourselves. It's time to get tough. We must PREPARE OURSELVES FOR SELF-CARE first and foremost. If we've given all we have to others that means there's nothing left for us. People can be fickle once you no longer "amuse" them or give to them and it was un(der)reciprocated to begin with.

There are times we need help. The story of Stone Soup provides a wonder analogy of how people who have little resources on their own can join forces with others to meet the needs of a larger group. There was a village of people withering under the effects of a famine and everyone was hoarding what little they had. A traveler comes to town with a big cast iron pot declaring he's making a stew. People slowly investigate and seeing how sparse the contents are decide to give a few items here and there. Soon it's a hearty amount that feeds everyone.

This is an example of an equal exchange of resources and one we need to deploy more often. How many of you can pool them to help yourself and others to keep someone from sinking the way Ms. West has? Hopefully the added attention will result in a job offer or housing or whatever else she needs but this is something we can all do for someone RIGHT NOW. Let's get out there and make some soup!

2 comments:

Sassy J said...

See ya at the new site!

I haven't read the story yet, but from the synopsis that you provided, Faith, it's heartbreaking...and not so uncommon. My mind immediately went back to your post last week on Paul? and Angie on My First Place. Sherri's situation is once that could happen to ol' girl OR ANY OF US, if we don't think smart.

How sad is it that this woman's children would allow her to sleep in her car and ultimately, in a shelter? It shouldn't have had to come to this.

Brother OMi said...

reading this book called "The Last Centurian." it's post apocalyptic. In it , the author talks about high trust and low trust societies and which ones survive in a major disaster.

when the author meant high trust, he meant societies that are not bound by family or clans but where there are high levels of trust, like those small towns where everyone knows each other and have no qualms about lending a lawn mower to a neighbor.

unfortunately for us, the big cities are places where there are low levels of trust with the exception of NYC in 9/11 (then again, there was a common enemy to blame) ...