The Intermittent Volunteer’s Weblog

Befriending People in Dallas Who Are Homeless

Race, Opioid Addiction, & Crack Cocaine March 30, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

 

Race, Opioid Addiction, & Crack Cocaine

A brief essay on how race may impact our approach to drug addiction.  Worth watching and considering…

 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/there-was-no-wave-of-compassion-when-addicts-were-hooked-on-crack/

 

Poetry From Prison: From Jail to Yale January 13, 2016

Filed under: Communication,healing,inspiration,Leadership,peace,Racism,Solutions — Karen Shafer @ 10:08 pm

Wednesday, January 17, 2016

 

Poetry From Prison:  From Jail to Yale

 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/stuck-behind-bars-a-writer-found-a-way-to-connect-to-the-world/

 

Please Watch This Video If You Are Concerned About Race In America. September 5, 2015

Filed under: inspiration,Leadership,peace,Solutions — Karen Shafer @ 9:24 pm

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy

I came across this interview with Bryan Stevenson by Charlie Rose by accident last evening, and this man is my new hero…  what a beautiful, humble human being.  It is riveting television, and I think he has it exactly right about race in America.  I hope you’ll take the time to watch it.

If you have trouble with the link, go to http://www.hulu.com, search “Bryan Stevenson + Charlie Rose” and click on the first video.

Bryan Stevenson’s book is called Just Mercy.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-mercy-bryan-stevenson/1120199052?ean=9780812984965

 

Is WIFI in Schools Safe? August 21, 2015

Filed under: and a little child shall lead them,Sensible technology,Solutions — Karen Shafer @ 9:39 pm

Friday, August 21, 2015

Allergic to WIFI

For quite a while now — 2-3/4 years, since sustaining a concussion which was one of several over time — I have been a “canary in the coal mine” on the subject of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity:   an “allergy”, for want of a better word, to electromagnetic fields such as those caused by cell phones and wireless internet.  This is not a fun cultural role to play:  it is extremely isolating, frightening, frustrating, and, at times, dispiriting.

With the explosion in diagnoses of autism, anxiety, depression and other neurological disorders among children, a growing number of scientists and citizens are adding their voices to concerns about the harm this radiation pollution can cause, particularly to children and young adults who are still developing.  Here is an article from Boston Parents magazine that is worth considering.

http://bostonparentspaper.com/article/is-wi-fi-in-schools-safe.html

KS

 

An Oasis in a Food Desert August 7, 2015

Filed under: healing,hunger,inspiration,Leadership,peace,Solutions — Karen Shafer @ 8:59 pm

Friday, August 7, 2015

 

Building an Oasis in a Philadelphia Food Desert

 

This story is so inspiring!  We’ve become familiar with the extreme difficulty that people living in poverty face in accessing fresh produce and healthy food, and also with the barriers faced by those who have formerly been incarcerated in securing employment after release.  Here is a wonderful man — a grocer — who is solving both these problems in an exceptional way.

 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/building-oasis-philadelphia-food-desert/

 

 

 

Bored & Brilliant January 29, 2015

Filed under: inspiration,peace,Random Post,Solutions,The Natural World — Karen Shafer @ 9:14 pm

Thursday, January 29, 2015

 

Bored & Brilliant

 

Those who know me even a little know I’m a fan of unplugging from technology — mild understate.  I’ve gone so far as to ban electronics for a week on family beach vacations…  if I felt I could get by with it.  Slightly autocratic I admit, but the results in calmer grandchildren who let their creativity shine amidst this “boredom” and wonderful conversations between adults — not to mention just gazing out at the scenery as opposed to down at the electronic device — was impressive.  Of course, this does not mean that one can’t be creative with and through technology.  Still…  Needless to say, I was interested to hear this interview on the BBC World Service.

 

Slight conundrum:  participating in this project of unplugging from technology requires an “App”!  (It’s only in the last couple of years that I figured out what that word even means.)  And this project comes through a website called “New Tech City.”  But even a luddite was impressed with and intrigued by this interview.  Also, yes, I am aware that, once again, I am putting this “out there” on a computer through WIFI.

 

http://www.wnyc.org/series/bored-and-brilliant/?utm_source=showpage&utm_medium=treatment&utm_campaign=featured&utm_content=item0

 

Coercion or Cooperation? January 10, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Coercion or Cooperation?

Pine Street Inn in Boston, Massachusetts, New England’s largest resource for homeless men and women, sends Outreach vans onto the city’s streets 365 nights per year — in the cold, snow and rain — offering homeless men and women help in the form of warm blankets, hot meals, clean clothes and transportation to shelter.  The journal below allows us to follow a van on one night’s journey and details some of the experiences of the shelter’s outreach volunteers.

Imagine just for a moment that you are one of the homeless women or men described in the article.  As you read, ask yourself whether you would respond better to the approach used by Pine Street — one of respect and trust building — or to the methods used by many other cities, which often includes this choice:  “Do you want to go to a shelter or go to jail?”  KS

 

 

One Night’s Journey

December 2011

Have you ever wondered what happens to Boston’s homeless men and women on cold winter nights?



Every night, Pine Street Inn’s Outreach vans head out, loaded with warm blankets, hot meals and clean clothes, offering rides to shelter. Through the cold and snow, the Outreach teams crisscross the city from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., serving people in need.

Here are just a few of the situations that Outreach counselors Nelson, Vincent and Maggie encounter during one night on the vans.

10:05 p.m., Financial District

Outreach counselors find two homeless women in their 60s, Susan and Annie, huddled together in an alley. Susan was assaulted the previous night, and Annie is determined to stay by her side “to protect her.” Maggie offers the women hot soup and a sandwich. She listens as they tell their story, but senses that it will take time to build their trust before they will accept a ride to the shelter. Reluctantly, the Outreach team moves on, but they will check on Susan and Annie again tomorrow.

1:30 a.m., Washington Crossing

Outside a coffee shop, the Outreach team finds Donald, whom they have encouraged to go to shelter before. Tonight, he accepts a ride to Pine Street. On the way, Donald tells the counselors that he has been sick. By the time the van arrives at Pine Street, Vincent has arranged for Donald to see a doctor the next morning.

3:45 a.m., Boston Common

It’s cold and raining when Nelson spots a light coming from under a bridge. There, Nelson finds James, who is trying to stay dry. Nelson has known James for three months and is slowly trying to build his trust and convince him to spend the night at Pine Street. James has not been ready in the past, but tonight when Nelson asks if he’d like a ride to the shelter, James says “yes.”

A warm bed and a hot meal were his first steps on the road to a better life. Today – with the help of Pine Street – James has a full-time job and is living in his own apartment.

5:00 a.m., Pine Street Inn

The outreach vans return to Pine Street and the counselors meet to talk about the individuals they spoke with the night before and prepare for the next night’s journey.

Video link: “Human Dignity is Paramount:

http://www.pinestreetinn.org/about_history.php

http://www.pinestreetinn.org/