Mission Statement

Our mission is to warm those in need through knitting, crocheting, looming and quilting. Our NEW hand made items provide hope to those living outdoors and those in temporary shelters. We provide for Men, Women, and Children in Central Ohio all year long. Specific details available by clicking item specific tabs, or the Who we Help Tab. If you have further questions, please contact me via the contact form. ALL DONATIONS MUST INCLUDE A NOTE WITH AN EMAIL ADDRESS.

Followers

GOAL FOR AFGHANS

Afghans
Goal: 36
Start: #26
Current: 27
0.7500%
START
END

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Finding Zen

A-Z=Z-Zen
Ok, today's the last day of the A-Z challenge and Z is not an easy letter to come up with anything associated with homelessness and what we do here on Bridge and Beyond.  My goal, my dream would be to hear there is Zero Homeless Population, but I know that won't happen, certainly not in my lifetime.  And how would I show Zero Homeless in a blog post.  This being the last day, maybe a little levity is in order...some of the posts here have been pretty sad, because frankly the situation is sad and there's little good to post about.  However, even in bad circumstances there are people who make the most of the situation, people with a upbeat personality, people who don't let "it" get to them.  This man strikes me as someone like that.

If there's such a thing as Zen, finding Zen in a homeless situation, this picture might represent it.  Look how creative this man is with his drawing on the underpass wall.  Got a birdcage, a dresser and tv and a window with a blind.  Now, I don't call this living life in the lap of luxury by any means, but clearly he has he things organized, and he looks cleaner then most as do his belongings.  Sleeping on an old mattress in an underpass is not a life I would want, but this man......Gotta hand it to him.  Makes me wonder if he has a job, you know homeless do.

I hope those who've visited through A-Z have learned alot about homelessness, and that you'll continue to visit the blog.  I hope some of you have figured out a way you might help, if not here with Bridge and Beyond, locally in some capacity.  Visiting, commenting, those help the blog reach others, so do come back and cheer on all the helping hands.

Tomorrow then is May, but the work here on Bridge and Beyond continues.  We knit and crochet and donate all year long, not just in the winter months.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Yarn Helps Homeless

 Today is Y for the A-Z Challenge, and Y = Yarn.  This cute and rather fun comic was posted both on Facebook and here on my blog, Bridge and Beyond some time back...thought it was good enough to give it another go round.  I'm a person who doesn't like to shop, if you know me, you've heard me say that 1000 times..........yarn shopping excluded from that statement.
Yarn comes in many colors, weights, and textures and can be made into almost anything you can think of with knitting, crocheting, and looming.  This array of yarn was donated.  Some of these colors you might recognize as being part of The Learning Logs Afghan I've been knitting.

You writers and story tellers may think of something entirely different when you see or hear the word yarn, you may think of stories.  People used to sit on the front porches and spin yarns........tell stories.  Well, yarn as pictured here tells stories too.  The story is how it became yarn, how it jumped into someone's shopping basket wanting to find a home, how it called out to the knitter/crocheter about what item it should become, and then how it warms someone on a cold night sleeping outside, and gives both physical and emotional help/warmth and hope.

Yarn is a powerful thing, and what's made from it.......goodness it tells a story.  A story of how someone you don't know, took their precious time to make something out of love and yarn for just you.  And so there are many stories about yarn and Homeless.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Xenophobia

A-Z Challenge = X= Xenophobia.  Not exactly the easiest letter to work with, and then once the word was found, also not easy to find a photo that works.  Fear of foreigners, fear of someone different is the loose definition of the word.  Though the picture doesn't perhaps show fear...fear often manifests itself into mockery and judging of the other party.  Homeless people are often misunderstood, often made fun of, often mistreated, often judge.  They are judged to be lazy, judged to be criminals, judged to be alcoholics and druggies.  We fear what we don't know, what we don't understand.  Some do choose to be homeless, but many don't.  For many it's just something that happens.  They lose their job and they can't pay bills, and they get evicted.  They have a bad illness which wipes them out financially causing the same effect.  They have a drug or alcohol problem which causes them to fall down the same path.  They come back from service to their country broken, they don't fit in, they can't hold a job, they have mental illnesses left untreated.  There are many reason for homelessness.

One of hardest things for a homeless person to fight is in fact the Xenophobia people have.  People look the other way, they don't want to speak to them out of fear.  They don't want to be asked, with perhaps pleading eyes for help of some kind.  They don't want to be judged.  They don't want to be blamed.

What can you do to help Homeless People?  Donate money, donate clothing, donate time at a soup kitchen, smile and say hello when you pass one.  Donate here through Bridge and Beyond through your time with yarn.  Ask what your church does in your community about homelessness.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Water in DoorWays, Sprays Homeless


Certainly
A-Z Challenge = W=Water Showers and Washcloths
Water and Washcloths go together.  Rather then tell the story in words, I've added this video.  When I first saw the clip, it was just what happened, not the interview and I was appalled that a church would do such a thing.  Seeing it, in more detail it's still quite troubling that they did this.  I see they have a problem, but don't believe this was a very Christian way to solve it.  Now with the church being embarrassed, the practice has ended, let's hope they find a solution for their problem that is more charitable.

We knit and crochet cotton washcloths which are huge hit everyone we donate.  They're used by those living out in the elements, by those in the shelters, and those that transition from shelters to permanent housing.  They're used both as washcloth and as a dishcloth when they're packed in the Welcome Home Packs given to those as they move into their permanent housing situation.

If you missed some of the A-Z Challenge posts, please scroll back to yesterday, Sunday where you'll find a complete list to date.  Only 3 more days/letters left XY and Z.

 All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Wrap of the A-Z Challenge and the Purple Iris Afghan

Purple Iris after being designed.

Purple Iris after it's been completed!  The colors haven't changed, but you know how different things look with different lighting.  First picture was taken with a bit more natural light in the room, and the completed picture with lots of lights on, as it's a dark dreary rainy cold day here in Central Ohio.  This afghan in waiting traveled to Vermont recently and was assembled beautifully by our friend. Sarah S.  Many many thanks Sarah for taking on this project to lend me a hand, much appreciated.   You matched the lavendar perfectly with your edging and joining.  I think the real color of the ghan is somewhere between the 2 pictures, lol.

Happy Sunday one and all, there is no official A-Z post required on Sunday.  It's suppose to be a day off, however I've tried to keep the momentum going and have posted all the Sunday's in April, hoping for extra coverage for Bridge and Beyond.

For those who may be here the first time, Welcome.  One of the items we make (Knit/crochet) and donate here on Bridge and Beyond is afghans.  There are given as a special Welcome Home Gift to families when they transition from shelter living to their permanent housing situation.  Truly something to celebrate.  We celebrate with them, congratulate them and wish them well for the future with our gifts of homemade afghans.

Again many thanks Sarah!

2015 DONATIONS:
Hats: 179
Scarves 67
Mittens/Gloves/Wrist Warmers: 45
Slippers: 50+13=63
Rain Poncho's:  53
Cotton Washcloths: 109
Afghans: 6+1=7
Socks: 126
Cowls 12
Shawls 1
Misc: items like personal care and things don't fit into above categories aren't counted

**If you missed any of the A-Z Challenge posts, please please do stop and read them.  My hope is to further educate people about what it's like to be homeless, to better understand the nature of this sad situation.  The more we know, the better chance we have of helping.  I also desperately want to dispel the notion that it couldn't happen to you and your loved ones.

A=Afghans, Family Heirlooms
B= Bridge and Beyond, Behind the Scenes
C=What is Crochet
D=Donations
E=Exposure Kills Homeless Vet
F= Crying and Homeless and Freezing Temperature
G= Gubbio, A Homeless Project, St. Boniface Church
H=Hobo and Homelessness
I= Inspiration
J= What is Joy
K=Knitting
L=Knitting Looms
M=Mittens, Knitted, Crocheted or Loomed
N=Caring for the Needy
O=Jack Otis, Classmate, Homeless
P=Policing the Homeless
Q=Quilting Can Warm Those in Need
R=Helping Homeless with Rain Poncho's and Recycling
S=Shelter Living and the Homeless
T=Tent Cities for Homeless
U=Living Under the Underpasses
V=Homeless Veterans, Rest in Peace


All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Homeless Veterans, Rest in Peace 1st Class Jerome Murdough


A-Z Challenge = V=Vets, Vagabond, Vagrant, Vulnerable and Victim

The map above represents cities that have signed onto The Major Challenge to reduce homelessness of Veterans in their communities.  Michele Obama spearheaded this program in June of 2014.  The programs tracks the Vets in order to know how many there are, whether or not they've found housing and or are still homeless.  Reducing the number of Homeless Veterans was a goal of President Obama's since 2009.  The data in 2014 indicated Nationally, there was an average of 49,933 homeless Vets in a single night, those numbers are down 14k from 2013, and 33% lower then there were in 2010.

Homeless Vets can be as anyone from WWII forward, though stats indicating Veterans of Vietnam may be the most at risk.

Jerome Anthony Murdough was a US Marine.  This man died a very sad death at the age of 56 while in custody in New York's Riker's Facility.  What happened to him, sadly  represents a trend around the country.  Homeless are treated as criminals, arrested rather than helped.  The report I read indicated 3 major mistakes took place, causing this man.......this Veteran's death.

  1. He was arrested instead of helped.  He had a mental illness, he was homeless, he was arrested for sleeping in a stairwell, he was arrested for trespassing.  Sadly, it wasn't the first time he had been arrested for similar problems.
  2. Once arrested his bail was set at $2,500.00, a fee that of course he could not pay, (typically prohibitive bail is set).
  3. Due to his mental illness, he was incarcerated in a special observation cell that measured 6 x 10.  These observation cells are suppose to be monitored once every 15 minutes.  His dead body was found 4 hours later.  He was dehydrated, died of a heat stroke in a cell that was 100 degrees.
Marine Murdough's mother wasn't even notified until contacted by a news agency 1 month after death of her son.  She is suing the officials.

Rest in Peace.  His final resting place is Forest Green Park Cemetery in Morganville, New Jersey.

Another Veteran, homeless, trying to stay warm by sleeping over a grate where some heat is possible.

Vagabonds and Vagrants are other words that are used to describe homeless people.  The definition for both is a person without means of support, without a permanent address, who moves about.  Sad definitions for our Veterans, don't you think!  Why are they not properly supported?  The next time you hear someone say all homeless are lazy bums, PLEASE tell them they don't know what they're talking about.

If you missed it previously my E post found HERE,  was also a story about a homeless Veteran.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Living Under the Underpasses


 A-Z Challenge = U=Underpass, Uncomfortable and Unwanted, Urban
These homeless leaving between and under underpasses and bridges may be some of the luckier ones. They have some supplies, some shelter, and a small community.  At least they did when the photo was taken.  These areas are often very temporary, until someone complains, the police forcibly move them or until they feel unsafe and move to another area.
 Some have less, not much more then the clothes on their back; but still shelter from both cold rain and snow, and summers hot sun.
 Some leave their supplies covered (click to enlarge to see the supplies up in highest part of the underpass) during the day while they forage or find space inside for a few hours of relief, coming back to the cold dark and very noisy underpass areas for the night.  Can you imagine the noise and smell of the cars going by all day and all night?
 Speaking of noise, see the young man on right covering his ears.  I don't supplies in this picture.  Perhaps they have found a spot for a temporary nap.  Sleeping is something very difficult for the homeless, as they are rousted typically multiple times a night.  It's thought to be sometimes the source of why they act irrationally, they are sleep deprived.
 Some have found what appears to be more permanent shelter and companionship under the underpasses and bridges.
Obviously some actually had structures, shelters they built under bridges and underpasses; until the city crews dismantled them.

Cities and their Police force are constantly working in tandem to move homeless, to discourage homeless from collecting.  Some say it's a health issue, trash and human waste; others say it's a crime issue, others say it's just inhuman and wrong.

Some are taking preventive measures.  Homeless certainly can't sleep or sit, or even stand where businesses have installed these and other similar "You're Unwelcome Here" measures.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tent Cities for the Homeless

A-Z Challenge = Tent Cities , Trespassing, Tiny Houses

Tent cities spring up near railroad tracks, bridges, underpasses and wooded areas.  They can be quite small with a handful of homeless, or larger inside large city limits. The above picture is a make shift tent and if you click you can see others behind in the woods.  Obviously, the police are checking something out.  In many areas they are told they can't be there, they're on someone's land, it's a health hazard.  Sometimes they're arrested and the belongings bulldozed.  Some communities leave them alone.
 Another make shift area in a wooded area.
 Not a great way to live, but some actually feel safer in these tent cities then inside at shelters because they can control the situation and who's there.  And there's never enough room for everyone at shelters so people try to live in little groups, looking out for each other, and each others stuff.
In cities, the tent cities tend to be more like this, actual tents that people have given them.  Some pile their goods up during the day and as night falls the tents pop out.  Nationally, local governments and police are cracking down on the tent cities.  Some communities are building additional shelters once they realize the numbers needing housing.

It's a catch 22, many have no where else to go, yet they don't, in most cases have the legal right to camp wherever they choose.  A difficult problem.  Some reports suggest abandoned houses ought to be utilized to house homeless, some are building little houses that are merely a place to sleep in locations where tent cities used to be.

 Certainly these look nicer then the tent cities, how they would be maintained might be a question.  But variations of these little houses are popping up in small groups around the country as a means to help.
These appear to be on wheels and are almost a dumpster type size.  I saw pictures of some that were half as tall, meant to be a place to sleep made from dumpster and storage crates.

I don't know if this is a good solution or one that will catch on and be sustainable, but it's a start and I think it's good to see something being done that's positive.


All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Shelter Living and the Homeless

A-Z challenge = S=Shelters, slippers, socks, scarves, shawls, Star House
No one should have to live like this.

Homeless shelters are temporary residences of desperation for homeless people which seek to protect vulnerable populations from the often devastating effects of homelessness while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact on the community. That's the definition we find in wiki.  

Shelters vary from city to city.  Some shelters are very generic, but in recent years shelters have become, or tried to become a bit more select in whom they give shelter too.  Some shelters are adult men only, some are single women only, some are family only, and some...though not many are for teens only.  There are drop in style shelters where people can pop in for the night and must leave by a certain time in the morning, there are shelters that require certain conditions before letting you in, such as attending a prayer service.  Some provide assistance with direction to appropriate social services.  Some are community based, others tied to churches, and some are government supported.  Regardless of the population and the city, they are not enough shelters to properly serve the growing numbers of those in need.

Some Homeless take their chances on the street due to restrictions, lack of space, unsafe or unclean environments at the shelters.  And sometimes the homeless person has no physical ability to get to the shelter before it's locked down for the night and is forced to spend the night in the elements.  During the cold winter months in the colder states, there simply is not enough space for the need.

There are emergency type shelters for runaways or abused women, separate from a bed for the night; but often those in need are unaware of where these emergency shelters are, or how to get to them.  And many of the drop in facilities aren't for overnights, just perhaps a place to get warm, use the bathroom, maybe get a shower and figure out where to go next.  Drop in facilities for teens are often near college campus areas.  Star House for example here in Columbus, Ohio serves kids age 14-24, but is always over crowded.  It's located at 1621 N. High Street and has affiliation with The Ohio State University.  An old plant on the south side of the city houses young teens with children, but currently only has a 21 bed dorm.  Thus you can see the ability to care for all those in need of shelter is huge.

We hear at Bridge and Beyond, supply Homeless Families Foundation (a family shelter), Faith Mission (an adult Male and Female Shelter area), Holy Family (a soup kitchen for all),  and a handful of school in the affected areas.  Additionally we supply 2 grass roots feed the homeless groups, one of the West side of the city and one on the Northeast side of the city.  These 2 grassroots areas are people living outside in the elements.  We refer to them as The Bridge People.

Can you help?  We donate hand knit and crocheted scarves, shawls, and slippers and store bought socks.  See tabs across the top of the blog for the specifics needed to ensure the donations meet the needs of those we serve.


All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Helping Homeless with Rain Poncho's and Recycling

Today's letter for the A-Z challenge is R=Recycle, Rain Poncho'

Recycle does play a part when thinking about Homelessness.  While we here on Bridge and Beyond don't collect and donate used clothing such as coats, sweaters etc, it is something everyone can do locally to help.  Check with your local Homeless Shelters, Churches, and Firehouses to see what items of clothing they accept.  Coats are probably the largest item needed.  Used items aren't part of our Mission here on Bridge and Beyond.  Handmade items is a large part of our mission, with the exceptions being personal care items, store bought socks, AND
Rain Poncho's.  Rain Poncho's are an easy item to donate for our non knitters and crocheters, they are light weight making postage not a big issue, and they are very much needed for the folks living out in the elements.  They are also a good item for those at the shelters who may be waiting on buses and or walking to work.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Quilting Can Warm Those in Need



A-Z Challenge = Q= Quilt.  Wiki says the definition of a quilt is the stitching together of layers of padding and fabric.  I made this quilt YEARS ago.  It's not a traditional quilt in terms of style, or the type of stitches that were used; but it is layers of padding and fabric stitched together.  Historically people used scraps, left over from other projects (shirts, dresses, skirts etc.) to make a quilt.  Nothing was wasted, so quilts were a bit of this and a bit of that.  Nowdays, they are much more pieces of art, made with special fabric in very intricate designs on expensive sewing machines.  In the days of old, they were sew together by hand, women sat around a loom and quilted the top to the bottom, in a group effort.

This was made of scraps from old warn out flannel nightgowns, but not just any nightgowns.  A group of friends used to go skiing together, and we women had "team" nightgowns, so these pieces parts are from those old nightgowns.  One friend still skis, the rest of us have gotten old, lol.  So this is a bit of a memory lane quilt.  With the exception of blue and white snowflake background, the flannel is from various years, various ski trips.  The other unusual thing is the x-stitched squares of related events from those ski years.

I've not received any quilts in donations, but would be thrilled to accept some.  They would certainly be a wonderful addition to our cause.  Sooooooo are there any quilters out there?
This is a random picture I found on google, and certainly much more of what probably comes to mind when you think quilt.  This is made on a machine, see the super even stitches...and the super straight squares probably cut on a die...wouldn't someone be thrilled to wrap up in this to keep warm as they move into their permanent housing situation from shelter living!

Can you help?  Do you quilt?

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

John Helinski, Homeless in Tampa

While Sunday is a day outside the April A-Z challenge, I've continued to post on Sunday.  Meet John Helinsky, age 62 homeless in Tampa, Florida. Living on the street, sleeping in a cardboard box when he could find one, on a park bench when he couldn't.  For 3 years John lived that way in downtown Tampa, being as invisible as he could.  Like many homeless, he had no ID, his SS card had been stolen.
Dan McDonald, unlike many police chose to help not harass John.  He couldn't bear to see this senior citizen living homeless on the streets and got him checked into a homeless shelter.

 Where Charles Inman, caseworker applied added his help.  One of the problems facing homeless without ID's is actually getting them ID's.  You need birth certificates to get other ID's, and that can be quite as chore.  Add to this the fact that John Helinski was born in Poland, a US citizen and you have extra paper work that needs to be done.  International phone calls were needed to track down a record of his birth, then drivers license and social security cards were obtained.
One he had proper ID's, more digging took place.  He remembered having a bank account, but the bank had changed names.  Through extra effort from both the police and the caseworker the bank was found and John had a nest egg, his social security had been deposited and had earned him some interest during those 3 years living on the street.  He's pictured here near his locker and bunk at the shelter where he's still working with his case worker, preparing to transition into living in an apartment.  Even with money, living in a permanent housing situation takes some adjustment.  We don't know what caused John to become homeless, or how much he has in his account; but the stories say enough that he can live modestly in an apartment, or perhaps even purchase a home, if he chooses that route.

This story broke on both CNN and ABC, perhaps elsewhere, both those are the 2 sources I found.  Thank you RoseMary from Tenn for letting me know you'd read a story on bing about a man in Tampa.  This is definitely a story worth retelling.

I wish we had more stories like this with happy endings.

Below is the Sunday wrap of the A-Z challenges to date.  If you've not read them, please do.  Reading and sharing the information is helpful, even if you can't join us with knitting and crocheting.


A=Afghans, Family Heirlooms
B= Bridge and Beyond, Behind the Scenes
C=What is Crochet
D=Donations
E=Exposure Kills Homeless Vet
F= Crying and Homeless and Freezing Temperature
G= Gubbio, A Homeless Project, St. Boniface Church
H=Hobo and Homelessness
I= Inspiration
J= What is Joy
K=Knitting
L=Knitting Looms
M=Mittens, Knitted, Crocheted or Loomed
N=Caring for the Needy
O=Jack Otis, Classmate, Homeless
P=Policing the Homeless

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Policing the Homeless

 A-Z Challenge = P=Police, Policy, public land, personal care.
The picture is truly the nicest picture I could find where police are interacting with homelessness.  I say the nicest because in story after story, picture after picture, video's too numerous to count...Police harass homeless, arrest homeless, talk horribly to them, and in a few recent cases kill them.  This picture they are arresting the wonderful old gentlemen in the white jacket who's prepared meals for the homeless.  This took place in Ft. Lauderdale.  This 80+ year old man has been arrested multiple times, his food thrown out, and the homeless made to scatter.  There's an ordinance in Ft. Lauderdale against feeding the homeless.  This man has fought each arrest and has won and returns to his mission, only to be arrested again.  The last time I read, the police were told to leave him alone.........however, what about other people in that city, other locations where someone wants to help?  The ordinance hasn't been changed.  And sadly, Ft. Lauderdale is NOT the only city with such an ordinance.
This is a memorial of a homeless man who was killed by The LA Police Department.  The man allegedly didn't stop after he'd been tased and so he was shot by 3 Policemen.  This happened on skid row, when police responded to a call about a robbery.  Things escalated, the homeless man didn't want to go with the police, and he fought them and lost his life.  I didn't find information that indicated whether or not he was in fact quilty of said robbery.   The homeless community there with him on the sidewalk was outraged, as were some passers by who felt it wasn't handled very well.  The point is, being Homeless is NOT a crime, but being homeless is indeed criminalized in many cities across the country.

Detroit has a practice of "dumping" homeless.  In tourist friendly areas police round up homeless and in essence kidnap them, put them in police cars and vans and drive out of the city or to a lesser populated area of the city and literally, DUMP the homeless.  There is a law suit currently about this practice.  The area they've been taken from has warming areas, and other services needed by the homeless, so often they painstakingly return to the same area.

Recently in New Mexico a homeless man was shot in the back (multiple times), police say he was going for a knife.  They may stand trial for murder, that's yet to be determined.  He had a camp set up on the outskirts of the city,  and they wanted it gone .

Tent Cities in New Jersey, California, Florida, Colorado, Hawaii and Virginia and more are being raided by police. By raided, I mean people are told to vacant and their items are trashed if they don't comply immediately.  One city has a brochure suggesting people trim all their bushes and trees and clean out any brush so there's not place hidden where homeless might live or set up for the night.

While being homeless isn't a crime, almost everything associated with it is.  It's a crime to panhandle, sleep in a park or on a bench, or sit in an alley, to camp on public land.  It's a crime to lotter...and many homeless must lotter during the daylight houses, walk the streets etc until it's time to get into a shelter.  So, you see it's quite a vicious circle.

Many police departments consider homeless an inconvenience to them.  They consider homeless to be lazy bums, mentally ill, drug addicts and alcoholics.  And certainly, that's true in some cases, but it's also true many are not.  Some police departments do try to direct homeless to areas where they can get help, but not enough from the articles I read.  Some police enforce the statutes, some look the other way feeling there are more important things to do.  There doesn't seem to be a standard.

This isn't being written to make people choose sides, but to open peoples minds about the extent of homelessness and it's associated problems.  Homeless try to be invisible, they don't want to be noticed. They don't want to wear bright colors, thus my constant request for dark colors, items with minimal stripes.  By not calling attention to themselves, they have a better chance of going unnoticed by police and others.  The Police are charged with upholding the law and so that automatically puts them against homeless people and all that it entails.

Some people say that homeless are lazy.  I think the energy it takes to stay alive, to stay safe, to find food, to find lodging, to move from the street to the shelter and back again, and to stay away from the police takes alot of energy; both mentally and physically.

We do what we can to help ease their burden by supplying them with warmth in the form of hats, scarves, mittens, slippers, and socks.  We collect and donate personal care items, that are so needed, how else will they be able to clean up, to feel more human, to be able to work.  YES, many homeless do have jobs.  Many homeless are children who need to go to school.

Can you do something to help?  The answer is YES.  There is something everyone can do, it's just a matter of what you're financial, physically, and emotionally are able to do.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Jack Otis Classmate, Jack Otis Homeless

Meet my fellow classmate and friend, Jack Otis. By the hair style you might be able to guess the photo is from the sixty's. 1969 was the graduating year to be exact. Look at that infectious smile and twinkle in his eyes. Now for younger folks, seeing this picture -- you might be shocked to see someone dressed for their senior picture. Being barefoot, in casual clothes, outside leaning on a tree or sitting with the family pet was never ever done! The men always wore coats and ties.  Your picture couldn't be put in the year book otherwise.

Jack and I graduated from Whetstone High School back in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. Unlike most of my classmates I didn't know Jack for eons and eons. We didn't attend grade school and junior high together.  His family didn't live in the same neighborhood forever, like so many of us. In fact, very little is known about Jack's family. Jack lived with his Dad. None of us knew anything about his mother, except that she wasn't around. Those who knew his home life, remembered his Dad as not being a particularly stable person. Jack was new to our school, he came from someplace in Kentucky. Some classmates believe he moved around a lot.

During those high school years, classmates remember Jack as fun to be with, perhaps even a bit on the wilder side. He was full of life, a bit ornery. Not wild as in bad, but not a mild quiet, stay to oneself type of person. He liked to drink PBR (translation for the younger set, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer). I should also add that drinking at age 18 was legal back in our day. We had what was called low beer, 3.2 and those 18-19 and 20 could drink that, but you had to be 21 to drink hard liquor and or high beer...high beer is the beer that's out now days. 3.2 no longer exists.

Jack like to drive around on old trails in his Bugged Eyed Sprite (sports car). He was chosen to be Nancy Edgars' escort for The Home Coming Court. That was a big deal, back in the day. Jack was popular folks. He was well liked, he was good looking guy...which you can clearly see from his picture.

 He died in the year 2000, alone and penny-less. He died homeless in the outskirts of Tucson, Arizona. He lived in a hobo camp outside the city limits and is buried in a small paupers grave in Pima County, Arizona. That area set aside in the cemetery for those without family, those who are indigent, those who have no means of another burial.  He was 49 years young.  I was heart broken when I pieced together his story, as were many of my classmates.  Searching for classmates for a class reunion is how this sad story came to light.  I was contacted by an old friend of his who shared that he had been working in North Central Wyoming in 1981 as a doodlebugger on seismic crews drilling for oil on ranches.  He went from there to Colorado and worked, but after that they lost touch.  I don't know or when he ended up in Arizona, or when he started riding the rails.

What happened to make this smiling good looking young man die alone and homeless? We know he chose to travel some after graduation, and for a short while, we know a fellow classmate gave him lodging in Tucson. That didn't last long, as Jack returned to the hobo camp and died sometime later.  This is the sad face of homelessness folks. I'm willing to bet you all have someone in your past with a similar story. He was someone's son. He was a friend. It makes me sad to know he's buried in a pauper's grave. The reality that truly anyone can be homeless is a sobering fact.

There are many causes of homelessness, but regardless of circumstances they are people, they are someone's son or daughter, they are someone's friend.  We must lend a hand.  So, for all the Jacks in the world I ask.......can you help?

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Caring for the Needy

A-Z Challenge = N= Needy
Doing a search for the definition of needy I found this:
: not having enough money, food, etc., to live properly
: needing a lot of attention, affection, or emotional support

Certainly someone curled up on the sidewalk is in need of help.  It's hard to get through a day when you don't see some kind of need, see someone in need.  None of us have the ability to supply all the needs of those in need, but we can do what we can do.........one day at a time, one kindness at a time, one donation at a time.

We here on Bridge and Beyond care for the homeless and the needy.  In addition to caring for the homeless that live in the elements, and the shelters, we care for children in need at schools in low income areas.  Many of these children are homeless, or come from a home one step above being homeless.  We supply hats, scarves, and mittens to schools so those children in need can join their classmates and go outside for recess vs staying in.........being shunned because they are different.

There are so many needs, surely there is something each of us can do to help.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Knitted, Crocheted or Loomed Mittens Needed

A-Z Challenge = M= Mittens
Mittens are an item we never get enough of.  Mittens aren't the easiet things to knit (as shown in the picture) or crochet shown below.
There are many styles, these are just 2.  Because they're not the easiest to knit or crochet we just have a harder time donating lots of them; but we continue to strive.  We also accept fingerless gloves/wrist warmers.
Each item we collect and donate has it's tab across the top of the blog with necessary information regarding size, colors, and fibers types to use as well as what to avoid.  We also list some patterns that people find helpful to use.  If you can help us with knitting, crocheting, or looming mittens and or writst warmers...........Please do!  Every shelter asks us for more then we've been able to donate in the past.  They are needed for folks living under the bridge, as well as the kids in schools with need.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Knitting Looms

A-Z Challenge =L= Loom
These are plastic colorful looms in 4 sizes with the special hook one needs along with a darning needle.  This is what you typically get in a kit.  The kits are inexpensive and easy to use.  They produce knitting and have become very popular.  They're a good way to knit, if you don't know how to knit, as well as just something different to do.  When they first became popular they were primarily used to knit hats.  Some looms are plastic, some are wood and some are super flexible.
The size is consistent regardless of what brand you buy.  The knitting gauge is based on the space between the pegs.  Some folks even make their own looms.  Now looms come in ovals, rectangles, and stripes in addition to these basic circles.  People have tweaked patterns and you can make scarves, mittens and more on them.  We have those who donate to Bridge and Beyond for the Homeless using these types of looms.  They are generally used with double yarn, or bulky yarn and many feel the knitting goes faster on looms then hand knitting with needles.  I confess, that while I have a set of looms (have for years), I've not really used them.  Perhaps someday I'll give them a try.

When we were kids, we used looms...looms made from wooden spools of empty thread.  Yes!  I am that old that I remember wooden spools of thread, in fact I still have a few, lol  You could pound small nails evenly around a large wooden spool and for a hook.........we used a diaper pin.  See told you I was old....diaper pins, mothers today don't even have any on hand.  All we could make back then was a cord, but we did it for hours at a time.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Knitting

 A-Z Challenge = K= Knitting
Definition:
Knitting is the name of the craft that involves two needles and yarn or thread. Loops in the yarn are manipulated with the needles to make a knitted fabric.

The pretty primary colors you see in the yarn is reminiscent of the very first yarn I used when my Mom taught me to knit.  I was very young, I think maybe 7.  I knit a little scarf that was about 3-4 inches wide, similar to a headband, except that it covered the top of your head, your ears, then tapered and had ties to tie under your chin.  My Mom used a crochet hook to make the tapering and the tie.  I used 2 stitches knit and purl.  You knit on the front side and purl on the back side which means your doing the stockinette stitch.
Which looks like this.  It's what you see most often in sweaters, it's a smooth rather flat stitch.  Variegated yarns are fun cause you don't know the colors will come out.  That little scarf is the only thing I knitted.............took me what seemed like forever.  I didn't pick up knitting again until I was in my 40's.  It'a fond memory though of Mom teaching me.  Too bad she's no longer alive to know how much I enjoy the craft.

We knit, we crochet and we donate to help homeless and those in shelters.  Please join us.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Review for A-Z Challenge

Picture of Primrose Afghan, assembled and donated to Homeless Families Foundation  previously, but happens to be a picture on hubby's laptop, and since I dislike blog posts without pictures thought I'd pop this one in.

Happy Sunday, thought I'd do a little review of the A-Z challenge so far.  I believe I'm enjoying it more this year because rather then be upset that people aren't really participating, using the system, going to the trouble of reporting (as we're suppose to)offending blogs to the organizers, I'm just passing them by and moving on.  By not dwelling on them, keeping track etc I am less bothered.

The positives:

  • Have gained followers, was around 295 ish when challenge began
  • Have had thoughtful comments from people who have learned something about homelessness they didn't know or realize before.
  • Have inspired some folks to get out their knitting or crochet needles and hooks and help us, and or donate to their locale shelters
  • Simply spreading the word about the problem,the need to help, and ways to help...........always positive
How I've used the challenge:

  • As soon as I signed up I started visiting 5 blogs daily from the linky, so about 10 days prior to the official start of April 1, I began getting some visits.  This is suggested
  • Wrote a reveal post (separate linky to join prior to the official start to reveal the theme of your month of blogging).  Not everyone, in fact the bulk of those in the linky didn't elect to select a theme or post theme.  Visited 5 additional blogs daily for about 4 or 5 days or the reveal linky
  • Wrote and scheduled all posts ahead of the start on April 1st, in order to spend time daily visiting blogs.  
  • Continued to visit 5 blogs daily not before visited from the linky, and returned every visit/comment made here
  • Started a blog log (in the right sidebar) of those that visited and left comments and continued to visit them.  
The Alphabetical Blog Posts to Date: (please if you missed one, do take time to visit)

A=Afghans, Family Heirlooms
B= Bridge and Beyond, Behind the Scenes
C=What is Crochet
D=Donations
E=Exposure Kills Homeless Vet
F= Crying and Homeless and Freezing Temperature
G= Gubbio, A Homeless Project, St. Boniface Church
H=Hobo and Homelessness
I= Inspiration
J= What is Joy

Google stats indicate the A, B, and G posts had the highest stats of visits with G being 146, though, we received far fewer actual comments.  I'm not up to speed to know if those are simply clicks vs time spent to actually read.  I think it may just be clicks?  Any one know?

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

What is Joy


A-Z Challenge J=JOY

I looked at lots of different definitions of what JOY means, and I read a survey where people responded to what JOY is to them, none of that seemed to fit into what we do here on Bridge and Beyond for the Homeless, nor fit into what is it to be homeless.

I feel JOY when I knit or crochet and I know the end product is going to help someone.  I feel JOY when I open beautiful donations from the many caring hearts and helping hands that donate to Bridge and Beyond.  I feel JOY when I hand delivery these donations to the various shelters or to Rae who passes out necessary items when she delivers hot meals on Saturday mornings.

I feel confident saying all the good folks who've helped by donating  to Bridge and Beyond  also feels that same JOY as they spend their time knitting, crocheting, looming, or quilting to help care for someone else.

I believe along with our warm items: hats, scarves, mittens, slippers etc we also give some JOY to those who receive the donations.  That's why our mission here on Bridge and Beyond is handmade, I believe the JOY we feel as we're crafting our items transcends to those who wear our knitted, crocheted, or loomed items.

So,


and go knit something to help spread JOY  to someone in need.  Can you join us?

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Inspiration

Today's A-Z letter is I, I've chosen the word Inspiration.  In a recent knitting class I took on line, there was considerable discussion about choosing colors and patterns that inspired us.  Many people said they use nature as their inspiration when selecting colors, patterns, and textures to knit with.  I rarely buy a specific yarn for a specific project, so am not sure I've ever given it much thought.  I use yarn I have on hand...often yarn that's been donated or yarn I've purchased on sale...a color that's flexible for a variety of projects.  However, seeing this picture the other day on Facebook and I thought.......wow, that would inspire me to select beautiful purples and greens, and wouldn't these colors make an awesome afghan, or sweater?  Coincidentally, purple and green are my daughters favorite colors and so they are colors I've often purchased, but this particular blend...

Inspiration with regard to caring for the homeless could be defined as inspired to help others.  I think all the folks who donate to Bridge and Beyond are inspired to do just that, help others.  And I believe those who receive our gifts are also inspired...inspired to feel better because someone cares about them.........Someone they don't know took time to make something especially for them.  That is certainly inspiring.  I know many times when I make deliveries to the various shelters and run into a homeless person on walk or in the parking lot, and they open the door for me, help me carry items in, and say Bless You, I feel that they are inspired.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hobo and Homeless

 A-Z Challenge H= Hobo and Homeless
The above picture might be what you think of when you hear (if you're as old as me you knew the word), Hobo.  Wikipedia defines Hobo as a migratory worker, a homeless vagabond.  They believe the word started to be used in the Northwestern part of the United States around 1890.  The origin of the word is dispute/has many possibilities vs is unknown.  A Hobo travel to find work, had no permanent address.  The typically "Road the Rails" to move from one community to another.
The might have done odd jobs, usually manual labor in exchange for food, sometimes money.  They were known to hang out at the docks when ships would come and go and the rail roads.  Some thought riding the rails was a bit romantic....seeing the sites, not being tied down.  But, they often didn't have a roof over their heads or know where the next meal came from.  They weren't well received in many communities.  They spoke a language all their own with chalk symbols to leave behind important information for other Hobo's that might travel that direction.  The symbols might be as simple as a cat which meant a nice lady lives here, or top hat meaning a kind gentlemen lives here.  Those symbols would attract other Hobo's.  They might however, leave symbols indicated they weren't welcomed, to be aware of barking dogs, or mean police etc.

There were some notables who Hoboed before they made it, such as: Woody Guthrie, Robert Mitchum, Carl Sandberg and George Orwell; but..........for most it was a tough life.  Perhaps it was easier to be a Hobo then compared to being Homeless now.   Somehow I think so, towns are bigger, there are fewer families farms where you might work a day, or receive a meal, or be allowed to camp awhile.

The face of Homeless seems more wretched to me, filled with more despair and danger.





Hats, another word that starts with H.  Hats are one of the items we knit, crochet, and loom and donate.  Can you help?  A warm head can help warm the rest of the body, it can help keep someone dryer, and it can save a life.

All donations regardless of size and number are valued. All donations are appreciated. The Power of One is awesome, and when we work together The Power of One becomes The Power of Many.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Where are You and Your Yarn From?

I'm trying to identify where everyone is from, partially for fun. Take a look at the map. Also, believe it will aid me in cases where we have several people with the same name. Please look at the lists of bloggers and non bloggers and see if I have the state you hail from. If not, please leave a comment and let me know.

Additionally, we've had help from Scotland, England, Germany Puerto Rico, Canada, and France! They don't appear on the map, but their help is still greatly appreciated.

Where The People Who Donate Come From, is your state represented?