I've known and loved Erik and Fay deBuhr since they were building geodesic huts from recycled wood and giving away supplies to people living on the street, over 10 years ago. Since then I've become a monthly donor to the organization they founded, Community Supported Shelters (CSS), volunteered to help build and set up tent platforms, and be a compassionate listener to camp residents. I'm committed to the success of CSS because of the dignity and equality they provide, literally collaborating with their clients for their liberation and simultaneously engaging our entire community into that same effort.
With the numbers of economic refugees on the rise, the conestoga huts produced by CSS are a practical safety measure for personal and community health. Conestoga Huts are much stronger and more permanent than tents and at $2,500, much less expensive than tiny homes which can cost from $10,000-$20,000. I want to see them mass produced! Wouldn't you love to see that happen?
The CSS model is gaining traction and national attention bit by bit. If you need a feel for what CSS is doing, watch the "State of CSS Address" Hear about new camp expansions, new shower and meal program, and the plan for a co-housing project for CSS "graduates". Work continues to grow and evolve and there is definitely no slowing down! Many supporters have formed a network of donors, and I am one of them. Thanks for visiting my fundraising page!
I want to empower those living in the despair of poverty. The simplest, easiest, most accessible medicine for that despair is a drum circle. $500 could buy 30 hand drums. There have been studies that link alpha brainwave states to drumming. The alpha state refers to a dreamlike detachment and physical relaxation. The pattern of drumbeats seems to calm and focus the mind. “When the mind fixates . . . a profound state of Silence ensues.”
I recently posted the transcript of a conversation I had with Laura DuBois last February, "Love and the housing crisis" in which I spoke about a very practical, local, personal response to a global problem.
"There are resources, there are thousands of people that want to help, but they don’t know how to plug in. That’s sort of my new mission in life, to not only make those people aware, but to help them get over that initial fright, of contacting people they THINK are so different from themselves – they’re not, they’re not.
"No one person is going to figure this out and lead us to the promised land. We’ve got to do this together....Government is not going to be our solution, because it’s hierarchical, it’s patriarchal, it’s designed to reinforce people’s sense of shame and separation. It can’t do it. BUT, people at the grassroots level, who connect HORIZONTALLY, with each other as equals, they can do it! "
The video, Who Is My Neighbor? asks for answers from the people affected by the housing crisis, which is all of us. Click this image to view the 3-minute trailer:
The full-length video is available for anyone to view online.
Divest & Reinvest in Housing Not Handcuffs
July 29 - A conversation with Paul Boden, Western Regional Advocacy Project, and Heather Sielicki, White Bird Clinic. Facilitated by Jennifer Frenzer-Knowlton and Michael Carrigan.
July 29, 2020 Online from 4-5 pm
Register here for zoom info: https://bit.ly/divestandreinvest
Laws and policies that violate constitutional rights, create arrest records and fines & fees that stand in the way of houseless people getting jobs or housing, don’t work. The evidence is clear that homelessness is reduced in communities that focus on housing, and not those that focus on handcuffs.
What is working in other communities and what are some pitfalls we should watch out for as we advocate for sweeping changes in the way we approach community safety? How do we organize our community to cultivate local resilience and implement strategies that invest in regional self-sufficiency instead of punitive measures?
Please contact Heather Sielicki at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.