Real change begins with the simple action
of people talking about what they care about.

-- Margaret Wheatley
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"Occupy Medical has been offering help to a growing number of unhoused youth recover as they let go of meth and/or heroin addiction. It is more than finding ways to bear the pain and ignore the cravings. These kids are left with an emptiness that they are now acutely aware of. Their drug addiction took the place of social connections. Now they are trying to rebuild this unity but their low self esteem makes them feel unworthy of contact." -- Sue Sierralupe, October 16, 2016

The root cause of addiction and or homelessness is broken relationships, broken families, broken community, broken hearts. Addicts and homeless people feel ostracized and near to dying.

The shame and blame needs to stop.

Truth and reconciliation is needed.

A radically different economic model is needed.

All of this is possible with enough community engagement, commitment and accountability. That's my goal! This is my first step:

As part of the Choose Kindness Celebration on Nov. 3rd,
I will be leading a breakout session on "Kind and connected to the housing challenge" with a panel of 15 respondents representing a cross-section of the community including those with lived experience, government, service providers, faith community and business.

This is the panel who will answer the questions:

Kristin Fay deBuhr, Community Supported Shelters
Amanda Dellinger, SquareOne Villages
Chris Cunningham, Court Appointed Special Advocate
Kris McAlister, Member, Poverty & Homelessness Board
Plaedo Wellman, Board member, Atlas Solutions
Donna Jackson, Camp Manager, Community Supported Shelters
Sen. James Manning, State Senator, District 7
Capt. Eric Klinko, Eugene Police Dept.
Bob Cerince, Supervisor, Lane Co. Homeless & Supportive Housing Services 
Rev. Wayne Martin, Organizer, House Everyone
Rabbi Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Beth Israel
Lama Tulku Sangye Tenzin, Teacher, Saraha Buddhist Center
Thomas Pettus-Czar, Owner, The Barn Light
Angela Dunham, co-Owner-Director,  flex Studios
Felicia Kirsch, Owner-Chef,  NW Burgers

These are the questions:

Please hold up your hand - low, medium or high - to show the extent to which you are willing to be changed in your beliefs, attitudes or behaviors by what you hear in the next hour.
Please hold up your hand - low, medium or high - to show the extent to which you worry about your ability to provide secure housing for your family?
Please hold up your hand - low, medium or high - to show the extent to which you worry about your responsibility (ability to respond) to provide secure housing for your community?
To what community do you feel most connected? 
Why is connection and belonging important for you?
What does it mean to be kind and connected to the dignity, freedom and contributions of our unsheltered neighbors?
What declaration about the future possibility of universal housing are you willing to make?
What is the most challenging, difficult question you have about universal housing?
What would have to happen today to make it impossible to be homeless in Eugene in 2020?
What is the promise to contribute to the culture of universal housing that you are willing to make that constitutes a risk or major shift for you? 
I hope to see you at this event with open mind and heart!
Thanks for reading! ~~ David Hazen

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