I walk into the room where a female only luncheon is held, arriving 1 hour late. I felt bad that I was late, but then again I did stop for water and ice on the way over, which I knew was greatly needed. A former council woman speaks to the women present, the majority being female veterans. I quickly put down the cooler, and walked over to my colleagues.
Below are some of the clothing items I brought, which were donated by a couple of our donors.
Clothes from my trunk.
Clothes set up on one of the tables inside the facility where we all met.
Care Bags (24) and socks for the women at the event.
I find it interesting that CMP asks for clothes for our veterans while other nonprofits complain about getting too many clothes and not enough money. We know that the money will come when most needed, and that what the PEOPLE need NOW (not CMP) are items to keep them warm. Underwear and socks are requested the most when it comes to clothing items. Deodorant and toothpaste/toothbrush come in high demand when providing Care Bags. We seek change, not charity. Help us to change the hearts and minds of others.
A few concerns that were addressed during this luncheon:
- Lack of affordable housing for single women and women with children.
- The VA hospital messed up on my surgery, now I can’t work and I only qualify for $280/m for disability. How am I supposed to live off that?
- How many vouchers are there currently for Veterans? What is the wait list like?
- There are only a few transitional housing options for women, and they’re crowded. For example, we have 6 women living in a 3 br house.
- Really, the best VA medical care is in Loma Linda, that’s over an hour from me?
As I listen to their concerns, I can’t help but shake my head and hope people will help us help those who are struggling. I recently came up with a few options for housing program. I’ve mentioned them to other nonprofits and government planning committees, but no one really seems interested to solve this social epidemic called homelessness. I keep thinking, “How can I get these people interested in our cause if solving the issue will put them out of work?” If we haven’t figured out homelessness is big business for those politically involved, well then, we’re screwed.
My goal is to house people; therefore, the huge amount of resources are no longer needed and those providing the resources will be out of a job.
So what happens when people are housed one might ask? Why is housing actually a bad thing? Well, let me tell you:
For nonprofits that enable the homeless from getting help, i.e., those who give “hand outs” rather than “lifting them up”:
- Government funding is cut
- Shelters will no longer have the headcount for grants
- Most nonprofits that house people will no longer be in service; therefore, employees will have to find new jobs that don’t rely on the suffering of others
For those who are housed and are empowered to be lifted out of their circumstance in a positive way:
- Those who were formerly homeless will have a fulfilling job as well as be happy – oh and they might actually put money back into the economy because now they have disposable income to purchase things they want, not just need
- People’s health will increase, causing healthcare to lose money as well as pharmacies
- People will no longer have to be on food stamps; therefore, fast food places might actually lose business and the country will have more money to spend on other things they deem necessary
- The moral of the country and communities will increase
- Rental prices will begin to even out
- And the list goes on…
So, you want America to be strong again. Prove it!
What do you plan to do to help those living in poverty? That’s right. I’m not just talking about the homeless, I’m referring to all people who are living on or below the poverty line. We don’t need everything to be free, we need things to be fair. And FAIR, what does that mean anyways?
Do you think everyone should have access to housing that is decent, healthy, and safe? This is America, we shouldn’t have shanties in our neighborhoods or tiny houses or tent cities…this doesn’t make any sense to me. We are NOT a third-world nation, we ARE one of the richest countries in the world, yet we can’t find a REAL solution to helping people when they are living on the streets, digging through dumpsters, and sleeping in a tent when they’re not camping? Tents are made for camping and hiking, not living in.
CMP has a plan to help all people struggling financially. We’ve chosen to help women Veterans and Youth first because they are the most under-served population right now. CMP would love to close shop because everyone is housed and healthy. Our closure would never happen though because we produce long-term and permanent solutions that require our assistance for one’s lifetime. A lot of cities are stating that they have “no more homeless veterans”. Well, maybe not today, but this fight is not over. We need to realize that people need time to recover from homelessness before we say they are “helped”. We need to pay attention to those who have recently been placed because one wrong turn and it’ll be back on the streets for them.
If you want to see any of our other programs, please contact us. Invest in your communities, invest in the future of this country, and most importantly invest in the people of this country.
NOTE: Individual testimonies are written in good faith and have been verified as accurate to the best of CMP’s knowledge and understanding about each individual’s situation.