Monday, June 7, 2010

Jacob's eagle project. wanna help?

For his eagle project, Jacob decided to collect needed items for a single adult homeless shelter in downtown phoenix. Last week we went down to have a tour and work out the details. I was really impressed with this shelter. It was very uplifting, and I learned so much. It was very simple but clean, and run by so many wonderful volunteers. Their Mission is to empower men and women, and children with diverse needs to end their homelessness through emergency shelter and supportive services. It is their goal to provide clients with the tools needed to become self-sufficient and end their homelessness.
For instance, this dental clinic which started out in a small trailer, is run completely by volunteers. A retired dentist saw the need and acted. It is a beautiful facility that helps adults as well as children in preventative care and helping those with missing teeth etc. to get things looking better so that they are able to get a job easier.

We learned that the shelter has three stages. This picture above is the second stage, where they are people who are working on getting a job and getting their life together. They are able to stay every night and keep their stuff there. This is where the first stage people work to try to get to.

This is the men's area first stage. Where they are able to come in after 3pm, and stay for the night. They have to be there no later than 830pm, and leave in the morning by 630am (not sure why this guy is still there at 11am. Maybe he is sick). The numbers on the floor are where they just lay down mats at night. I thought that this was all a homeless shelter was, and you see the same people over and over. Not true. This place is majorly organized and really efficient in helping them get back on their feet. so cool. Rarely do they see people for more than three months, they get the help they need to get a job etc. and move on. I asked about mentally ill people. Only about 30% fall into that category and they have their own area to receive help with treatment and getting services.

The stage three are people who are working and have a place to sleep and can come and go, and are in another area that has beds.

Here is the computer area where they can look and apply for jobs and have an email address where jobs can contact them, so that the employers don't have to know that they are homeless.

This is a common area that people can come during the day. It that has a library, a ministry area that also provides many services, a place where people can take classes, etc.

There also is an area for people that are released from the hospital, but still recovering and have nowhere else to go. There is an area that is for people detoxing off of drugs. They have two different clothing stores (for free), one with professional clothes for work, and another with regular clothing. The place for getting food is in another facility close by that they are able to go to.
The whole system was really just so impressive. It reminded me that there is still so much good in the world. There are so many that donate their time and talents to help others.
It was also was great for Jacob to see other people's reactions to him in his uniform. It was like he was a celebrity. People wanted to come up and shake his hand. I try to explain to him how honorable it is to be an eagle scout. That people respect you for it. It isn't something to be embarrassed by, or not important. As soon as we stepped out of the car a lady shouted to us, "Are you an eagle scout? I grew up Mormon and know lots of eagle scouts. We came over to her group, and explained Jacob's project. She was with a couple of huge men with tattoos all over. They told us a few of the things that they would appreciate. Like a back pack or a bus pass. We had a good laugh when one told us he really needed a staple gun right now. So if anyone wants to donate that, great! ha ha. We told the woman helping us about it, and she was so funny saying how "they don't have anything that needs stapling" and how she tells them to leave people alone that come, so they won't get freaked out. Not a problem with us. Jacob and I both expressed how we would enjoy talking with everyone.
It was hard to see so many people in difficult circumstances. But so nice to know that they have this wonderful facility to help them. They all seemed cheerful and optimistic. It was a beautiful place I thought.
So if you can help out at all with Jacob's collecting of items for this shelter, or a cash donation, that would be wonderful. It is definitely a worthy cause.
Because, without the generosity of others ......

unfortunately so many end up with this as their only option.

items needed:

disposable razors, aerosol deodorant,toothbrushes,baby wipes in a hard container,toilet paper,copy paper,large 30+gallon trash bags, sunblock, and foot powder.

Other items that are always wanted are larger adult clothing, sun hats, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, liquid body soap, sheets (gently used) and of course water is always needed.

You can drop the items at my house, or we can pick them up from yours, or he'll be at a local park this Saturday morning from 10-12. Hope you can help!

1 comment:

Amie said...

what a great place...and a good project! Good luck, Jacob!