Everyone deserves to belong

About a message from AirBnB’s Founders in support of those that are “home-free”

“We believe in a world where anyone can belong.

Everyone deserves a place to belong. But for too many, it’s a dire need. So our five-year goal is to make sure 100,000 people have short-term housing during urgent times. Please join us.”

-The Founders of AirBnB

Such a noble statement of intention from the creators of a cheaper alternative to big-name hotels, AirBnB.

For anyone living under a rock for the last few years who is not familiar with the newest trend in temporary-stay accommodations, AirBnB is essentially a message board-type forum with a built-in sales & reservation platform where savvy home-entrepreneurs can rent out their apartment, house, single-room, tiny home or even box-style moving truck for a small fee.

I have stayed in several in the past and recently, was renting an old U-haul box truck that had been renovated into a studio apt that sat in the driveway and shared a bathroom and kitchen with the rest of the house.

It was definitely an adjustment to get used to, however, having lived on a re-purposed school bus in central New York State Five-and-a-half years ago, I settled in fairly quickly.

For the small inconveniences like having to open the overhead door to get in and out and then walk to the house to go to the bathroom, the price was nice! Just $44 per week and a tiny %-share of the utilities.

Moving On Up (to the west side)

I’m no longer in the box-truck. For a brief moment, I was even back on the street. You might call it homeless, but as it sits in my mind- I was home-free.

Now, safely tucked back indoors, I am grateful for the friends that have taken me in during my most recent of “Urgent Times”. Who knows, without their helping hand I might still be outside sleeping somewhere.

But, yesterday I received an e-mail update from AirBnB, and as I read those beautifully strong words from the company’s founders, I decided that I wanted to touch on their belief and give it some more attention.

Hard times can befall any of us at any moment

You see, I’ve been without a place to belong a few times throughout my 38 years on this Earth. While it’s never pleasant, it does get easier with experience.

But it sucks even if the winters here in Phoenix are moderate and make it slightly more tolerable versus NY standard winters.

How many of you out there really know what it’s like not to have a place where you belong? How many of you understand the isolation that comes with being on the street? And more so, with not having any support to inspire you for better?

Urgent times, as they wrote, are a very dire situation. Whether you are alone or with family or companions, it is an uncertain, nerve-racking, and at points, downright scary situation to find oneself in.

If you’ve never lived it, I pray that you never have to.

Taking up the cause in spite of the REAL DISEASE in today’s society

The founders of AirBnB have my ultimate respect with their newly announced goal to help others in need of temporary assistance. If only more companies and brands would follow suit.

As a matter of fact, I wish more people could try to open their eyes to see that even though someone may not have a job, food to eat, or a place to live that it does not take away their existence as a human being.

All too often, we may tend to avoid them. We may sneer or snicker if they ask us for change assuming the worst in them and treating them as less-than-human. This is wrong!

No one deserves to be treated as an object we all have a right to be human

Treating someone as if their current status in life gives you permission to treat them as sub-human or worse yet, as an object of disgust is a true testimonial to the real disease in society…Apathy & Indifference.

www.Ihaveaname.org

The “I have a name” exhibit

I Have a Name

I was blessed a few months back to attend a benefit concert put on in Phoenix, AZ in support of the “I Have a Name” Project.

The project’s founder, Jon Linton photographs and interviews the vagrant populations in cities all over the country. At benefits and on the website, their pictures and stories speak to remind us that they too deserve respect, love, compassion, and a chance to be human.

At said benefit show, I was moved to tears as I read each article posted to the pictures of the local homeless population, some of whom I have met. As I read on, it made me think of my own time outdoors and how blessed I am to always manage to get back up where so many can not.

I was lucky enough to get a chance to speak with Jon and to share part of my story with him as well. The most beautiful thing about the man is that he does not judge those of us who’ve fallen on hard times.

Neither should any of us!

Please, I urge you all to support the “I Have a Name” Project as well as your local homeless shelters and advocacy groups. If you can’t donate money, maybe go down and volunteer at your local soup kitchen or collect non-perishable food items for donation, like Strangers Helping Strangers in the Northeastern, US does.

Be humble, be kind, and offer service…You have no idea the profound effect your compassion can have

It does not matter if you have or have not suffered from poverty in the past, you can change someone’s life in just a few moments. All it takes is a sympathetic ear and a few minutes of your time to turn someone’s life around.

In fact, if you have never suffered and never known what it’s like to go hungry with little hope of relief, I implore you to reach out to someone in need.

Your privilege does indeed make you blessed, but it does not need to make you a dick.

Be you. Be beautiful. Be blissfully blessed and be the reason why someone out there has hope to keep trying day after day. All it takes is a little bit of time and a listening ear or a warm meal. Believe me, it DOES make a difference!

Please, more than ever, I urge you all to like, follow and share this article with your social circles.

*If you have a story that relates, please comment below or better yet join us over on our Facebook page and continue the conversation!

If we all try to do just one small thing for someone who can’t do so for themselves each day the world would be such an amazingly different place. Can you imagine?

3 thoughts on “Everyone deserves to belong”

  1. My sister became homeless when she became sick and couldn’t work. She tried living with us for 2 years, but her allergies were terrible here. She found out Washington State is the best place to live (near the ocean) for allergies. That isn’t her only problem, of course. She has Gulf War Syndrome and an autoimmune disease. She has to be in bed resting a lot of the time. She feels exhausted all the time.

    Anyway, she had an old van, so she went down to Washington and started to live in campgrounds. My mother and husband help support her, and just recently the Veteran Assn. gave her a $500 per month raise. They finally believed how sick she was.

    What is interesting is the people she met and friends she made among the homeless. She helps those who have even less than she does. Most of the people she meets have physical or mental problems and can’t work. Some of these people live in their cars or in tents. Also, after living in her van for a year she told me, “This is the happiest I’ve ever been.” I was very happy for her.

    She lives in a small camper trailer now with her girlfriend. They hope someday to buy a bigger trailer and rent a space full-time so they don’t have to keep moving. I hope that will happen one day.

    Air BnB and I Have A Name sound wonderful. I’ll have to look them up on the internet. Thanks for your excellent article.