Posts Tagged ‘homeless

21
Mar
11

Please Help Us Help Them!

WE NEED HELP!

One of our friends, Kim Ahern, called the City of Seattle to deal with the constant bedbug problem plaguing her and her family (Jack, age 9 & Tom, age 19) after her landlord continually refused to address the issue.  The City came out and instead of dealing with the bed bugs, the City declared her residence an illegal unit since the landlord had no permission for the residence to be a multifamily home. Kim and her two children were homeless once again.

Since then, Kim has been living with her two sons in a flop-house motel and working odd jobs to scrape by.  Now, Kim wants to return back to California (where her family is) so she can have help with childcare and pursue full-time employment, and stable housing and education for her son Jack.  She has the money for the moving truck and money for rent, but needs money for gas and $599 for the deposit on an apartment.

Can you help us raise money for deposit, gas, and food?

Let me say this…We first met Kim and Jack at Nickelsville and they are awesome! Kim’s a good mom and Jack is a bundle of joy who brings a smile to everyone who interacts with him.

Here is Kim’s story in video and print as profiled by the Seattle Times.

At this link, you will find more of her story and their life in photo as depicted by the Times.

Please help us help them!  We’re already struggling financially this year and simply can’t afford to help them out, but maybe YOU can!

Donate at www.joinone4one.org or send us a check and designate Kim in the memo to:

One4One
14800 1st Ave NE
Shoreline, WA 98155

18
Apr
10

POLICE HARASSMENT/BRUTALITY IN SEATTLE

I’m sick of it…

Tonight marked yet another instance of being harassed by police in Pioneer Square.  It is getting to the point where we at ONE4ONE cannot go downtown without being hassled by the police.

Tonight we ran across one of our friends who sleeps outside, Germiah, who is one of the kindest, gentlest men whom I have ever had the privilege of meeting.  Germiah told us that the cops had been hassling him.  No surprise there…  As we were speaking to him, the cops began to shine their mag-light in his face from about 12-15ft away.  Every time he tried to turn they would follow, going out of their way to shine and flash the light on and off in his eyes.  When Ben Curtis, and I gathered up to block the light here they came.  The butted up in between us and postured up, trying to intimidate as they stood with their arms at right angles and hands on their hips, puffing out the chest.  The one officer continued his bullying with the light, now shining it with blinding pinpoint accuracy in the eyes of my friend from only 3ft. away.  The officers confronted us and asked if WE had a problem!!!  “Who did we think we were to try and block the light!”  We informed them that the light was shining directly in our eyes so we turned our backs, blocking it off.  The officer responded that “well, you shouldn’t have done that.  It wasn’t shining in your eyes…just his (referring to Germiah).  We informed them that either way…there’s no reason to be shining the light.  The officers shouted to my friend that he wasn’t allowed to be there and we promptly stepped in insisting that they tell us what the issue was and why had to leave.  The cops seemed surprised, taken aback and finally responded that he had been leaning his back against a window and they had warned him before that he couldn’t do that (despite the numerous club patrons at Pioneer Square doing the same).  According to them since he was now touching the window (maybe 1/3 of his torso was touching the glass as the rest was against the outer lying brick) he had to leave.  We protested and the cops threatened Germiah that he was breaking the law and failing to comply.  Germiah leaned in and asked that we just “let it go” as he “had to sleep out here and fears for [his] safety”.  And then a strange thing happened…for the first time after several incidents, when we asked the cop gave us his name.  Officer Davenport.  Officer Davenport then popped off several snide comments which unfortunately I gave no heed to and do not remember or else you’d be reading them right now.

Being the concerned citizens that we are, we proceeded around the block and back to inform the officers that in front of Jimmy Johns and the Creole restaurant and by two of the clubs, non-homeless people were leaning against windows and “since it was such a high priority and so illegal we just thought they should know”.  They did not move and did not proceed after any of the other “law breakers”, but then again none of the other people were black homeless men.

I’m sick of it…

This is not the first instance.  We have previously been walking down the block only to have a white expedition run the red light on a left-handed turn and drive up the sidewalk.  From the vehicle proceeded 4 vice squad officers with their hands on their guns that ran up and then pinned Ben up against the wall and began dumping out our donations.  One of the officers began to get into face, bumping against me and almost knocking me over.  He was shouting at me to “Get the fuck off the block!  Get out of here motherfucker! Leave now!” I asked repeatedly why they were searching Ben and dumping out our stuff, but they refused to answer.  I asked them for names which they also refused. My only answer was the officer pushing me further and further back, screaming and cursing me.  Finally, the officer who was searching through his wallet came across his identification showing him to be the Dispatch Center Manager for Operation Nightwatch.  All of sudden their demeanor changed.  They picked up the socks and other donations that they had dumped out and then released Ben.  They informed us that they were sorry, but they still did not identify themselves.  The only information they would give is that we looked like drug dealers and they couldn’t understand why a minister would be out in Pioneer Square!  I mean…c’mon!!!  People deal openly in Pioneer Square constantly!  One can walk down the streets and be peddled drugs incessantly, but we look drug dealers?!?  Here I am, in clerical shirt and clerical collar, in a walking boot and on crutches and I look like a drug dealer?  Even if I did, does that give them the right to not identify themselves and to search and detain us without giving reason?!?!  As to cops not understanding why a minister would be downtown at night…that’s another story!

Our conclusion is that this was retribution as we’ve had previous run-ins with the police in Pioneer Square when they have repeatedly tried to run our friends who sleep outside off the square and keep them from sitting down while at the same time allowing the patrons of the clubs loiter around and sit on benches as they feel like.  “Officer we’ll be glad to leave, but unless you tell the other people on the benches and in the park to leave, we’ll be right back.”  Other times the police have come up and demanded to see our friends ID’s.  The look on the officer’s faces is quite the sight to see when we inform our friends outside that they have no legal obligation to show their ID’s and they don’t have to.  Other times the cops have just started searching our friends and going through their belongings without ever giving reason.

I’m sick of it…

Lately the cops have followed us around, and whenever we begin to talk to our friends who are sleeping outside, the cops do their best to interrupt it.  They walk up right next to us and ask “what are you talking about?”.  Or else they tell us that we’re “taking up too much space and blocking the side walk”.  C’mon!  There are three rows of people waiting to get into clubs and we’re on the edge of the sidewalk and n one has come within arm’s length!  The last time the cop stood directly in between us and our friend Edward from the streets and told us that he “wasn’t going to leave until [we] do”!  It was shocking that a cop would come up and wedge himself in the 2ft gap between us for not other reason but to hassle us!

I’m sick of it…

-I’m sick of seeing our friends have their tents and sleeping bags slashed.

-I’m sick of seeing the bumps and bruises from our friends outside who have caught a beating from the cops just because they didn’t hear the cop tell them to wake up and move along.  Or just because they had the audacity to question and talk back to a cop!  Or just because a they were homeless…  By the way…our friends are not arrested.  The cops just beat them and trash their stuff.  No arrests…after all, our friends have not broken the law, they are just homeless.

-I’m sick of hearing stories of police beating our friends and calling them “nigger”.

-I’m sick of police sweeping our friends outside from encampments and not posting any notice and not storing their stuff…just throwing it away.  I recently had one friend outside who was swept at 6th & Yesler whose new laptop was supposedly thrown away because the police deemed it “trash”.  I wonder if the officer is enjoying his new computer?

-I’m sick of police arresting someone who sleeps outside and keeping them sitting on the curb in handcuffs as they joke about “crazy homeless people” for an almost an HOUR with the girls in line for the clubs in attempt to flirt!

-I’m sick of watching police run off our homeless friends from Pioneer Square telling them that it’s illegal to panhandle and they’ll arrest them.

-I’m sick of watching the police in Pioneer Square targeting black homeless man or woman, demanding to see their ID’s and searching them illegally!

Just in the past 3 months we’ve gotten 13 people off the streets.  We are out there making sure people stay safe and dry.  Loving on them, caring about them, and making a difference.  We are out there helping folks get off drugs, helping folks get into treatment, connecting them with services, helping people get in housing, and helping people change their lives.  The police should be working with us, not against us! One4One is freaking social service NPO, and the biggest detriment to us not simply a lack of financing but the police, who are there to protect and serve the community…that is unless you’re homeless…and especially not if you’re black and homeless.

So rest assured that I’ve had my fill.  We will continue to stand for our friends even if no one else will.  In the next few months, I fully expect to be arrested.  I have no desire to go to jail; in fact, I dread it.  But unless people are willing to stand in the gap, unless people are willing to stand and say that this is wrong, our friends outside will continue to suffer.  Their lives are hard enough as it is…why should the police be making it any more difficult?!?  I fear with the new proposed anti “aggressive” panhandling law things will be worse.  More people on the streets will suffer.  I fear for my friends…

I’m sick of it, and I hope you are too.  This has to stop…and suggestions?

“The first lesson a revolutionary must learn is that he is a doomed man. Unless he understands that he does not grasp the essential meaning of his life.” -Huey P Newton

19
Dec
09

an old post of my wife’s…get’s me in the Xmas Spirit

This is america

That land that blinds you

The land that lies to you

The country of the brave cooperate industries that make millions of dollars off the presumption that you will not think for yourself

that you will not investigate

that you will not care

that you will not see the beautiful reality of a Savior in your very midst

the american economy that feeds off the millions of “free” americans that stand long lines mindlessly swiping little plastic cards digging their own graves with a smile plastered on their faces

I say no to capitalism. The mindless greedy money hungry obsession of private ownership

I say yes to sharing, community, equality, collective ownership and responsibility. True biblical stewardship.

When will this country stand up and shake of the shackles of lower class, middle class, higher class

The land of money that divides, destroys and leaves its family on the street corners starving, freezing, alone.

As millions of americans allow the commercializing of hallmark to suck their provisions into neatly wrapped gifts under a dying tree. Thousands more sleep under overpasses, with no medical help, no roof, no hope of ever getting a job. Bankrupt, credit destroyed, family abandoned.

As church services suck money for new pianos, better carpet, hundred thousand dollar salaries for pastors. Do you question the sneers on the faces of the poor when you say you are a Christian?

Who is your Savior? Why should he care? His church left me here, where you see me, in my own filth.

I stand under the love of God and say stop. Stop now. Before your children grow up with same ideologies of your parents. Stop now. And make this county free, make our churches free, free our minds. Free our hands to loosen the hymnals of the past –to holding the broken hands of those in desperate need.

We are in a holocaust for souls. infant mortality rising, health care costs rising. america is not the country I read about in my fifth grade history text books.

I was lied to.

But I will not surrender the Jesus I read about in my bible. He is the truth and the salvation of a people, a world, a universe.

and He is here, among us, in our very midst

~j.cross

________________________________

oh yeah, just in case you didn’t know.  my wife is a f’n ROCKSTAR!!!!

24
Oct
09

I need some help…

I have a friend, named Y, who lives on the streets. There is no reason that Y should be living outside, unfortunately she does. I hope this blog will change that. Y has been here 6 months. She has been mostly living in the motels on Aurora or occasionally in a local tent city for the past 6 months.

She is a wonderful, intelligent, woman with a great personality that fills a room with smiles and laughter. She is 39 years old and works part-time at her new job she get this month as an on-call NAC in a nursing home and takes home a little over $1000 a month. She is currently looking for a full-time job or another part-time job that will allow her to get off the streets, but unfortunately her surroundings are serving as an anchor to her. The strip of flop-house motels on Aurora are known as the track…its where one can buy anything from drugs to guns to people. The constant sounds of police sirens and the screams of violence are extremely frightening to this small town southern gal and provide quite a disquieting environment which constantly interrupts her rest keeping her on edge, unable to find the respite that she needs from the odd hours of her on-call job.

Y has two needs:

1. She is looking for a stable room or place to rent with a kitchenette for up to $650 with all utilities included that will be willing to overlook her poor credit score and allow her small pet dog of 6 years to live with her. Y is totally drug-free and has no criminal record and has never been evicted.

2. She is looking for legal immigration help. Y is married to a man from Cameroon. He came here many years ago hoping for political asylum from the current government due to his work as a leader in the opposition party. He and Y spent everything they had on legal fees and lawyers, but after the money ran out they were unable to find anyone who would represent them pro-bono. Unable to find legal aid in their small town, he ended up deported in 2007. She needs someone who will take up her husbands case. She misses him dearly and talks to him daily…

Any suggestions/advice is greatly appreciated.

17
Oct
09

A Day in the Life…

After a conversation with someone where I moped around about lack of funding and being frustrated with God that things weren’t happening on my time frame…I was challenged by them to record everything that happened in a 24hr period and to reflect on some of the truly awesome stuff that happens daily that I take for granted. They assured me that God was doing some awesome stuff up here in Seattle with One4One and that I often take it for granted or don’t even notice it because its just another day. So randomly I wrote down the events that occurred for me during an average day with One4One.

This was my Tuesday:

1. Bought a plane ticket so someone from the streets can start a new job and move into their new apartment.
2. Paid for transport to reunite someone from the streets with their family.
3. Sat around outside and talked with, listened to, prayed with, counseled, and gave and was given hugs and kisses with drug addicts and drug dealers in the streets of Seattle.
4. Worked on providing someone ID and a social security card to a kid outside who only has his birth certificate and no other pieces of identity.
5. Worked on formulating a plan to get a pregnant woman off the streets and connect her with medical services.
6. Provided blankets to those who are stuck sleeping outside in the rain in weather in the low 40’s without adequate protection from the elements.
7. Connected someone with a case manager.
8. Began helping a kid from the streets figure out how to enroll in college.
9. Listened to friends on the streets who just need someone to talk to and pray with.
10. I met with a group of local pastors where we got to share about our friends outside.
11. I worked on preparing lessons for our 2 church services that we provide at the requests for our friends outside.
12. A good friend in the streets told me that they were on their way to stab someone for money and would have killed them if they hadn’t ran into me.
13. I arranged to move some friends inside to their new apartment.

…I feel blessed to be able share in the lives of some really awesome people.

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
-Mother Teresa

04
Oct
09

Nickelsville needs immediate help from within the faith community

As of this coming Wednesday, the encampment known as “Nickelsville” will once again be homeless. At this time they have no place to go. Nickelsville is asking for help from the religious community. The hope is that a church will offer Nickelville sanctuary on a piece of land or a parking lot anywhere from 1 to 3 months.

If no church can be found, there is no guarantee what will become of the encampment. As I am sure you all are well aware of, there is an abundance of people who sleep outside every night in Seattle. Unfortunately that number will be going up next Wednesday if we as Christians do not step up to the plate. As you all know, this is the time of year where the weather begins to become cold and wet….please help guarantee my friends a place to stay warm, dry, and safe.

I cannot begin to think of the lives we’ve seen changed at Nickelsville…families restored, people getting jobs, people getting housing, people experiencing what its like to have a “home” for the 1st time in their lives…the list could go on and on…

Please, if anyone wants more information, feel free to contact me @318-349-6535 or call Scott Morrow, the staff person for Nickelsville @ 206-450-9136.

Even if you are unable to offer shelter, please pass this information along to anyone who possibly can, and feel free to post this info to as many social media outlets as you have access.

Thanks for the time,

__________________________
Dustin Cross

Director/Co-founder
ONE4ONE

01
Jul
09

As arrest looms near…

My probable arrest looms near as Nickelsville is ordered to leave public land… In response, I thought a little retelling of Dr. King would be fitting.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the homeless is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the homeless man’s basic mobility is from the steets to a ghetto to a section 8 slum. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by their classmates simply for where they live. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”