Homes for those who are Chronically Homeless in Jacksonville

I have had the privilege to learn so much about the topic of Homelessness in the last 18 months, and right here in my own city of Jacksonville, I had no idea we had a Housing First initiative.

Ability Housing of Northeast Florida’s mission:

Ability Housing’s mission is to provide quality, affordable, community inclusive housing for individuals and families at risk of homelessness and adults with a disability. Our goal is to end homelessness in Northeast Florida.

And I am honored that they’ve asked if I would help … and I said YES!

HOUSING is the solution to HOMELESSNESS

They are striving to raise $14,190 to purchase household items like sheets, towels, tooth paste and even toilet paper for 43 residences that will provide housing to Jacksonville’s most vulnerable and chronically  homeless.

Your donation will help make these  houses home and help Ability Housing continue their mission.

The HOUSING FIRST model is effectively ending homelessness among vets and among the chronically homeless in other cities.

In Jacksonville, Ability Housing has a better than 90% success rate with Housing First, meaning that more than 90% of those housed are able to stay in a home.

Some videos so you can learn more.  Or skip all that and DONATE NOW.

 

 

 

Ability

Posted in Do Something

#ScarfBombJax – 200 Kits with a Scarf, Hat, and pair of Gloves for those who are homeless

Posted in Do Something, Love

Parking Lots and Perspectives

Earlier this week my friend Tara, writer, poet, and recently published on Tinderbox shared a story on her blog recently that reminded me of a post I’d been meaning to write. You can read the her full post here, but in short, her son completely “rewrote” the story arc from a fable he was reading from school. In his defense the instructions were to tell it “in his own words.” That is how we see the world after all, through our own eyes and the perception of that story (or image) is based on our own experience.

parking-spot

(I found this pic through compfight, it’s pretty close to how I had to park because of the other cars around me). Photo Credit: joannapoe via Compfight cc

I drive a large SUV, not one of the new MAMMOTH sized ones but it definitely would overlap the lines in a compact space, so when I park, I try to be mindful of it’s girth. A few months back as I was parking, I had to park catterwonky ( my own term for a bit over the line). Not because I didn’t know how to park, but because the truck to the other side of me was over the line, which meant I had to park over the line, or find a new place to park. (Like that would happen when my errand is less than 3 minutes).  As I walked by the other truck, I thought, HMMPH how RUDE. They didn’t have to park over the line. When I came back out though, all the other cars were gone, and it was me, the sole offender of “bad parking.”  Anyone driving by could clearly see that I looked like that jerk who can’t park.  Except, that’s not the story.

And that’s when the dots connected for me. Anyone going by RIGHT now, in this precise moment and context would think that I am the “problem.” No one can see what I’ve seen. No one can tell the story that I’ve lived. All they can do is judge me (uh my parking) based on exactly what they see, right here, right now.

OUCH. DOUBLE OUCH.

We do that. I do that. I AM GUILTY.

And I don’t want to be that woman — who passes judgment on just this moment, because there is so much more to the story that I know that I just can’t see. I want to be the one who can accept people, where they are, and believe that they are being the best person they can be.   (Now that does not mean that I have to let my boundaries slip and allow someone to treat me badly)

The next time you see someone parked like that guy, take a moment … because maybe the person before him started a chain reaction that led to this moment. The only moment you have perspective on, but it’s probably not the whole story.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Stories

Last Minute, Best Rethreaded Party Ever!

From time to time you hear me discussing Rethreaded. Well if you’ve been on Facebook lately you’ve heard me going on and on and on … because they are doing AMAZING things!

This week I, along with other amazing women are hosting a Rethreaded Shopping Party at the Warehouse on Thursday Night 10/9.  The festivities start at 6 PM.  There will be WINE and FOOD and DOOR PRIZES and SHOPPING!

All the money received goes to help further the effort of Rethreaded.  I do hope you’ll come out and join us.

rethreaded-banner

Posted in Do Something

A Sense of PRIDE

I know that I’m not alone, when from time-to-time I wonder … do we still need to celebrate Gay Pride? I mean really, it’s a new age, a time of greater acceptance, what’s all the hullabaloo about?

And then when  it’s time for PRIDE … I remember. The memories through the years come flooding back. The stories of Stonewall that are still sometime shared, the memories and joys of how far we’ve come. The history of festivals where these young souls were ready to stand proud and tall. Willing to put our faces and our jobs on the line. Today as I saw friends new and old my smile widened and my heart swelled. I especially love going to pride to see old friends. It’s like GAY CHRISTMAS … reconnecting with friends we haven’t seen since last year or the year before. Time is passing by quickly, and we’re getting older … a young person even handed us an “Elder Care” survey invite… she figured we had to be 55 since we had gray hair. Jacksonville Pride 2014

The connections are always amazing. Myself, like others, appreciated the large corporate sponsors, too. It was great to see them there, complete with diversity teams and employees marching in the parade. There were politicians there, too.

At the corner of 5 Points (in Jacksonville, FL) I estimate that 2,000 folks were in attendance at the end of the Parade route. It was a spectacle. My heart swelled with even more pride. There were young and old, straight and gay, friendly faces everywhere. There was a reason to be proud, because we’re making progress.

But all these reasons just further my original point … we’ve made progress … so WHY keep celebrating.

The most moving thing about PRIDE happened after all the festivities, in a very unexpected way. This year, we had a guest with us at PRIDE, and it was the first time he’s been to any kind of “gay thing.” After the festivities we ended up at a donut shop and sat down for a bite and just a little social time. During the conversation we talked about the possibility of being fired for being gay. To which he replied, well … “at least that can’t happen anymore”  SCREECH. Press on the brakes fast. I had to tell him, I’m sorry, that’s just not true. In Jacksonville and in many places in Florida, you still could be fired based on sexual orientation or gender identity. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped … “That’s NOT RIGHT!” and he’s right, it’s not. This led to a beautiful, insightful, and heartfelt conversation about equality.

That’s when it really sunk in … there is a whole new generation of young people, who feel that equality is practically won. And that is why we still need PRIDE. We have a duty to make this world better for the next generation, and they have the duty to do the same, which means we still need to celebrate PRIDE and PROGRESS.

I’m so full of PRIDE tonight, a little bit is leaking out in the form of tears.

HAPPY PRIDE Y’ALL … Thank you for progress, thank you for the memories, thank you for making this world a better place for the next generation.

Posted in From The Heart, LGBT Tagged with:

Are You Really Clear About Setting Your Goals?

Be honest with yourself … are you clear about your goals?

It’s simple enough to set a goal, but to have it be crystal clear, that takes a little more practice.

I am a fan of the movie The Secret, and what you believe about that is up to you, I choose to believe my words are powerful. I believe dreams do come true. Time and time again, with that belief I’ve just seen too many things to not believe it.

Sometimes too, I’ve seen that not being clear, can bring mixed results.

A few months, back before I was hired and fired from my new job, I was on my way to a networking function, and I made the decision on the way there that “$3,000 was going to fall in my lap.” In my mind and heart, it was written in stone. While at the event I made a donation  for 20 raffle tickets for a 4 night, all-inclusive stay in a resort in Puerta Vallarta. Would you believe I WON? And that trip was valued around $2,000. Dang. I was grateful to be the winner, I truly was, but what I was hoping to receive was $3,000 in income … payola, not a trip … that couldn’t be sold or transferred.

Lately I’ve been meandering, not taking anything terribly seriously. That suits me well, until it doesn’t. I met with my coach last week to set some new goals, and we worked and honed them until they were crystal clear. And I came home and wrote them on my bathroom mirror with a dry-erase marker. This along with my new published accountability call. I’m getting my ducks back in a row.

Last night we watched the Odd Life Of Timothy Green *** SPOILER ALERT *** if you have not seen this family friendly movie, and want to, this is a small spoiler, you may want to stop reading.

You have been warned.

In the movie the parents made written goals or wishes for their child to be. One by one, those goals came true.

Soccer goalieOne of those goals was about athleticism. Will he be an athlete or won’t he? They decided that neither of them were great athletes, so that wouldn’t be a worry, but once in the child’s life he would score the winning goal.

Fast forward to the day of the big game, the tension mounts and the child, who was a “water boy” and “bench warmer” the whole season was put into the game. In the last moments he kicked and he scored. He kicked the ball toward the boy with the same color jersey as his, which meant he scored the winning goal … for the other team. The parents argued about it later, being angry that they’d missed the opportunity to “get it right.” No one was proud of the boy either, because even though it was his very best effort, it wasn’t the right goal. Literally.

And that brought me right back to clearly defining my goals, too.

Today I was chatting with a friend and I reminded her to be clear, too. She set a goal statement with the words … I think I want …. ((insert buzzer sound)) nope. That just won’t do. We have to be clear. Because like the old story goes, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do. So be clear, peel back the layers, and set your sites on the stars. You can get there.

Thank you all for reading and sharing with me, it means so much!

 

 

Posted in From The Heart Tagged with:

Accountability Call #1

A friend called an asked if we could have a public accountability call … how could I turn down that offer? For the next month, we’ll post the recording of our weekly call here. You’re welcome to follow along and offer comments as we go. Week 1 Accountability Call – http://tapeacall.com/22b96g2ebq

Posted in Accountability Calls

The Art Of Being Tired

I know you know. I know you’ve been there too. Just tired. Not physically, like my crazy friends who run when no one is chasing them, but just flat out tired. Your brain hurts from all the thinking and planning and trying to figure it all out. From the worry and the wonder. Most days are pretty damn good, then there are the days where it all hits you, right there in that oh so sensitive spot, your Achilles heel. And you wonder. And wonder some more.

Sometimes, it’s OK just to rest. Tomorrow’s not going anywhere, you can fix it all then.

 

 

 

 

Posted in From The Heart

I guess I’m an old sew and sew

For the last few weeks I have been knee deep in sewing projects. And loving every minute of it.   But that means I haven’t been posting here as much. And I miss you guys and gals!

My friends have twisted my arm (it didn’t really take much) to open my own Etsy store. So now I am knee deep in creating inventory (when I’m not working my daytime gig of marketing).

I’d love for you to visit the Sewn By Chance Facebook page, and give it a like. Before I put products up for sale, I will be holding a few giveaways to say THANKS for all the love and encouragement!

sewn-by-chance-etsy

 

Posted in Thoughts

Onions and the Art of Second Chances

Some of you may know that aside from learning to sew, I dabble in gardening, too. For a while, it was MORE than a dabble, but not nearly as obsessive as my sewing has become. Gardens are very forgiving … up to a point. And sometimes they’ll surprise you. I would not say that I have a green thumb, I simply follow directions as best I can. I put the sun loving plants in the sun and the plants that love shade in the shade. I water fairly regularly — unless I forget. The nice thing is that the plants “forgive” me, so to speak. What I mean really is that they “ADAPT” to their conditions for as long as they can. They don’t just give up because I missed watering them. Their leaves fold down, they may even lose a few, but with a little water, they perk right back up.

One thing I learned about last year was gardening from kitchen scraps. Did you know that more  than a dozen different veggies can be regrown from part of the plant? There’s even one board on pinterest dedicated to regrowing food from scraps.

In my fridge last week I found some red onions buried in the crisper. They were spongy and clearly not good to eat any more, and I was just about to toss them out. Then I remembered that I have onions on the patio who’ve been doing an amazing job for me over the last year.

So I peeled away the outer layers, shedding all the part that the plant didn’t need any more. And of course, this blog post was born.

Isn’t that we all need sometimes. A chance to shed the things that aren’t working for us. To uncloak ourselves of the burdensome worry, fear, lies, disappointments, distrust, and overwhelm? To get rid of those things that are holding us back from springing forth, making new shoots, sprouting new roots, or bringing a newness in our lives?

Today, these onions are getting that chance, and they are great reminder for me, too. I don’t have to hold on to the things that aren’t working in my life — I can let go of the chaos — and welcome the ever changing new beginnings.

Here are those onions, all peeled back and ready for planting — and of course, in place now to begin their new life of giving us great onion tops  for salads and cooking. A second chance and continuing purpose.

These onions get a new chance to be even more awesome.

These onions get a new chance to be even more awesome.

And I promise you it can work, too. In the picture below, is the 3rd harvest from the onions I salvaged last year. I would have more than 3 crops, but I don’t harvest them that often.  This patch though grew out from 8 onions in about 3 weeks time. SUPER FAST.

The third harvest from my  replanted onions.

The third harvest from my replanted onions.

That’s the beauty of second chances, don’t you think, you get to see more, be more, live more, do more, and most especially grow more.

Thank you for joining me in this journey.

Posted in From The Heart, Thoughts Tagged with: ,
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