Dancing under the Gypsy Moon

sociology-of-space:

Bench to Bedroom: Urban Furniture Turned Homeless Shelters

http://weburbanist.com/2014/07/24/bench-to-bedroom-public-furniture-turned-homeless-shelters/

"Whereas London and Montreal have installed spikes on the sidewalks to keep homeless people from getting too comfortable, Vancouver offers a kind welcome with benches that transform into mini-shelters. A nonprofit called RainCity Housing teamed up with Spring Advertising to create the modified public benches in order to provide a covered place to sleep while simultaneously raising awareness….”

Always concerned with how
I dipped my fingers in oblivion
and extended my warmth to strangers
I was my parents’ worst nightmare in public
At 5 years old,
Tony was the only homeless person
they ever let me befriend
only because one day,
they turned deep sigh and surrender
to my persistence and decided
I could buy him a Happy Meal

15 years later,
Tony and I would still sit in front
of the Starbucks he reigned over on
the corner of San Vicente and
listened for the sound of rambling buses
Counted how many children’s
Slurpee stained mouths
looked like freshly picked strawberries
Together,
we would think loudly enough to fill
the gaps of silence between traffic

Half the time,
people mistook us both for beggars
- ignored our firefly mouths
and dustbowl hands
Or instead,
their eyes angrily questioned mine:
Do you know your place, girl?
This nigga will always be beneath you
So
I’d stare at them
Staring back at me
Doing my BEST
to make shit
as awkward as
they were making it

What most don’t realize is that,
Homelessness in America
is a mere curtain rising
to unveil a show of bodies
breathing and decaying
all at once
These passerbys,
more often than not
pretend to mourn
the mistakes of
“unworthy mouths”
Pity the kindred spirits
yet hold tight to their purses
Hope
has become something
people with full pockets
will hold at the
arm’s length of tomorrow
for those just trying to get by

Many don’t realize
Tony, like most “his kind,”
was a beautiful garden
left unkempt for too long
It’s easy for us in this country
to sit and watch weeds grow
when we’re too lazy to do
anything about the disrepair
then label them:
Thief
Mooches
Addict
Junky
Prostitute
All words synonymous with
“Survival” in my book

I didn’t care how Tony became an addict
Or when he started calling
concrete sidewalks “home”
I cared about despite him
sharing the same breath as me
he couldn’t get the opportunities
poured into my open hands
I cared
about how the government
could spend their money on every
foreign affair and war imaginable
yet couldn’t dirty their shoes
to visit Skid Row unless it was
for a publicity stunt

When we stop categorizing people
based on the cards dealt to them
maybe the homeless wouldn’t
have to gamble their lives away
It is simple to remedy
a social justice issue
when you stop looking at
these people as dirty and
start seeing them as humans

The impoverished can
make the most beautiful
riches from nothing
Tony made a gem out of me
Taught me what it means
to be beggar
to be all dust and gravel
to never accept it
That shit never comes easy
So teach yourself how to
leave cold shoulders behind
to make your heart brutal sun
against parched throat
That addiction is a game of
Russian Roulette against yourself
It was 5 months to the day after
Tony died of an overdose that
I decided to actually stop forcing my skin to swallow razorblades,
I can only hope reincarnation exists and he’s born into a
status that is just as good as his soul
because I’ve seen it for myself
how easy we can turn a blind eye
when we want to,
when we feel like we need to ,
when it’s become something
all America knows how to do

"Tony"- K. Wagner (via th3gr0wnupchild)

221bitssmallerontheoutside:

#BOOM #THERE IT IS

snkfan:

myallyistheforce:

Cats do this because its a hunting instinct to snap the neck of their prey.

*the more you know*

It’s a murderer instinct but holy shit it’s so cute.

slackmistress:

bethanysworld:

fightingforanimals:

Veronika Scott was a fashion student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit when her teacher, Stephen Schock, challenged her class to create a product that filled a need, rather than satisfying or creating a fad. Veronika’s design was a coat for homeless people that could transform into a sleeping bag, since in her city, she says, “you are constantly faced with the homeless epidemic.” Not only did her design win a International Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America, it’s become the core of Veronika’s nonprofit organization, The Empowerment Plan, which hires people from homeless shelters and transition homes to help her make the coats. Now, three years later, the 24-year-old social entrepreneur expects that her team of 15 seamstresses will produce over 6,000 coats in 2014 — all of which will be distributed free of charge to people living on the streets. Veronika originally designed the coats seeking input from people at a homeless shelter. After receiving feedback from people who used the prototype over a Detroit winter, she refined the design to create her final version which, in addition to being a waterproof and windproof coat and sleeping bag, also transforms into an over-the-shoulder bag with storage in the arm sockets. When she started out, Veronika states,

“Everybody told me that my business was going to fail — not because of who I was giving my product to but because of who I was hiring. They said that these homeless women will never make more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — you cannot rely on them for anything. And I know my ladies enjoy proving everybody wrong.” 

And, their impact is growing — according to CNN, which recently honored Veronika as one of their 10 Visionary Women of 2014, “The Empowerment Plan expects to launch a ‘buy one, give one’ program that will make it sustainable beyond the donations and sponsorships that keep it running now. Hunters and backpackers who’ve asked to buy the coat will be able to do so, and the Empowerment Plan will still create coats for homeless people who need them.”Veronika is also excited to show other clothing producers that local manufacturing is possible: “I think we’re going to show a lot of people: you think it’s outdated to do manufacturing in your neighborhood, but I think it’s something that we have to do in the future, where it’s sustainable, where you invest in people, where they’re not interchangeable parts.”You can read more about Veronika’s organization on CNN, or watch a short video about her work here.To learn more about The Empowerment Plan or how you can support their work, visit http://www.empowermentplan.org/For a wonderful book about women’s great inventions throughout history, check out “Girls Think of Everything” for readers 8 to 13.For those in the US who would like to support efforts to end homelessness and help the over 600,000 people who experience homelessness on any given night, visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness athttp://www.naeh.org/ or to find a local homeless shelter to support in your area, visit http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/

Important in so many ways.

This is amazing and wonderful.

slackmistress:

bethanysworld:

fightingforanimals:

Veronika Scott was a fashion student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit when her teacher, Stephen Schock, challenged her class to create a product that filled a need, rather than satisfying or creating a fad. Veronika’s design was a coat for homeless people that could transform into a sleeping bag, since in her city, she says, “you are constantly faced with the homeless epidemic.” 

Not only did her design win a International Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America, it’s become the core of Veronika’s nonprofit organization, The Empowerment Plan, which hires people from homeless shelters and transition homes to help her make the coats. Now, three years later, the 24-year-old social entrepreneur expects that her team of 15 seamstresses will produce over 6,000 coats in 2014 — all of which will be distributed free of charge to people living on the streets. 

Veronika originally designed the coats seeking input from people at a homeless shelter. After receiving feedback from people who used the prototype over a Detroit winter, she refined the design to create her final version which, in addition to being a waterproof and windproof coat and sleeping bag, also transforms into an over-the-shoulder bag with storage in the arm sockets. 

When she started out, Veronika states,

“Everybody told me that my business was going to fail — not because of who I was giving my product to but because of who I was hiring. They said that these homeless women will never make more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — you cannot rely on them for anything. And I know my ladies enjoy proving everybody wrong.” 

And, their impact is growing — according to CNN, which recently honored Veronika as one of their 10 Visionary Women of 2014, “The Empowerment Plan expects to launch a ‘buy one, give one’ program that will make it sustainable beyond the donations and sponsorships that keep it running now. Hunters and backpackers who’ve asked to buy the coat will be able to do so, and the Empowerment Plan will still create coats for homeless people who need them.”

Veronika is also excited to show other clothing producers that local manufacturing is possible: “I think we’re going to show a lot of people: you think it’s outdated to do manufacturing in your neighborhood, but I think it’s something that we have to do in the future, where it’s sustainable, where you invest in people, where they’re not interchangeable parts.”

You can read more about Veronika’s organization on CNN, or watch a short video about her work here.

To learn more about The Empowerment Plan or how you can support their work, visit http://www.empowermentplan.org/

For a wonderful book about women’s great inventions throughout history, check out “Girls Think of Everything” for readers 8 to 13.

For those in the US who would like to support efforts to end homelessness and help the over 600,000 people who experience homelessness on any given night, visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness athttp://www.naeh.org/ or to find a local homeless shelter to support in your area, visit http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/

Important in so many ways.

This is amazing and wonderful.

tom-bakery:

hippievanss:

found this old piano in the bushes last spring, hiking around an island. it’s been there for so long the tree is growing into it & it makes me wonder who used to play it and why it’s outside

1) jazz fairies 2) midnight jazz fairy parties

tom-bakery:

hippievanss:

found this old piano in the bushes last spring, hiking around an island. it’s been there for so long the tree is growing into it & it makes me wonder who used to play it and why it’s outside

1) jazz fairies 2) midnight jazz fairy parties

comic-chick:

lizardvvizard:

its-almost-as-if:

bunnyfood:

(via sizvideos)

both: well this got awkward fast

#HAWKWARD

Oh my god

indigobluerose:

openbookstore:

So dramatic!

This has made me laugh really loudly, twice.

indigobluerose:

openbookstore:

So dramatic!

This has made me laugh really loudly, twice.