Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Time to Speak Up

per MSN as of today: "A Quinnipiac University poll out on Tuesday showed that six in 10 women say they would be “embarrassed” of a Trump presidency."

Sorry, but that ought to be 99,999 out of 100,000 of ALL Americans, regardless of gender!
As for the rest, there is no accounting for stupidity.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Back to the Compound

Our 3 weeks at UMOM ended last Thursday afternoon.  Most of the group chose to leave on Friday, but we had such a short commute to Paula and Tom’s place that we went to dinner with the group and departed for Glendale after rush hour was over that same evening.  This is a picture of the whole project group. 

While working at here, we learned about some of the issues affecting the homeless, particularly for the children.  It was a project we’ll remember!

Friday Bob had an appointment with his eye surgeon, who gave his repaired retina a passing grade.  The nitrogen bubble is now gone (after 65 days).  We now have no restrictions on altitude or air pressure.  He will need a new set of glasses soon, and may likely suffer from cataracts in the future.

On Saturday we met up with Paige’s other sister, Pam, and her friend Ron.  They have recently joined the “snowbirds” who escape part of Minnesota’s winters by coming south.  They just bought a house in Goodyear, a southwestern suburb about ½ hour from Paula and Tom’s. They will close on it in January, but have a rental to use through the end of December, so they will join us here for Christmas. 

Our next project is at another community center, back near the Phoenix airport.  It will start in 3 weeks.  We have contacted the director and made an appointment to review the work they would like us to do.  One of the couples who were with us at UMOM will be joining us there, but the other 3 couples will be new-to-us.  In the meantime we can relax and enjoy the holidays.

Friday, December 11, 2015

A “Good” Tired

We’ve had a couple of busy weeks here at the area’s largest homeless shelter near the Phoenix airport.  Our first week here was all Christmas-related: digging their decorations out of storage, setting up trees (about 30 or them) and hanging lights all over the campus, both indoors and outside.  The second week (which just ended) was spent creating a new storage space for the decorations after the holidays and painting doors, stairs, and a hallway in one of the residence buildings.  We finish the day and week tired, but with a feeling of helping in some small way. 

The pastor who serves here gave us a presentation about homelessness.  One fact that really stood out is that the average age of the typical homeless person is just 7 years old!  He also gave a couple of common examples where families, who had been doing OK, found their situations drastically changed when illness or job loss struck.  As the middle class gets smaller, this problem only gets larger.   

The staff here at UMOM works really hard to eliminate the root causes of their clients’ situations.  They help with education, job training, and interviewing skills as needed.  Their success rate is better than average.  We have had a number of encounters with clients; some of them are graduating to their own places.

We have 6 RV’s on this project; a total of 12 individuals.  It’s a large group but we’ve still managed to have several social events.  Aside from attending Sunday church and then lunch, we’ve attended a concert at ASU with multiple choral groups and an orchestra, a choral concert at a church and Friday breakfasts at the cafĂ© on site.  We have never worked with any of these folks before so it’s been great to meet new Nomads.