Saturday, July 25, 2009

Getting Ready for the BIG ONE!

I've been a road-rat for the past 4 years. Having never RVed before, I have to say this lifestyle fits me in more ways than I would have imagined. I've logged over 75k miles, hitting each of the lower 48 states. Traveling mostly backroads, I've seen a side of America few realize exists.

Solo-RVing, and finding great friends along the way who graciously accommodate my non-profit organization, HEAR US, and our mission to call attention to invisible homeless kids, has been more than satisfying and successful. With this experience under my belt, I'm about to venture on the most intense project of them all--the HEAR US Learning Curve Express.

You see, for way too many years, Congress has been bamboozled by HUD and its cronies about the scope of homelessness, particularly as it affects families and youth, especially those outside metro areas. It got so bad that the bamboozlers fought to limit the definition of "homeless" to exclude folks who bounce between friends' couches and motels after they lose their place to live due to hardship. Yeah, let's make it harder on people who have lost their homes. Geez!

The way I figure, I'll land in congressional districts and find some homeless families or teens willing to talk on camera,
pop those interviews on our YouTube site(with help from NIU interns), and make contact with the Congressperson (or staff) to invite them to meet with the film subjects, possibly with some media presence. That should provide a congressional learning opportunity that could yield huge results.

It's a big country, but I'm willing to meet with and film as many invisible homeless families and teens as I need to in order to convince Congress that in every district people struggle with survival because they have no place to live. With that as my goal, I may be on the road a long time.

I know this is my RVer blog--but it's as impossible for me to separate my work from my lifestyle as it is for homeless families to become "un-homeless" because they're not staying at a shelter. My task now is to let them tell that story as often as it takes until Congress gets it. It could be a long trip....check our HEAR US website soon for some exciting announcements!