The idea behind nohomeless.org was conceived after I moved down to New Orleans in 2014 and became closely involved with the Vieux Carre Baptist Church in the French Quarter. Before that, I had only been exposed to homelessness years ago when we visited that same city and church on a mission trip post Katrina. So for a small town boy from Stillwater, OK and then Alexandria, LA, it was an eye-opening experience to say the least. After spending time with local homeless individuals and the people who work closely with them through the Vieux and the New Orleans Mission, I began to ponder ways I could contribute and help with the fight against homelessness. I'll list a few steps I followed.
Step 1: Identify the problem. Well, people are living and sleeping on the streets so that's no good.
Step 2: Do the research. Why do people become homeless? What are people already doing to end homelessness? There is a lot of great information out there relative to homelessness in the U.S. and organizations that are working to end chronic homelessness. (See information page at nohomeless.org.)
Step 3: Ponder a solution. What can I do to help the homeless, and what can I do differently/better/bigger than preexisting organizations?
Step 4: Execute the solution. Found nohomeless.org and get after it.
Through this nonprofit organization, I hope to utilize creative journalism and art to bring forth the beauty behind each individual struggling with homelessness and inspire others to become a means of support and encouragement for those who are often completely alone. Nohomeless.org will come alongside selected, well-established homeless aid organizations and partnering churches in cities across the U.S. Through this united network, we hope to share the stories of the homeless in this country's cities with people just like you. We want you to find that person whose story resonates with you and inspires you to invest in that individual through all means necessary to help them conquer their struggles with homelessness and the many personal ailments that continue to hold them back.
Progress is key. We realize that if we're asking you to invest personally in these individuals and this organization, we must be the ones to ensure that progress is being made. Included with each homeless individual's profile there will be items such as clothing, food, counseling, etc. for you to crowd fund with other supporters. There will also be a progress tracker that will list the steps being taken to bring that individual out of homelessness and illustrate the progress they've made and continue to make. We believe that by supporting homeless individuals in this creative way, with your help and prayer, they will feel motivated and empowered to make continual progress. If people like you are willing to take time out of your day to write them a letter, pray for them, or invest in one of their needs, we hope to see that they will invest in themselves as well.
As we grow as an organization we hope to continually expand our reach and support until there is no one else in need. That is our goal and we're sticking to it.