TOUR OF PROPOSED NEW SITE FOR ONE-STOP CENTER (AND OTHER COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES)
This coming Saturday, January 12, from 8 a.m. to noon, there will be an open house for people to tour the old Gainesville Correctional Institute, which may become the One-Stop Center. This opportunity was initiated by Commissioner Welles, who has a strong vision for ways this facility could become an asset to our community and a place for a variety of activities, in addition to homeless services. As a large homeless shelter, it couldn’t be more ideal. It already has many rooms with bunk beds, bathrooms, a large kitchen, bike racks, a chapel, a library. It’s on a bus line, there are sidewalks. It would not require mega tax dollars to get it up and going. I encourage people to go out and see it – the more community support the better. The Point-in-Time Survey is coming up at the end of January, and I suspect it will show a substantial rise in numbers of people living out doors. I was shocked that Pat, who gives out mylar blankets downtown in the late evening, gave out 120 of them in about two weeks. Freeman is sometimes downtown in the later evening and he says there are people sleeping everywhere. In years past, the more challenged homeless people slept on the streets because they tended not to have campsites. Now I talk to people who are sleeping downtown because they are terrified to be out in the woods, or simply don’t have the strength to walk or bike back and forth from the woods.
So, let’s really push for this new site. To get there you drive down 39th Avenue toward the airport. You will come across an old, unoccupied prison on the opposite side of the street from the airport and across from the county jail.
THE CHRISTMAS PARTY!!
Huge thanks you to everyone – this was the best Christmas party we’ve ever had. People knocked themselves out stuffing the stockings with all sorts of good things, and a lot of people brought cookies and fudge and peanut butter balls and oranges – all sorts of goodies. We had 7 gallons of beef stew, and Carlotta’s fabulous corn bread and hot chocolate. My wonderful neighbors came with their band and played Christmas carols (a terrific band – you can hear them Wednesday evening at Lightning Salvage, behind Satchells). It was a wonderful evening.
ACTS OF KINDNESS
A woman from Newtown was talking about the thousands of acts of kindness being showered upon the community of Newtown. She said, “Maybe if we were this nice to each other all the time, things like this wouldn’t happen.” Sounds right to me. There is a national movement going on for everyone to do 28 random acts of kindness, one for each person who died at Newtown. I think that is a fantastic idea. I have only one New Year’s Resolution this year – and it is to try to be nice and not to add one single atom to the tidal wave of anger and pain that sometimes seems to be engulfing us.
peace and love to everyone,
The Home Van needs tents, tarps, bottled water,Vienna sausages, creamy peanut butter, jelly, candles, white tube socks, batteries, and games. Call 352-372-4825 to arrange for drop off. Financial donations to the Home Van should be in the form of checks made out to Citizens for Social Justice, Inc., earmarked for the Home Van, and mailed to 307 SE 6th Street, Gainesville, FL 32601, or can be made online at http://homevan.blogspot.com/
THE HOMEVAN IS A PROJECT OF CITIZENS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE, INC. (FDACSREGISTRATION #CH35643). A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE.REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.