repost of plan for homeless organization

Donald Bokor (boko7751@uidaho.edu)
Wed, 3 Dec 1997 13:27:19 -0800 (PST)


Dear HPN,

I just wanted to reiterate my offer to collaborate with all of you.

(From an earlier post.)

Upstream versus downstream funding.
Homeownership and privatization.
Social entrepreneurship.

What are we?
Former or current homeless, and former or current activists for the
homeless.

Each one of us has a unique set of experiences and circumstances to bring
to our common communication and organization.

Our histories provide us with indivdual strengths that when matched with
other's strengths will create synergies that yield material outcomes.

What am I saying?
As activists we are a form of social practitioner.

As social practitioners we bring historical biases into the implementation
of our societal forms.

In order to reveal and overcome negative biases we need to methodically
evaluate our practices and update them in response to analysis of
feedback.

Do I have an idea?
Well, if I do then it is something that we may all want to become a part
of.

I propose that we form a research organization that functions as an
information and resource warehouse on the successes and failures of
different practices for dealing with homelessness.

Ultimately the organization can go upstream for funding of sociological
research on poverty, and of government programs on poverty relief; or, it
can go downstream for resources that are otherwise latent in the poor
community.

What are my concerns?
In order to start an organization that becomes a social entrepreneur in
the field of homelessness, I believe it is necessary to be entrepreneurial
regarding homeownership.

Since I believe that there is a limited physical space for homes, but an
infinite demand for housing, then I believe that it is impossible for
everybody to achieve homeownership; and, because it is impossible for
everybody to achieve this goal, then it is an inappropriate goal to strive
for in social organization (in fact, it could be called immoral if you add
an ethical calcullus to the discussion).

If we eliminate private or individual homeownership from our organization,
we must substitute for it an acheivable goal, which I propose to be common
ownership of shared living spaces.

The loss of privacy is proposed to be offset by the gain in security from
knowing that everyone can be sheltered if we all work together.

We create shared living spaces by reclaiming lands from private use for
environmentally sustainable public use.

The environment is not a wilderness devoid of human presence, but rather a
place in which humans survive, grow and learn to live in harmony with the
rest of nature.

Thus, saving the environment means to use lands for feeding and housing
humans in a manner that does not destroy the environment or the humans.

But these are just my opinions on some of the goals I would like to see
advanced in a homeless activist research organization.

I am certainly willing to play some other role if any of you have better
ideas of how to organize for helping the poor, or maybe we can share ideas
and come up with some synthesis for an even beeter approach.

Write me personally if you want to help me develop an organizational
charter, or if you are willing to participate in a sociological study of
homeless movement activists.

More on this later.

Peace and Love Always,
Donald W. Bokor, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah.