"newsgroup on homelessness" brainstrom

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 17 Dec 1997 18:49:58 -0800 (PST)

Anitra wrote:

>I support the idea of a newsgroup specifically for discussion of homelessness.

I agree.  The original name I proposed for HPN was Homeless People's
*Newsgroup.  But since we bagan on humbler terms, as a discussion list, we
have the currently more apt name of Homeless People's *Network.

Perhaps an existing discussion list could expand into a newsgroup, Or we
could form a new group.  So which shall it be?  How do we best proceed, in
terms of long-range impact on preventing and ending homelessness?

>I think that one newsgroup should be extablished initially, soc.homeless
>/or/ >alt.homeless.....More newsgroups could 'spin off' as needed.

That seems sensible too--sort of a hub group with satellites.  Let's all
brainstorm more on this.  On newsgroups and lists, what are the most
fruitful roles for homeless people's voices?

Thank you, Anitra, for your sentiment below.  If we who've been homeless
are to gain what *we aim for, we need *unity among ourselves.  Currently
and formerly homeless people can mutually aid each other.  We need to act
on our right to talk together on-line, even if others do not recognize our

>When I was newly homeless, I benefitted greatly from
>experienced homeless women who advised me in safety and guided me to
>resources.....I formed some of the closest relationships I had ever had
>during >that period, and I still have them.  I now have housing, and a
>limited income.
>The homeless community is still my community.  It always will be.  None of
>us can change the world, all by ourselves, but we can each make a difference...

Noone has the right to hinder the free association of homeless and
ex-homeless people.  When one of us finally gets a home, it makes no sense
to exclude us from our "homeless" family.  We have our friendships, and we
share the wisdom that comes--hard earned sometimes--from being on the
street.  Let noone divide us.

>The most fruitful discussion is going to come from caring people who are
>willing to experience the realities that they are talking about, and
>to actively listen to others -- fruitful discussion is not going to
>come from doing means testing.

It is time for us to talk among ourselves, and for others to listen to us.
We've been "spoken for" and "talked down to" too long, one-way
communication with us on the receiving end.  Let's find ways to have *our
say on what happens in this world.

I'm encouraged to see us inspire each other to new ventures.  Divided, we
are defeated.  Together, we can work wonders.  Peace and solidarity.--Tom