Thursday, December 22, 2011

Humanitarian Concept: Homeless Camps In State Parks

Hello All,

It seems during this period of America's Great Recession we're watching history repeat itself. In regards to America's Great Depression plight to a lesser degree in the rise of homelessness. Specifically families and thus children entering poverty for the first time in their collective lives. The CBS "60 Minutes" segment showcasing a single father and his 2 kids living out of a delivery truck in Orange County, Florida. Explained it all from that one families testimonial symbolically representing countless others in America.

Case in point the city of Saint Petersburg Florida in the county of Pinellas. Had the 2007 national public relations disaster of an impromptu tent city built by the homeless being torn down. By police with razor box cutters shredding private property tents on public city park land. I bet many drew parallels of the terrorists aggression of 9/11 using razor box cutters to hi-jack the airliners. But I digress. Afterwards that same year in 2007 the local Catholic Church Diocese used their own private property to open up a 250 tent city of their own. With regulated controls put in place for the proper governance of such a homeless shelter facility run by the Church.

I myself proposed a blog concept back in December 2007 called the "Community Homeless Campus" as one potential solution.

Now back in the Fall season of this year 2011 again the city of Saint Petersburg has opened up a 500 bed homeless shelter facility calling it "Safe Harbor". It mirrors some of the elements of my own homeless solution concept of December 2007 on this very blog site.

Here is a link to an Associated Press article dated September 5th 2011 discussing the new "Safe Harbor" facility:

My concept today is similar to my former concept of the "Homeless Community Campus". However this one is set in preexisting State Parks with full facility campgrounds. The Florida State Park system consists of 160 wondrous and unique environments not seen anywhere else on this world of ours. Fifty plus of which of these State Parks include full facility campgrounds for traditional camping and RV (Recreational vehicle) electrical hook-ups.

What I am proposing as a pilot program to see if the model can be replicated elsewhere in the United States State or National Parks inventory. Is to allot a percentage of these full facility campgrounds that includes: public bathrooms, showers, laundry machines, public telephones, electrical hook-ups, and most likely a nature center. Say as an example here in Florida in my county of Sarasota the Oscar Scherer State Park would qualify.

The "Oscar Scherer" State Park has 94 campground and RV mix of slots for campers under reservations with a fee to utilize. Where selected volunteers at 3 to 6 month stints are given a free campground slot to make sure the campgrounds facilities are well maintained. Under my proposed Homeless Camps in State Parks concept solution. Via a program run by the local county and applicable State agencies. Such as: State Parks Management, Health & Family Services, Veterans Affairs, County Commissioners, etc... Where homeless families and individuals that may qualify that are under the supervision of case workers. Receive temporary housing via camp sites and RV campers from the program in lieu of making the pledge to improve their lives overall. Such as finding a permanent housing solution elsewhere and maintaining a steady income with a job placement.

The homeless population best served are those families and individuals through no fault of their own now find themselves homeless during this "Great Recession" period. Instead of them getting permanently stuck into homelessness cycles they receive public and private social services assistance. To dislodge such an unfortunate circumstance they are finding themselves within currently. Case workers assisting the homeless members or clients of this proposed program. Would make sure the clients are utilizing local free medical clinics, children are in public schools and receiving the free school meal programs (breakfast / lunch), are on food stamps, have access to counseling services, higher education be it a vocational school (grants / scholarships), are utilizing the local county job resource center, have access to transportation be it public transit or otherwise, religious services if so desired, etc... Everything that may be needed in the basic needs of any dignified person living in our present day society.

On the part of the homeless member / client of this proposed program. There would be no public smoking / drinking within the campgrounds or State Park itself. No violence, which would would be a near automatic ejection from this program. A nightly curfew would be put in place. Any homeless client with substance abuse addiction must be fully engaged in their own outlined sobriety. Such as receiving access to substance abuse counseling, and be enrolled in a 12 Step self-help program and have a designated sponsor. All homeless clients would be required to help the State Park Rangers in maintaining the overall park. Not unlike the WPA (Works Progress Administration) of the late 1930's and early 1940's during the Franklin Roosevelt presidency. Homeless participates may even earn themselves minimum wage and get access to other grants and scholarships for higher education. All homeless clients would receive a crash course in camping and outdoors man survival skills. Homeless individuals would be furnished with camping equipment be it a tent and other miscellaneous camping gear. Homeless families would be allotted a RV (Recreational Vehicle) camper with access to an electrical hook-up. Not unlike the victims of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina received from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). Where individuals and families were placed within camper trailer parks or situated next to their former devastated residential property.

If this temporary housing solution proves successful after its initial pilot program implementation. It can be transplanted to other States in the Union. Where the customary user fee's the State Parks would collect from visitors and campers. Would be paid for through a block grant for this homeless temporary housing program. Besides the added boon of homeless members in the program. Aiding under supervision State Park officials in maintaining the parks they'll live within for a time. This is a proposed dignified solution for the new working poor that have found themselves homeless. To be able in our meritocracy society to climb right out of it and back into the middle class as productive citizens. Let's hope for all of us novel and applicable solutions are mandated to fix this social crisis not only in America, but across the world. If America is to lead the world by example as a model Democracy, it best start with the most vulnerable in our own society.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Jewels of Truth Statements & Favorite Quotes of The Month

Hello All and Welcome,

Thank you for visiting this humble blog site for the curious of heart and mind. May you all be enjoying this festive period of the year. No matter your own faith tradition it is a time of goodwill and merriment.

This months three "Jewels of Truth" statements first written back in early May 2009. Are on the topics of: Love, Covenants, and Companionship for you to reflect upon and consider for yourselves.

So a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to come soon enough.


954) Love is a great force for creation and salvation of one's well being. Love may be deemed temperamental if it is based on limited conditional demands by the will of another. True Love like all things that are of a wholesome and true nature. Takes development through the dedicated adoration of the lover. When hard work in relationship building is coupled with Love. Than the burden of the dutiful dedication becomes light and pleasant to carry for oneself. It is due to the factor of a joy that knows no bounds that offers the dedicated lover a sweet reprieve. No other creative force can offer so much for so little in its exchange of the sublime for the common, but extraordinary tenderness. Be still in such a truth and may it set you free in all manner of blessedness by the grace of the Divine. Amen. ---Ivan Pozo-Illas / Atrayo.

955) The grand legacy of God's children that are true to their own calling is irrefutable. That all the great prophets and the masters of each religious faith have offered this world true benevolence. Each master has been an agent of the Divine be it through the myriad era's of humanities greatest need. Many theologians may have determined that all the Holy works of God's true heirs as Ascended Masters are rendered in our collective past within antiquity. This is not so I tell you, our history is ripe with numerous declared and forgotten saintly men and woman in God's service. Be they prophets of their own day or unrecognized masters come in the name and authority of the Divine. Miracle workers no matter the age of humanity that have come forth with a ministry. Are a constant stream of the compassion of our creator God(dess). It is an unending pledge by the covenant of each generation that seeks such a renewed relationship with God. May we who worship in an earnest spirit of humility and thanksgiving remember this truth. Lest we forsake our dignity as souls of a living and dynamic God in creation. Amen. ---Ivan Pozo-Illas / Atrayo.

956) We are never truly alone in Spirit. We may forget our place in this world. Yet we remain true to what is precious, just as God keeps his promises on our behalf. God walks with us and within us, where his "Holy Spirit" nurtures us. The Angelic host walks with us even if we may at times feel that we are crawling by our own hands and knees. The "Kingdom of God" walks with us not forgetting we are the "Kingdom of God" given form and substance within creation.

God, and all that is good and Holy doesn't just walk with humanity alone. God(dess) and the Divine walks with all sentient species in creation, all animals, all insects, all plants, all minerals and bacteria as an eternal vigilant companion. The stars and heavens of this universe and the next one to come shines brightest from the Love of God(dess). We are never alone in Spirit, we may feel alone if we walk away from the Divine by choice. Yet the Holy Spirit is with us in a gentle and steadfast manner of grace. Remember this eternal infinite love of God(dess) and you to shall inherit the calm that sets all of us free in peace. Amen. ---Ivan Pozo-Illas / Atrayo.


Grace and gratitude go together like heaven and earth. ---Karl Barth.

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything. ---Thomas Merton "Thoughts in Solitude".

In the end will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught. ---Baba Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist (b.1937)

A heartfelt smile gives warmth enough for three winters. ---Mongolian Proverb.

Maybe the most any of us can expect of ourselves isn't perfection but progress. ---Michelle Burford.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Physical Fitness Campaign Concept: "Taking Off The Pounds Walkathon"

Hello All,

With holiday celebrations around the corner many of us are probably indulging a wee bit too much in all the delicious foods available to us. Today's concept focuses on obesity reduction which is plaguing the more affluent nations of the West. Especially amongst the youth, if not adults of various age groups with healthcare needs.

The Taking Off The Pounds Walkathon notion stems from a commemorative holiday called "Liberation Day" the Dutch celebrate every year. From their own liberation during World War 2 from the allied forces from German NAZI occupation. In some parts of the country persons of all ages receive civic duty medals for accomplishments of various sorts. Be it walking distance along certain designated routes or doing ancillary activities. Where participates keep a log book to document their accomplishments in order to redeem them for their civic duty medals.

Learning of this Dutch "Liberation Day" festivities got me thinking wouldn't this be a novel idea for an obesity reduction event in America. Yes, in the past such as in the city of Chicago they have had obesity marches to promote good health. However my concept takes more inspiration from the Dutch "Liberation Day" national holiday. To be repurposed into a walkathon to promote overall health amongst people of all ages. Such as those civic duty medals that the Dutch hand out to participates that record their accomplishments. Would be ideal for participates of a obesity reduction regieme. Of course not to alienate other people even the civic minded citizens and those physically fit can join in such an event.

For instance if a select group of national or local charitable organizations are invited to participate. Not so much as sponsors, but as recipients of the goodwill to be offered by civic minded conscious people of all ages. Where those aforementioned civic duty medals the Dutch hand out to participates with recorded event related accomplishments. A similar set of activities such as recorded volunteer hours to those select charities can be one aspect to earn such event civic duty medals. There can be a slew of devised activities that center around volunteering. Be it environmental clean up at parks, beaches, canals, etc... Spending time with the elderly at a nursing home facility. Being a "Meals on Wheels" volunteer or helping at "Habitat For Humanity" house building location. The opportunities to foster volunteerism in their local community through such an event are endless. Especially amongst the youth if such an event is sanctioned by the public education school district.

If such a "Taking Off The Pounds Walkathon" proves successful as a model. It can be transplanted to other regions or evolve into a national holiday. Just picture the President of the United States attending such an event with his spouse and children. Promoting a healthy lifestyle for all citizens alike and leading by example. Taking part in many of the activities that event organizers seek that participates would enjoy doing. However if such a notion is too bold for a national holiday to reduce obesity in America. Than this model of an event can be transplanted to other regions of a State or to other States themselves. Where high density of citizens are being afflicted by rising healthcare costs related to onset diabetes and/or heart attacks. Be it related to weight gain or other high stress conditions affecting an overall lifestyle.

The particulars of how event organizers can approach such a concept is as follows. In regards to the charitable organizations only a select group of them are offered to participate every year. Where tailoring the civic duty activities would be customized according to the mission of every charitable group that is sanctioned for the event. The walkathon itself may be held for one day or several days at varying alternating routes per day of the events. A multi day walkathon set up at varying locations within a city affords those that can't attend one day do so for the next event. The civic activities can commence a month before the official walkathon takes place. So participates can be funneled into the select charities to volunteer their time in order to qualify for the civic duty medals and ribbons.

All participates can ask by snail mail or kept on site at participating charities for a basic complimentary logbook. Where attendees can begin recording their activities set out for that year by the event organizers. For every accomplished activity every charitable group will have their own unique stamp of approval designed just for that years activities. In order to promote uniqueness amongst the missions of each charity and to minimize any cheating by attendees. Each charity can also sell a fancier attendee logbook that is custom designed for their organization and sanctioned by the event organizers. In order to facilitate additional donation dollars in their direction. Akin to how PBS runs their own televised fund raising drives with certain donation amounts affords a gift. Their can be merchandising material that is designed for each charity and sanctioned as a source of donation revenue for that years events.

Aside from the attendee logbooks there will be a portal website where attendees can register for free. In order to develop a personal profile where all progress of their activities can be tracked. Be it tracked for personal enjoyment or statistically by charities and event organizers to gauge overall participation for that year. There can be strict controls on how the charities upload their data of attendee activities to the portal website. The portal website is promoted alongside the commencement of the volunteerism that precedes the walkathon by one month. The portal website serves a dual purpose of taking donations for the charity groups online for that year. Including if an attendee happens to lose or damages their logbook by a misfortune all their progress isn't lost. The logbooks aren't the size of an accountants ledger, they are however compact in size.

Attendees of the multi day walkathon after registration on site are given the usual fare of a free T-Shirt promoting the event. Where those that have a profile on the portal website get their ID tracked for having started the walkathon. Along each route depending on that day there will be the usual rest station stops in order to get rehydrated or for any first aid needs. Upon completion of the walkathon they have to check-in one more time to be recorded and congratulated for their efforts. Where all attendees can receive a "Certificate of Accomplishment". Be it by snail mail or printed out from their profile section of the portal website. Highlighting all the activities and achievements they participated in during the course of the events.

At they very end of all the events there can be a televised ceremonial festivity. Where all awards be it civic duty medals, ribbons, and high awards are handed out. Before the televised portion there can be a festival where common activities are held. For the youth to enjoy as well folks of all ages. Leading up to the walkathon during the month long of volunteerism. There can be free workshops of healthy meal preparations and nutrition. Local hospitals can be invited to promote their free clinics and set up at select locations free screenings. Local farmer markets can be promoted alongside in order to increase public awareness of the healthy produce and vegetables in season.

For the part of corporate sponsorships suitable partners may be sectors such as: Fitness Centers, Supermarkets, Health Insurance companies, Healthy eateries, etc... Examples for instance are: Subway restaurants, Gold's Gym, GNC, United Healthcare, Humana, Blue Shield / Blue Cross, even McDonalds in terms of youth orientation. Donations that are raised in total for all select participating charities for that years event. Can have corporate sponsor matching dollars to be contributed with the famous "Big Cardboard Check" at the televised ceremonial festivity. There can be a luncheon held after the televised ceremonial event in order to invite esteemed and generous guests. Where tables can be solicited at various donation amounts as a final fundraiser.

The "Taking Off The Pounds Walkathon" is to promote overall healthy lifestyles for people of all ages. Especially our youth in order to catch them young and to reinforce strong ideals of healthy lifestyles and volunteerism. Everyone benefits be it the attendees by being recognized by their civic and personal accomplishments. Be it civic duty medals, ribbons, and a certificate of accomplishment for attendees. The select group of charities that partook of that years events. The corporate sponsors and event organizers in order to promote goodwill for community outreach programs. This is by all means just a sampling of the scope of this concept to facilitate a healthy conscious living within a community at large. For the benefit of every generation that chooses to make of it what they will in order to promote civic responsibility.

Monday, December 05, 2011

"Jewels of Truth: The Wayfarer of the Soul, Volume 2" Is Now Published!!!

Hello All,

With giddy excitement I'm proud to announce with the aid of iUniverse as the publisher. That "Jewels of Truth: The Wayfarer of the Soul, Volume 2" is now published and ready for retail!

My first book "Jewels of Truth: A Soul Odyssey Within, Volume 1" started off the series back when it was published in late October 2007. Now four years later I'm proud to offer my readers this next volume. Bringing to publication 365 all original spiritual wisdom statements and proverbs for the faithful on the go. Now both volumes means 730 all original material for the spiritual pilgrim of the mind, heart, and soul to enjoy and reflect upon.

Just go to the Links section here to the right column of this blog site. To be taken to the bookstore of iUniverse. Or visit any major book seller online such as to make your purchase.

Thank you for your time and interest.