Friday, August 1, 2008

TNS#58: A Look at Homelessness

TNS#58 was taped on 7/30/08 and featured Mena Zaminsky, Ginger Martin and Eileen Richardson in a discussion about many facets of homelessness. Mena's a psychotherapist, expressive arts therapist and teacher in SF who works with many homeless persons; Ginger aka MO/PEACE is a conflict coach, spiritual advisor, trainer, educator and homeless advocate in SF -- her site is -- also Eileen Richardson is Exec.Dir. of the Palo Alto Downtown Streets Team and was featured in a Feb08 story about Local Heroes that I happened to see just days before the taping -- fortunately I was able to find her contact and she joined us on very short notice. It was gratifying to hear from her about the very pro-active efforts here in Palo Alto to get homeless persons engaged in getting back on their feet. Wikipedia says there are about 100M homeless worldwide; the US number ranges from 1-3M (.3 - 1% of pop). I hadn't known that as of 1981 a class action suit in NY established a NY state constitutional "right to shelter" -- very encouraging! The wikipedia estimate was that 1/3 of all homeless adults have some form of mental illness or disability, however the show panelists were inclined to put the number higher. I closed the show with the Gandhi Test as quoted by Larry Brilliant w/r his work heading up "When considering the merits of a course of action, think of the poorest person and consider whether your action will help that person in some way."

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