I became aware of this program doing amazing work in San Jose and several other Bay Area communities in the early part of 2016 and the more I learned the more I believed that it was a great fit for Santa Cruz and would have a significant impact as we work on a range of tactics to address homelessness here in our community.
With my 48th Birthday less than two months away I launched an audacious campaign to raise $48,000 from my network of friends and family.
Today, as we are in the final week before my birthday, we have raised $38,749 leaving a little more than $9000 to raise this week.
Homelessness is an issue that affects every person in our community. It is because this is a community issue that I wanted to launch this fundraising effort by asking my immediate community of friends, and myself to make the first move. Like a pebble in a lake, I have already seen the ripples moving outward as a larger and larger community has become involved in this initiative.
This is the beginning. Raising $48,000 is not going to end homelessness. But my micro-fundraising effort will be leveraged to raise more money that will be needed to launch Downtown Streets Team in Santa Cruz by this Summer. And just as my small pebble of support has created ripples, Downtown Streets Team’s rippling effect in communities is extraordinary and profound. By shifting our perspective to understand that men and women who are experiencing homelessness, with all of the impacts that come with that status, are not the problem, but in fact can be partners in the solution, together, we can end homelessness.
I believe strongly that it is not only possible, but it is imperative, that we end homelessness in this generation.
If we are going to end homelessness, the first thing to do is to acknowledge who “We” is.
“We” is not the City Council, “We” is not the social workers and service providers who work tirelessly with far too few resources. “We” is certainly not the police and I can assure you “We” is not going to come from Washington DC.
So as “We” enter the final week of pulling together this pebble, I’m asking, one more time for help. I am asking for help to make this small pebble have the biggest impact possible. I am asking for help to send the most resounding ripple outward. I am asking for help to change the lives of people in our community. I am asking for help for the people in our community who need it the most. I am asking that “We” do this together and I guess, most of all what I’m asking is:
Who are “We”?