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Autonomy Lost: Living Without Choice. The Information Age Doctors Laws/Annuities/Taxes Employment Restaurants Entertainment Transportation Medicine Goods.

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Presentation on theme: "Autonomy Lost: Living Without Choice. The Information Age Doctors Laws/Annuities/Taxes Employment Restaurants Entertainment Transportation Medicine Goods."— Presentation transcript:

1 Autonomy Lost: Living Without Choice

2 The Information Age Doctors Laws/Annuities/Taxes Employment Restaurants Entertainment Transportation Medicine Goods Services The Internet Advertisements – Billboards – Television – Radio – Periodicals Newspapers Mail – Surveys – Catalogues 411 These vehicles transport this information

3 Information provides choice Picture life without: – The internet – A phone – Television – Radio – Car

4 How does this thought make you feel? Helpless, Hopeless Lost, Distraught Powerless The homeless live without this information network upon which we have come to depend

5 Information prevents helplessness One is empowered when – one knows what to do – one has a choice Homeless live without information enough to be empowered, to know what to do, or to make a choice

6 Autonomy 3 rd Categorical Imperative – “Because I am responsible for my own actions, I must be the true author of them. Hence, I must be able to forego performing them. I must be able to do otherwise.” - Pojman The homeless are not often able to forego their actions – Survival dictates their actions Without choice, how does one have autonomy?

7 Value and Dignity “We depend for our self-image on the humans immediately around us - to the point of altering our perceptions of the world so as to fit in with theirs.” – Barbara Ehrenreich

8 “Their status is an anti-status.” - Michael Rowe

9 Dennis and Smitty Dennis (53) – Has been a carpenter since he was 11 – Mother has Alzheimer's – While napping, was once attacked by a man with a crowbar – Afraid of downtown – Desperately wants a job Smitty (48) – Is a Desert Storm vet – Wife kicked him out – Is desperate for pro bono legal aid – Doesn’t know where to go for legal aid – Is ashamed of his situation

10 Survey 1 Spoke with 5 homeless people for 1 to 2 hours each. Learned their stories and what daily life was like for them. – No one wanted to be homeless – Everyone was ashamed of their situation – Everyone wanted to work No choice

11 Quotes: “My life is being wasted.” “Right now I’m in a ditch. Like that one right there. I’m down there. I know I can do better.” “God bless you.” “You are a real sweetheart. I can’t tell you how much this meant to me.” “My day just got a lot better.”

12 “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” - Edmund Burke How is it possible, within a society as rich and advanced as ours, with as many aid programs as we have available, that this problem persists?

13 We aren’t “doing nothing”… Many homeless programs/services exist –S–See handout BUT there is a GAP between services and: –n–need –H–Homeless awareness of services offered –H–Homeless motivation

14 What I discovered: Survey 2 Almost everyone had heard of MLF/ARCH/S Army – By far the most well known services No one had heard of Habitat on Wheels or I Am Here No one had heard of medical help – “just call 911” At Least half of the people I spoke with needed legal aid and didn’t know where to get it Bottom Line: No one is aware of all services available to them but most had heard of MLF

15 What Can Be Done? What is a possible first step toward empowering the homeless? – Create maps to pass out – Distribute through MLF truck network A good way to improve service efficacy Increasing Awareness

16 Example: = Mobile Loaves & Fishes Truck Stop = ARCH

17 VALIDATION: Others also working to improve awareness! Mobile Loaves and Fishes (MLF) House the Homeless, Inc. Many employees are homeless or formerly homeless

18 MLF Truck Stops - ONLINE

19 Housing the Homeless The Plastic Pocket Guide – Produced by House the Homeless, Inc. – Very Comprehensive! No Map! – If a homeless person can’t access the internet, how can they find the places? Or a bus route to get there? Distributed through ECHO – No one that I spoke with had a plastic pocket guide BUT

20 The issue has been recognized There is a gap between available aid and those in need We need to bridge this gap

21 Idea - Weaving MLF has the right idea: going to where the homeless live Provide MLF with maps to pass out – use the network that they already have in affect Work with HTH to create a map to go with their plastic pocket guide and to use MLF for distribution

22 Tomorrow I will take this action and contribute to my fellow man thusly I know that improved efficacy is attainable

23 Society will be judged on the manner in which it treats the least of its kind "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' – Matthew 25:40

24 Appendix

25 Mobile Loaves and Fishes “Providing food, clothing, and dignity to our brothers and sisters in need.” Trucks that travel to different points of the city to disperse meals to the homeless and indigent I Am Here Habitat on Wheels http://www.mlfnow.org/site/PageServer

26 House the Homeless Mission: Education and Advocacy of the Homeless – Let’s get to work initiative – http://www.housethehomeless.org/lets-get-to-work-initiative/ http://www.housethehomeless.org/lets-get-to-work-initiative/ – Universal Living Wage 2010 health survey: http://www.housethehomeless.org/hth-health-survey- results-2010/ http://www.housethehomeless.org/hth-health-survey- results-2010/ – “Given the number of persons experiencing various types of cancer (26) and number of people with other disabling conditions (186) as when compared to those receiving disability benefits (108) indicates that this is again a seriously under served faction of our community.”

27 Available Social Services ARCH (Austin’s Resource Center for the Homeless) Salvation Army Austin Baptist Chapel Lifeworks Street Outreach for Youth Caritas Trinity Center Baptist Community Center

28 Available Prepared Meals Congregational Church of Austin Austin Baptist Church Caritas Community Kitchen Salvation Army University Avenue Church of Christ Community of Christ Church Trinity United Methodist University United Methodist Mobile Loaves & Fishes

29 Available Groceries/Food Pantries El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Center Baptist Community Center

30 Available Shelter Salvation ARMy Women and Children Shelter Casa Marianella Lifeworks Street Outreach for Youth Transitional Living facility (18 – 23yo) ARCH Housing Authority and Section 8 - apply Travis County Housing Authority - apply Cold Weather Shelter (call ARCH or Lifeworks)

31 Available Medical Care Salvation Army Homeless Clinic ARCH Volunteer Health Clinic Lifeworks Street Outreach (at Congregational Church of Austin) AIDS Services of Austin Baptist Community Center (prescriptions)

32 Available Mental Health Care ACCESS (MHMR) – at ARCH Suicide Prevention (MHMR) Safeplace Austin Recovery Alcoholics Anonymous

33 Available Dental Care Jack Sansing Dental Clinic (HIV+ only) Manos De Cristo Dental Clinic Mobile Dental Clinic

34 Available Legal Aid/Advocacy Legal Aid for the Homeless (at ARCH) UT Criminal Defense Clinic American Gateways Family Law Hotline National Domestic Violence Hotline House the Homeless (at ARCH) Project Help

35 Available for Veterans Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic The Vet Center PTSD Travis Co. Veteran Services

36 Available Other Capital Metro (bus route info) Christian Service Center (for ID, Birth Cert)


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