Changing the Story – From Help to Action


What we are finding is that the first thing that we can do to help is to offer “Help” trusted access to people who can advise you. Nearly every front page of every station involved in this project has a window to help.

But after that what people need is “Hope”. Many will lose their homes. If you have no work, you cannot keep your home. What happens when you have lost everything?

What can Hope be then?

I think that Hope is again found in story. Stories of people who are taking practical action to better themselves and others when all has been lost. I find that I can hope when I see someone like me, who is doing something that I could do.

What do I mean? Here is an example in my own life. After years of adding more pounds every year and telling myself that this was a natural part of getting older, I met an old friend of mine who looked great. He had always been a bit chubby. But finally he made some simple changes to his life and he lost 30 pounds. No amount of nagging from my poor wife Robin had got me to change. But when I saw John and what he had done, I knew I could do it. I am 12 pounds lighter now and on my way. John’s story had all the elements that helped me change my life.

That is the kind of story that offers real hope.

Here is how WDET is covering the story of Ian Perotta

Ian Perotta was easing through his senior year of college in Pennsylvania when he saw the 20/20 report on The $100 House. As soon as the piece ended, he got on Craigslist to search for some other cheap houses in Detroit. After finding a bundle of five houses on the Hamtramck/Detroit border, he was in his car with his brother, heading for what he thought might be the real estate promised land. By weekend’s end, he had aquired five foreclosed homes for $1,400 (excluding several thousand in back taxes he’s trying to renegotiate). And by May (he bought the houses in March), he had graduated from college, and moved into one of the foreclosed homes.

The original idea was to convince some other friends from back home to pick up and move to Detroit like he did. But the idea has since evolved into a less friend-centric, and more altruistic venture called Habitat for Hamtramck. Basically, his plan is to renovate the five houses he bought, and then give them away to people who could offer their services to the neighborhood in which the house is. Hear the details below……..

Who are your action heroes?

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