Posts Tagged Hope
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?
How are we going to face the mortgage crisis? How are we going to keep the homes that can be saved? How are we going to give people who have lost their jobs and homes the hope to rebuild their lives? How are we going to protect communities that are full of foreclosed homes from disintegrating?
In the 1930′s the New Deal was the project of hope for millions of Americans. The heart of the New Deal was that the government facilitated the creation or work and opportunity for people. I think that there is a new “New Deal” on the horizon in our time. A New Deal where local communities facilitate their own help, their own opportunity and in the end maybe even their own work for people. Central to this new community and local effort is your local public TV or radio station.
Last year, one TV station, in one market – St Louis’s KETC - was funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to try an experiment. To see if a public TV station could offer this kind of help. We found out that we could. We did this by helping the helpers and by working to change the story of the crisis.
We discovered that we could help the “Helping” organizations in our city come together as a powerful platform of advice and support. We discovered that we could help the people who were most affected get the confidence and the information to reach out to help that they could trust. We discovered that we could help start to create hope. Real hope. Hope that people were not alone, not helpless, not to blame and that they had easy access to help that they can trust. We discovered that we could change the prevailing story that help was out there to a new story – that we ourselves could be the help.
But we were just one station in one city. In the scheme of things we were an interesting anecdote. How could the wider story in America become one where people could realistically experience and hence know that they had the answers in their own hands? How could we do that?
Of course the answer to that question has to be that we needed more stations and more cities to take up this work. So CPB has brought together 76 stations in 32 of the hardest hit cities to expand on this idea of helping the helping organizations get together and in reaching out to people and helping them connect safely to this help.
View Facing the Mortgage Crisis Applicants in a larger map
Here they are. You can find them in this map. If you expand the view, the Google Map Page will open and you can see the names and the contact information on the legend. As the project moves forward, each station will add your local resources to the map. In time we will have a map showing the growing platform of help across America.
One of the ways you can also identify if your station is involved is that they will be using branding that looks like this:
Here is how WDET is using this brand on its home page:
Just as Intel co brand with PC makers, so CPB is co branding the “Facing the Mortgage Crisis” project with your stations own brand.
Our hope is that if we can make this story of self help big enough that it will become the new normal. We hope that a national networked effort by Public TV and Radio stations might bring back a very old American idea of the community working together to do important things for each other.
So when you see this brand – this is what it is all about.
Much of what your public radio or TV station can do in the mortgage crisis is to connect you to people who have the knowledge to help you keep your home.
But in some cases this will not be possible. We can connect you to help but your home may not be savable.
Some cities in America are in a new phase of the Mortgage Crisis – Las Vegas, Cleveland, Detroit – cities in California and Florida – where it may not be possible to save almost any home where foreclosure proceedings have begun.
In these cases, the issue is now how to help you when you may have lost your home and your job. How to help you when you have lost the foundation of your life. What kind of help can that be?
One answer is to give you hope.
What does that mean? It means helping you find out, in a realistic and tangible way how to rebuild your life.
I will talk more about this over the next few months. But right now I wanted to tell you about one of the things that is happening in Las Vegas – one of the worst hit cities.
One of the worst things that can happen to any of us is to have nothing meaningful to do.
Jobs are vital. Without one how do we pay the bills. Our work is central to giving us meaning. When we meet a person for the first time, we ask them “What do you do?” Our work defines us. So when we lose our job, who are we? Many people are losing their jobs. This is why many are losing their homes as well.
But in reality, many jobs are in themselves boring and meaningless. Many wish we could do something that we could get excited about. Some are finding that losing their job has strangely brought them back to life.
Here is a link to a NewsHour piece on how many are finding that not having their boring job has empowered people to get behind their passion.
Many can cope with losing their home so long as they can find shelter. But not having work is a kind of death.
We need to be able to get up in the morning and have some thing and some people to go to. If we have good work and we are with good people, we can also rebuild our networks. With a good network, we can also have a much better chance of getting paid work.
If this cannot be your old job, then many are finding that volunteering is a good first step. But of course the issue then is how do I find a good volunteer job?
What KNPR and many organizations in Las Vegas have done is to make it easy for people to volunteer to help organizations that are helping people in the community.
During National Volunteer Week, April 19-25, Nevada Public Radio partnered with the Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada to hold it’s first-ever Volunteer-A-Thon. April is the time when Nevada Public Radio holds its annual spring membership campaign. Instead of asking for members we asked listeners to give something perhaps more valuable – their time. The Volunteer-A-Thon culminated with an on-air drive for volunteers that was also an opportunity to recognize corporate partners who champion volunteerism and support employee volunteers.
Southern Nevadans answered the call to service during the Volunteer-A-Thon, with more than 460 people pledging more than 11,655 volunteer hours to local nonprofit organizations. During the Volunteer-A-Thon, 32 new nonprofit organizations also signed up with the Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada.
So instead of asking for money for the station – KNPR pushed its pledge week out a month – they asked for people to help each other and made it easy to choose what they wanted to do. The 11,000 hours are equivalent to over $200,000 worth of time.
KNPR did not do this on its own – but was helped in turn by not only the Volunteer Centre of Southern Nevada but by a number of corporations such as Zappos, Southwest Gas, Wells Fargo, & Harrahs.
Many good things are coming out of this action. Most important, the splintered community of Las Vegas is coming together. The volunteer organizations, themselves short of money, are getting help and are knitting as a group. For Profit organizations, are joining in. Most importantly, when all might seem lost, rather than not taking action, people are getting out, being with others and doing important work.
Maybe in the scheme of things, this is small right now. But maybe also it might be the beginning of some thing big. We see signs of this in other hard hit cities such as Detroit and Cleveland. You can get so far down that the only way out is up. The only people you can rely on is each other. This is the magic moment when the word “Community” starts to come to life.
“The Sleeper Awakes!”