An Invitation to the Buffet of Educational Experiences
What: Homelessness Demystified: Buffet of Educational Experiences
When: Feb 2 – May 4, 2019
Where: various events in different locations in Irvine, OC, Long Beach
There’s an important lesson we can learn from the honey bee. In her lifetime, a honey bee only makes 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey. It’s a tiny fraction of the hundred pounds of honey that a typical colony of bees needs to survive. Like the honey bee we too can solve complex problems when we join our efforts, however tiny they are, to the actions of others. This winter and spring, I invite you to join the many who are coming together to learn about OC homelessness and create solutions to this horrific social problem.
Affordable housing and housing for homeless people have become polarizing topics in many of our communities. So most of us do what we tend to do with difficult subjects. We don’t talk about them. But if we don’t talk about the solutions to homelessness with our neighbors and friends, we may never solve problems in ways that honor our different voices nor build strong communities . Thus, a number of faith communities and non-profits came together on Feb. 2, 2019 in a panel of Homelessness Demystified: Creating Awareness, Understanding and Solutions and launched the Buffet of Educational Experiences (BEE) from Feb 2 to May 4, 2019. The BEE is full of hands-on activities and safe experiences to learn about OC homelessness in many different ways. You can choose from over 25 experiences in 7 categories: Go on housing tours, volunteer, connect, donate, transform knowledge into action through creative crafts, host talks, attend workshops, read expert papers, and even children’s books on homelessness! We recommend you choose one activity from each category to make up your learning plate and savor them over the next few months. Full details are at the Irvine for Everyone Digital Library and Housing Hub: https://irvineforeveryone.org/. You can browse the online Buffet of Educational Experiences or download and print it as a 20 page booklet: Follow the Featured Item Link and click on Files a couple of times. Thank you!
Some Facts about OC Homelessness:
1. Nationwide homelessness has become a crisis linked to systemic issues of income stagnation and unaffordable housing. In the OC the situation is made worse by the fact that we’re now one of the top ten least affordable places to live in the US. OC has also been one of the last places to recover from the 2008 Great Recession.
2. A majority of the people experiencing homelessness are born US citizens, OC residents for more than 10 years, single, elderly, and disabled.
3. The number of working poor homeless families is growing. In the OC, almost 28,000 children are suffering housing insecurity and homelessness.
4. The characteristic feature of homelessness in much of OC is not the stereotype of street homeless that we often see and visualize – i.e. person with all their belongings in a shopping cart – but invisibility: Because of fear and stigma, homeless parents hide their situation, living in cars and motels. Remember, the Garden Grove family in late 2017 who died in their car because of carbon monoxide poisoning? That’s the norm – invisible homelessness.
5. Homelessness affects all of us, and hurts future generations. In terms of USD alone, the United Way/Jamboree Housing/UCI study has shown that homelessness costs our cities/tax payers millions of dollars to do nothing! It is far cheaper to provide humane, healthy housing.
More about homelessness and housing, visit: http://irvineforeveryone.org/