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Those In Need

My son Sasha is homeless.

That’s a difficult thing to say.  I worry about him all the time, and it’s a rare that an hour goes by that I don’t hope he’s okay.  There are reasons he isn’t living with me.  They’re complicated and difficult and terrible.  The situation is the least worst of all choices.

After several weeks of days on the street and nights in a rotation of church basements, Sasha was finally given a bed at the Delonis Shelter in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan.  He’s trying to earn his GED, and he works a few hours a week a food distribution center.  He was mugged once for his driver’s license, but that’s the worst of it.  He’s been very lucky so far.

A lot of other people haven’t been.

Because of Sasha, I’ve learned a lot about Ann Arbor’s homeless situation.  Ann Arbor has a high homeless population, partly because Ann Arbor has, in the past, been kinder to its homeless than surrounding cities like Detroit and Lansing and the wealthy cities in Oakland County, who don’t tolerate homeless people at all.  In fact, police from other towns have been known to put their homeless people on a Greyhound bus to Ann Arbor.  This overtaxes Ann Arbor’s homeless system.

Because the shelters don’t have infinite room, an impromptu campground recently sprang up on wooded state land on the outskirts of Ann Arbor.  A large number of homeless people who couldn’t get into the shelters are living there.  According to Sasha, who is very outgoing and makes friends quickly, these people are homeless for a great variety of reasons.  A great many were laid off from their jobs and lost their houses or apartments. Many are veterans.  Women with children live there, too.

Now, the state has decided these people are a danger. It’s erecting a fence around the land and forcing the people out.  State officials claim that they’re going to find “alternative housing” for the people, but my contacts within the shelter system tell me there isn’t near enough housing to go around.  The Delonis Shelter, where my son is staying, is being flooded with desperate people.

Please help them.  I’m asking on behalf of Sasha and all the other children who have been kicked off the state land.

For the next year, I’m donating all the royalties I get from my ebooks at Book View Cafe and from Amazon to the Delonis Shelter.  Every time you buy one, you’re making a donation.

I’ve made a cash donation as well. Can you join in? Even a few dollars helps. You can donate on-line with a credit or debit card at the shelter’s web site: http://annarborshelter.org/donations

Thank you for reading.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 22nd, 2012 03:46 am (UTC)
A good cause
User difrancis referenced to your post from A good cause saying: [...] A really good cause [...]
Jun. 22nd, 2012 04:12 am (UTC)
No title
User johnlevitt referenced to your post from No title saying: [...] A good cause, [...]
Jun. 22nd, 2012 12:03 pm (UTC)
ApolloCon Schedule and the Ann Arbor Homeless Situation
User marthawells referenced to your post from ApolloCon Schedule and the Ann Arbor Homeless Situation saying: [...] ing films based on 'The Hobbit'. Wells (M), Jones, Pace *** Steven Harper Piziks: Those in Need [...]
Jun. 22nd, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
No title
User roseaponi referenced to your post from No title saying: [...] A good cause [...]
Jun. 22nd, 2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
This is as good a reminder as any to finally buy the ebooks of Doomsday Vault and Impossible Cube. Will do that right now -- and send a donation in as well.

Here's hoping for good news for you, Sasha, and the rest of the family sooner rather than later.
Jun. 22nd, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Greg.
Jul. 6th, 2012 02:39 pm (UTC)
Steven Harper Piziks on Homelessness
User alfreda89 referenced to your post from Steven Harper Piziks on Homelessness saying: [...] people like his son. # I’ve mentioned elsewhere (http://spiziks.livejournal.com/370953.html [...]
Jul. 6th, 2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
The Homeless Are Our Children, Too
User deborahjross referenced to your post from The Homeless Are Our Children, Too saying: [...] ..and perhaps still does. I’ve mentioned elsewhere (http://spiziks.livejournal.com/370953.ht ml [...]
Jul. 6th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
I missed this post the first time around, and I'm sorry. I have now caught up on my Steven Harper collection. I bought Doomsday Vault and Impossible Cube for my Kindle.

Keep us updated on your upcoming public appearances -- I'd like to get them autographed!
Jul. 7th, 2012 12:57 am (UTC)
Awesome! Thanks, Mjit!

Edited at 2012-07-07 12:57 am (UTC)
Jul. 6th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
Steven Harper Piziks on Homelessness
User dunmurderin referenced to your post from Steven Harper Piziks on Homelessness saying: [...] people like his son. # I’ve mentioned elsewhere (http://spiziks.livejournal.com/370953.html [...]
Jul. 7th, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
I saw this through deborahjross and I'd like to pass this and your other entry around on different social media sites to boost the signal, is that okay?

I'm making a donation through the website and I'll keep Sasha in my thoughts, he sounds like a hardworking kid and hopefully he can pull himself out of this and end up okay.
Jul. 8th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC)
That's absolutely okay! Thank you so much for donating, too.
Jul. 8th, 2012 08:10 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, I will make sure I link back to your original posts. My contribution's not much, but hopefully I can get others to donate.

My partner and I have made friends with some of the homeless population in our area and it makes my gut twist when I don't see someone for a few weeks. Sasha seems so bright and savvy and on top of all that incredibly compassionate. Please pass on my well wishes when you see him next.

Edited at 2012-07-08 08:11 am (UTC)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
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