P.O. Box 1055 Doylestown, PA 18901 info@deservingdecor.org 215-550-5674

National Homeless Youth Awareness

Our childhood experiences are the foundation of the beginning saga that is interwoven with our memories of family celebrations – including holidays and birthdays, which leave lasting imprints on our lives. The layers of tradition carry a scaffolding of beliefs for us to follow from parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins.

All these experiences mold our sense of stability and sense of self, while preparing us to face joys and trials of life (with the understood support of each other) and more importantly, a sense of belonging.  Home is where we can be ourselves and have a sense of security; our youth is not supposed to face a future devoid of these reinforcements and homelessness.

One in every three homeless individuals is under the age of eighteen!   

The National Coalition for the Homeless defines homeless youth as individuals under the age of eighteen who lack parental, foster, or institutional care. It is now established that approximately two million people under the age of eighteen will experience homelessness by the end of this year.

Other dilemmas that compound this issue are the risk of facing physical assault, and unattended medical and mental health issues, which have the potential repercussion of fatality.

In the past year, approximately fifty percent of runaway youth were physically abused and seeking resolution from a difficult home environment.  While one tenth of female runaways are reportedly pregnant and homeless, homeless youth are ten times more likely to contract HIV than adolescents who are not homeless.

Please watch this video about teens slipping through the cracks and into the world of homelessness. It may change your life or that of a homeless youth.

 

We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love – Mother Teresa

 

Written by Cherie Watts, Deserving Decor Volunteer

 

A Woman’s Place – Protection in the Storm of Domestic Violence

domestic violenceThe ability to predict and protect oneself from violent behavior is ultimately through our own unique signals of intuition. This is the central theme of the author, Gavin de Becker, who is one of the nation’s leading experts on knowing the subtle signs of violent behavior in which he reveals reliable precursor indicators associated with spousal and dating domestic violence.  

Intimate Enemiesis one of his forthright chapters in his National Bestseller, The Gift of Fear in which he dispels the myth that weak or uneducated women are victims of domestic violence.

The national statistics are clear that one in four women, 25% of the female population, has experienced domestic violence in their lifetime.   Women accounted for 85% of the victims of domestic violence by intimate partners according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief.

A Woman’s Place is the only domestic violence organization located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania that provides comprehensive free, private and confidential services. This dedicated organization provides support, education, outreach and advocacy to victims of abusive violence and their children in which they can only house approximately seven families for up to thirty days.  They have consistently provided preventative educational programs with confidentiality since founded in 1976. Recent data shows that they have serviced 4000 individuals out of a county population of 620,000.

Many women transition from A Woman’s Place to transitional shelter apartments that Deserving Décor is committed to creating an atmosphere of creative comfort for those individuals who have suffered the loss of their homes, family structures and sense of security. In the midst of battling the reality of incredible loss of family, financial difficulties and the shame or stigma associated with domestic violence, Deserving Décor strives to give these families a glimpse of hope and stability by creating an environment of belonging that each one of us aspire to attain in our own lives.

Our journey is never clear and without struggles……..How can we raise the bar of awareness on domestic violence within our own neighborhood and contribute to our sense of community?

The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step – Lao Tzu

Credits Written by Cherie Watts, Deserving Decor Volunteer
Image: africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Hidden Homeless – Middle Class Homelessness

 

Going through life and facing every day triumphs and dilemmas are something we all face on our pathway of life.  Many of us attain our career goals through acquiring degrees or skills, starting new jobs, getting married and establish a growing family or taking a journey that is filled with hope and a vision of success.

The unexpected turn of events that disrupt our plan can encompass a whirlwind of events that halter our direction and joy of hopefulness. Sudden illnesses and the expenses that overtake our funds….the fall out of divorce….the necessity of leaving the shame and silence of a controlling, manipulative and rage filled partner in order to be safe…..losing your job and emptying all funds….paying for healthcare that will cover the cost of cancer care….

None of us are sure of our futures and each of us has the potential to fall upon difficult times.   Depending upon our resources and family support, we all could be facing Hidden Homelessness.

Hidden Homelessness is in your community and the percentage of homelessness is no longer due to mental illness or an addictive personality….It is affecting college educated and middle class families.  The economic downturn in recent years coupled with greater burdens of personal healthcare costs has caused a grave increase in family fallout and loss of homes.

The majorities of the individuals facing homelessness rely on family and friends, live in cheap hotels, rent rooms or live in their cars before ending up in a homeless shelter.  The federal definition of “homeless” or “homeless individuals” include-

1. An individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and

2. An individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including transitional housing for the mentally ill, welfare hotels and congregate shelters)

What can you do to help? Everything!

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro

Written by Cherie Watts, Deserving Decor Volunteer

Image: Tom Clare / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Homeless Children – A national crisis

When you think of the homeless, what is the image you create in your mind? Does it include homeless children? A segment recently aired on 60 Minutes about homeless children and what they and their families must endure. The title of the segment is Hardtimes generation: homeless kids . The story is centered around middle class families in Seminole County, Florida who lost their homes, but it is not only occuring in Florida, it is a nationwide crisis.

In the last 2 years families living at or below the poverty level ($22,000 or less for a family of 4) has risen by 2 million, the largest amount of middle class americans to fall into the poverty level in 51 years, since the great depression.

Families are forced to choose between buying food or paying the electric bill. Children living without electricity are doing their homework by candlelight and flash lights.

Is this the image created  in your mind by the question asked,  how do you picture the homeless?

Please take the time to watch the video. It is 13 minutes and 34 seconds long, including a one minute commercial near the beginning of the segment. Our children our worth it!

For some children, socializing and learning are being cruelly complicated by homelessness, as Scott Pelley reports from Florida, where school buses now stop at motels for children who’ve lost their homes.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7358670n

Written by Beth Baker, Deserving Decor Founder

Living Philanthropic – A Year of Giving

What would you attempt if you could attempt anything?    No fears! 

 What would you change if you could change anything?   No repercussions!       

 What would you give if you could give anything?  No limits!

Think about it for a second… 

I recently came upon an interesting article about a guy from Chicago attempting change through giving!  I’d like to introduce to you a new concept in philanthropy.  Living Philanthropic proves it doesn’t have to be hundreds or thousands of dollars.  I’d take it one step further to say, it doesn’t even have to be money.  Say you don’t have thousands or even hundreds of dollars to give, who does?  Say you don’t have any money?  You can effectuate change by giving your time and your talent by volunteering.  Be creative!

Read the article below and be inspired to answer one or all three of the questions asked above.

http://mashable.com/2011/02/22/living-philanthropic/

Introduction by Cheryl A Galowitch, Deserving Decor Volunteer