{ sunday's inspiration } Brighten Your Path, Donate to Hillsborough's Homeless Today!

I held an event raising awareness and money for Hillsborough's homeless this past May in West Park Village and it was definitely an experience that I will never forget.

{ binspirational.com }  inspire | love | blog http://binspirational.blogspot.com/


I am currently taking graduate classes at Savannah College of Art & Design for my Master Degree in Graphic Design. One of our first projects was to create an awareness about homelessness in our local city. We were encouraged to collaborate with various people outside our comfort zone and profession in order to successfully communicate this awareness to a diverse target audience. Participation was also key to making it memorable.

We had only two weeks to deliver the final outcome. I was really excited and extremely motivated when we were given this task. I have been wanting to do something like this for the longest time, but never had the focus to actually sit down and make it happen. I dove straight into the project.

I was able to successfully collaborate with various people within the community and also gather willing volunteers. The project did not require us to actually hold an event however, I couldn't see any other way. Why go that far and not actually go through with it? Especially for such a great cause.

I won't go into too much detail, but my concept was inspired by the Eightfold Path that is the essence of Buddha's teaching in order to end suffering and walk the path towards enlightenment. The Eightfold Path is;

Right Understanding
Right Thoughts
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Concentration

We held the event this past May in West Park Village, and it was definitely an experience that I will never forget. Not only was I able to create an awareness within our community, but I also became enlightened after going through the process, speaking with others who have been homeless themselves and sharing stories of others who knew people who recently became homeless. Representatives of the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County were able to also attend the event and provided further information about this issue. Even though I had only two weeks to produce the final project, I think it was successful in the end and in more ways than one. I witnessed the generosity of those who gave not only their money but also their time for this great cause.

Although I received an "A" on this project, I gained so much more than just the grade. I'm not kidding!

Please check out my video from the event, Project In-Lightening - and please feel free to visit our website at http://www.binspirational.com to read more and/or donate to the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County.

You can also click on the link below to just watch the video:

MAKE A DONATION TODAY!!! http://www.homelessofhc.org/

I think you would be as surprised as I was to read the information below.


(Source - Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County, Inc., http://www.homelessofhc.org/)

What Causes Homelessness? 
While there is no one single cause of homelessness, the biggest contributing factor to the rising number of homelessness is the shortage of affordable housing for people with limited incomes.

• low-paying job
• unemployment
• lack of needed services
• domestic violence
• drug and alcohol addiction
• insufficient education
• poverty
• family breakup
• physical and mental illness
• catastrophic illness
• disasters (i.e. fires/storms)

Introduction to the Problem
Homelessness affects everyone and everybody's help is needed to fix this problem. Homelessness affects everyone in our community. Homeless people are our neighbors, our children's friends family, our waiters and waitresses, our employees, co-workers, and congregation members. Homelessness affects us as employers, taxpayers, concerned citizens and people of faith/compassion.

Who is homeless?
• men, women and children
• educated and uneducated
• employed and unemployed
• white, black, Hispanic
• young and old
• disabled and able-bodied
• mentally and mentally healthy
• people who struggle with addictions
   and have never abused substances

The 2011 Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough Counties Homeless Count Reports:
• 17,755 men, women and children are homeless
  in Hillsborough county on any given night
• 7,336 are living on the street
• 10,424 are living doubled up with family/friends
• 23 percent are children
• 35 percent are female
• 44 percent are Caucasian
• 55 percent are African-American
• 14 percent are Hispanic/Latino
• 5 percent are veterans
• 90 percent became homeless in Florida
• 51 percent have never been homeless before
• 35 percent have a disability
• 65 percent have some source of income


Thank You
Tracey Crocker & Margaret Djekovic
Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County
Also a Big Thank You To Volunteers
Bill Biss, Virginia & Alex Larrea,
Adam Roland, & Tampa Print Services

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Margaret Djekovic December 19, 2011 at 02:33 PM
April, Thank you for the wonderful blog and thank you again for holding the event to help support the Homelss Coalition. Also, congrats on your A!! Best, Margaret Djekovic
Tracey Crocker December 21, 2011 at 07:01 PM
The power of one becomes the power of a community when individuals like you begin to awareness. Thank you! Merry Christmas,
April Deutsch-Biss December 22, 2011 at 06:09 PM
Hello Margaret! Thank you for being present during the event and helping us spread the message. I hope to do something like this again. Inspire + Believe, April Biss
April Deutsch-Biss December 22, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Hello Tracey! Thank you also for being present during the event and allowing us to have more insight into this issue. It only takes one person to start something positive – so why not make it count? It doesn't take much, but it makes a huge difference. Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays! April Biss


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