Whether the City of Akron realizes it or not, they are standing at a great crossroads in the history of our city.
With one yes or no vote they will be deciding the fate of the poorest, most in need people within our city. And with that vote they will be making a profound moral statement on how they feel about these homeless Americans.
Do they care that American citizens are living like third world refugees on the streets of Akron?
City Council will begin the process of deciding the fate of our privately run tent community September 10, at 7pm in the Council Chambers at 166 South High Street in Akron, Ohio.
If ever there was a moment where we needed you to physically support our cause this is that moment.
If at all possible, PLEASE mark your calendars to meet us September 10, 2018 at 166 High Street in Akron, Ohio at 7pm in the Council Chambers.
People are homeless for many reasons.
- Parents die and leave them stranded alone with no money or support.
- Medical conditions force them from being able to work.
- Mental health issues make navigating the systems of America brutally difficult.
- Intellectual disabilities make traditional work impossible and bureaucratic systems endless complicated mazes.
We are not asking the city for money.
We are not asking the city to raise taxes to pay for these people.
We are not asking the city to lift a single finger to do anything to help these people.
All we are asking is to allow us the right to care for these people on private land with private money.
If you have seen our facility you know that the meager tents these people live in are completely invisible from the street.
You know that we have bought the only house that is behind our facility. We are now using that as transitional housing to help these people begin the process of moving into permanent housing.
You know that we have a self-governed system that includes zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use.
You know that we have laundry, a shower, computers, wifi, food and clothing.
You know that we offer AA meetings, church services and many other learning programs.
You know that we are now integrating learning pods to teach marketable skills such as screen printing, air brushing, music, electric and many others.
These people are not a figment of our imagination.
These people are not useless trash to be thrown away.
These people are not deserving of our city’s scorn, dismissal and hatred.
They are legal American citizens that have done nothing wrong other than run out of money and family support.
Who have we become if we can’t even allow private citizens the right to care for these people?
What is America if it becomes illegal to walk in the way Jesus taught us to walk?
Why do we feel the need to punish those that have nothing and have done nothing wrong?
We must stand up for the right to allow private citizens to be what America asked us to be: The land of the free and the home of the brave.
We must stand up for the right to allow private citizens to be what God and Jesus asked us to be: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
We must stand up for the right to allow private citizens to call out a government which oversteps its bounds and creates laws which do not exist simply because it doesn’t like the idea of helping the poor.
But most importantly we must get our government on the right side of history.
Caring for the homeless of America immediately and in a way that is safe and able to be accomplished economically is an inevitable truth.
There is not any perceivable scenario where it is acceptable morally, logically and spiritually to allow people to fester and rot alone on our streets, under our bridges and in our ditches in the richest country the world has ever seen.
We are living in a Bizarro alternate universe where our government has brainwashed itself into thinking that this is somehow OK. That these people somehow have put themselves in a brutal, terrible existence that does not deserve our attention.
Our government officials must wake up.
We must do everything in our power to get our government on the right side of history this September 10, 2018. If they work with us now this moment will go down in history as a win win for everyone.
The city will be seen by future historians as forward thinkers and innovators dealing with a problem that has been brewing since the 1980s.
For their own sake in the history of Akron we must do everything in our power to convince City Council to vote yes on allowing our tent community to exist.
Because if they don’t vote yes, this bus will turn into a much more complicated, messy and elongated process. The outcome will be the same. We are on the side of justice. We are on the side of morality. We are on the side of God Himself.
Our right to care for the homeless is as certain as the sun rising in East every morning. It will happen.
But by voting no they will take a stand on the wrong side of history. They will be drawing a line that will create a great moral divide.
This will not end. This will not go away. This will get messy.
This will be the 21st century equivalent to the Montgomery bus boycotts of the mid 1950s.
They will realize that all of America is a bus. And if we are citizens and if we have broken no laws then we all have the right to have a seat on the bus.
Please come to this historic hearing on September 10, 2018 at 7pm in the Council Chambers at 166 South High Street in Akron, Ohio.
I would suggest getting there earlier. I’m planning on being there about 6pm.
We will also be renting a bus and having a meal before the event at our facility at 15 Broad Street in Akron. You are very welcome to come to our facility for that gathering anytime after 4pm.
If you have never been part of a gathering like this before I know it can feel awkward and strange. But being part of something important like this will be a moment in your life you will likely always remember.
Just showing up for something you believe in makes all the difference in a country like America.
Please, please, please come support us on Monday, September 10, 2018 at 7pm in the Council Chambers at 166 South High Street in Akron, Ohio.