What had saved Ukraine is precisely what made the United States the most vulnerable nation on earth. Ukraine wasn’t fully automated. In the race to plug everything into the internet, the country was far behind. The tsunami known as the Internet of Things, which had consumed Americans for the better part of the past decade, had still not washed up in Ukraine. The nation’s nuclear stations, hospitals, chemical plants, oil refineries, gas and oil pipelines, factories, farms, cities, cars, traffic lights, homes, thermostats, lightbulbs, refrigerators, stoves, baby monitors, pacemakers, and insulin pumps were not yet “web-enabled.”
In the United States, though, convenience was everything; it still is. We were plugging anything we could into the internet, at a rate of 127 devices a second. We had bought into Silicon Valley’s promise of a frictionless society. There wasn’t a single area of our lives that wasn’t touched by the web. We could now control our entire lives, economy, and grid via a remote web control. And we had never paused to think that, along the way, we were creating the world’s largest attack surface.–This is How They Tell Me The World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race, Nicole Perlroth
Impossible Shelter Rules
At the same time Genesis was crying onscreen, Cori was sobbing outside the room. Her neighbor at the Sleep Inn had told her that a resident assistant was in her room packing up her belongings. Cori had done everything right—seeking permission and getting a letter from the Girl Scouts—but there had been a miscommunication or someone had decided that the letter was not adequate authorization for her absence from shelter for more than forty-eight hours. According to Childrens Community Services, Cori was in breach. So now they were kicking her out.
–Troop 6000: The Girl Scout Troop That Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World by Nikita Stewart
Deeply Personal Actions
For those who are inspired, the motivation to act is deeply personal. They are less likely to be swayed by incentives. Those who are inspired are willing to pay a premium or endure inconvenience, even personal suffering. Those who are able to inspire will create a following of people—supporters, voters, customers, workers—who act for the good of the whole not because they have to, but because they want to.-Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek
Cyberwar Power Move
There was no financial profit to be gleaned from turning off the power. It was a political hit job. In the months that followed, security researchers confirmed as much. They traced the attack back to a well-known Russian intelligence unit and made their motives known. The attack was designed to remind Ukrainians that their government was weak, that Russia was strong that Putin’s digital forces were so deep into Ukraine’s every digital nook and cranny that Russia could turn the lights off at will. And just in case that message wasn’t clear, the same Russian hackers followed up one year later, turning off Ukraine’s power again in December 2016. Only this time they shut off heat and power to the nation’s heart—Kyiv—in a display of nerve and skill that made even Russia’s counterparts at the National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, wince.–This is How They Tell Me The World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race, Nicole Perlroth
A Name for the Nameless
But this new troop was unique. It belonged to girls who did not know where they belonged. It wouldn’t make sense to use the numbers normally applied to troops in any of the five boroughs. Given that its members had no fixed addresses, wasn’t this troop of girls, no matter where it was located, really like a floating borough in its own right? Or even a shadow borough, because the rest of society was ignorant of or didn’t want to acknowledge its residents? At some point Girl Scout staff realized that the 6000s, designated years earlier for specialized troops, like those for girls with special needs, were no longer used. And so, the Girl Scouts of Greater New York settled on the name Troop 6000.–Troop 6000: The Girl Scout Troop That Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World by Nikita Stewart
If Heidi had been shocked to hear that all of the rooms in the Sleep Inn were providing shelter for the homeless, she was absolutely shocked to hear that the person proposing to start a Girl Scout troop there was a homeless employee of the Girl Scouts. She began to grasp something that not enough city officials seemed to understand: Homelessness was escalating at such a rapid rate that a hotel had been informally turned into a shelter in a matter of a few months, so fast that a community development specialist at the Girl Scouts was now counted among the city’s most vulnerable.–Troop 6000: The Girl Scout Troop That Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World by Nikita Stewart
Eligible To Live
They were waiting to be placed in what the city called conditional shelter: For ten days, before putting any family in permanent shelter, investigators would call landlords and relatives to verify whether applicants for housing were actually homeless. For years, advocates and attorneys for homeless people had complained about this intrusiveness, treating homeless people as if they were trying to steal something, as if everyone was a liar until proven otherwise. In the past, the definition of overcrowding varied from investigator to investigator, with some even asking relatives whether a person might sleep well on bedding in a bathtub. Acceptable long-term sleeping options included air mattresses, even if they took up all the floor space in a room.
About 58 percent of those vying for a place to live were initially found to be ineligible either because they had no documentation that they had been evicted or because relatives, unsure of what to say, would convince themselves or outright lie to investigators that ten people could comfortably and happily live in a one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment. This meant that many people seeking shelter had to apply all over again after incorrectly being found ineligible; others just gave up in frustration, returning to crammed apartments or enduring family strife for the sake of a roof over their heads.–Troop 6000: The Girl Scout Troop That Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World by Nikita Stewart
DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim — or the whistle blower — into an alleged offender. This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility and blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.
Institutional DARVO occurs when the DARVO is committed by an institution (or with institutional complicity) as when police charge rape victims with lying. Institutional DARVO is a pernicious form of institutional betrayal.
Anti-DARVO refers to ways to reduce the negative impact of DARVO and also more constructive responses to allegations.
–What is DARVO?, Jennifer J. Freyd, PhD
Jennifer Frey’d professional services are based on research conducted over many decades in her laboratory as well as the laboratories of her former students and colleagues. This research includes investigations of interpersonal and institutional betrayal trauma, perpetrator strategies, and how to help address each of these challenges. About the Research — Jennifer Joy Freyd, PhD. (jjfreyd.com)
Part 1: How to Help Someone Facing Homelessness
This is based on the post: How to Help Someone Surviving Homelessness
(2) Surviving Homelessness (quora.com)
(1) SurvivingHomelessness (reddit.com)
Transcript of Notes
(not a full transcript)
If you are trying to help someone facing a serious financial crisis and potential homelessness, then this is the place to begin. The following suggestions provide practical advice for anyone attempting to help a friend or relative survive homelessness.
This information is divided into three presentations:
Part 1 – What to do
Part 2 – What not to do
Part 3 – Seriously, just DON’T do this
This first presentation assumes the following:
1) you already know the homelessness person you are trying to help
2) neither you nor this person have ever experienced extreme poverty or homelessness before.
No one is ever just handed help of any kind you have to prove that you’re not – to use a common slur – human garbage. Anyone who’s homeless is always considered guilty until proven innocent and even then most people will assume you just haven’t gotten caught yet. That makes proving yourself to be ‘deserving’ rather complicated.
Actually, you have to prove that you’re human – and then you have to prove that you deserve to live like one.
Spend a little time trying to understand the realities of poverty in your area. Walk or drive around and take the time to actually see homeless people and low-income neighborhoods. Visit the homeless shelter. Research all of the resources available to homeless people in your area. Call around and get some basic information about what it takes to qualify for help. Then spend some time researching news stories about homelessness in the region. This will give you some insight into the way the media portrays extremely poor people and how dangerous it is to be living on the street.
Just remember that you will never truly understand what it’s like until you’ve lived it.
Simply read the biographies of people who have survived extreme poverty and nonfiction books about poverty and homelessness can be helpful. Sadly, these resources these tend to be few and far between – particularly biographies. A readily available online resource is Invisible People, a homeless journalism project that interviews people surviving homelessness and posts the interviews without edits. It’s one of the only resources that provide a voice to homeless people by simply allowing each person to tell their own story. The link is provided in the description.
After your friend or relative has become homeless, continue spending time together. Whenever possible, make a point of doing so publicly.
This kind of crisis will send a perfectly healthy human being spiraling into depression. Simple and authentic acts of friendship can help fight the despair that inevitably comes from living with the stigma of poverty.
Other people will see you together, which will reduce the damage caused by poverty stigma. This will also increase the possibility of making whatever connections are necessary to get out of homelessness.
Making alliances is crucial to both surviving and escaping poverty. Being homeless means losing police protection. Individuals without a support group or network are frequently targeted by predators –including those living financially stable, socially acceptable lives.
Publicly associating with the housed enhances the individual’s standing as a member of the ‘deserving poor.’ The is a matter of survival and an unfortunate reality born out of extremely limited resources.
No matter how altruistic a social worker or non-profit volunteer is, when a program has enough money to cover the needs of 100 people and it receives 500+ applications, decisions must be made and those decisions are often subjective.
Many non-profits are provided opportunities to collaborate with wealthy benefactors or other organizations on a limited basis. These are purposely unadvertised programs made available to ‘hand picked’ clients. Effectively, they will examine the people who have applied for publicly advertised programs and select those who are considered a good fit.
For all of these reasons (and more), it is important to present the best possible argument for being selected as a recipient and that requires being perceived as ‘deserving.’
Community. It’s the one thing everyone surviving homelessness loses. Ostracism and stigma are part of the homeless experience. They are unfair, unwarranted, traumatizing, and will directly hinder any attempts to escape homelessness. Publicly associating with someone even after they’ve become homeless maintains a connection to the community that existed before losing everything. I can’t overstate just how helpful it is to have a public display of that connection. It’s one of the few things that can counter the ostracism and stigma, just enough to begin making additional connections that could help lead a person out of homelessness.
Anytime someone you care about is faced with a crisis it is time to listen and let them talk. Don’t judge, don’t get offended, and (for the love of Pete!) do NOT break confidences!
Brainstorming all possibilities, no matter how outlandish, helps re-establish hope. Some things are not possible right now, but there’s always someday.
Setting a long-term goal can help to clarify the next best move. The financial situation may be desperate right now, but that does not eliminate the possibility of reaching life or career goals in the future. Identifying a long-term goal and looking for immediate opportunities that move in that general direction can both simplify and improve the process of escaping poverty.
By seeing the actions taken in the immediate moment as steps on the path to a much different (better) place, the individual is able to achieve a more positive perspective overall. This is invaluable when writing resumes, sitting through interviews, filling out applications for assistance, looking for housing and so on.
For some reason, brainstorming sessions have a way of making people more aware of opportunities. After taking some time to look at seemingly outlandish goals, something within immediate reach will be identified. A contact, a job posting, a passing conversation…any number of resources and leads might be revealed. It just requires allowing the mind to focus on what is possible.
Brainstorming discussions can help a person remember their worth and remain cautious while job hunting. If an individual goes into the job-seeking process willing to “take anything from anyone in exchange for whatever paycheck is offered” then chances are very good that an unethical or abusive manager will exploit the opportunity. The end result? A terrible work experience, Job loss, a tarnished work record and minimal pay.
Tangible Help: Helping out in small ways provides more than financial assistance, it lifts the spirits and establishes an ongoing sense of community. It makes taking that next step out of poverty possible.
It is your responsibility to identify what you are both willing and able to do. This is about boundaries. You can’t communicate or enforce your boundaries if you don’t know what they are. Other people can’t respect your boundaries if you don’t know what they are. Identifying those boundaries are your responsibilities.
Sit down and making two lists: 1) things you can do in the short term and 2) things you can do over the long-term (read: years). After you have clearly identified your own limits (to yourself), it’s time to take action.
How you communicate this information will depend on the person facing poverty/homelessness and your relationship. Sometimes simply showing up with a casserole is the best thing you can do. Other times, it’s better to discuss the available options ahead of time. A few suggestions are listed here.
Network with people who know how to utilize the local resources for survival. Most people find good solid information through places of worship, community organizations, and 12-step programs.
Ask the people in your own network of friends and family for recommendations about both resources and people who might know more about local resources.
Helping to identify and arrange temporary paid work can be a valuable form of assistance. Before we get into the benefits of odd jobs, let’s take a look at the realities of the work poor. Most homeless people already have jobs – commonly known as the working poor. Don’t assume that your friend needs additional work
If you have the ability to offer or arrange paid work, then make the offer. If they turn down your offer be gracious about it and let them know the offer remans open if they ever change their mind. Homeless people have the right t accept or refuse as they see fit. Acknowledging and respecting that fact is important.
Here are some reasons odd jobs can be helpful – if they choose to accept your offer.
It enhances the individual’s standing as a member of the ‘deserving poor.’
It qualifies as freelance work and/or self-employment which provides solid networking opportunities.
Helps fill a time gap on a resume.
It’s easier to find a job when you have a job.