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Autonomy Lost: Living Without Choice Autonomy Lost: Living Without Choice

The Information Age These vehicles l l The Internet Advertisements – – l l The Information Age These vehicles l l The Internet Advertisements – – l l Newspapers Mail – – l Billboards Television Radio Periodicals Surveys Catalogues 411 transport this information l l l l l Doctors Laws/Annuities/Taxes Employment Restaurants Entertainment Transportation Medicine Goods Services

Information provides choice l Picture life without: – – – The internet A phone Information provides choice l Picture life without: – – – The internet A phone Television Radio Car

How does this thought make you feel? l l Helpless, Hopeless Lost, Distraught Powerless How does this thought make you feel? l l Helpless, Hopeless Lost, Distraught Powerless The homeless live without this information network upon which we have come to depend

Information prevents helplessness l One is empowered when – – l one knows what Information prevents helplessness l One is empowered when – – l one knows what to do one has a choice Homeless live without information enough to be empowered, to know what to do, or to make a choice

Autonomy l 3 rd Categorical Imperative – l The homeless are not often able Autonomy l 3 rd Categorical Imperative – l The homeless are not often able to forego their actions – l “Because I am responsible for my own actions, I must be the true author of them. Hence, I must be able to forego performing them. I must be able to do otherwise. ” - Pojman Survival dictates their actions Without choice, how does one have autonomy?

Value and Dignity l “We depend for our self-image on the humans immediately around Value and Dignity l “We depend for our self-image on the humans immediately around us - to the point of altering our perceptions of the world so as to fit in with theirs. ” – Barbara Ehrenreich

“Their status is an anti-status. ” - Michael Rowe “Their status is an anti-status. ” - Michael Rowe

Dennis and Smitty l Dennis (53) – – – Has been a carpenter since Dennis and Smitty l Dennis (53) – – – Has been a carpenter since he was 11 Mother has Alzheimer's While napping, was once attacked by a man with a crowbar Afraid of downtown Desperately wants a job l Smitty (48) – – – Is a Desert Storm vet Wife kicked him out Is desperate for pro bono legal aid Doesn’t know where to go for legal aid Is ashamed of his situation

Survey 1 l l Spoke with 5 homeless people for 1 to 2 hours Survey 1 l l Spoke with 5 homeless people for 1 to 2 hours each. Learned their stories and what daily life was like for them. – – – l No one wanted to be homeless Everyone was ashamed of their situation Everyone wanted to work No choice

Quotes: l l l “My life is being wasted. ” “Right now I’m in Quotes: l l l “My life is being wasted. ” “Right now I’m in a ditch. Like that one right there. I’m down there. I know I can do better. ” “God bless you. ” “You are a real sweetheart. I can’t tell you how much this meant to me. ” “My day just got a lot better. ”

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. ” - Edmund Burke l How is it possible, within a society as rich and advanced as ours, with as many aid programs as we have available, that this problem persists?

We aren’t “doing nothing”… l Many homeless programs/services exist – l See handout BUT We aren’t “doing nothing”… l Many homeless programs/services exist – l See handout BUT there is a GAP between services and: – – – need Homeless awareness of services offered Homeless motivation

What I discovered: Survey 2 l Almost everyone had heard of MLF/ARCH/S Army – What I discovered: Survey 2 l Almost everyone had heard of MLF/ARCH/S Army – l l By far the most well known services No one had heard of Habitat on Wheels or I Am Here No one had heard of medical help – “just call 911” At Least half of the people I spoke with needed legal aid and didn’t know where to get it Bottom Line: No one is aware of all services available to them but most had heard of MLF

What Can Be Done? l What is a possible first step toward empowering the What Can Be Done? l What is a possible first step toward empowering the homeless? – – l Increasing Awareness Create maps to pass out Distribute through MLF truck network A good way to improve service efficacy

Example: = Mobile Loaves & Fishes Truck Stop = ARCH Example: = Mobile Loaves & Fishes Truck Stop = ARCH

VALIDATION: Others also working to improve awareness! l l Mobile Loaves and Fishes (MLF) VALIDATION: Others also working to improve awareness! l l Mobile Loaves and Fishes (MLF) House the Homeless, Inc. l Many employees are homeless or formerly homeless

MLF Truck Stops - ONLINE MLF Truck Stops - ONLINE

Housing the Homeless l The Plastic Pocket Guide – – Produced by House the Housing the Homeless l The Plastic Pocket Guide – – Produced by House the Homeless, Inc. Very Comprehensive! BUT l No Map! – l If a homeless person can’t access the internet, how can they find the places? Or a bus route to get there? Distributed through ECHO – No one that I spoke with had a plastic pocket guide

The issue has been recognized l l There is a gap between available aid The issue has been recognized l l There is a gap between available aid and those in need We need to bridge this gap

Idea - Weaving l l MLF has the right idea: going to where the Idea - Weaving l l MLF has the right idea: going to where the homeless live Provide MLF with maps to pass out – l use the network that they already have in affect Work with HTH to create a map to go with their plastic pocket guide and to use MLF for distribution

Tomorrow l l I will take this action and contribute to my fellow man Tomorrow l l I will take this action and contribute to my fellow man thusly I know that improved efficacy is attainable

Society will be judged on the manner in which it treats the least of Society will be judged on the manner in which it treats the least of its kind l "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. ' – Matthew 25: 40

Appendix Appendix

Mobile Loaves and Fishes l l l “Providing food, clothing, and dignity to our Mobile Loaves and Fishes l l l “Providing food, clothing, and dignity to our brothers and sisters in need. ” Trucks that travel to different points of the city to disperse meals to the homeless and indigent I Am Here Habitat on Wheels http: //www. mlfnow. org/site/Page. Server

House the Homeless l Mission: Education and Advocacy of the Homeless – – – House the Homeless l Mission: Education and Advocacy of the Homeless – – – l Let’s get to work initiative http: //www. housethehomeless. org/lets-get-to-work-initiative/ Universal Living Wage 2010 health survey: http: //www. housethehomeless. org/hth-health-surveyresults-2010/ – “Given the number of persons experiencing various types of cancer (26) and number of people with other disabling conditions (186) as when compared to those receiving disability benefits (108) indicates that this is again a seriously under served faction of our community. ”

Available Social Services l l l l ARCH (Austin’s Resource Center for the Homeless) Available Social Services l l l l ARCH (Austin’s Resource Center for the Homeless) Salvation Army Austin Baptist Chapel Lifeworks Street Outreach for Youth Caritas Trinity Center Baptist Community Center

Available Prepared Meals l l l l l Congregational Church of Austin Baptist Church Available Prepared Meals l l l l l Congregational Church of Austin Baptist Church Caritas Community Kitchen Salvation Army University Avenue Church of Christ Community of Christ Church Trinity United Methodist University United Methodist Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Available Groceries/Food Pantries l l El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Center Baptist Community Center Available Groceries/Food Pantries l l El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Center Baptist Community Center

Available Shelter l l l l l Salvation ARMy Women and Children Shelter Casa Available Shelter l l l l l Salvation ARMy Women and Children Shelter Casa Marianella Lifeworks Street Outreach for Youth Transitional Living facility (18 – 23 yo) ARCH Housing Authority and Section 8 - apply Travis County Housing Authority - apply Cold Weather Shelter (call ARCH or Lifeworks)

Available Medical Care l l l Salvation Army Homeless Clinic ARCH Volunteer Health Clinic Available Medical Care l l l Salvation Army Homeless Clinic ARCH Volunteer Health Clinic Lifeworks Street Outreach (at Congregational Church of Austin) AIDS Services of Austin Baptist Community Center (prescriptions)

Available Mental Health Care l l l ACCESS (MHMR) – at ARCH Suicide Prevention Available Mental Health Care l l l ACCESS (MHMR) – at ARCH Suicide Prevention (MHMR) Safeplace Austin Recovery Alcoholics Anonymous

Available Dental Care l l l Jack Sansing Dental Clinic (HIV+ only) Manos De Available Dental Care l l l Jack Sansing Dental Clinic (HIV+ only) Manos De Cristo Dental Clinic Mobile Dental Clinic

Available Legal Aid/Advocacy l l l l Legal Aid for the Homeless (at ARCH) Available Legal Aid/Advocacy l l l l Legal Aid for the Homeless (at ARCH) UT Criminal Defense Clinic American Gateways Family Law Hotline National Domestic Violence Hotline House the Homeless (at ARCH) Project Help

Available for Veterans l l l Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic The Vet Center PTSD Available for Veterans l l l Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic The Vet Center PTSD Travis Co. Veteran Services

Available Other l l Capital Metro (bus route info) Christian Service Center (for ID, Available Other l l Capital Metro (bus route info) Christian Service Center (for ID, Birth Cert)