With the Ghost of Pop Festival this weekend, it’s important to focus on the real star of the evening – HomeAgain, the local non-profit emergency shelter provider and homeless services agency benefiting from the event.
Ghost of Pop organizer Prabir Mehta has worked closely with HomeAgain for the past nine years and I felt that it was only fitting that Prabir write about the good that HomeAgain does in his own words:
From the largest perspective possible, it’s difficult to explain what home actually is…
An apartment on the 5th floor of a downtown building, a small one floor rancher on Monument Ave, a duplex in the fan, a loft overlooking the river in Manchester, or a house large enough to get lost in off River Road. Wherever your brick and mortar conglomerate is located, it’s your home and you dig it. Pillows, towels, cups, spoons, forks, and so on are all a standard part of your life. Your home keeps you safe, warm, and rested. You collect your mail here. You have parties with your friends here from time to time. Sometimes you end up with a stranger in there to continue the celebration of life from a party or a bar. Sometimes you end up with workers flushing out insects, sometimes you end up with family members asking you why you’re not married yet. Sometimes you end up there alone. Regardless you end up there, home.
Now imagine not having one at all. That is a reality that many Richmonders face daily. There is no single cause or solution to homelessness. Life comes at all of us fast, we’re one paycheck away, one car accident away, one house fire away from being temporarily homeless, sometimes permanently. The hardest thing about the topic and conversation is that it IS a difficult one and questions our basic internal guidelines on what humans deserve. This dialogue itself does not create change, but without it is impossible.
Richmond, VA is truly fortunate in having a wonderful organization that addresses these issues every single day. HomeAgain is a local non-profit emergency shelter provider and homeless services agency. They work with other agencies, the counties, the city, law enforcement, real estate agencies, and many other places to ensure a multi-pronged approach to addressing the issue of homelessness. Since there is not a one single reason for homelessness, there can’t be just one solution. Everything must be factored in: Classes to develop skills, temporary housing, finding affordable rental properties to transition families into, providing meals, health diagnosis, emergency health care, the list goes on and on and on. The amazing thing about this list and the work they do is that it happens night and day without the rest of us knowing. While we celebrate the holiday season with our friends at various spots around town, raising glasses to a fortunate year and toasting hopes for a prosperous upcoming year the hard working people at HomeAgain will be opening up their doors to help anyone that is down on their luck and perhaps not having the ideal year that you and I may have had.
So, home can be a loose term, here in the universe, Milky Way, Earth, East Coast, Richmond, wherever you see fit to call home. By the simple act of existence we are given a informal-home, but by the act of compassion and love we can work towards providing a physical homes for the many that have not had the same path of fortune that we have worked towards or stumbled upon. Thank you for the nine years of support for Ghost of Pop and let’s continue to work together to make our city healthier, safer, and a better home for all of its residents.
Read Prabir’s full piece (with graphics) here: http://myglassesrule.com/archives/820