Category: Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
By Randle Loeb on Feb 18, 2011 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
A SAFE HAVEN FOR ALL VULNERABLE CITIZENS ALL OF THE TIME
We've been involved with the structure and development of a ten year plan to end homelessness for more than ten years, and long before that time we have pushed for a place where people could go anytime and be safe. ANYTIME! We need a Centralized place for services for everyone. If we concentrated on this it would make all of our lives more stable and safer because there would not be people out in the neighborhood and the issues that people face could be more readily dealt with.
Unfortunately that is not the interest of the neighborhoods but it is in the interest of public safety and decency. It costs far less for people to access a one stop center than it does to be wandering around using every conceivable resource and then dying on the street or in a hospital after being traumatized. The staggering cost to the community and the terrible inequity; plus the amount of lost resources while tragically cutting off lives is untenable. Especially considering that half the numbers of homeless are families. The average age of the homeless is nine years old.
Please consider mayoral candidates and current administration the wisdom of determining a place where diverse needs of divergent persons can be addressed and where access to services is automatic.
EVERYONE needs a single point of entry and no wrong door for safe and sound communities and for vulnerable people to thrive.
By Randle Loeb on Feb 16, 2011 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
These are a few of my questions for the mayoral candidates.
The governor has committed to homeless planning at the state level however what the governor would like and what is possible are diametrically opposed because of conservative fiscal constraints. What homeless people need is diverse housing stock. The metro Denver plan committed to 5,000 units in the next decade. The actual number of diverse housing stock is ten times that number. How do you reconcile the disparity?
Housing First works not because it saves money as opposed to doing nothing but because of intensive supportive services, how do we plan to provide a real chance for people who live marginally to live in sustainable housing who are ex-offenders, violent criminals, young adults, elders on fixed incomes, people who are disabled and families who make up the bulk of those who need housing?
Basic costs of services keep rising like transit, medical costs and day care. What are we doing to ensure that a) people keep jobs b) that people can go somewhere without a car c) people can decide whether to pay utilities or eat?
Cost cutting is the buzz word of the modern world. Is it important for us to consider major tax increases?
The economy for many people is turning around, but not for the most impoverished. For these people there is no room for training, education, opportunity, creating micro-businesses, people are fed up with being poor and blamed for their plight. What hope do we give to the newly destitute that they will ever have a basic living wage, when there are no jobs for 10% of the population in any sector?
It's an issue that the mantle of Democrat and Republican is antiquated and that we have to find a way for all sides to work together to solve these critical affairs. Respond to these questions based on the idea of us getting to work together and that for most of us the spiritual matter of our lives is the one that matters most, meaning how we regard one another as distinct and significant members of a clan.
Incarceration does not work. What plans do you have to do away with jails and prisons unless absolutely necessary? The same is true of Capitol Punishment?
Immigration rights for all citizens and the children of these families is a critical issue because most of the undocumented are doing work that Americans don't want to do. Is there a way in which immigration can be made a matter of care and regard for everyone as indispensable?
We still do not have equal rights for women. Why not and what will you do to effectively close the chapter on this issue that goes back to the beginning of the arrival of people from Europe here?
When I think of the slave trade and how it is thriving we think of why we cannot do anything to curtail the wanton destruction and subjugation of others. Can we do anything to live together in peace and sustaining a way of life that makes sure that no one is in harm's way ever?
Midnight at the Oasis: A Place of Rest, yes, Feel Sustained, and yes, A Refuge from the Storm Within
By Randle Loeb on Feb 1, 2011 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Midnight at the Oasis: A Place to Rest, Yes, Feel Sustained, and Yes, a Refuge from the Storm Within
by Randle Loeb on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 4:37am
The presence of St. Paul United Methodist Church at 16th Ave and Ogden Streets has been a gift and a safe haven in my life over the last several years, an oasis and a refuge in a time when I struggled to define my course, making it possible for me to be free to do what was necessary to change people's perceptions of reality with respect to being "homeless." Being homeless is not a special class of undesirables. It is not a stigma of a group who have given up and are worthless. Homeless people are like me and in many ways like the mental illness that I have, distinct, unique and inseparable from any other person.
As I sit here in the stymieing cold with a terrible headache that appears to have come from stress from lack of order and an inability to calm down the skeletal-muscular system, I feel a throbbing of expectancy in my body that I have to go out in the bitter cold and fortify myself for the ordeal. I am concerned because I could hardly walk across the wasteland to get to DenUM (Denver Urban Ministries), to shovel the walks and the back alley. Looking out the window of the room, with the doors open and no heat I have lived here at St. Paul under harsh conditions of deprivation and simplicity. This scenario is about to come to an end, hopefully.
I came to St. Paul to be the security, maintenance, caretaker, grounds keeper, special events person, office and on site shelter manager in exchange for a place off the street. At that time, in 2004, I was managing the Denver Homeless Voice newspaper. My work was, and still is, keeping me alive not because of earning an income but by virtue of focus on anything that makes sense to do to feel worthy. Most “homeless people” have no intention of being helpless, shiftless and co-dependent on social services. What we're seeking is a way to harness our interests and skills that would lead to employment. One day a woman with whom I had worked as a member of the research team at Iliff School of Theology came into my office and offered me a place to live in exchange for a role as a caretaker or sextant. I was delighted and when I was interviewed it became obvious that my background as a chaplain with a Masters Degree in Divinity and also in Education would finally be utilized. I never dreamed that eventually I would be working across the community in Capitol Hill, the Colorado General Assembly and the City and County of Denver on human relations with policy makers and advocates even though I already had been doing public speaking, testifying and writing on these matters for more than a decade. Denver's Road Home, the ten year plan to end homelessness in the City and County of Denver, was my calling to direct my interests and hone my skills. I was able to cross two worlds, one of poverty and loss of spirit and the other of being one of the decision and policy makers for change as to how policy makers integrate homeless citizens in all aspects of the government. We became partners and are not a public nuisance, as some neighbors complain .
I am filled with grace but I am also conscious of what sacrifices that I have made on behalf of my personal life, and practice of the day to day discipline of earning a living. Simply stated, I would not have done what I did and I would never have taken the time to work in these endeavors with those who are cut off, and cared for myself without the social service providers and the programs that persevered in providing a mantle of safety, after I had abandoned sense and wisdom, forgetting my heritage and my spirit.
I literally went from one cauldron to the next, raw and eviscerated from the turmoil in my mind. I have lived with bipolar disorder for more than five decades and in that time I have adapted, as the first psychiatrist observed, “by being able to accept the tumultuous dark clouds and storms, as well as the reckless driving demands of a life that rose, flowed, ebbed and crashed on the breakers of the beach like a marooned starfish.” There was no one upstream to throw me back in and I felt urgently a need to turn and gut out the vulnerable and desperate situation in the terror of the cacophony of the crying gulls in my head.
When I attended Iliff School of Theology in 1979 it was noted that I had already earned a Masters Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Bank Street College of Education, three years earlier and that I had worked in the prestigious street pad of Covenant House, for nomadic and wayward youth in Greenwich Village, New York City. I graduated from Bank Street College of Education in 1976, by writing a thesis on what it was like for a middle class white male from a suburb of Philadelphia to create a dynamic relationship with someone who, for example, would come to the door of the house, in the middle of the night when I was the house manager and threaten to stab me if I did not let the person in.
In those eventful, fitful days I was perceived as a vulnerable, precocious child who sat for my thesis in the first semester of graduate school in the Department of Education. I was riding my bicycle from one end of Manhattan or running, from the work I did at night to the bookstore where I was a clerk on a scholarship and work study. I was studying group process and sociology with the best that New York had to offer and working with the most troubled youth in the nation, and with the most able street out reach workers in the business. My thesis was about being quiet and listening. When a young person wanted to trust you this required listening to the bizarre swings, the sexual dependency, the use of substances and the quality of their precarious lives. In fact, most of the young people who came to the programs frightened me because they reminded me of how terrifyied I felt about being an adult.
On the last day I was in New York City, I peddled my bicycle100 miles back to Philadelphia to the protective environment, not of my family, but of the camp I would come to manage called Woodrock, Inc. I worked forty miles northwest of the city on Fellowship Farm's ten acres of woods in a program on platforms and with a lodge that was the meeting ground for the leadership training and anti-violence and racism program of North Philadelphia. Ten years later I became the director after completing the program at Iliff, and working as a chaplain in Tucson, Arizona at St. Mary's Hospice.
When I first strolled into the lodge at the camp I was a boy learning to navigate with my sense of wonder and enthusiasm and at the same time I was scared that I would fail. My assigned campers were far more sophisticated and aware than I ever have been and they were almost the same age. All three of my children would come to participate in the camp program along with most of the cousins of my wife's Latina family. We were a symbol of the "mestizo" culture of Jewish suburban and Puerto Rican heritage. Many people flocked to us because we were young and naive. They witnessed the sense of desire and elan that marked my manic states and the ambition to provide a safe place in the woods an hour from the urban landscape to learn and gain insight into human relations, "that we are all the same, when I look into the mirror I see you and when you look back there I am staring back at you, smiling." We had an obligation to be fully engaged and developed a peaceful and responsible role as citizens no matter what, how hard and how we had to stand and be counted.
Most of those children and their families, who were never out of the city, came to see that at Woodrock there was a place where everyone belonged. Still there are members of the staff and community who feel that this was the best and most challenging place that they have ever lived. On New Year's Eve for years we took a group to Rickett's Glenn and stayed on the crystal palace of the fjords that graced the miles of flumes from years of glaciers and eroding rock. We slept on the edge of Lake Jean on the frozen wilderness much the same as it is outside at this moment. We fought the urge to give in and remained because we believed that this was the way to say thank you for the finite responsibility of being alive and of making a difference as a clan. Many of these same wayward young people came years and years later pleading with me that we return. Ironically it was one of the most dangerous trips that we ever embarked on. For a bipolar person it meant a chance to test the limits of my endurance. It was no accident that in dealing with my education and fear that I overcame both in order to cross the line to tell people in charge, “that unless you listen to the views and expectations of the impoverished that your programs were all doomed to fail.”
It became crystal clear that we need to make an alliance among the homeless to define our solutions and that in all cases that the homeless do more than half of the work that makes Denver's Road Home and all of the Governor's expectations real. I said this to the Policy Academy of the Federal Inter-Agency Council on Chronic Homelessness and in testifying before the "Housing First," eleven grantees in Washington D.C. on the benefits of evaluation that includes and lifts up their perspective as to whether this makes sense. I became the president of the board of the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative, the seven county Metro Denver continuum of care, which brings fourteen million dollars here from Congress. I also have had a stake in a grass roots movement to create a safe place for people to live outside and a council of homeless people and providers to change the nature of reality for others because we dare to say, “We can.”
No one can minimize the threats and values of encompassing those who are marginally treated by the whole of the nation and lifting their situation up to be counted on to define what matters most in the quality of their lives. I spend as much time now as ever before in one simple mantra, listening to people. I continue to be trusted and valued as I once was as a peach fuzz boy, not because I know anything, but because I respond to the humanity of the person who is in front of me as an equal partner, a member of the Talking Circle, a person who practices the Red Road Way, with love and awakened consciousness, with serenity and loving kindness.
By Randle Loeb on Jan 29, 2011 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Colorado - Bike MS: Great-West Life Bike MS, Colorado's Ride 2011
Randle has raised $1,035 toward their goal of $10,000 for Colorado - Bike MS: Great-West Life Bike MS, Colorado's Ride 2011. Please support Randle with a donation and join the movement toward a world free of MS!
60 support the MS RIDE FRIENDS SUPPORT OUR TEAM. WE'VE REVISED THE TEAM PAGE. OUR PASSWORD IS "HOME."
JOIN US JUNE 25 and 26 as we raise money to stamp out MS and support the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Team. We have raised 3% of the $100,000.00. WE'RE SEEKING RIDERS and SUPPORTERS, SPONSORS and FANS.
COME OUT to FRONT RANGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE in WHEATRIDGE as we get under way at 6 a.m. on Saturday June 25 and ride 75 miles over the Horse Tooth Reservoir into Fort Collins. Then we will have a birthday celebration. COME OUT AND CHEER US ON.
We need you to sign up and participate, sponsor us with a matching donation of a dollar a mile.
Make a match for riders who are homeless to share the experience and ride with us. We need to cover the ground with a strong team and registration is in high gear already.
February 21 I will have the right knee replaced. There is no cartilage in either knee. When I get back from the ride, they'll replace the left knee.
Many of you ride and know riders spread the word and come celebrate with us two great causes.
By Randle Loeb on Jan 28, 2011 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
He is close to death as all of the people in the world pause to grieve over the passing of such a person that makes everyone more than what we are or we each dare to be. Nelson Mandela walked in the world in which we are walking. Nelson Mandela breathed the air that we breathe. Nelson Mandela looked up into the sky in the same universe as we do. He gave us pause to reflect on our humanity and our fragility. As we sit and wait for the news we must also be immeasurably blessed that we stood on the same ground that this everyday hero walked, knelt, slept curled in his cell and grieved over his mother's, and his son's death. Now it has come to be his turn and we all curl in a ball in a cell of our own fashion. But we will not forget the gift that was given to all humanity by this humble warrior of the spirit. His reconciliation trials was a path for us all to revel in and his craft of a coalition for all to share, his lifting of the spirit of the people and helping them to resist the temptation of slaughter made us all weep with the milk of loving kindness.
Welcome home Nelson Mandela. You, who wore your heart openly for all to know, we will never breathe without your breath sustaining us in the furnace of the forge of human compassion.
By Randle Loeb on Jan 24, 2011 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
reading back over this and reflecting over the years that seem to have passed it is a watershed. I recognize the genre, the structure of the writing, which I never had a chance to read .................. all the air escaped from my balloon. Ways to ends, means to numb the spirit, spinning off course, resolutely stepping into the dim foggy bottom of distant dreams and the drone of the horn calling, come home safely.
By Randle Loeb on Jan 18, 2011 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
A Civil, Civic Minded Citizen
Someone who cares about being born in the United States and in the world, and who lives on the earth with awakened responsibility to being born and living in a social context, having a social contract to live peacefully and pragmatically to live as simply as possible for the purpose of preserving to the seventh generation our land and our privilieges as stewards of the earth.
Personally, one must decide not to follow the message of violence and retribution toward any other sentient being, but to live with loving compassion and an indomitable spirit.
What we are called upon is to listen and react less, especially to divergent views.
By Randle Loeb on Jan 17, 2011 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Ride MS Colorado
My 60th birthday is January 29, 2011 Celebrate with us RIDE MS COLORADO JUNE 25 and 26
National MS Society, Colorado-Wyoming Chapter
Bike MS - Accept the Challenge
Dear Colleagues, Neighbors and Friends,
For information about my ride and fund raising efforts, or to make a donation, visit my personal page.
It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause by making your tax-deductible donation online using the link below. If you would prefer, you can send your contribution to the address listed below. Whatever you can give will help - it all adds up! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.
I'm the team co-captain of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. You support two great causes by joining us on the ride as either a donor or a rider, or come out and cheer Saturday and Sunday June 25 and 26, 2011. Our goal is $1,000.00 a rider. We are seeking hundred people to join the team.
To send a donation, mail to:
1400 Lafayette St Denver, CO80218-2312
Make all checks payable to: National MS Society
We've registered the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless team. Sign up and spread the word.
The password to join is "home".
For information about my ride and fund raising efforts, or to make a donation, please visit my personal page.
It is faster and easier than ever to support this great cause by making your tax-deductible donation online using the link below. If you would prefer, you can send your contribution to the address listed
below. Whatever you can give will help - it all adds up! I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.
Randle Loeb and Jonathan Phillips, Co-captains
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TRpx=5987596&pg=personal&fr_id=16883&et=3FpfNc0Jf7eovFTrT7yrWQ..&s_tafId=190147
Click here to view the team page for Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:
Click here to view the company page for Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?company=Colorado+Coalition+for+the+Homeless&pg=company&fr_id=16883&et=rsGP47gFsrbZWoYWt4b2QA..&s_tafId=190147
MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. We are a collective of passionate individuals, moving together to create a world free of MS.Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at www.nationalmssociety.org or 1-800-344-4867. National Multiple Sclerosis Society | 733 Third Avenue | New York, NY | 10017
Randle Loeb: Randleloeb@gmail.com
Let’s create a place that is safe for everyone. Give to the team and to find a cure for MS.