I want you to know there's an endgame to this social venture. It's to motivate you to motivate others who've also suffered from shame. And together I want us to tackle one of the most extreme forms of public humiliation, which is chronic homelessness. A man who's unable to provide for himself or his family experiences shame the worst. He's built to provide and yet can't fulfill the most basic needs of food warmth and shelter.
The starting point is you and this site—here in the woods. It's where you'll adopt a level of awareness and critical thinking that'll help reshape your narrative for personal empowerment and public service.
My goal is to equip us here online with shame-busting, personal development resources to be motivated and prepared to change others offline. And I use "prepared" loosely. If you've come from a genuine shaming experience, you'll never feel prepared or qualified. But, who else is going to do it best? A corporate suit in philanthropic wool?
We have too many of those online ribbon-cutting pictures with public officials and organization board members in front of new buildings that are now dilapidated. When the homeless dust settles and the PR team clears, it's just a disgruntled caseworker who's 5 decisions away from being on the other side of that desk applying for Public Assistance.
This obviously has to be done in phases. And strategic questions are still being answered. For example, should this webspace be for both the socially exiled (that's us) and the physically homeless? I'm not sure if this is the place to add a comprehensive homelessness dynamic when organizations like Coalition For the Homeless have so much more resources, influence and sheer longevity. Then again, if addressing homelessness is a part of the endgame, how do I approach it?
It seems like a partnership makes more sense. And maybe that's how it's done. You get empowered from the Antihero project to turn around and empower others within another organization that actually has the offline resources to help you make a difference. Or you can create your own initiative.
After you leave the wilderness to find the woods, you have to eventually go back into the wilderness to lead others into this wooded space of solitude and restoration.
I was recently challenged to start getting Antihero out there. Right now, it's still in the safe zone where no one can challenge it. At the same time, I'm learning more about partnerships. And it's reaffirming the notion that I can't do this all on my own. So today, I'll be going to a Civic Hacknight, where I can understand more about NYC's open data portal and hone in on the relevant data sets, like homelessness and shelters, while connecting with others who can help shape this project into something more useful for my local community. After all, it's .NYC, not .COM.
I'll let you know how it goes.