When I worked as a professional E.M.T., I attended a number of trainings on how to deal with something called a "mass casualty incident". A mass casualty incident is an incident which, by its definition, overwhelms the resources at hand.
If there is one thing I have learned in my time at Bread & Roses, it is that poverty is a daily mass casualty incident.
As I leave Bread & Roses, there is one last thing I would like to say on behalf of the B&R community: Get involved. Get active. Volunteer. We all have the ability to make a difference in our community, and if we have the ability it is incumbent on us to use it. The homeless need you.
Since most of you no doubt read the Olympian, I would like to offer some corrections to their horrendously innaccurate and destructive article published on the front page this morning.
First, we at Bread & Roses do not "live for free" AND make a "$600 stipend". We receive free room and board and a $200 stipend. After adding up our living expenses we figured our TOTAL income per person (including room and board) to be about the equivalent of $600 per month. So I promise you, no one is getting rich at Bread & Roses (though I'll tell you that if we did actually get a $600 stipend I would have gladly taken it and bought health insurance).
Secondly, no-one at the Guesthouse is "losing" their "housing". The Bread & Roses Women's Guesthouse is a transitional shelter with up to four women to a room. The average stay at the Guesthouse is about 3 months. We are doubling our efforts to help the women find housing, and we will see to it that they each have their own home within one month. Moving from a shelter bed in a shared room to having an actual home of one's own could hardly be called "losing housing".
The Olympian should be more careful with their words.