Introduction

 

Visit our Gotta Find a Home Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/gottafindahome

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Click the Following Link to Purchase:

http://www.amazon.com/Gotta-Find-Home-Conversations-Street/dp/0989931897/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

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Introduction

Throughout the past four years I have met many people, now friends, who for various reasons are, or were, homeless. Antonio, slept on a park bench and was beaten, had his teeth kicked out, for no other reason than his choice to sleep outdoors. He is a small, gentle man who has a phobia about enclosed spaces.

Craig, slept on the sidewalk in the freezing cold. I saw him every morning,  was never sure if, when I lifted the corner of his sleeping bag, I would find him dead or alive. Sometimes, he confided, he would have preferred never to awake.

Joy,  fell on hard times. She slept behind a dumpster in back of Starbucks. I saw her with blackened eyes, bruised legs, cracked ribs, cut and swollen lips. I usually see her sitting on the sidewalk ‘panning’ for change.

I can’t do much for these people except to show them love, compassion, an ear to listen, perhaps a breakfast sandwich and a coffee. I want to do more. To know them is to love them. What was seen cannot be unseen.

I am  writing an account of their daily lives. Identities and locations have been changed to protect the usual suspects. My book, Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People, is published by Karenzo Media,  http://www.karenzomedia.net/index.html.  I thank publisher, Karen Silvestri for helping to realize my dream. Release date was June 4, 2014.  Follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kathamy.  All profits will be used to support those forced onto the streets and the Ottawa Innercity Ministries, Street Outreach Program.

Purpose OIM’s Street Outreach teams come to walk alongside the poor and homeless in the downtown core. Volunteer teams provide relief provisions, pastoral care, crisis intervention and referrals. Street Outreach is the main component of OIM’s work. Through Street Outreach our trained volunteers meet men and women living on the street, create trusting relationships, and can work to filling both physical and personal needs. Last year (2012) OIM connected with 7,672 individuals on the street in downtown Ottawa, 2,735 of whom were youth. The Red Vests If you see two or more people walking down the street wearing a bright red vest with the OIM logo on it then you have run into one of our mobile outreach teams! OIM’s Street Outreach volunteers are out meeting with people and handing out snacks and toiletries six days a week. We have teams on the street Monday to Thursday nights (7pm – 9pm), including late Wednesday (9pm-Midnight). Additional teams are out during the day on Wednesdays & Saturdays (10am-1pm) and Thursdays & Fridays (1-3pm).

You may donate Directly to Ottawa Innercity Ministries by clicking on the following link:   FileGet

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Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.


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Comments
  1. I admire and is touched by your work :) all the best. May God shower His blessings on you and the rest.
    - Stephanie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. May you be eternally blessed for doing such charitable work for the homeless who are often forgotten.

    Indeed, you are your brothers (and sisters) keeper.
    Shoots, I am nominating you for the Amazing Man award that I just made up right now, because you are truly amazing!

    By the way, thanks for liking my post at http://www.KnockedDownStill Standing.com

    Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am honored and humbled that you have chosen me for your Amazing Man award. I enjoy your blog, especially your post “Problem with People Magazine’s Lupita Nyongo’s Cover”. I agree, women have been forced into a beauty myth. ~ Dennis

      Like

  3. Kalimelo says:

    Thank you for stoping by my blog, and your like
    I dedicate “Gimme Shelter” the song of the Rolling Stones, to join to your voice Gottafindhome, and my blog altogether
    Thanks again

    Like

  4. softwatches84 says:

    Hey, I just wanted you to know that I’ve nominated you for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” — follow the link should you choose to accept this award:

    http://crazyembrace.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    Liked by 3 people

  5. kerijo says:

    Dennis, thank you for the follow!

    Like

  6. Not going to lie, haven’t read this yet and I need to! Not to mention looking forward to it. It seems we have a tandem calling, I’ll be responding again. .

    Like

  7. what a cool project. inspiring.

    Like

  8. witheringmrs says:

    The world is a better place for people like you. Privileged to have you as a follower; thank you.

    Like

    • Thank you for your kind words. I love your poem “Blackberry picking” especially when I noticed that it was in memory of one of my favorite poets, Seamus Heaney. A fitting tribute to a great poet. ~ Dennis

      Like

  9. J Deezy says:

    It’s things like this that restore my faith in humanity. Your mission to bring these peoples lives to light, and raise awareness of the situation is a noble one. But of luck to you and thank you for following Da Undercard.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amazing, humanitarian stuff. U make me proud to be human. Thanks for following my blog.

    Like

  11. sbjones7 says:

    Thanks for following us.

    Like

  12. Hi, I appreciate you following my blog. :D

    Like

  13. Christine Ledford says:

    Thanks for following my blog, Dennis. Congratulations on the upcoming release of your book! Are you by any chance on Writing.com? Your name sounds so familiar to me.

    Like

  14. Bel says:

    Thanks for following my blog. It seems hardly worth it, compared to yours. :)

    Like

  15. love it. been concerned and involved with the homeless my whole life.. I’ve been homeless.. homelessness is a crime and a travesty in America!

    Like

    • Homelessness is a crime and a travesty in Canada as well. My street friends are often ticketed for panhandling and vagrancy, even trespassing on public property. If this time, effort and money was spent on affordable housing there wouldn’t be a problem. ~ Dennis

      Liked by 2 people

  16. I met one girl who was 21 and living in a tent outside of a strip mall. The poor had to worry about Durham Police arresting the homeless for asking for a little handout and there are not those who are scammers but honest to God, homeless. sad. too sad!!

    Like

  17. limbiley says:

    As always simply lovely

    Like

  18. chrisr2014 says:

    Great article! I volunteered for a couple programs that provided meals either for free or on a “pay what you can” basis. It’s important to keep these kinds of programs going and improve upon them because they really do build a ladder off the street.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Chris, thanks for your volunteer work with meal programs. I agree they are very important. Many of my street friends depend on them. I have also done volunteered in this capacity. I’m looking forward to your tutorial series. ~ Dennis

      Like

  19. MuseWriter says:

    wonderful project :)

    Like

  20. This is just wonderful! :)

    Like

  21. Thanks for visiting my blog, and leading me back to yours. You might find the approach of a non-profit I was a director of for some years to be interesting. It started as a homeless shelter supported by a church, but progressed to a series of holistic programs focused on helping people escape homelessness: http://www.lifebridgesalem.org/results.html

    Like

  22. Santosh says:

    Hi Dennis, your blog is great and what you do for your friends is simply amazing. Thank you for the follow and I am looking forward to reading your blog and book. I would love to collaborate and contribute in any way I can.
    - Santosh

    Like

    • Thanks for your kind words and your offer of help. I commend you for being “…a healthcare professional who is passionate to eliminate the barriers to access healthcare and to promote human rights.” Human rights and healthcare are critical international issues, if governments would only prioritize these instead of wars. ~ Dennis

      Liked by 1 person

  23. kennymack2 says:

    “Be the change you wish to see in the world” Places the responsiblity for action right where it belongs on the shoulder of every individual on this God’s green earth. A smile to a passing stranger costs nothing and blesses the soul of the person offering a smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Wonderful mission. Everyone needs love and you are brave enough to walk up to and love on a complete stranger. Very admirable. I look forward to hearing more about this.

    Like

  25. Mary Myers says:

    Hi Dennis,

    You “liked” a meditation video I posted and I was inspired to check out your site. I’m so glad I did. It’s beautiful and the work you’re doing is so great. I’m offering a free (donations suggested, but no one checks if you donate) Day of Mindfulness tomorrow in Brooklyn and thought I should invite you. I hope you don’t mind me doing it this way, I couldn’t see a contact form… For more info on tomorrow, you can look at this link. http://mindfulnessforhealing.com/2014/05/16/soundbath-at-this-weeks-day-of-relaxation-and-delight/

    Sending you best wishes and gratitude for your work.
    Mary

    Like

  26. I look forward to the release of your book. I look forward to reading the stories and comments of the homeless. Hopefully we can bring humanity to those who are not included in our society.

    Like

    • Hi James, I too am looking forward to the release of my book. It will provide much needed assistance for my friends on the street. Thanks for your encouragement and support. It is much appreciated. ~ Dennis

      Like

  27. I admire your ideals. Blessings to you for them. Mine are daily more suffused I fear.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Like

  28. Once you look directly into the eyes of a homeless person, you will never forget how your own reflection looks back.

    Like

  29. jbgarner58 says:

    As someone who was, for a brief time, homeless and then destitute poor for a while after that, I am thankful someone is telling the stories of those society has forgotten.

    Like

  30. apeerless says:

    What an interesting and eye opening thing to do. The stories behind people lives in any walk of life are really something special to me. I love to to understand these things. Best of luck on your book. I am sure it will touch many hearts..

    Like

  31. WeaverGrace says:

    HOORAY! I am so happy for you! Congrats on your book making it to this step! May your Launch Party launch you to another world, as long as you come back and continue to hang out with the same people. Thank you for your stories, and persistence to get your book this far :)

    Like

  32. Dennis,
    I am so happy your dream of publishing a book has become a reality. One of the most powerful impressions I get from your blog is the complete selflessness of its purpose. Thank you for this. It has touched me deeply. Again, congratulations on achieving your dream.

    Like

  33. jeanryan1 says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog, which allowed me to find you. I admire what you are doing and look forward to reading your book.

    Like

  34. Rebecca says:

    Hi Dennis, thanks for liking my post at twentyonewordsblog.wordpress.com. You’re doing great work!

    Like

  35. mreuther says:

    Sounds like an interesting and worthy book. Would like to read it.

    Like

  36. pstpierre says:

    Dear Dennis,

    Thanks for becoming a follower of my blog.

    Let us know when your books is available. The homeless are people that many shun. You are to be commended on what you’re doing for them.

    Bringing their stories to the public make these people real and not imaginary. Perhaps we can all learn from your experience.

    Keep up the good work.!

    Like

  37. mymephisto says:

    Very excited to receive my copy in the mail *smiles*. Congrats on the great work, darling.

    Like

  38. Lisa's Blog says:

    This book sounds interesting! Is it at Barnes and Noble? Don’t really want to order books online since it gives me a chance to spend my day at the b&n just sitting there reading or journaling. I also wanted to say thanks for following me!

    Like

    • Only the digital version is available at Barnes and Noble. If you contact Karen at http://karenzomedia.net She can make other arrangements for people who don’t wish to make online purchases.

      I hope you enjoy the book, if you do please leave a review. If you leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads (or any of the venues) or on your blog, you will receive a free copy of Book 2: More Conversations with Street People (your choice of print or digital) to be released in July. ~ Dennis.

      Like

  39. kaleezy says:

    i admire this so much! where can i find a copy of it? i am a recovering addict and feel i can benefit from this book. :)

    Like

    • I admire your blog. Admitting to addiction is very difficult. I know, I’ve been there. My heart and prayers go out to you. My book may be purchased at the following Amazon link:

      If this link doesn’t work the print version is available at Amazon.com. Digital versions are available through Kindle
      Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iTunes and Flipkart. I hope you enjoy the book, if you do please leave a review. If you don’t please let me know. ~ Dennis

      Like

  40. sfhopkins says:

    Dennis, You’ll find my review on Amazon’s UK site (I’m Canadian and live in the UAE but I buy Kindle books with my UK bank account debit card; I have an apartment in London but no home in Canada). I’ve also posted on my blog http://www.sfhopkins.com and my Facebook account and Mandrill Press has tweeted it for me. I hope the book soars in the charts. x Suzie

    Like

    • Hi Suzi, thanks so much for the review. As an author yourself you know how much this means to me. I am honored and humbled that you wrote such glowing words about Gotta Find a Home.x Dennis

      Like

  41. aelmorgan says:

    I posted this blog to my facebook page. Thank you for finding a way to make a difference.

    Like

  42. You are an inspiring individual … Keep up the awareness. I don ‘to know is you are aware that my blog has a new address https://lifeloveandothercatadtrophes.wordpress.com. I would love you to joking me Theresa I think you already follow the previous blog :-)

    Like

  43. Brandon R. says:

    I like your blog’s facelift, it’s befitting of the content. I enjoy you giving a voice to the voiceless. My interactions with the homeless have been positive, although one gentleman in particular, being one I’ve seen on countless occasions, denied my attempt at cordiality. I can’t blame him though, if I was in his position I would be suspicious of my motives too.

    Like

    • Hi Brandon, homeless people are often suspicious, sometimes paranoid. I’ve experienced what you describe on many occasions. One man I mistook for being homeless, but he was just waiting for a ride. Another hadn’t seen me before and was suspicious of my motives. Another just didn’t like me. Another, who I’d known for years, went into a fit, and berated me because he wanted money for beer, not the meal card I offered. They’re the same as us, they just aren’t coming from the same place. ~ Dennis

      Like

      • Brandon R. says:

        I agree with your last sentence, shelter being the difference. If I were homeless, I would be suspicious too. I’ve heard or read about incidents of homeless people being beaten to death, when they were just trying to get some sleep. One that stands out in my mind, although finite details escape me, what I can remember was that a few military students beat to death a homeless guy after a night out. Canada’s finest, protecting us from the tyranny of homeless. I’m pretty sure it happened in Toronto too, sometime in the winter. I’m glad you’ve found repurposing for what society has discreetly discarded.

        Like

  44. P.S – Dennis, Do you have some place or online site where you show more of your artwork?
    I’d like to see more of your drawings and paintings.
    Susan

    Like

  45. pndrgn99 says:

    Thank you Dennis for dropping by to read my work again. I have watched your growth and progress giving help to those who need it on the street over the past several years and am unsurprised by, and immensely gratified at, your success.

    Alex

    Like

  46. Marie Abanga says:

    Dennis, Thanks once more for writing that book. if you had time only to acknowledge my awarding you this: http://marieabanga.com/2014/07/11/one-lovely-blog-award/

    Like

  47. Wonderful blog Dennis! I have shared your work on Twitter and Facebook.

    Like

  48. pndrgn99 says:

    Thank you again Dennis.
    Alexander

    Like

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