Over the years I have been profoundly concerned about the health and plight of the local and international needy, dysfunctional and oppressed: all problems the roots of which are deeply complex. For my part, I chose to support organizations working with food distribution, medical research, adoption, individual, family, youth and elderly social support and shelter agencies.
However, during that time, I observed certain patterns in our world communities' strengths and problems in acting together to get even a simple thing done correctly and rapidly. It seemed to be extraordinarily difficult to get a good altruistic, global assistance idea funded, accomplished and sustained while still remaining culturally sensitive to the areas where the assistance was rendered. This lack of ability for a world community action for a simple, helpful idea on a broad scale always seemed to quietly threaten local and world stability. So many people believed that if we really had to we could address a local and global danger which might even threaten their own household. They seemed to be oblivious to the distinct possibility, and indeed the past record, that this assumed safety net might not be fact.
I left Colorado to go to Los Angeles to work as a Technical Director for Walt Disney Imagineering and found that I worked in an interesting and protected environment, but in Los Angeles I was surrounded by high levels of structural poverty and inner city numbers of oppressed, fearful, hopeless and homeless human beings. I had still observed no way for a great idea to reduce or avoid human suffering to be realized on a local and broad enough scale to create the type of impact that could really protect us all. That was the final catalyst to my resolve for researching and outlining an organizational concept to set up a practical network for local and global community action.
I eventually synthesized a combination of strategies and guidelines to start a capable and informed network that could take a small beneficial idea world wide quickly.
I was encouraged by the unfortunate and always increasing need for such a network and by the response from reviewers of the concept who felt that such world action and communication would positively effect a huge range of other charitable efforts. It was then necessary to find the unique first focus program to serve as the first building tool for the network.
In searching for the proper First Program to use as the vehicle to begin building this network, the following area eventually differentiated itself as uniquely suitable:
Over the years I had seen a disheartening and alarming increase in the number of unsheltered, unprotected, transient and publicly humiliated and abused in the world's cities, war-torn zones and disaster aftermaths. I realized that the political, economic and personal contexts which put these individuals and families there were many times immensely complex and difficult to reverse or remedy on any wide scale.
Nevertheless, I continued to be concerned with the fact that something was not being done on a local or global scale about one portion of their plight which could be very quickly and feasibly eliminated. That small, but very real piece of their problem was their comfort, protection and personal privacy during their present transitional state.
Years ago, in design classes I spent time working on space station environment design and on harsh environmental survival tools and shelters. The applications of such designs, world's skills, resources and grass roots work for the unsheltered needy form a feasible combination to rapidly and cost effectively get something significant done about the temporary, individual shelter problem.
AGAIN NOTE: The solutions to the problems of the world's health, population, suffering and oppressed will never be purely technological or logistical; however, certain immediately achievable parts are. If these parts are sectioned out and concentrated upon, they will be accomplished and thus serve as stepping stones toward other less technical and more far-reaching efforts.
Copyright © 1992-2004 by The Personal Shelter Project, Inc.