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Creative Architecture Gentle Charm in Shelter Secular Shelter
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SAVE THE HUMANS: FLEXIBLE WAYS TO HAVE A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD
Suggested are innovative ideas for low cost housing and shelter assistance. We need to embrace new modalities for indigence
and alternative housing approaches while identifying and retaining what works. Rather than seeing poverty and homelessness
as a burden or unconquerable problem, we need to see such things as an opportunity to seek new visions and approaches.
A variety of non-religious ideas and personal input from others for shelter are included in the shelter section. It’s a growing list. Please
write in with your info, even if it is in the UK, Mexico or Canada. Many shelters in the United States are run with heavy religious overtones,
requiring attendance at prayer sessions, Sunday sermons, biblical lectures, etc. People need additional options.
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Being Homeless Not Shameful
Before judging people who are homeless, please consider the fact the government has probably been involved in cocaine, crack and other
drug sales adding up to billions of dollars. In addition, remember the secret governmental programs using American tax dollars as well as
proceeds from illegal activities like drugs, porn and prostitution for black box projects. Many people who are well-employed and fruitfully paid
are working for companies with publicly dangerous aspects at least somewhere in their tiers or for fossil fuel industries with heavy impacts on the
environment and human health the environment.
Having a job is not an instant badge of honor or guarantee of a seat in heaven. Many people equate human worth with human employment. While
governments spend billions of dollars on many other things on their agendas, they put very little attention and effort improving the quality of life of
people who do not or cannot keep up with those life draining practices. Many of the people with lots of money are not righteous or better than the
masses they step on and take from. They have just figured out some tricks or had ties to wealth and privilege to begin with. Many people who tell
themselves they worked hard for their money are under the illusion that their efforts are somehow better and more involved than the trials and
tribulations that the poor go through.
Being homeless is not shameful and people in this situation should not be looked down up on, treated as scum, lazy bums or low lives. Having shelter
should be seen as a basic right, not a luxury. Many people feel they have to go through long hours and bad work in order to have small pay. They
then do not have emotional space to help the homeless. Others feel they went through the process of stair-stepping and rising to the top. They feel if
they had to do it - and could - so should everyone else. These attitudes keep society in a stuck space while things continue to go downhill around both
big and smaller cities. Their hard ass attitudes toward employment and the poor do not work for a large number of people.
Time To Get It Together
Once people are down and out, it can be very difficult to pull out of that without some help. We need sustainable programs that help
people for the long haul, not just for a couple of weeks here and there, which is what many shelters provide. After a week or two, people are back
out on the streets again. More long-term shelters often are specialized for women and children, requiring signs of domestic violence. This leaves men
out as well as women without those issues (unless they lie). Most people probably need at least a few months to pull out of poverty or other bad
situations. It takes time for paychecks to come in and money to be built up for rental deposits and rent. Sometimes before rent can be paid, more
pressing debts that have been put off during the homelessness need to be paid up or down for fear of legal or other consequences (like high interest
and late payment fees that keep building up putting people into deeper holes).
We Need Really, Really, Really Smart Shelters
Here are some ideas for sustainable low cost housing for people:
1. the system is honoring and full of hope; rethink work as the joy of sustainable activity for positive returns and as meaningful in and of itself, not as
punishment or authority driven agendas designed by smarter, more together professionals handling lazy and lost small children needing direction
2. New ideas or suggestions are encouraged from everyone - workers and the inhabitants of the shelters alike
3. Sustainable food is produced on site
4. Well insulated walls, floors and ceilings; solar panel roofs
5. Small individual units with maximum space efficiency - one style for singles, one for single parents, one for families
6. After three months, graduated payments for rent are required in order to stay
7. Inhabitants and workers together help to build more units for future inhabitants
8 Workers have option of housing as part of salary to cut down on jealousy and resentment toward inhabitants found in other shelters (Discourage
workers from complaining about their hours and rate of pay in front of inhabitants; discourage workers from comparing their worker status to non-
9. Make this kind of sheltering concept also available to the community at large. It can be a practical way to help low income people and those trying
to save money by providing a truly functional and available way to get ahead. Understand the human tendency for begrudging help given to others,
and understand that the more members of the community get to benefit from a piece of the action, the more the shelter system will be supported. If
non-homeless working or adequately financed people feel they are getting something out of it - or could - the shelter will take off better and will be
sustained for the long haul. This needs to be a community event that offers dividends for more than the homeless, including purchase of goods and
services from local stores and contractors. The more the locals get something from the shelter, the more they will feel positive about it and will want
to keep it going.
10. Consider live music during work projects and interesting approaches to dress, maybe something like artistic, unique, joyful and colorful garb
provided (including exotic earrings, hats or creative head gear and necklaces) upon entrance into the shelter in exchange for the street clothes they
come in with (which can be stored) to give the community a sense of life and adventure, and to take off the sense of harshness, drabness and poverty
often found around shelters and poverty in general. Many times shelters have stale and old things lying around. Encourage art and music therapy on
the premises. Keep lovely and charming things around. Lots of plants and windows.
11. Have real world training - skills building - and interesting talks on a variety of subjects - stimulate the mind and the spirit. The key words should be
“inspirational” and “real world.”
12. Have dogs around and/or other animals
13. See about ways to sell handcrafts and small technical gadgets to help make money
14. Have the shelters paid for and on privately owned land that is paid for; the shelters shoul never take out natural world areas but should work on
existing sites or improve older sites
15. The shelters should pride themselves on having enough space for everyone - no waiting lists
Maybe some contests could be put up for the most efficient low cost sustainable shelters.
Shelters By Type: Addictions, Personality, Lifestyle Habits
Drugs and alcohol are often a problem. People with addictions need to go to another type of shelter. We need to group shelters by type - and also
need to provide personality or lifestyle type categories within the shelters themselves so that people have a better fit and an increased chance for
success. Keep smoker and non-smoking sections firm.
Some people frankly are noisy in their lifestyles and personal satisfaction choices. They require stimulation - TVs, phones, radios, music, chatter, other
people, cigarettes, gum chewing, chip eating, pop drinking. Other people are non-smokers, would prefer to be healthy eaters and drinkers (no or low
sugar), need quiet, rest, personal space and privacy. Shelters often lump people together so that things clash. They can keep some people more tense
and uptight than rested and sustained. Disturbing feelings at shelters with inadequate sleep can keep people from focusing on doing what they need
to do (like looking for jobs and more permanent shelter) for survival after leaving the shelter.
Opportunity Time, Not Drag
There are a number of ways to help people discover ways to help themselves without putting them through a grind. The old pain for gain attitudes
need to loosen up. If we really put our minds to it, we could make major headways with this issue in our country - and perhaps the world.
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Smart Things With Small Spaces and Creative Materials In Structures
Syncronos Design, Inc.
PO Box 1833
Corrales, NM 87048
Very helpful and detailed DVD shows how to build your own hybrid
straw bale and adobe home and have it be small but aesthetically
Interesting Architectural Ideas
Stick Art Work/Architecture: Patrick Dougherty
Although generally not structurally useful but more visual, these stick structures add a dimension to our awareness by showing
what is possible. The artistically placed forms of the sticks and related materials seem to work on our awareness in a number
of different ways - they seem to take on a visual language of their own when incorporated into art form. They give the feeling of
motion, flow, twist and language in often earthy and preternatural ways. It’s like we are being invited to something at once
familiar but outside the normal in sensing the dance of the sticks, but it is hard to say exactly what the feeling is.
Arcosanti, Cosanti - Arizona
From hand-made bells to social eco-architecture, Paolo has been exploring the connection between people and smart
community spaces for many years. Some of the ideas incorporate closed community systems for survival much like a spaceship
but lived in on earth. These ideas might be useful in the advent of global destruction of our air and atmosphere as people might
be forced to move into artificially contained environments. Studying these systems could also potentially teach us about a
number of other things, including the power and effectiveness of natural ecosystems versus those that are artificially induced
by man, the ability of people to live and cooperate together in small contained spaces, and the dangers possible in controlled
environments (like the rapid development and spread of bacteria or viruses.)
Sand Bag Homes: Nader Khalili (1936-2008)
Nader was a professional and successful architect who wanted to create a system for making homes that anyone could do or
afford. He started with the concept of the stable arch in reference to bags filled with sand as they are incorporated into the
structure of man-made dwellings. In exploring this form, he developed a series of ways to build houses without expensive tools
or know-how, and created a school in California.
Creative Architectural Design: Various Sources
A number of different links here, the photos demonstrate clearly many ways to explore the bridge between architecture, art
and nature. Some of these ideas are a delight to the soul; it is worth one’s time to spend a few minutes just flipping through the
pictures to get a feeling for things. http://www.pinterest.com/lovedesigncreat/creative-architecture-design/
Tiny homes making big inroads in inner city Portland
Precarious Alliance 2015 symposium
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GENTLE CHARM IN SHELTER
Returning to an old world ambiance, a sense of flow with nature and a whole-brained connection with the broad picture of all life.
Working with a sense of humility and quiet dignity in creating space for ourselves on this planet. This is a core concept for this
website and its sister websites greeningways.com.
Many Americans and those living in modern contexts have lost the sense of a certain gentle charm when building houses. We
have gone for size and a mundane type of grandeur in replacement of tranquil, stable feelings for the basic reasons behind
creating a house - shelter. We have also lost our sense of connectivity to the rest of nature. Once many Americans have enough
money, they seem to discard the idea of shelter for something that is beyond shelter. Let’s return to a sense of humility and
gentle charm in our building styles. Humility, as it is used here, is not a back-whipping dejectedness. It refers to a quiet sense of
being a part of a bigger picture of life rather than projecting our material manifestations into a me-first centrality that takes on
large shapes and displaces other things. This type of humility does not deny the importance of the self or the importance of a
human in context with other things - far from it. Every human is unique, important and lovable. What is meant here by humility
is the sense of balance that keeps a person from imposing and destroying. It is also about realizing that there are deep joys and
delights available to us beyond just another large building or parking lot.
Gentle charm can incorporate a number of ideas and need not be set in stone. I am drawn to old European country cottages,
simple pretty little dwellings that blend in with rolling hillsides and green pastures, native forests and old craggy seacoasts.
That’s my bag. However, it can be a modern high tech expertly efficient house, a house with all the bells and whistles of a mini-
NASA spaceship and a space age look to boot - just small and easy on the landscape around it.
The main point here is that it is best to not wipe out nature to put up any kind of property being developed - whether it is
residential or commercial. Nature is disappearing rapidly for a variety of reasons. Some of it is from forest fires and beetle
epidemics, acid rain and soil depletion. Yet more of it is from bull-dozers and developments. What we need to understand is
that we live in a widespread human culture that has lost its respect for small humble things like native trees, bushes and
wildlife. We need desperately to turn this around and go for a softer, gentler approach to the land and all of life. There are so
many things that can be done with small spaces and an eye for quiet beauty. Please open your hearts and minds to this concept
and help change the way we look at development and opportunity. Then turn around and teach others to do the same. Help
people make money creating these spaces for each other. Restore urban decay to a much more livable and beautiful natural
experience. Retard urban development that would continue the centuries old tendency to wipe things out during expansion.
Set your eyes on unique small structures that blend in harmoniously with the natural world around them.
We do not need another large development, housing subdivision, parking lot or street as much as we need a sense of quality and
soft attention to details and artistic tones. Rather than slapping together another identical looking shopping center complete
with the same old package of Walmarts, Targets, Home Depots and the like, let’s go back to small individual private enterprises
with a sense of dignified low impact charm. Rather than create housing developments in which the houses look like one big
identical sprawl of color and shapes, like a train running across the landscape, let’s slow down and figure out another way to do
housing. Don’t let large land developers get away with destroying what is left of our prettiest natural areas around growing
parts of cities. It’s happened so many times in so many places, yet people never learned and they are still doing it right now, at
this moment - as we speak.
In addition, art and charm need to be affordable for everyone, not isolated in tinsel town, high cost areas in which the real
estate alone seems to suck money energy out of people just by walking through the downtown section. Gentle charm is a
quality that embraces the common man and the wealthy all in one breath and does not discriminate against either. It brings a
sense of belonging and well-being to the soul no matter the size of the pocket book. Communities built on the notion of gentle
charm as expressed here do not have an outer layer and an inner layer, but are cohesively together throughout. What you see is
what you get. And the local people can afford to live there, too.
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Books and Resources on Homelessness
Lynne Rienner, Publisher
At Home on the Street: People, Poverty, and a Hidden Culture of Homelessness
Wasserman, Jason Adam and Jeffrey Michael Clair
Down and Out, On The Road: The Homeless in American History (2002)
Kusmer, Kenneth L.
Ending Homelessness: Why We Haven’t, How We Can
Donald W. Burnes and David L. DiLeo, editors
Excerpt: The number of people experiencing homelessness has not changed significantly in the past 35 years—despite billions of
dollars spent at the federal, state, and local levels. Why aren't we closer to the goal of ending homelessness?
A Gift of Hope: Helping The Homeless (2012)
Excerpt from inside front cover: For eleven years, Danielle Steel took to the streets with a small team to help the homeless of San
Francisco. She worked anonymously, visiting the “cribs” of the city’s most vulnerable citizens under cover of darkness, distributing
food, clothing, bedding, tools, and toiletries. She sought no publicity for her efforts and remained anonymous throughout. Now
she is speaking up to bring attention to their plight.
The Girl’s Guide to Homelessness: A Memoir (2011)
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Secular homeless shelters as applied here can include neutral religiosity (no religions), but also light religious orientations. Atheist input is included
here to provide the added perspective that there are people offended by heavy religious overtones in the bulk of American shelters, and that there are
indeed people actively seeking other forms of assistance.
Are there any index of homeless shelters which are unambiguously secular, and where those helped aren't proselytized to? (Blog Site)
Richard Dawkins Foundation For Science & Reason, Homeless Atheist (Blog Site)
Older (Dated) Review of Shelters
Why Are There No Atheist Shelters?
- INDEX - HUMAN ISSUES SECTION
- Website - Books in sections on website
- Abuse: Child Abuse, Communication, Male Sexual Abuse, Lost Boys
- Black Panthers
- Civil Rights (Women's Rights, Diversity, Inclusion, etc.)
- Kindness to Humans - Torture, Sacrifice, etc.
- Fleshing Out Planet Earth: Downer Talk, Complex World, etc.
- Human Will
- Lethality, Self/Others (Suicide, Aggression)
- Racial Issues
- Religious Issues (Dominionism, Jesus, etc.)
- Shelter - Envisioning (Gentle Charm, etc.)
- Veterans Issues
- INDEX - SYSTEM ABUSE SECTION
- Website - Books listed in sections on website
- LINKS-SYSTEM ABUSE SECTION
- Topics below - with subsections
- I. Police Abuses
- II. Afghan, Syria, Libya, Islam
- III. Surveillance and Related Issues
- IV. 9/11
- V. Truth Speakers: Lennon, Ruppert, Webb, Russo
- VI. American Issues
- VII. Russia, India, Latino
- VIII. Mixed Groups-Ottoman, Nazis/Muslims WWII, Russian Region, Sikhs, Vietcong
- IX. Technical: chemtrails, robotics/artificial intell, prism, etc
- X. Illuminati, psyops, monarch, british ops, etc.
- XI. Mind Control, Group Terror
- XII. Nazis
- XIII. Zionism, Israel, Khazarian Mafia, Jews
- Commentaries 1
- Commentaries 2
HUMAN ISSUES / ENVISIONING SHELTER