Monday, November 28, 2011

Homelessness and The Temple

~I myself spent twenty two months homeless. I was fortunate that I was nine years sober at the time and had the support of someone who knew the system very well. Though I did sleep in shelters at first, I never had to sleep outside. But that was eight years ago. I doubt I would be that fortunate now.

However, that is why the following is in The Explanation, from Her Prophet Explains: Part Four "The Temple's Tactical Initiatives":

"When I really started to think about The Temple on a practical level, what first came to mind was two projects; a store front operation to help homeless and 'in need' women, and a 'human potential type' of Amazon training for women who were generally middle and upper middle class, women who were looking for something that their present lives did not give them.

I first detailed these two projects thusly:

The Temple's first project is a Women's Drop-In Center. The drop-in center would be a converted store front or other street level former business space. It would clearly be ‘faith based’ and staffed by members of The Temple trained in its operation. The Center will provide the following:

~a safe place for homeless women to be during the day
~two free meals a day, breakfast and lunch
~a mail drop
~shower and laundry facilities
~a nap room

~references to social services, to mental health and drug counseling [these reference services would also be available to non-homeless women 'in need'], and to transitional housing

The Temple's second project is the conducting of experimental women's educational workshops utilizing of the 'human potential' model, a Sisterhood Training. These workshops are focused on formulating and designing an educational training organization of several levels that will:

~be based upon a rigorous Amazon Training regimen
~foster the empowerment of women individually
~provide women with a workable model for positive social change as a group
~create a sustainable environment that heals, builds, and expands the bonds of Sisterhood

The ways in which the middle and upper middle class women could help their homeless and 'in need' Sisters are relatively obvious for the most part. But how the homeless and 'in need' women could help their better off Sisters would be to provide the lessons and opportunities for them to rigorously examine the conduct and values of their own 'comfortable' lives, to see how they are 'well adjusted to a profoundly sick society'.

Having myself lived in both worlds, I know that often one group is looked at as 'pathetic ruined victims' and the other group as 'shallow rich bitches'. But an unnerving number of those homeless and 'in need' women originally come out of the middle class, a few even from the upper middle class.

The goal here is show each of them that they are all in fact Sisters and that the course of their respective lives has largely been determined by Patriarchy and its rules regarding gender, race, and class.

What the combination of these two projects will create is a process of female centered social reintegration that is both vertical and horizontal, one that crosses and transcends all cultural and economic lines.

As time goes on, The Drop-In Center will expand into a network of temporary shelters, permanent housing, and support systems for homeless and 'in need' women, a network designed to help these women stabilize and heal their own lives and to protect those women who are too damaged to fully recover.

As time goes on, The Sisterhood Training will expand from a series of long weekend workshops into what I envision as two plus year process, a 'full immersion' training that provide an arena for women to completely transform themselves into what will effectively be Amazon Warrior Priestesses.

Of course we do not expect that the majority of the women who pass through these processes to become fully Initiated Sisters of The Temple. Only a dedicated minority of them will follow that path. But even a homeless woman who only has one bowl of soup at The Drop In Center or a professional woman who only goes to a single Sisterhood Training guest event will be touched by this process of transformation"

And then further on...

"~The Temple create a network of shelters and housing for women [for non-Temple members and not related to the residences listed above]. This will include at least one large overnight shelter with support facilities, various shelters for battered women, addicted women, and multi-year transitional living programs. We will also get into the permanent housing business, through Section 8 and/or whatever programs are available."

I have extensive notes on these shelters that I shall add to this portion of Part Four fairly soon. It's just a matter of typing and editing.

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