Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

My Evokation - "Hope for the Homeless"

I'm starting a non-profit organization called "Hope for the Homeless." It would be a mentorship program designed to function much like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Mentors would be paired with homeless people in order to help them through their daily struggles.

1. The Place. Where will you make a difference? Describe the institution, community, town or other geographic or virtual space in which you will focus your efforts.

My plan is to recruit as many mentors as possible in the Detroit area where I live and establish the first location. More specifically, I will focus on a small community in Detroit called Corktown. It’s a very poor area with a big homeless community. More specifically, I will find mentors and pair them with homeless individuals I have personally befriended at a soup kitchen.

2. The Challenge. What will you aim to change, and for whom? Highlight what is the need that you perceive and who will benefit from this change.

I have spent a lot of time interviewing and getting to know many homeless individuals. And I have learned that what they need more than anything else is hope and love. A mentorship program will allow homeless individuals to foster a new positive relationship. Each mentor would offer their guidance and help through difficult situations. And they would simply be there to be a friend.

In fact, I’ve already seen the tremendous impact that this program can make by becoming the first mentor to a homeless man named Paul Eugene Brown. I helped him get off the streets and I’m now helping him get situated in his apartment in Detroit. Plus, we’re becoming good friends.

3. The Idea. Your solution – what is the action, product, service, project, change that you will initiate? Tell us how will your idea will succeed where others have failed.

Other homeless organizations are helpful, but they don’t give the special attention and love that each homeless individual needs. The problem with homelessness is that there are many complicated factors that play into each individual case. The diversity of problems are endless: mental illness, physical disabilities, criminal records, family problems and general hopelessness. A mentorship program would enable homeless individuals to receive the special attention they desperately need and very much deserve.


4. The Money. What would you do with your first US$1,000 given or invested in support of your vision?

My priority right now is to recruit as many mentors as possible. So I would use the first $1,000 to get the word out through flyers, and other forms of advertising that would target possible mentors in various areas in Detroit.

Views: 68

Comment by Ternura Rojas on May 14, 2010 at 8:25pm
Hello Luke, splendid plan! I hope you achieve your objectives. If you do not get the 1000 you still can use Internet and probably there are funds available for this kind of charity ventures. Best Luck!
Comment by Luke Sokolewicz on May 14, 2010 at 9:03pm
thanks so much for the kind words, appreciate it :)
Comment by Erin Sammons on May 14, 2010 at 10:04pm
wow I was thinking about something like this in Hamilton but would never have come up with a plan as fantastic as this - great work =)
Comment by Turil Cronburg on May 14, 2010 at 10:26pm
Ideally, you'd phrase this in a way that's more about friendship, than a hierarchical relationship. When you're homeless, you tend to have a lot of people who act like you're some invalid, and it tends to make people feel like losers, which ends up being a self-fulfilling prophesy as people tend to live up to what people treat them as. So any way that you can structure the program to help people realize that they are equals to everyone else is going to be useful. Maybe call it the buddy system, or something?
Comment by Turil Cronburg on May 14, 2010 at 10:29pm
Also, do you know about the Red Tent folks? They are up in Vancouver, and they work to increase people's legal right to have a place to live.
Comment by Abby Krieger on May 14, 2010 at 10:40pm
Another organization that may be useful is Stand Up For Kids, which is national. Basically, the group fields supplies (food bags and socks, mostly) and meets up once a week to cruise an area where there are homeless kids. They go through & distribute stuff.

I think informal mentoring relationships were founded, but not formal ones. So maybe if there's a SUFK group in your area, there's an opportunity for synergy with them.

Good luck!
Comment by Luke Sokolewicz on May 15, 2010 at 8:28pm
Thanks everyone for all the great advice and the nice comments. I'm going to take all this to heart. :)
Comment by A.V.Koshy on May 15, 2010 at 8:33pm
luke check out aseel honein's evokation
Comment by Aseel Honein on May 15, 2010 at 8:36pm
heloo Luke!
AV told me about your intersting Evokation! (I quite agree :)
Anyways, I have created a program for the homelessin Barcelona!
http://www.urgentevoke.com/profiles/blogs/evokation-3
Please let me know if I can support your cause via the net! Detroit is a long way for me :)
Best of luck!
Comment by Michele Baron on May 15, 2010 at 8:51pm
good evoking, Luke. glad to see it online.

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