Housing Addiction

February 18, 2014

service, volunteerism

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I have come to realize that I have a housing addiction, and at anytime now, friends and family might try to pull off an intervention. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not running around buying and trading homes. Not that type of housing addiction. My addiction is to be involved in helping people improve their living environment regardless of their status in life.

I am lucky that this addiction is fed by both my professional career and my volunteerism. Professionally I really enjoy our participation as a design firm to develop the lighting for some really amazing private homes. On a volunteer level I enjoy helping improve homes in need of repairs that might keep the rain and cold out.

This Friday, Febr30cdd7cca96ab5f7cbd588c8c4a21d7f_f6uary 21st, I have the opportunity to feed this addiction by participating in the C-U at Home “One Winter Night” event as I sleep outside in a cardboard box to raise funds for a needed Homeless Shelter. Here is a link if you are interested in supporting my journey.

http://www.cuathome.us/one-winter-night-2014/participants/warren-charter/

As I reflect on how I came to this place of volunteering to sleep outside in the dead of winter in a cardboard box, I have had in my life many unpleasant and pleasant housing experiences. For my own childhood, at times I lived in a tent, or slept on the floor of a business. Most of my normal childhood housing came by the way of growing up in government subsidized housing, also known as the projects. As an adult, I have always had the security of having a comfortable home for my family and I to live in.

These housing experiences over my lifetime have helped me with the single thought that every person deserves housing. I sense the anger here with that statement of entitlement, that everyone deserves housing.

To help address your frustration with my “deserves” statement, two of my other favorite sources to feed my housing addiction is the local non-profit Empty Tomb and the Appalachia based group ASP. Both groups provide through volunteers much needed home repair to those that are truly in need. Tex Evans the founder of ASP has a very famous quote. Tex Evans said simply “We accept people right where they are, just the way they are.”

For me, my understanding, my truth is that the impoverished, and the homeless when accepted right where they are, just the way they are, are simply people like me with challenges that might benefit from my time and talents. These are needed contributions that may improve their station in life. I benefited from others before me taking an interest in my housing, and I will continue to provide that to others in need.

Now, bring on that cold winter night!!!

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