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Help J. Friday: Homeless to Helping the World Save Itself

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Hi, I’m Jess (or J. or Friday!)

And this is my story.

Two years ago, I tried to start an ethical gig economy in manufacturing, because I knew that a Community Brand, a company for purpose and not for profit, could provide myself and other neurodivergent and disabled people the opportunity to live a life where we not only had financial safety, but could wake up every day and do what we loved to do without burning out.

Unfortunately I was doing this as a serial failed entrepreneur who'd never lived on her own and didn't know how to ask for help, much less leverage the power of my community.

So I went homeless when the startup failed to launch on time.

Homelessness is no joke. Especially for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

I have witnessed and experienced a level of suffering no one should ever have to go through.

And it's my life's mission to create a world where we can all create communities of care so that never happens again.

Wealth is people. And homelessness isn't running out of money, it's running out of friends to help you through.

I've experienced some rough things, but I'm very lucky, because if I didn't have my community to support me, it could have been a lot worse.

I might not have made it through.

Many don't.

Thankfully, I've had lots of help from friends. People who believe in my mission have donated thousands of dollars when I've been in a pinch and really needed it.

Friends have donated their couches, their time, and their help.

My best friend kept flying me across the Atlantic to the only place I feel truly at home near Liverpool, UK, a place I can't stay long at a time without a visa I don't have money for.

And because I'm lucky and have community, I've managed to do a lot even while homeless and suffering from an illness that would keep me bedbound for days at a time with no medical treatment.

First, I've managed to keep alive a platform cooperative that makes ecommerce accessible for neurodivergent and disabled people. That company is called Villej. It was formed from the idea that it takes a village, meaning when we work collaboratively and have the technology to make that easy, we can create something bigger than ourselves while making work light.

It hasn't launched yet, but we've formed as an Article 56 coop in Colorado with the help of my friends and founding members, despite not being able to afford server fees several times now and having to start all over from losing months of work about FIVE times. Talk about resilience!

I’ve developed an app for keeping and maintaining relationships called the FRN app with a waitlist 800 people long! It's the first app in an ecosystem of apps for connecting with each other in community and business.

We are calling this model for ecosystems of helping the Connection Engine. And we are bringing that help to the world with the #MakeitCommunity campaign and the MiC Drop podcast.

What I’ve learned from this adventure and put it into a (future) TED Talk, the 90 second version of which won at the HelpBnk Power of Community event my community fundraised to get me to in March. (That's me and Simon Squibb in the photo on the right!)

HelpBnk is the only other platform I know of intentionally inspiring ordinary people to build Community Wealth. I've taken a big leap to get their attention, including pitching at the Doorbell of Dreams on *two* continents and sleeping under the HelpBnk Staircase in Twickenham.

If anyone from HelpBnk is reading, I'd love to be on the Free Humanity podcast and have the opportunity to discuss Community Wealth with other big changemakers in the game!

So what is community wealth, anyway?

I believe when we combine community with wealth again, and make it intentional, we can reconnect in community, for purpose, solving the biggest problems facing this world collectively while creating the lives we all dream of.

No government or corporation is coming to save us, but we can save ourselves by giving without take, helping each other, connecting in community, solving the problems right in front of us, and scaling these systems of help to businesses to make it sustainable.

I have the information on how to implement strategies to take this global called The Saving the World Strategy Guide and my upcoming speech is called "How we save the world by saving each other."

This isn't an original idea! All of this is simple and the answers have been staring us right in the face all along -- like so many great plot twists!

I have so many stories to share with you about how Community Wealth has already been changing the world.

Did you know that we wouldn't have To Kill a Mockingbird without Community Wealth? Or that it completely transformed the town of Preston, UK?

How about the fact that it allows for creative economics, as in the case of Freewater.io, who have brought the world free water now, but later free grocery stores?

Or that it allows for people to answer the question "What is your dream?" and then helps them make that dream come true, which is what Simon Squibb is doing with HelpBnk?

I want to share these stories and so much more. To dedicate myself to this cause, I can't divide my attention, and I need some very real medical attention and other basic supports, so I’m asking for help from my community today to get me through the next few months so I can focus my energy away from fight or flight and full time on getting a TED Talk, connecting with the right people to help take this global, and soon inspiring every community to transform the world with the systems we’re building.

If you can spare even a few dollars, there's nothing more impactful you could fund right now.

Follow my socials to follow the journey. And if you want to be a part of this, please reach out! We need all the help we can get.

If people knew how truly transformative empowering ordinary people in business was, we'd have tens of millions of dollars and people wanting to help make it happen overnight!

Thank you for being a helper, thank you for helping live the life I've dreamed of so I can make that a possibility for everyone

Xoxo

Jess

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Donations (2)

  • Caroline Anderson
    • $75 
    • 7 d
  • Caroline Anderson
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
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Jess Friday
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Raleigh, NC

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