Here are a few facts about homelessness before you read on to the mission of The NOMAD Project.
A lack of affordable housing, poverty, lack of employment opportunities, lack of afforable health care, mental illness, and addiction are all contributing factors to homelessness.
A lack of affordable housing and the limited scale of housing assistance programs have contributed to the current housing crisis and to homelessness. Recently, foreclosures have also increased the number of people who experience homelessness (NCH, 2014).
Housing represents the fundamental base-solution to the problem of homelessness. The lack of affordable housing and the limited scale of housing assistance programs contribute to the current housing crisis and to homelessness. The lack of affordable housing has led to high rent burdens, overcrowding, and substandard housing, which has not only forced many people to become homeless but has also put a growing number of people at risk of becoming homeless (NCH, 2014).
Homelessness is often assumed to be an urban phenomenon because homeless people are more numerous, more geographically concentrated, and more visible in urban areas. However, people experience the same difficulties associated with homelessness and housing distress in America's small towns and rural areas as they do in urban areas (NCH, 2014).
These facts were taken from the National Coalition for the Homeless website at www.nationalhomeless.org.
The inspiration behind The NOMAD Project came from a service trip that I took in March 2014 with a group from my university. We spent a week in NYC working alongside an organization called YSOP (Youth Services Opportunity Project). We visited various sites all over NYC serving the homeless and hungry through food pantries and shelters. It was eye opening and life changing to say the least.
Everything I experienced and everything I learned there in that short time, changed my perspective and spun every belief, stereotype and vision I had of what it meant to be homeless. There is no "typical" homeless person. Homelessness is not bound by gender, age, or geography. I met some individuals who were "working" homeless: people who had jobs that they went to every single day but still could not afford a place to live. Affording housing on top of the daily cost of living was still just too much, even with a steady income.
When I got home, I did research. I learned that homelessness is not limited to large cities and urban areas like New York City. Homelessness and hunger are everywhere, even in your hometown - - my hometown. Job loss, foreclosure, illness, disability, veteran displacement, mental illness, happen everywhere you turn. It's time we as human beings recognize that and work towards changing it - together.
WHAT IS OUR MISSION?
The mission of The NOMAD Project is to challenge the stereotypes surrounding homelessness. We shouldn't label a person by their means of shelter or lack thereof. Why? Because homelessness and the circumstances that led someone there, are only a part of their life journey. It should never define who they are. By becoming consciously aware and informed, we can break down the barriers of ignorance and judgment to make way for positive change.
WE CREATE LIFE PACKS.
The “life packs” we prepare are filled with daily necessities, items we might take for granted but are so desperately needed such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, fresh towels, clean socks, deodorant, and toothpaste (just to name a few).
We also plan to prepare our "clothes of comfort" packs for seasonal changes to help keep individuals warmer in the cold months and cooler in the summer months.
There are also "specialty" packs created to suit the needs of individual organizations and the people they serve. For example, a women and children's shelter may need diapers, formula, sanitary products, etc.
WE ENCOURAGE. WE MOTIVATE. WE INSPIRE.
The NOMAD Project is here to lend a helping hand to those who are currently living through their 'nomadic' journey so that as they move forward, it is that much easier to reach their goals and future destination.
We all have the ability to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others. Our message is one of inspiration and motivation. We wish to encourage compassion, generosity and kindness. We promote the motivation of others through positivity and a change of perspective. Sometimes all we need is a change of perspective.
And with a little help from some friends, we all have the ability to change our stars.
WE SPREAD AWARENESS.
In addition to serving those in need, The NOMAD Project has a mission to spread awareness about homelessness in America, to advocate for change, and to inspire those around us to live with compassion and kindness, to look at the bigger picture, to never look down on anyone unless you plan on helping them up <3
WHY GIVE TO THE TNP CAUSE?
The NOMAD Project is hands-on. We take a very personal approach to our service and mission. We work with organizations to take on a collabortive approach to expand our efforts in assistance and awareness. There is no competition here. TNP wants to work together for the bigger picture, to make the largest impact that we can.
We personally visit community and camp sites with the intent to build relationships and rapport. We want to know who we are helping so that you can know exactly how you make a difference, exactly how big your impact is in fighting homelessness and hunger.
Part motivator, part inspiration, part missionary, this project will be entirely from a grass roots perspective. The "life packs" will not be given out as a faceless distribution effort. Every pack will be delivered personally as we strive to learn and grow from each individual's story, each journey, and to understand how we can help further to get each person to their next destination in their life journey.
From start to finish, The NOMAD Project wants to be there.
Please, if you have any questions, feel free to contact The NOMAD Project at [email redacted]. We would love to hear from you!
Remember: HOME IS IN YOUR HEART!
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