Bootstrap Homes

Attempting to defy Vimes's theory of boots

Re:Boot! The Warehouse Labyrinth

6:48 pm

On account of our abbreviated timetable, we are not ending our work-day here. We are taking a well-earned break and going back to finish the base. I am blowing bubbles and waiting for my tea to steep. Rah is playing bejeweled. Soap-bubbles are sheer poetry and a balm on the scuffed up edges of my thoughts.

We have successfully collected all but four items on our materials list: one more 2 inch circular vent, a tupperware bowl-sink, and the bike hitch and picture frames, which both of us keep forgetting. The rest of it is in our workspace, within easy reach.

The Coroplast sheets were fun to find: we headed up to Emerson place, and found ourselves in a warehouse labyrinth.

Read More

Re:Boot! Steel Nipples, Strippers, and Flashing…

3:03 pm

We have completed the Hardware store run. Rah and I are not mature adults and so the labeling system of the aisles kept us very entertained. Our ride and coordinator Carolyn met us there, waited very patiently for us to finish shopping, and navigated us smoothly out of the parking lot and through the packed streets of New York in her station wagon. Rah and I took advantage of our small statures and rode shotgun together while Carolyn told us a little bit about the history of the neighborhood we were traveling in.

Read More

Re:Boot! One does not simply Walk through the Hardware store…

 7:24 AM, May 13 2013.

I’m rather groggy this morning, and so I type to wake up as I wait for my morning tea. Rah has already been at the sugar cubes I see. It’s like watching a very sensible hummingbird who knows how to fold laundry. Last night I got Rah to write up what she intends to get done today. I will post it now for my own personal amusement later, when I write up what actually got done.

Read More

Re:Boot! Live from NY

3:36 AM, May 12 2013.

The clock on my cellphone says 3:56, New York time. My poor laptop says it’s 12:57 am back in Portland, and so does my body. I’m sitting in front of an open word document, watching Rah play Bejeweled, and asking her what voice I should use this week while blogging about the bootstrap workshop we’re about to run. She tells me she’s been using a demi-semi-hemi formal voice. Demi-semi-hemi formal it is. Hello there, my name’s KG Schmidt and I will be your hapless blogger for the next eight or so days. If you are so inclined, I am also keeping minutes in real-time on my twitter account @Aetherbocks as the project unfolds. This is day one.  

Read More

You don’t get to see the fancy cover, only the fancy back page.

You don’t get to see the fancy cover, only the fancy back page.

Being a full listing of the parts and particulars required to build a small cart-home, new modified design, suitable for homeless shelter, bike camping, or children’s playhouse (pp 9-12 of 14)

Being a full listing of the parts and particulars required to build a small cart-home, new modified design, suitable for homeless shelter, bike camping, or children’s playhouse (pp 5-8 of 14)

Being a full listing of the parts and particulars required to build a small cart-home, new modified design, suitable for homeless shelter, bike camping, or children’s playhouse (pp 1-4 of 14)

candymandie:

rainbowsparky:

chainofaffection:

“Have you ever come across a homeless individual and felt totally uncomfortable?

You see them and you know they are in need, but you are not sure what to do. You know that handing them money is not the best thing. But, you also see that they clearly have some needs. Their lips are chapped. They are hungry. They are thirsty. They are asking for help.

How can you help?

Here is a simple idea - blessing bags.
This was such an easy project. We are now going to keep a few “Blessing Bags” in our car so that when we do happen to see someone on the streets who is homeless, we can hand them a Blessing Bag. I first learned of these bags from my friend, Julie. I am using the picture of her bags (see above) because the ones we took were taken in horrible lighting and turned out really grainy and hard to see what is inside of them.

If you’d like to make your own Blessing Bags, this is what you would need:

Gallon size Ziplock bags
items to go in the bags, such as:
chap stick
packages of tissues
toothbrush and toothpaste
comb
soap
trail mix
granola bars
crackers
pack of gum
band aids
mouthwash
coins (could be used to make a phone call, or purchase a food item)
hand wipes
you could also put in a warm pair of socks, and maybe a Starbucks gift card

Assemble all the items in the bags, and maybe throw in a note of encouragement. Seal the bags and stow in your car for a moment of providence.

This would be a great activity to do with some other families. Each family could bring one of the items going into the bags (ex: toothbrushes). Set up all the items around a table and walk around it with the ziplocks and fill the bags.”

http://kwavs.blogspot.com/2011/05/blessing-bags-how-to.html

This is a brilliant idea! You could also put in the numbers and addresses of local bulk-billing doctors, homeless help agencies/shelters, employment agencies, and the times and locations of free food vans around the town.

DON’T FORGET TAMPONS AND PADS THOSE ARE SUPER IMPORTANT

Socks, bus pass packs, and useful numbers are extremely helpful.  Portland has a Pink Book, available if you know where to ask for it, with all kinds of aid numbers - from rent assistance to shelters to doctors and food sources.  Most people who become homeless have no more idea than you or I what options are available to them, and how to get to them. 

candymandie:

rainbowsparky:

chainofaffection:

“Have you ever come across a homeless individual and felt totally uncomfortable?
You see them and you know they are in need, but you are not sure what to do. You know that handing them money is not the best thing. But, you also see that they clearly have some needs. Their lips are chapped. They are hungry. They are thirsty. They are asking for help.
How can you help?
Here is a simple idea - blessing bags.

This was such an easy project. We are now going to keep a few “Blessing Bags” in our car so that when we do happen to see someone on the streets who is homeless, we can hand them a Blessing Bag. I first learned of these bags from my friend, Julie. I am using the picture of her bags (see above) because the ones we took were taken in horrible lighting and turned out really grainy and hard to see what is inside of them.

If you’d like to make your own Blessing Bags, this is what you would need:
Gallon size Ziplock bags
items to go in the bags, such as:
chap stick
packages of tissues
toothbrush and toothpaste
comb
soap
trail mix
granola bars
crackers
pack of gum
band aids
mouthwash
coins (could be used to make a phone call, or purchase a food item)
hand wipes
you could also put in a warm pair of socks, and maybe a Starbucks gift card
Assemble all the items in the bags, and maybe throw in a note of encouragement. Seal the bags and stow in your car for a moment of providence.
This would be a great activity to do with some other families. Each family could bring one of the items going into the bags (ex: toothbrushes). Set up all the items around a table and walk around it with the ziplocks and fill the bags.”

This is a brilliant idea! You could also put in the numbers and addresses of local bulk-billing doctors, homeless help agencies/shelters, employment agencies, and the times and locations of free food vans around the town.

DON’T FORGET TAMPONS AND PADS THOSE ARE SUPER IMPORTANT

Socks, bus pass packs, and useful numbers are extremely helpful.  Portland has a Pink Book, available if you know where to ask for it, with all kinds of aid numbers - from rent assistance to shelters to doctors and food sources.  Most people who become homeless have no more idea than you or I what options are available to them, and how to get to them. 

(Source: yourpersonalcheerleader, via thesilvertophat)

Addendum

The Problems With Boots, as catalogued by their maker, two months after completing the fourth Boot.

1) Even though they’re legal, parking enforcement tends to target them, because they’re clearly ‘homeless.’  I would need to talk to the City Council and clarify this with them, and possibly fight a legal battle to get parking enforcement to apply the laws evenly.


2) It’s very difficult to stay in touch with the occupants, and therefore difficult to arrange for repairs or transfer of units.  If I wanted to stay in touch properly, I’d have to do a city search weekly to find the various Boots out there and ask their occupants about problems.  Although the library offers internet access, and some people have phones, very few actually try to stay in touch with me.

3) Community builds are both an asset and a flaw.  They give a community stake in these creations, and educate and connect people, but they also depend on people’s generosity and belief that these will help.


4) The Boots themselves are heavy, unwieldy, and highly visible.  While some people are strong and idealistic enough to deal with this combination, other, more vulnerable people are not.  They prefer to be as hidden as possible.  They would appreciate the amenities and the privacy offered, but are put off by the public relations job essentially foisted upon occupants.  They want to get back into normal apartments and live normal lives.

5) Visibility is both an asset and a flaw.  The Boots are meant to be attractive, and certainly they have gotten many positive responses.  However, they also attract negative attention.  They attract attention, period.  Homelessness is a volatile issue right now, and being visible can be scary.

Lastly, I know better now what resources are available to homeless people. Shelters aren’t the only solution out there: rent help, rent share, and various other services strive to keep people’s ordinary lives running smoothly until they catch their stride again.  I think these projects are deserving of more time, attention, and money.  I can help by spreading the word about Transition Project, 100k Homes, EDAR, and roommate services.

 Lots of people have been interested in the project. Parts of it are still very good ideas.  I’m going to take some months and see if I can untangle them from the pieces that are not.