Thursday, November 20, 2014

HOMES & LIVES transformed

President's Preface to 25th annual report 
of the Housing Industry Foundation (HIF)
San Mateo (Silicon Valley) CA 94402

September 4, 2014

In stark contrast to the growing wealth and real-estate
prices in Silicon Valley is the growing homelessness
crisis in our community.

The five areas of the United States with the
highest rates of unsheltered homeless people
are all in California. Silicon Valley is third.

Our state is one of six in which over half of all
homeless people were living in locations without
any form of shelter. Nonprofit and public services
are seeing dramatic increases in first-time seekers
of emergency support - such as emergency rental

The disparity between the rich and the poor
is getting bigger. Families are one paycheck away
from losing housing. Households are deciding
between repairing a car and paying their rent.

Those who are struggling need a compassionate,
competent solution and the Housing Industry
Foundation is here to provide one. We collaborate
with industry partners and emergency service
agencies to provide a viable solution to critical
housing situations in our community.

It is an honor to lead this organization and to
provide a beacon of hope in our community.

~ Heather Wallace
President, HIF board of directors
Housing Industry Foundation (HIF)
1730 S. El Camino Real, Suite 480
San Mateo CA 94402

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Advent poem by my B.C. '63 classmate Geo. M. Perreault

"Our writers' group puts together an Advent calendar; we're supposed to contribute little things -- recipes or poems & such. This is my scribble per this morning's scribbles."  

~George M. Perreault (D.Ed), Univ. of NV Reno, 
(a B.C. '63 classmate of mine.)

 Rain in the Desert, Year Zero

It was the star, of course, which first drew us west,
away from our studies, a brilliant wondering in the night:
curiosity or hope, the little sisters of despair.

Yet, when stars are now beyond the reach of my eyes,
the mountains vague and even the near trees mere rumors,
another memory intrudes, sustains me on this shore:

Clouds swelling into the evening, the path lost in mist,
we found shelter under a rocky overhang; no need for tents
that night, even the camels edging in among us

while down it came, steady, pebbling the sand then working
deep to where the roots of everything sang with relief,
and the air was filled with the sweetness of each blessed plant.

It was, we learned, the same night the Child was born,
outside a little town nearly a fortnight off in the distance,
and we’ve heard it said that the sky filled with angels,

but what are angels except light and water, brushing over
the skin of this earth, easing ever downward, filling reservoirs
deep within us, blessings we too often forget we share?

And the story is told that we brought gifts as if for a king,
but in truth they were baubles, and we were given everything,
for the eyes of the Child were the color of desert rain.