Thursday, April 05, 2007

Walk the Talk Update

My friend Sylvain Duford has been hard at work setting up a template and website for us to use. He aims, he says, to have considerable functionality in place by the end of the weekend. I certainly appreciate his efforts and applaud his enthusiasm, but hope he will also spend some time with his lovely wife on this long weekend. All work and no play can get us into trouble. To see what he has done at any given point, have a look here: Walk the Talk.

It seems that at least for the moment we will be using the title 'Walk the Talk' for the website. That can always be changed later, if we find a better name. In the meantime, at least we will be able to access the site and see what is going on. If anyone has suggestions for a site name or an URL we should attempt to register, let us know. Leave a comment here or send me an email or join our Yahoo Group or sign up at the Walk the Talk website and make suggestions there. The site presently has as the motto: 'Helping the Homeless,' but that is of course not all we wish to do. We therefore ask for suggestions for a motto that describes more fully what our thrust will be. Also, we will need a mission statement. Jen has said that she might be able to help us with that once we refine exactly what we will attempt to 'be' and how we propose to help those in need.

My friend Mark at EasyDNS has volunteered to provide DNS services and domain registration and annual fees in perpetuity, or as long as the site is operational. Thank you Mark. I will be picking your brain from time to time and I appreciate everything you are doing for us. Other regulars here like Chani and Penny have volunteered to help and several other individuals have as well. I will be sure to credit every effort. Everything, anything, anyone can do to help will be very helpful and will earn my gratitude.

One of the things that we need is for volunteers to target their home community and compile lists of services with the name, address, telephone number and URL of each and to group them by category. I could use some help with the category names. Can someone help out here? I am thinking like: homeless shelter, battered women centre, runaway shelter, crisis hot line, pregnant teen centre, etc., but someone who actually has some experience with this can probably come up with a more accurate and useful list. We will then offer every city all of the categories and gradually fill in the applicable names. If a particular city does not have a service in a particular category, the category will remain blank until we can add a service at a later date.

I will be cross-posting some of my blog posts both here and at the Yahoo group for a while to make sure that everyone can stay informed. The Yahoo Group should be the main avenue of communication for everyone involved in this project until Sylvain has the website further along and then we can use the forum provisions there.

This is a good cause folks. We need your help. Climb on. It will help people who need it, and it will make you feel good.


  1. I think that "Walk the Talk" is an absolutely perfect name - for the organizers and contributers and for the users of the site.

    I especially like the non-bleeding-heart-ness (how ineloquent was that) in the title - it has inspiration in it, expectation, hope, and an outstretched hand lent.

    I am all for the WtT name.

    But, I'm open.

    I am right in the middle of a lot.

    However, I have a meeting/interview(s) set up, with at least one person who has been living among and working with the homeless and desperately poverty stricken, prostituting, transgendered, the drug addicted, homeless and the mentally ill and the like for a couple of decades..

    My thinking was - when someone is at the bottom - no address.. or needs to leave a bad situation but is faced with homelessness, poverty, abuse, illiteracy, inability to work, criminal record, whatever.. when someone is at bottom and makes that first step - where do they go and how do they go about doing it, why isn't it done more, where are the cracks, etc.. And, in speaking with a few people.. I figured I'd go in with the general consensus of opinion/attitude/questions that I keep hearing:

    Who are these people,
    Why are they in the situation that they are,
    Why can't they just 'fix it'/'get a job'/,
    Why should I/we help?

    Which I imagine will translate into:

    Who (putting a face/story to the numbers and dispelling myths and stereotypes),

    Why (along the lines of there but for the grace of God go I.. and the strangulation of red-tape),

    How (agencies, private/public, steps and paths) for them to utilize and for us to understand or help improve),

    And the last question I have a various ideas about..

    However, I am going to attempt to ask these questions without bias and we will see where the answers to them really lead...

    I don't know much else I can offer, except a little investigation and data compiling and some writing..

    Feel free to nix this idea or to redirect me. My spare, spare time (though limited) is yours. ;)

    Went to the site - nice to see it up!

    Must run - editting a paper, due in 2 and a half hours.

  2. Penny, we are at a point where ideas for content are very, very welcome. I would like for this Walk the Talk site not only to be about lists of services people can use, but forums they can engage in, artcles they can read that would be of interst to them, personal experiences recounted by those who have been there and done that and survived, announcements of impending legislation or news items of intrest, etc., etc.

    This has a lot of potential, but it also reqwuires a lot of effort. It will truly be a collaborative effort, hopefully with hundreds of participants eventually.

    I think you are on the right path with your efforts and research and that wherever it leads will be a good place for this effort.

    Thanks for your efforts and interest!

  3. oops. pardon my typo in the last comment...

  4. Funny. Just an observation. But, you haven't had much commenting over the last couple of posts.

    Where did everybody go?