Thursday, November 5, 2009
"The value of the answers will come from the goodness of the questions"
Spent some time with this city and these thoughts.
Finding questions with value.
People with answers.
Reading in between every line these days.
Starting with something as basic and complicated as a map.
Mapping out the next four years.
A document with impact.
Research with voice.
The flavor is in the phenomenon.
And these things take time.
Learning language and clarity.
Definition and data.
Goodness and repetition.
All in the voice...
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
A new project is bursting at the seams...
I've been thinking about this for the past year.
Preparing, thinking, putting it all together...
and now this heart is exploding with passion.
I will expand on "Where is the Support?" and the focus will be driven by a critical analysis of the shelter system in Toronto.
Exploring the issues of discrimination, violence, homophobia and transphobia...I will do an in-depth investigation of the "discrimination policies" and "anti-discrimination training" of organizations offering "support" to youth who are homeless.
The voices of LGBTQ youth who are homeless will speak loudly and will be heard throughout the nation.
Arts will be used to inform the work and the public.
Most importantly...LGBTQ youth who are homeless will inform the public.
It is my hope that the knowledge gained will be used to develop a necessary plan of action that will help to improve the shelter system and support services so that there is in turn support available.
So we no longer have to ask "Where is the support?"
I will use this space as a way of recording the process and sharing the progress.
I will use this as a tool for knowledge translation,
with the hope to engage in a dialogue about this work with the public.
A new project birthed from an old project...a never ending project...
and this is just the beginning.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Always searching for ways to spread awareness. Ways to get people to not only listen, but really hear what this is all about. A wonderful social justice reporter from the Toronto Star listened carefully...
Please read this important article: http://www.thestar.com/living/article/682938
And now we must ask ourselves why we aren't taking care of our youth.
In this place of all places.
In this rich country - Canada.
This rich city - Toronto.
Sweet sweet Toronto.
The city that thousands and thousands of people travel to.
Tour buses stroll along the streets.
People giving speeches about all the beautiful things we have to offer here.
Yet, we aren't taking care of our youth.
This really is a problem.
We need to raise awareness. We need to write letters to the city.
We need to speak loudly about this...as loud as we can...until this is resolved.
And what about the parents of these youth?
What about the laws around child abuse?
Since when is it ok to throw your children to the streets for being courageous enough to be who they are.
Why does honesty breed hate?
Maybe it's time we really start thinking about this...
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I have started a podcast called "where is the support?"
Every few weeks, I will be interviewing various support services, researchers, academics, and people with stories to tell about homelessness.
With this podcast I hope to share and discover knowledge regarding the issues of youth homelessness.
The first podcast is an interview with the executive director at the Ali Forney Center and is available on my website.
You can listen or subscribe to my podcast on my website: www.ilona6.com, under the "news" section.
Thank you for listening..
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Took a trip to New York the other week.
New York in May is always my favorite.
Right before the summer rush. Before the heat hits the city.
Went over to the Ali Forney Center and met with the executive director.
He answered a lot of my questions and provided a lot of really informative insight into the shelter system and the issues that LGBTQ homeless youth face.
The Ali Forney Center is named after a young man named Ali Forney who was queer and homeless.
Ali was murdered on the streets of New York
In the late 90's numerous youth who were queer and homeless were murdered on the streets of New York.
In honor of Ali and in hopes of letting his legacy live; the Ali Forney Center came to be.
It was a beautiful sunny Friday afternoon when I went there...
a peaceful place with bright yellow and blue walls.
I waited in the front lobby area and chatted with a friendly volunteer and a youth who had never met a Canadian before!
Sitting in that chair, chatting, looking through various pamphlets that were there to offer support and guidance for youth who had just come out and for families of youth who had just come out...I felt quite emotional.
What a place this was. What a beautiful place this was.
I had found the place that offers the "support" I had been searching for in Toronto.
Here it was...in New York City...
I will be starting a podcast on youth homelessness.
For more information on my visit to the Ali Forney Center stay tuned for my first podcast to be posted in the near future...
Thursday, April 9, 2009
the sky is lifting.
trees all around.
and dreams like spring.
dreams like spring lift me from sleep.
a new expression.
these thoughts are framed on the walls of my mind.
on display. in my mind.
a path that leads to an opening with no end.
i am not ending.
and this is never ending.
a film with exposure.
and words that explode out of my chest.
true beauty in the sixth.
soon the leaves will grow and gather.
green like shelter.
and on the subway. from the window.
i wonder how many people notice
these homes that have been built by the dirty river.
i wonder how many people notice.
and some mornings on the subway
in the quiet
as we ride across the bridge
i want to scream "wake up everyone and look where people are living"
i want to shake the subway
and wake these walls that cover
or something along those lines.
along those lines.
i am lifted.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
working towards the working.
and in this city. with these people.
between those lines. beneath their shadows.
i sink deeper.
and in the rain. i walked forever.
bridges and rivers.
i found houses, where no one was looking at all.
no one was looking.
i was screaming.
in between the water and land, there are houses with doors.
bridges and dirt.
people build homes.
this city is useless.
and in the rain i walked so hard.
the bridge felt like a dream.
and my fingers bled.
and people need to see
about this all.
because this city is becoming
Sunday, February 22, 2009
"to me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. and i have no need of you. and you, on your part, have no need of me. to you, i am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. but if you tame me, then we shall need each other. to me, you will be unique in all the world. to you, i shall be unique in all the world..." (the little prince)
Saturday, February 14, 2009
3 days to flying to 3 days..
and people will gather
i'm ready to be ready.
where is the support?
and what is support?
how do we as a society define the meaning of support?
"support: to provide for or maintain"
who are we providing for?
not providing for anybody.
no one is provided for.
and what are we maintaining?
maintaining a culture where people care less and less
and the reality of discrimination is so far removed.
people remove themselves.
smile and turn their heads..."oh i didn't notice"
we live in a society that is asleep.
and i understand that it must be hard for a sleeping society to have any understanding
of the question "where is the support?" and it must be hard for a sleeping society to notice how many thousands of people are discriminated against every single moment of every single day.
and it breaks my heart
and it breaks
3 days to flying to 3 days
of conversation and sharing.
listening and learning.
where is the support?
and when the hell is this society going to wake up?
Monday, January 19, 2009
i'm talking, but is anyone listening?
i'm shouting, yelling, screaming, but no one is listening to me.
and i've finally built up the courage and i think i'm ready now
i've been having flashbacks and forwards.
these parents aren't okay.
these kids are real.
and there's nothing sick about love.
this city needs a home.
i'm losing hope.
this scenario is so old.
you make love sick.
and what does it take for people to understand the dynamics
of 'there's no place like home'..
and i'll walk around this entire city until my voice is heard.
i will paint on every wall....words that drip with a desire to be heard until they are understood.
and i've spent enough time sitting, watching, and dissecting...to know that i know.
and something's terribly wrong here.
some things are terribly wrong...here in this city.
we aren't collaborating.
and people don't care about people.
and yeah, it's damn cold outside.
it's hard to put words
to a situation that is just so
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
silent and breathless.
the cycle overtakes me.
happy birthday and a funeral.
infected and unable.
and all night i dream of dreams that fill the air.
and everyone is dying
words and truth.
the year ends and begins.
happy birthday and a funeral.
something to talk about or remember.
it's cold, the cycle continues..
and my words