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At this time tomorrow, I will be on a Boeing 777, traveling about 5,015 miles to Buenos Aires, Argentina. My brother and I will be celebrating his 50th birthday. As is customary, in our family, turning 50 earns us an AARP membership card and the right to pick the bucket-list-venue-of-choice for their birthday. As my brother is a Navy reservist and Afghanistan veteran, he chose to sail around Cape Horn (the southern tip of South America), then visit Antarctica. This is major “cred” if your’re a sailor, and a pretty good holiday if you’re not (such as myself). I chose
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Note: This blog is based upon real events. In this case, John Chadwick ended his life after being separated from his pets. The system failed John. Please read my post. If you agree (or even if you don’t), please consider signing Dee Bonett’s (John’s best friend) petition to prevent future tragedies: Please click here to sign this petition: Introduce pets as support systems for the more vulnerable members of society On October 27, 2017, the Manchester Evening News reported that John Chadwick, 52, from Salford, died after being separated from his pets. John was homeless, and had been staying in a bed
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Please read this story for the full context of my comments: Leading homelessness expert calls Operation Rio Grande a ‘disaster’ Utah, once a shining star for housing first, is now suffering the consequences of the Marbut-ization of it’s homeless policy. You cannot arrest away homelessness. To make my point, I’ll discuss “Billy”, the most prolific offender in my county: He has been arrested over 170 times since 1995. Has has spent an aggregate of over 10 years behind bars – 30, 60 or 90 days at a time, running up an incarceration bill of over $500,000. Perhaps you have heard of
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Note: I am specifically referring to plans to open a navigation center shelter in New Port Richey, FL, however the concepts I discuss also apply to other communities. Opening a homeless shelter will usually involve compromise. It may with the physical plant, funding levels, expected outcomes, or in this situation, the location. Building a shelter from scratch is challenging due to costs. So alternatives (usually re-tasking an existing building)  have to be evaluated. In this case, a vacant boys and girls club was chosen, creating the classic NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) response. This is common, almost expected, when there is a less-than-desirable-but-necessary
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I recently spoke to the Municipal Association of Pasco (FL) with my thoughts on homelessness, and why now is the time to affect positive changes: Municipal Association of Pasco Remarks St. Leo, Florida – August 3, 2017 Good evening…my name is Daniel McDonald. I’m here tonight to talk about homelessness, and why it’s important, and why it’s important right now. About me: I’m originally from England I was awarded a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2010 I’m a 25-year law enforcement veteran I can juggle I know Morse code I solve
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I’ve been privy to some crazy ideas over the years about solving homelessness. The one that always get a chuckle was when I was asked if I owned a farm. And if I did, was I enslaving the homeless and forcing them to work against their will. And if it is true, did I have any room? Here is the text of the actual e-mail that I received: To: Daniel McDonald Subject: farm? Hi Dan, I hope this finds you well. I have the strangest question to ask you. One of my homeless friends was telling me that you personally own
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Getting an ID or driver’s license from your local department of motor vehicles may tax your patience but the process is not usually difficult: you bring your birth certificate and social security card, then walk out several hours or days later with a new license or ID. Now imagine you’re homeless, trying to do this. You are hungry as you don’t know where your next meal is coming from. You have not showered in several days or a week. Your clothes are dirty as you can’t wash them. And you’re hearing voices telling you to kill yourself. When you get
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