Supporting the Community Through Charitable Giving
This project began a few years ago in San Francisco with my sister Jackie & her husband John. They wanted to help the homeless so they began handing out backpacks. I joined in and helped with the first round. They were filled with things like covid supplies, some socks and a little cash. We had always discussed giving back and had decided on a name, Poco Loco Productions. We are currently working with the Poco Loco Homefulness Project while we set up the non-profit status. We lost a brother at a young age to drugs and alcohol. His name was Michael James Trejo and his nick name was Poco Loco, that means a little crazy in Spanish. It is in his name we decided to launch our project. We were rather poor growing up and have always had empathy for those in need. My other brother, Alex and his wife, Margie are also getting in on the plan. Margie already works for the government up near Lake Tahoe placing homeless individuals into homes. She loves working with these clients and has motivated us all to the next level. We are currently beginning to search for land up near that region to place some tiny homes on and provide a sanctuary for those in the community who require support.
The goal is to raise money for these causes. Ideally we can create small communities with a central kitchen providing nourishment and of course resource centers to assist in addiction counseling, first aid, employment counseling and showering facilities. The tiny homes would be built around a central building with the group access to these resources. We would love to plant gardens throughout the property where peel can help grow their own food. We will welcome their skills in building and maintaining the property. We will encourage our clients’ participation on all level so as to invite them all back into a community where they are given back their dignity and where hope can be restored. We wish to assist them in any way we can while they recover the harsh environments of elements and isolation. We want to help them help themselves in this restoration on a soul level. We have been to many facilities around the world, faith-based, or simply designed to support for support’s sake. The idea is not new. The need is very old.
For one of our first projects we will attempt to start a food truck here in the islands and drive around to the encampments around the island and set up a mobile soup kitchen. The kitchens will be free to those in need but serve healthy food to anyone who wants to buy and support the cause. All proceeds will go directly to the kitchen and its maintenance. The idea is simple and we will of course encourage assistance from these communities to be able to continue the cause.
For an immediate start we are going to provide a container for donations of non-perishable foods and clothing at our location here at the Sugar Beach Resort, located at 145 North Kihei Road, Kihei, Hawaii 96753
There is much to say about this nearest to our hearts endeavor. Everything I personally wish to do going forward is to focus on this mission. To end homelessness. I am not alone. These are goals being established at government levels in California and elsewhere. It is not a forgone conclusion that we as a society live this way and allow any one of us to Iive outcast on the fringe. We are all villages, large and small, and each member of our community counts. Drug addiction is not a reason to cast out human beings into the cold. People all need help sometimes. We want to remind all people that we hear their story, that every life matters. We want to help. We want to reach back and remind people that they have a right to safety and nourishment, that they have a right to come in from the cold and that they are not alone.
We welcome donations while we work on our status and are happy to interact with anyone who is interested in becoming involved. Personally, I am very much inspired by Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco that has upheld a sanctuary to those most in need in the darkest recesses of the city, reminding all that radical inclusivity that there is a place for us all. Their outreach to provide vouchers for clothing and bedding, a clean needle exchange program, covid support, a decades-long standing soup kitchen and sociological support serves as a beacon of hope in the Bay Area. I aim to model their mission here on this tiny island where the eradication of homelessness is not only plausible but highly realistic in that we have a much smaller population to address.
My outreach will consist of trying to obtain land for community here on the island where we will have aa shuttle to get people where they need to go from our base which will look like the one we are hoping to start near Tahoe. And here on Maui, the weather makes it far more simple for us to provide simple structures that will withstand our weather patterns which are far more forgiving than many other places in the world. The same principles apply. After Hurricane Katrina, research showed that it is cheaper to house people than to leave them out on the streets. The costs to taxpayers for hospital care and all the myriads of government services to try and wrangle with these communities was more expensive than simply providing housing. With housing at the forefront of our endeavors, people can get the rest they need to be abe to return to homeostasis. People can maintain cleanliness and a sense of well-being so that they can find the motivation they need to return to work if possible. We understand that some disabilities will not make that possible, but for many, work is something they aspire to return to and become active members of their communities once again.
I worked on a video project called spare change many years ago, in San Francisco. We went around and spoke to several individuals out on the street and asked them their stories. They were veterans who had slowly fallen through the cracks, they were families who had to stop working to care for members that had more demanding health needs and slowly lost the ability to pay rent, there were those who did not want to look into the camera because they were ashamed if their families would see them. All of these people had a story. Every single one of them. What we want to do is get these people to tell these stories. WIth these stories, we want to reach out to those of us who can help. We want it to be a network where you can choose the people you help based on their stories. You can always choose to help just based on wanting to help but the gap between the help people need and the help they don't receive, can live here in this space of not understanding why or how their stories came to be. We all have a story and we could each and everyone of us, be that person on the street. Even the wealthiest individuals can fall. Mental illness knows no limits and the combination of addiction can make any man, or woman fall. Relating to one’s story sows compassion. We aim to bridge this gap. That is why we called our website wehearyourstory.com.
What we want to do is create an app, similar to a Facebook type of platform that has a gofundme type of monetary interface where people can send money if they want. We also very much realize that money is often best spent on resources rather than give the money directly to people who may not be capable of managing it in the best ways. Its also very hard for those with no identification to get access to funds even if they were offered so we want to assist people in getting their ID cards and any necessary documentation that will make it easier for them to find housing and employment in the future once they begin to rehabilitate and can find themselves back in the mainstream life away for the shelters we hope to provide. All of these things come to mind, like making sure people can be safe at the shelters, as some are more vulnerable than others. There is so very much more detail to our vision but I wanted to post this on my business site to start the conversation, to begin more groundwork in the facilitation of this dream. There will be more here on a regular basis and on the website deemed for this project as it is all fairly new but stay tuned and thank you for reading this, thank you for caring. Just thank you for helping us humanize this very human problem just by taking the time to acknowledge it exists and that you too, care.
Angela - this is
Way too much to say about this yet I will join the monthly plan to keep it updated and finish all the work I could not get to. And I will have to just finish it all and update it all later. This last week was ludicrous I barely got to sit down to do this today and im using a hot spot from phone in hurricane weather stranded on side of the road waiting for a tow truck for 5 hours. Today was supposed to be my sit down and finish it all day but I have no more hotspot so im just typing and will send later. What a month!