Monday, September 16, 2013

Walking the walk not just talking the talk

Free haircuts given to the homeless in

New Haven

Just in time for school, one organization is helping kids look their best. And also helping out others in their community who may not have the cash to get something most take for granted, a haircut.

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- Just in time for school, one organization is helping kids look their best.  And also helping out others in their community who may not have the cash to get something most take for granted, a haircut.
It's not a typical sound, or site on the New Haven Green. But Wednesday, barbers and beauticians gave haircuts to the homeless.  "I was homeless. And when I was homeless, I wanted people to help me. I know what it's like to sleep outside. I know what it's like," said Jesse Hardy, Jesse's Homeless Outreach Projects.  That is why Jesse gives back to the homeless in any way he can, through his organization "Jesse's Homeless Outreach Projects," holding cookouts, giving away clothes and food.
Haircuts are his most recent idea. People stood in line on a hot day, to get a fresh new look.
"I appreciate these guys coming here, giving back to the community. And that's a blessing. Plus, I didn't have the money to get it cut, and it's a free haircut," said Horace Melton, who was getting a haircut.   For homeless parents sending kids back to school, this is a big help.  "It's hard and stuff like this where kids can come and get it done, it helps, especially being in between places and back and forth," said Ashley Depino.  When asked if he was excited to get his hair cut, Giovanni Cardona said, "yes."  The organizer of this event hopes to make it a regular thing and to do that, he's looking for more help from the community.  "We need other people to get involved," said Hardy. "It's great, it's just a good thing to do."  The men and women behind the clippers and scissors are not only giving their styling talent, but giving up their day off to help others.  "I'm always willing to give back to the community," said Dexter Jones, a barber.  "We give them haircuts, it makes them look better. And they feel better," said Hardy.  Donations can be sent to"  Stark Community Bank  c/o James E O’Brian

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

                  As a community we are as strong as our weakest member.  When we move in the same direction we create energy. Using that energy to accomplish our heartfelt  goals is the strength that we need to create change.  Seeing a need and not being a part of the solution to that need is a charge against us that we cannot escape the shame of.  Are we our brother's keeper? The answer is without a doubt yes. Come and join us in our effort to remove the plight of homelessness from the fabric of our community.  We can and we will.  Please contribute what you can, your best effort is greatly needed and appreciated.  Thank you.

New Haven Register, local news, sports and weather serving New Haven

New Haven man puts his foot down on city's homeless issue.

By Shahid Abdul-Karim / Twitter: @Shahid_Akarim
Call Community Engagement Editor Shahid Abdul-Karim 203-789-5614

NEW HAVEN — Jesse Hardy said he is tired of seeing some homeless residents sleeping in trash dumpsters, stairwells, cardboard boxes and abandoned buildings in the city.

That’s why his homeless outreach project has organized a walk for the homeless.

Hardy, who spent some of his adult life homeless, decided to start an outreach project because he believes it could end homelessness in the city if others were to become more aware and involved in the process.

Hardy, founder of Jesse’s Homeless Outreach Project, said, “This is the first ever walk in the city for the homeless and all of the proceeds will go towards a mobile soup kitchen.”
“This walk will help aid so many people from sleeping in trash dumpsters, stairwells, cardboard boxes, abandoned buildings and on the Green,” Hardy said. “We are hoping that Yale and other organizations or social service agencies will join us Saturday to help with this major problem in our city.”

The walk is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday with the route starting at Goffe Street Park and concluding on the city Green.

Registration is $10 and begins at 10 a.m. A rain date has been set for June 15.

In 2011, the city saw more than 600 individuals identified as homeless. The number was about the same last year, Althea Marshall Brooks, the city’s community services administrator, has said.

Deputy Community Service Administrator Ronald Manning said the city has identified 770 individuals or families as homeless since January.

“We have a total of 521 single adults and 249 families that have been identified as homeless in the city this year,” Manning said. “We are very much involved in the process and the only main city in the state that appropriates through the general fund process to provide services for the homeless in the city."
Manning noted $1 million has been earmarked annually, which is contracted to shelters here. Life Haven, Columbus House, New Haven Home Recovery and Emergency Shelter Management Services have contracts with the city.

Marcy Lynn Jones, the event overseer, said, “The walk was designed to gather people together that want the homeless treated fairly and signifies people willing to stand in the gap between the communities homeless and social service.”

Since it began the outreach project has played host to 17 events for the homeless, including a free market for men, women and children (providing food, clothing, and other essentials), a cookout, fish fry, a call-in service with 24-hour delivery (for needs such as blankets and other essentials), and prayer services.

In addition of targeting funds to purchase a mobile soup kitchen, Hardy said proceeds will go toward city bus passes, bus tokens, emergency survival backpacks, used bikes and emergency hotel accommodations.

“Some of these folks are trying to do the right thing, but they need transportation to move about in the city so they can get jobs and keep them,” he said.

Andrew Melvin, 46, a city mechanic who will walk Saturday said he has spent time in a homeless shelter.

“I spent three days in the shelter on Grand Avenue just to see how it was, because most of them say we don’t know what they go through daily,” Melvin said. “I learned a lot and realized that some don’t have families and this walk will show them they are not alone and others do care.”

“The Lord says if you keep his commands and walk in his ways he will establish you,” said Jamilia Maebry, 30 who’s walking Saturday. Mayoral candidates who have confirmed their participation for the walk are Sundiata Keitazula and Hillhouse High School Principal Kermit Carolina, event organizers said.

“I was once homeless and once hungry living on the streets, so I know what these people are going through,” Keitazulu said, a city plumber. “Jobs are the number one issue and we have to train people through vocational schools and job training centers to get folks working. When I was homeless, I didn’t want others to do anything for me, I learned a skill; I’m a plumber.”

“The best thing that we can do for those who are homeless is create a pathway that supports their efforts to become more economically independent and self-sufficient,” Carolina said. “We have to do everything in our power to shed light on this issue of homelessness in our city and this is why I’m a supporter of this effort,” he added. “There are families, particularly children who suffer every day of the lack of adequate resources and opportunities to connect to those resources.” For more information visit online or call 203-850-2073.