Sure, we give little thought towards the simple luxury of a hot shower, a prepared meal on the kitchen table, and a warm bed to sleep in during brisk weather. We understand that homelessness exists, and most of us make an internal resolution to do something about it. And yet…well…most of us do nothing about it.
Early summer- This same resolution drew my neighbor and closest of friends, Carolyn Casper, to embark on a summer project that began with a simple vision and the name “Homeless Hope.” When I was asked to help in the formation of the website, which Carolyn desired to be a valuable resource finder, I immediately knew that it could materialize into something with tremendous importance.
It started with simple nurturing:
1. Planting the seed- During the early summer, Carolyn drew out the basic sketches on paper, scrapping ideas that no longer seemed sensible and quickly jotting down those that appeared as brilliant revelations. Working into the night on the huge enterprise that had been undertaken (perhaps we aren’t your normal teenagers), Carolyn and I made headway on HomelessHope.net.
2. Providing the nourishment (content, in our case)- Working with Nelson Jain of Get Promoted in India, Carolyn and I were able to utilize the panel that he had created so that we could enter information about individual homeless shelters and food pantries. Communication from America to India, even at 2 am, did not pose a barrier for the website. The late nights were certainly worth it, if it meant that the site would gain accessibility and input.
3. Watching the website bloom- As the shelter directory came to completion, the homeless shelter names, cities, and zip codes became so familiar that I am quite confident that I can recite all from A-Z (or some, at least). The frequent exchange of texts concerning Homeless Hope were well received, and when Carolyn mentioned a trip to Starbucks or Panera, I knew her secret agenda: discussing the website.
And now…IT’S HERE! From the elementary sketches to the carefully planned design of the website, Homeless Hope is now available as the valuable resource that was initially nurtured to be: a food and shelter resource finder for those lacking necessities.
For the busy parent, inquisitive student, and ambitious philanthropist alike, Homeless Hope is your opportunity to donate canned goods, an hour of volunteer time, or simply a passing of the website by word of mouth.