On Creating a Safe Sanctuary for Humane Beings

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Definition of SANCTUARY

sanc·tu·ary noun \ˈsaŋ(k)-chə-ˌwer-ē\
plural sanc·tu·ar·ies
1: a consecrated place: as
a : the ancient Hebrew temple at Jerusalem or its holy of holies
b (1) : the most sacred part of a religious building (as the part of a Christian church in which the altar is placed) (2): the room in which general worship services are held (3): a place (as a church or a temple) for worship
2a (1): a place of refuge and protection (2): a refuge for wildlife where predators are controlled and hunting is illegal
b : the immunity from law attached to a sanctuary

Examples of SANCTUARY
The house was a sanctuary for runaway teens.
The refugees found sanctuary when they crossed the border.
The sanctuary contains the altar of sacrifice.

Origin of SANCTUARY
Middle English seintuarie, sanctuarie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin sanctuarium, from Latin sanctus
First Known Use: 14th century
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanctuary

As humane beings we share in common five (5) basic survival needs: food, clothing, shelter, medical care and quality education. It is the commonness of our basic survival needs that forms the basis for our mutual identity and potential unity as an endangered species of life upon Earth. We are all of the human family of humankind regardless of any personal orientation.

We all need a roof over our heads, a place to call home, a safe sanctuary from the harshness of natural elements and wickedness in the world. Those who are without a regular home are considered homeless. For some folks being homeless can be a mere state of mind. Some are happy to be at home inside their own skin. Others are content with dwelling in their own personal consciousness in the sanctuary of the inner psyche. We are interested here in creating a safe Sanctuary at a good physical location for humane beings who are actually homeless out in the streets or staying with others without having a personal space for themselves.

We are here exploring the possibility of creating a safe Sanctuary for people in the Sacramento area of Northern California, though different kinds of sanctuaries are needed worldwide. There are a few Emergency Shelters in this area, but they usually have Waiting Lists and generally leave their clients to fend for themselves without a comprehensive array of social services to help set them up for independent living.

Such a Sanctuary would encourage the conscious humane development of a humane character, a true loving humane being, one who has care, concern and compassion for all living beings. We wants to equip humane beings to maximize their full potential, to develop their natural talents and to explore their personal interests as they strive for success in life.

Today the whole issue of homelessness in America is a major survival issue. There can be no accurate numbers in terms of how many homeless there are. It is the nature of the beast. Certainly there are more homeless people inside the USA than should be the case since it is boasted to be the richest country in the world.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, in the USA there are 3.5 million people who experience homelessness each year and 730,000 homeless people on any given night, 23% of whom are children. In 2010, there were 15.4 million refugees in the world of whom an estimated 80% are women and children. There are a constellation of psycho-social elements that result in one becoming a homeless refugee. When we think in terms of refugee status we can globalize the issue and work towards overcoming the social stigma for being homeless. We are legion all around the world.

Thus, those who are homeless in the streets can be considered as refugees under the present corrupt system and deserve refugee status. We are fleeing the dangers of being in the streets and grossly neglected by the government. We are homeless refugees.

Definition of REFUGEE
ref•u•gee noun \ˌre-fyu̇-ˈjē, ˈre-fyu̇-ˌ\
: one that flees; especially : a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution
— ref•u•gee•ism noun

Examples of REFUGEE
Thousands of refugees have fled the area.
refugees began returning to their homeland after years of political unrest and war

Origin of REFUGEE
French réfugié, past participle of (se) réfugier to take refuge, from Middle French refugier, from Latin refugium
First Known Use: 1685
Synonyms: deportee, evacuee, exile, expat [chiefly British], expatriate, émigré
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refugee

Many here in Sacramento are seeking refugee in a situation where the local Emergency Shelters are either jam-packed full or these shelters function merely as human warehouses.

Homeless refugees need a strong support system that promotes personal success and their being able to take care of and sustain themselves on their own independently in the world.

We need to create a safe Sanctuary community for many people who have become refugees because of a complex set of psycho-social circumstances:

~ For those who have lost their jobs and their source of income
~ For those who suffer from addiction of one kind or another
~ For those who suffer from one kind of mental disorder or another
~ For those who suffer from one kind of disability or another
~ For those who are leaving a domestic violence situation etc.
~ For those who have been released from prison and left outside
~ For those who are US veterans with no place to go after discharge etc.

Such a safe Sanctuary can function as temporary transitional housing and can help streamline people onto the road of personal success in life. We do want to help create mature independent functional adults, not be co-dependents and retard the self-esteem of others. A safe Sanctuary would require a selective criteria for applicants, establish an Individual Service Plan for each member and have sustainable independent living as a long-range goal.

Basic Criteria for Sanctuary Members:
~ A commitment to individual self-improvement as a wholistic being in the context of the mind-body-soul trinity.
~ A dedication to being sane, sober and involved in one kind of progressive recovery program or another. We at least need to recovery our homes!
~ A capacity to get along with others, being respectful and supportive of other members who are working on their own life issues.

We need a safe Sanctuary for those who have had enough of misery and want a place where they can truly work on being the best that they can be. So many transitional housing and recovery programs have failed because those who are involved in it, as staff or clients, suffer from damaging character defects. Participants need to be screened properly for program compatibility. Many now are accepted mainly because of financial considerations or other factors without closely considering the dangers of having residents who are not suitable for group Sanctuary living. Each of us need a hand up, not just a hand out. Each Sanctuary community member needs to function in harmony together with others in the context of a sane, sober and safe Sanctuary community in order to become mature functional adults and conscious citizens of the world.

We need to be aware of the root causes of there being homeless refugees, promote the humane development of each Sanctuary Member and do what we can together to combat any cases of chronic homelessness.

It takes more than throwing money at a complex problem to make a practical program of this kind work. We have seen other programs that had all the material basics in place yet failed to really relieve people of the basic reasons for their becoming homeless refugees. We must keep in mind the root origins of homeless refugees.

The above is merely a brief sketch of what we need to create if we work hard together to create a safe Sanctuary community. It is by no means meant to be a completed proposal. We still need to work on creating a comprehensive Proposal to include a basic Mission Statement with vision, criteria for members of a Sanctuary Community and a sound budget analysis.

There is a great need for a Sanctuary Community, a place where people can nurture new kinds of relationships and be involved in their own humane development as spiritual beings.

Links:
National Coalition for the Homeless @Ntl_Homeless
http://www.nationalhomeless.org/index.html

National Alliance to End Homelessness
http://www.endhomelessness.org/

Refugees International @RefugeesIntl
http://www.refintl.org/

UN Refugee Agenday ~ USA
http://www.unrefugees.org/site/c.lfIQKSOwFqG/b.4778881/k.BE35/Home.htm

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
~ Albert Einstein

Namaste ~
Submitted by Peter S. Lopez AKA @Peta_de_Aztlan
c/s

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