What’s New Around Here?

A couple of weeks ago I posted about The Blind Side which generated some good discussion in the comments.  What caught me off guard were a couple of e-mails that were sent about the post and the hypocrisy in me posting it and advocating the position that I did.  Apparently because I haven’t raised any NFL prospects in my house, I ought not speak of such things.  Even if that made sense, it is ignorant of the fact that Wendy and I have had someone living in our home for a couple of years after a particularly brutal time in their life.  While I never did get a NFL tryout for him or even a scholarship to a major U.S. college, it has been a big change for all of us.  It also suggests that perhaps a blog doesn’t tell everything about a person or maybe a search of the archives may be helpful.

The accusations also got to me because one of the things that I have been working on/obsessed with is setting up a safe house for 10 or so teen boys in Saskatoon who need a place to figure out life.  We have some emergency facilities at work for keeping youth on an emergency basis.  While we are doubling that capacity, it isn’t enough and there are youth who are either on the street or in really awful home situations. It is a complicated and long process which is a ways away an official start let alone finish but I think it is the right thing to do.

While speaking of work, I have some interesting stuff going on right now that will help guys with the transition out of the shelter and into their own place.  Saskatoon has a tighter housing market than New York, Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary at 0.4% and if you aren’t making much money, are illiterate, or just feeling overwhelmed, guys tend to end up at flophouses which are called, “shooting galleries” for a reason.  I have been in some of them and I almost threw up.  My first apartment was a small studio apartment but it was a charming shoe box sized studio and was safe to roam the hallways.  The goal is to help guys find safe places they can afford to live on.  Having a little extra money in the bank makes a world of difference.  I was reading an article from the New Year with the mayor who pointed out that people making $40,000 can’t afford a home in the city which is true.  I can’t fix that but I hope to help those making around $20,000 a year a decent apartment.

Outside of work, a group of us is taking some small steps toward create an alternative seminary in Saskatoon.  We met Monday and those there had some excellent ideas.  It was good.  For those of you who have no idea what is so alternative about theological education, check out the Disseminary which was the inspiration for the idea as was the Invisible College in Kingston. 

So now you know.

7 thoughts on “What’s New Around Here?”

  1. I am sorry, I still think you are being a hyprocrite for writing this. You get PAID to work in a homeless shelter and I assume it is a government one that pays you very well as a civil servant. Most of these shelters are just enabling bad parents to do what they want to do and take the responsibility off of anyone. I think you are a part of the problem rather than the solution.

  2. Anon, what is the solution? How are you working to realize it? I really hope you have something in motion in your life since you have taken it upon yourself to flame the efforts of others.

  3. Keep on working, hoping and praying.. God is building his kingdom. We recently had a new women’s transition home open here, and my wife is meeting with reps from the health authority and Min of Children and Families next week to argue for another home for pregnant addicted women (who seem to always fall thru the cracks).

  4. btw, ignore anon Jordon. My wife was paid to work in a transition home this last year… underpaid for her history and training. She did it out of love and there are women in and out of our town whose lives will not be the same. Thank God for you Jordon. The Father looks down and smiles.

  5. Ugh, I posted under Jordon’s account but I think I am logged out safely now.

    Jordon works for the Salvation Army and is not a civil servant although I do find him pretty civil as long as he has the remote control.

    I don’t complain about money but I think most NGO’s, especially church based organizations pay less the civil servants.

  6. Jordan,

    I was thrilled to see you post about the Blind Side! Great book, great story, great example of what it means to be a part of the solution. I wrote a bit about adoption awhile back and think this book completely illustrates the fuller meaning of adoption folks don’t get. The work you are doing is amazing as well and no matter if you had personal experience as in the book, I think you have every right to share your thoughts/opinions/values, etc! Keep sharing!

  7. There but for the grace of God, as well as a few saints like Jordon, go I. Keep up the good work, Jordon, and Elizabeth Hj! As far as the Salvation Army goes, it is regarded as one of the best charities, spending minimally on fundraising and administration.

    Now, for the “Right Brain”. True, Jordon, no NFL stars came out of your house, but you are only one generation away from that. Mark will have grown up seeing what you do, and his kids will be stars, like mine is. You won’t get to pick who lives in the White House, but you do get to pick who visits.

    Yeah, there are bad parents, and Jordon and Elizabeth are picking up the responsibility, but look at the alternative – places like the Gaza Strip, and less newsworthy places like Brazil or the flop houses of every city.

    C’mon down here and I’ll help you get a “gummint job” – San Francisco would be happy to use you.

    — Mike O (somehow blogger doesn’t recognize me?)

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