Over the last week, I have received calls from all over: L.A., New York, Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, and a few other states. Many people from these states are talking about possible collaborative efforts, and wanted to know how #lovebeyondwalls could come to those states to help raise awareness.

Although we are pacing ourselves here in the city of Atlanta, I learned something very important about homelessness (in my 72 Hours), what it will take to combat it, how we can help those who are living on the streets without any resources or means, and what it will take to raise awareness across this country about this epidemic.

It takes collaboration! It takes an army of people banded together taking #lovebeyondwalls to make a difference in this sensitive area. Why? Because homelessness is a vast issue. There are many causes for homelessness in the United States: Addiction, Poverty, Job-loss, Foreclosures, Mental health, Lack of affordable housing, Domestic Violence, and a host of other social issues.

n6KjYIunBY-6_vjceLV505TD-_YOsR9hHYyx0EPoh3MIn fact, a stat shows that out of the 300+ million people that live in the United States 3.5 million of those people are expected to be homeless each year (stat taken from homeaid.org). This isn’t something a few organizations, or a couple people passing out sandwiches can handle alone. This epidemic will take people from all sorts of industries, churches, faith communities, backgrounds, and neighborhoods to come up with solutions to this problem (and work together not individually). Will it be easy? No. But, it will have to start in the trenches (grassroots), and expand nationally.

It’s just as my IG friend Arkeedah McCormick says, “Collaboration is truly amazing! You get to meet, listen, and engage with many individuals and hear their stories.”

Collaboration will do three things:

1) Create strength. Unity is a powerful tool, and has the ability to provide strength to any movement or cause.

2) Create resources. No one person or organization has all the resources, but through collaboration and unity strength and resources appear.

3) Create a voice. When people band together to take #lovebeyondwalls, the voiceless are heard, and their issues are discussed.

In 2014, #lovebeyondwalls will partner with people from all over to make a difference, and raise more awareness about homelessness in the city of Atlanta, and in the United States. If you are reading this, and would like to partner contact us [HERE].

A few days ago, #lovebeyondwalls mobilized 300+ people to resource people with food, clothes, and other items to survive on the streets in downtown Atlanta. It took collaboration!

Check out the video showing the collaborative efforts below:

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Terence

Terence Lester

Author Terence Lester

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