Thursday, May 31, 2012

Good Job, Margaret

Pair of dice scissor slice.
Students joining Mr. Horinger to India this summer also had the pleasure of being the last Project HOPE'sters for the 2012-2013 school year.

It's been another reality-revealing, joy-inducing, all out enlightening year. We've made friends, we've lost track of others, some have moved, some have climbed out, some have fallen beyond the darkness. Through it all, Hoban students have consistently and enthusiastically brought their smiling faces and positive attitudes to keep the Wednesday evenings a blip removed from time, filled with genuine laughs and genuine ears.

Of course, we'll continue our mission through the summer, so keep us in mind, and if ya ever have some extra food from that great summer picnic you throw, feel free to contact us to come pick it up.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Brown Belt Benevolence

HOPE'sters preparing for the evening.
 Mr. Horinger got a call from Dean who we hadn't seen since the tracks were wiped clean.

Dean's staying in a house off Adams St. with some of the other boys from his disassembled tent village.

Hair-groomed Dan seemed spirited by the beautifully pleasant weather, talking more than usual.

John is determined to go to Vegas to attend his youngest daughter's wedding next month. His closest daughter past away this year, leaving him alone and lost.

Students listened intently while Errol Flynn told us to remain true to ourselves and take on challenges and dreams. "This," referring to his sudden drop in life," can happen to you."

"Only in self defense."

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Tommy and his wisdom.

Tommy took his groovy pants for a walk. Long beard, doo rag and a low key wisdom of 75 years. "Where do ya live?" "Wherever you find me, that's where I'll be." Three past wives and early years cramped in the West Virginia coal mines. He's out for a walk, waiting for a delayed check to arrive so he can buy a car, tune it up, and drive it to Florida.

Dawna's planning on heading to Reno on the 23rd to help her daughter get clean. She's openly nervous and we said a few words to help get her the strength.

Bear claims tiny Evelyn can squeeze you like a boa constrictor. He latched onto this story like a boy on a Times magazine cover. By the end, Bear had Evelyn squeezing everybody into a gasping plea for help.

Reuben works late, so the Haven let's him in past "lights out."

Marcus, John and Janet Rhodes
Earlier in the week, Hoban students ran a Fair Trade Sale. Included at the event were Market Path, Ten Thousand Villages, IRTF, and Janet Rhodes.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Drafting a Dream Team

Milo hands Sheri a gallon of milk through a window.

It was the end of the night when he ap- proached us, barefoot. Hunger pushed Edward into taking the short walk from the Harvest Home, where he and his mom have been for eight months, following their departure from Kansas.

"I'm starving."

Edward attends a program held in the Erie Island school building. A suspension program--he gets in fights.

As he and his mom bounce around, Edward finds it hard to fit in, which attracts bullies. Edward fights back.

With every answer, Edward painted a morbid picture of innocence and need.

We loaded Edward up with the good variety of food that we still had--very uncharacteristic for us by the end of the night.

Both Horinger and I were left crushed, our insides torn. Anymore, it's not very often that a scene blows us away, but this one did.

HOPE'sters with Mr. Lucas, Mozart and Spanky.
Edward seemed like a great kid. He was very respectful and thankful; however, we knew he was part of a cycle. His starting line in life is far back from some of the rest of the pack. He'll always try to beat his odds, which includes bullies, which will give him the reputation of "a bad kid." Such negativity will only further set his starting line back.

And in the end, society will just say he made bad choices that left him at the bottom--it's his fault.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Scummit County

John and John sat sippin' on the rails. John told of his son in the military. He had been in the military too, deployed to Beirut in the early eighties, though his skinny frame didn't reveal much battlefield experience, and I figured the doughnut holes he was eating wouldn't help. John, on the other hand, spoke with a near whisper through his hand about a court case he's currently enduring. "Takin' it all the way," he kept saying. Though quiet, rage roared with each word. "Because I'm on the street. Because I'm scum," that's why the cops treated him as they did.

Will, 23 years, waited like others for his disability to come through. With a backlog that's as long as a library queue waiting for the next Harry Potter, disability checks are delayed months. As a child, Will was abused by foster parents, until he finally ran. Because of the pounding he took as a kid, he can't hear from one ear and has brain damage.

Pictured is Kevin. We hadn't seen him for a long time.