A lot of publicity in a short amount of time
Well, I had no idea I was going to be on the news! Especially not that quickly! I had still been working on making the website look nicer, so it's unfortunate that the prettier version is not featured in the article, but that's okay! People will see it if they visit it.
I was on KTVZ on May the 4th. I was wearing a Star Wars shirt. I didn't have a lot of time to get ready. My hair was a little crazy and I was wearing "those damn ripped jeans again" (quote from my dad) but it doesn't matter! What I'm so happy about is that I got a TON of positive feedback-- from random community members who sent emails or filled out the contact us page, lots of friends and family, and I am just generally excited that what I've done will be useful.
To address some things that came up:
Yes, there are other similar resources out there. However, I did a lot of research before starting this project and I didn't see that there was anything (especially not a paper version that could be put into a pocket) already out there. I also had several people telling me, since last fall when I met them, that things would have been just a little less stressful during their chapter of homelessness if only they had a convenient brochure with a bunch of information on it. So I did it. I don't feel like it was redundant. Even if only 15 people find it useful, then whatever- I helped 15 people. It's okay to have more than one directory because I believe the point is to reach as many people as possible in whatever way works best. My approach of making paper brochures is me, an introvert, interpreting "meet people where they are" as best as I can.
It says right on the front that it is not an exhaustive list. True. I'm sure there isn't enough space on a single 8.5x11 piece of paper to fit every single thing that is trying to do good in Bend, Oregon. That being said, I do intend to make regular updates (much easier to do on the website) and if I did leave out something important, I'm really sorry. This is only the beginning and it is at least a start. It provides a good variety of things to get someone started if they are looking for assistance.
This is not a chore. I had fun doing this project and will have fun keeping it up. I legitimately want to help other people and again, being an introvert, this felt like a very doable way for me to do that. I wasn't trying to get recognition, but I do really appreciate all the support and positive feedback I've gotten! It truly is amazing and gives me hope.
I love Bend, but it is insanely overpriced and I am constantly frustrated by the way things are handled by officials around issues regarding poverty, homeless populations, and so forth. Regular people are being priced out at a higher rate since this became a "Zoom Town". I hear a lot of complaints from positions of privilege about our homeless neighbors and about people who seek out public assistance. I don't want people to be afraid to ask for help, or to feel ashamed, or judged, or anything like that. If you need help with something, PLEASE ASK because you are worth it. If you don't need help, kindly mind your business.
Okay, apparently I had a lot more to say than I thought! If nothing else, the takeaway here is THANK YOU for all the love! Keep sharing!
Click here if you want to see my 2 minutes of May the 4th be with you fame and hear more about this project (plus an adorable plug for Free Little Libraries)