On a crisp fall Heartland morning in October ’87, while traveling cross country on an Amtrak Ameripass (3-stops for the price of one) from Seattle to Oakland to Omaha to Memphis, my California Zephyr passenger train collided with a work train in Southeastern Iowa; a few hours after leaving a week-long stopover in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
It wasn’t long before my medical treatments, inability to work and ambiguous legal advice, led me to becoming a Lost American. Tired of being stuck in my hometown, I traveled to Minnesota to visit a good friend. Not having much to offer at the time, I was driven to downtown Minneapolis and dropped off at the Francis Drake House, a homeless shelter operated by People Serving People.
King (WA), Alameda, Contra Costra & Solano (CA), Hennepin (MN), Multnomah (OR), Los Angeles (CA), San Diego (CA) Counties…
Between 1988 and 1990, I spent two stints at the Drake House, a month or so at the Bay Area Rescue Mission and about three weeks at the Seattle Union Gospel Mission, before I finally broke the cycle of homelessness. Finally finding myself, I was able to comprehend my purpose. In March ’94, I launched the Afromation Educational Movement to Integrate American History.
Eleven years during summer ’05, the world watched in dismay the humanitarian crisis down on the bayou called “Katrina,” essentially making a million people homeless. On September 7, 2005, M. Woods in perceptual pay-it-forward mode since his rescue mission days, answered the call to assist fellow Americans in dire need and joined the Katrina Relief Efforts.
Current Homelessness, Imminent Homelessness, Youth-Family Hardship Home Instability, Domestic Violence Home Instability…
The ‘city that care forgot’ is back. Those who could afford to return to New Orleans, have come home. However, it’s the rest of America that is now going through a Post-Recession Homelessness Epidemic. This crisis is near and dear to me, for I have never forgotten the beautiful people who helped me back on my feet. Afromation is committed to being beautiful for those now in need.
This summer of ’16, while bringing attention to The Contraflow Project‘s (TCP) forthcoming book series in the Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, L.A., San Diego and possible Minneapolis, we also plan to focus on homeless awareness. My goal is to visit, identify veterans, speak, interact, document, dine, spend the night and raise funds for the rescue missions in the aforementioned markets.
“The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” -Muhammad Ali
Blessings & Peace,
M. D. Woods