Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mylar sleeping bags donation

A BWB angel just scored a matched donation of 100 (so total of 200) silver emergency sleeping bags for the Homeless Backpacks! That is an addition we have wanted for years.. and we are soo thankful!!

We are humbled by the support from Atelier Gothique & DAMNED

Buy an advanced DAMNED ticket from one of our retailers and you could win this $980 ring while helping the needy on our streets!

That's right...come to DAMNED with a physical store-bought ticket (you save on the door price) and we will don
ate a portion of the ticket cost to enter you into the raffle to win the Detroit Deconstruction Ring© by Atelier Gothique (or $980 credit towards another item)! Simply bring your stub after admittance to one of our lovely Devil Girls and they will give you a free raffle ticket ($5 value online) in exchange.

All proceeds from the raffle go to Burners without Borders Detroit, whose sole mission is to help feed and clothe those in need on our city streets through the hand packing and one-on-one giving of survival backpacks.

For details on the ring, the raffle and BWB, please visit:

To purchase your physical discount tickets, please visit these fine retailers:

NOIR LEATHER, 124 W 4th St, Royal Oak, MI

Showtime Detroit Clothing, 5708 Woodward, Detroit, MI

V-Male Detroit Vintage, 23902 Van Born, Dearborn Hts, MI

Tickets are limited in each store so get them before they are gone!

June 2012- Craig Fahle and the opening

June 14 

We were on the Craig Fahle show on WDET
You can here it here-
Thanks for all the support!! ..i hope it sounded good! i look forward to hearing it later and i look forward to seeing the images!

Show opening June 15

The show is simply designed in a wonderful room and the frames hold magical glimpses of the city from almost every angle! Great exhibition i will be visiting many times! ..and i am deeply amazed at the image on the BWB frame.. so thankful to all the people involved in helping make these voices heard!!

May 2012..Cameras were coming in ...

All through the Month of May cameras started showing up at my work where i had them mailed to...some were ever dropped off in person !

May 14
cameras get mailed today.. hope to get a few more in the mail by 3pm! fingers crossed. .. got a few notes back with some of the cameras... very powerful! i hope to be able to track people down and get stories once i have master dvd with images and make prints..would love to hear more stories!!
May 16
UPDATE.. mailed in the cameras..and got permissions from the dia for them to accept the ones that i supplemented over and above what they sent me.. cuz i only got 11 of those back and then 6 additional store bought ones... still hoping to get more in the mail though so i can process those and post them!!

Hitting the streets with Hima

Yesterday Hima and i hit the streets.. now i must admit i was really surprised when she hit me up on facebook saying she wanted to come..and i am honored too! Hima is this angel of a young lady, really quiet, really smart and super sweet.

I hit the streets with Hima and Khaaliq Thomas who has been documenting the project. I know Hima from her best friend Allison (or 19) who donates items to the project and has hit the streets a few times. The first time was a Christmas eve a few years back where she ended up playing football with a few guys tossing a wrapped up blanket!

It was a brisk sunny Saturday and i had a few places in mind where I thought I might know a place to find a few we headed to Michigan Avenue.

After looking in the area I suspected we found a few tents set up and pulled up. We got out and found three people.

Mr. Darnerl was 50 and underhoused, He was from Detroit and was happy to take a camera. He even told us we did not have to give him money all we had to do was come back and talk. He didn’t need a backpack, he told us to give it to someone who needed it.

People we would run into on the streets we would give them $10 to work on this project with us. Figuring it was collaboration and they deserved to have their time compensated for being an artist.

With Mr Darnerl was Tyrone he was 53 and had long dark grey dreads.
I had run into him before with his shopping cart. He was born in Detroit at the Herman Keefe hospital. He has been on the streets for about 6 or 7 years.

Tyrone got mad at Darnerl for telling us to not give him money, he wanted the money for sure and they quibbled about it a bit. Darnerl has a very big heart and you can tell he wears it on his sleeve.

I gave him a camera for his lady friend Miss Vicky and made him promise he would give her the money too! He put his hand on his chest and promised.

We had picked up a box of tangerines at Eastern Market and shared them with Vicky who showed up as we were getting ready to leave. Hima also gave her some cat food I had in the car as Miss Vicky has a white kitty whose name is ‘kitty’

Miss Jerry has long dreads and does hair. She grew hers out in 2007. While talking Tyrone interjects he wants to know how much the earth weighs. By this time they have figured out Hima is pretty smart and that is working to become a doctor!

We got to talking about how they fix things around camp as we could see their tent was pinned up. This is extreme camping way beyond Burning Man style…not sure most burners could handle this.. not sure I could.
Tyrone tells us with pride in his voice that he looks out for Miss Vicky. Hima let them know they can go to Henry Ford with any needs they may have as the hospital will not refuse them care.

Next we went to Spirit Hope Church to meet with Miss Jerry drop some extra supplies for the closet she runs to clothe people at the soup kitchen each Saturday.

Not sure how it happened but Miss Jerry and I got into a talk about forgiveness and she gave me a great lesson in the importance of doing so, which fits directly into personal work I had been doing. When we left I got a big hug from her and felt I had just been washed over with the best oration and lesson from God.  

Later on the streets by 75 and Mack we ran into Collin who was in a wheelchair, he is 38 and from Detroit. He has been on the streets since 2007 and lives in a tall building at the Brewster Projects. He served in Afghanistan ( Kandahar) He was shot in Kabul, he is racist and does not trust Muslims. Both he and his brother are homeless. He is hoping on a settlement from the VA. He claims he doesn’t do shoot up or do other drugs but he does like pop! We gave him a camera and a backpack.

Driving around Hima had an idea and I asked her to capture it in notes. For Easter 2013 why not get cellophane bags put a little holiday grass in them and fill them with fruit and candy to give out on the streets. I like that idea!!

I was so happy to have Hima along for the day. She is a treat to talk to. Khaaliq is so quiet that you hardly know he is there..and I mean that in a really good way. He never gets in the face of anyone with his camera, he is very respectful and I appreciate that very much.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Late 2011 and early 2012

I am sorely behind in my blogging for this project...luckily i text myself notes about most of the trips.. here are some of them from late last year and early January!

November 17, 2011

I got a facebook email from Rodney Curtis we used to work in the same place..he escaped! He was asking for my addy so he can send me a twenty spot for the project. Super nice of him..i send him my addy and tell him what I will buy..hand warmers of course…he writes back; “Excellent. Thanks for doing something good and positive that others, like me, can glom onto and pretend WE'RE the ones helping out. The cash is already in the mail.” He has been sick and this year has helped him realize some things in life..and I told him he is an angel...we can NOT do what we do without the help of people like you!! Then we volleyed with the compliments; What a nice message there, Danielle. But the Goddesses honest truth is that it's folks like you who are the angels. Us? We're just doing the easy bits. Thank YOU for being so generous… and to him I said.. “we are all we are all doing the good just the brave..or stupid one ...hehehe!! Thanks Rodney..sending you love!” he received the love well..

December 25, 2011

Amen. I had 3 backpacks loaded next 2 me in my car as I exited near my house & I ran into three people on the exit ramp. So thankful 2 have enuf. yea! I feel so bad when i run out. Meet who Char asked me to pray for her and her sister in- law Dede..and their friend Raphel new to the area and on the streets.

December 26, 2011

Meet the exit ramp of Moross and the Edsel ford freeway (I-94)

December 27, 2011

Many thanks to Babs and Target for the $50 gift card donated to BWB. Used the donation for hand warmers.!!

December 29, 2011

Backpacking with 19 we met up with Eric and Fred Wilson who is a left leg amputee in wheelchair. We met him by Sweet Water Bar on the edge of Greek Town. He was really peaceful and very friendly. We also found 4 guys on the sidewalk vents by St. Andys.

 January 4, 2012

 Squirt from BWB home base got up a new blog on the main website about our efforts in Detroit. Much gratitude;

January 9, 2012

I had this Detroit photographer email me about wanting to hit the streets with me to shoot what we are doing. I have been leery of this in the past for feeling uncomfortable about having people feel exploited. But I asked him what his intention was for the project and he working on three projects where he feels one person can make a difference. And made sure he understood that this project is soo not about one person. That this can not be done without the help of many people. He totally understood. So I took Khaliqu on the streets with me to give him an idea of what we do, he did not take his camera with him which I really respected about him. We cruised around downtown and we meet Gregg who spelled his name by writing it out with large gestures. I do not think he could talk cuz he was wrapped up head 2 toe. He was on the corner of Jefferson at Griswold. It was starting to rain and I had ponchos so I gave him one. He didn’t want a backpack but he did take some food. He was a very kind and gentle

January 9, 2012

Later we run into Brian on the edge of Greek Town by the highway ramp. I recognize him and he me. We greet as its been awhile and I ask him how he is. He says he has it bad..his health is really not doing well. He tells me he is staying at Operation Get Down at Harper & Gratiot, which is on the east side. And he is working to get his id..knows he should Go talk 2 Ms Evans at NSO to help him. He had a backpack and a bag but I still gave him a sack.

January 9, 2012

 Ran into another man, Mike at the 75 service drive at Monroe. He was eating & accepted a bag. He was close to where we ran into Brain -perpendicular actually across the highway. After in front of St. Aloysius at Grand River and Washington. I saw a man bedding down with cardboard who didn’t want to talk. He only said ‘food’ so I emptied a backpack and gave him all the food.

 January 10, 2012

Meet Lester Karen near the Lodge by the MGM..gave him a backpack and he asked if I had any money..uh no sorry. Always a weird thing for me to say…not only because it is 99% of the true but because how do I explain to people and sound convincing? I guess I feel like people may think I am not telling the truth. Should I care.? Should it matter? idk??

 January 11, 2012

I don’t recall but I think I was Hooker or maybe with Jess and Nick. ..or just Hooker and Nick. Either way.. we are at the I75 entrance ramp and 6 mile. And I see a man collecting bottles on median. I get out to talk to him and offer him a back and he is excited and he grabbed me and hugged me and thanked me…and I have to admit...i kinda freaked- only internally but then I instantly then chilled out as I was ashamed of myself. And I gathered myself and asked him his name.. and he says to me.. “Who shot him? on Dallas” and it took me a second to catch the 1980s pop culture reference and then I sai-. Jr! He laughed as we said our good byes!

January 11

We next run into Gypsy at 75 and 8 and her owner in a military helmet. Who was aggressive but not scary. He has lots of energy. He is friends with Mike who hooker helped a little bit before. On the other side of the highway at 8 mile.. 75 and 8 on the south side.. Hooker helped a woman named Carrie. She was pretty you and white and her skin was messed up and her teeth were really bad. She was really nice and grateful. To be honest we suspected meth...based on her looks. Busy area- Hooker also jumped out and helped a very nice guy at curved over pass that goes over75 on the way toward 8 mile. His name was Mark. Younger white guy. And the last part of this area.. We talked a really tall and super nice black man with perfect teeth and a really big smile. He was very friendly and thankful. His name was Jay.

January 13, 2012

BWB was mentioned in the Hamtramck Review. “Time to take a stroll back through the year” back-through-the-year/

Sunday, April 08, 2012

its a bag..its a shoe..its both!

Check this out.. my friend David A. posted this on my facebook page a while back and its awesome. I reached out the designer Mike Forbes cuz the project is amazing and because he is creating them in Detroit. He wrote back and told me he is working on the next version to" refining the design, materials and supply logistics to optimize the concept. I anticipate having small batch of pilot models available by fall." We plan to stay in contact in hopes of being able to collaborate and help each other out! Ulterior Survival Bag

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Miss Sharon

Friday night after work i stopped to talk to a woman by the Lodge and Howard. I have seen her many times before and given her supplies. As i walked up I asked her if she remembered me..she did not. this is not surprising due to all the faces people begging on the streets must see. I talked to her about the project and once she got it she was all about it!! she told me her name was Sharon and she is 57.. interesting 3 out of the 6 cameras out on the street for this project are 57. She is from Detroit and been on the streets 6 years. While we talking she has her back to traffic and i saw a van like a block away and the driver had a white box out the window them pulled it was about this time i had given her $10 for being involved in the project and when the van passed she started to yell at him.. and i started to wave him down as it seemed important to her and she was all upset that talking to me made her miss him. i asked why she wanted to talk to him and she told me he gives her doughnuts every that what was in the white box. I felt bad but she seemed to be able to roll it off pretty quick and we finished talking about the project. I am glad to have a woman involved in the project!

Friday, April 06, 2012

i meet a tweaker!

so this morning..i am running super duper late for work..everyday this week i have been..the trip back from SF to Chicago and driving from there to Detroit in one day has messed up the girls clock.

but i am at a corner near Cass Tech and i see a guy and i have no time..and he not looking at me so i admit i was like cool i can just stay on my route..then i think..'you....' and i roll down the window and say hello and he is on it and telling me his name is Andrew and needs some help. he is homeless and he sits on the curb and is looking up at me and i put the car in park toss the hazards on and i get out..and i shake his hand and help him up..i dont wish to look down..its nice and sunny though a bit cold and he is telling me needs x amount of money to get somewhere and rattle the addy off.. i tell him i can help him and ask him if he wants to work on a project with me..and tell him about it..and he is totally cool to do it..
and as i am talking to him..he twitched his head a few times and asked him where he was at and he told me ..."i'm tweaking out right now." and i was like wow..but not judgemental or anything and asked if he was ok..he told me yea and i gave him the camera and the stamped envelope and $10 and he told me he needed $13..i told him he gets $10..he was like ok..!

he was like "i can just drop in the mailbox'..and i said 'yes..document your life for one day.. and then please share it by mailing it back'. i took a picture of him..with his head bowed as he didn't wish to have his face shown..i thanked him for letting me do that. i forgot to ask him his name..he was in his late 20's early 30' i would guesstimate and had crystal blght brown eyes

I don't much about tweakers..but i have heard they will organize the shit out your stuff one day..then the next day steal it. ..not sure if that is an accurate statement..but i do know i would really interested to see his pictures. fingers crossed

Mr. Lonnie and A.C.

Our next encounter was with two gentlemen on a in a wheel chair.

from my car i asked if they needed a supply filled back pack they said i flipped on the hazards as i always do and hopped out..i waved to the car behind me to go around and lifted the hatch back..

i got them two black one red..the stand gentlemen was quick to say 'i want the black one' yet so did he friend and it would have been better for his friend due the red one being a sling and harder to get around the arms of the back of the wheelchair..which is how i always hook the packs i give to mean in i gave it to him..and went back to search my car for another regular pack and had one!!

while i did this Megatron was hanging out and talking to them about the camera project..getting there names and information and having a smoke!! she is awesome like that. Lonnie is 52 from Cleveland Ohio been on the streets between 5 to 10 years. A.C. is 63 from Detroit and been on the streets for 9 years. and its 'A period C period'..he made sure she got that right!

and after i gave A.C. his bag..Megratron of course let me know so i could address him ..right then someone yelled at me..and i turned around.. and i see this huge orange MDOT truck and a guy yelled at me to come over to him

so i excuse myself and climb up on the truck and say..'what!!!?'... he has a smile as big as the truck and asks if we do this on our own..'yup' i tell him and he says 'you dont get funded or anything do you?'..i said 'nope..i beg and borrow and scape' and he looks me in the eyes and tells me i am a child of god. i acknowledge his comment with a small humble nod. he hands me a $20 bill..and i spy 2 $5's and ask if i can have those instead... that i cant break a 20..he tells me no but that i can have all of it. i tell him i dont need the 20..he tells me to take and get off his truck he has to follow the crew who is filling the road holes.. i laugh and jump down and he sends me off with a great smile!

i run over to Mr. Lonnie and A.C. and give them each a $5 and tell them it is from that man. and they bless him.. Mr. Lonnie then leaves.. and Mr Arthur shows up as i am organizing the car so Megatron and finish her conversation with A.C. and her smoke.

I have seen Mr. Arthur before and i give him a good pack and he allows me to take his picture.

Megatron soon rejoins me in the car...and its about the time traffic is dying less men are i decide to drive by some points where i hope to find some others i regularly come across and would like to get cameras too..but no luck.

I plan to break that $20 to give to the next two people who wish to collaborate in the project... til then

Gentleman on the corner..

While look for Mr. Pixler Megatron and i came across another gentlemen at a different corner and got out to talk to him about the project after he said he did want a backpack.. and i for the life of me can not recall his name.. :( but i remember he was the same age as Mr. Pixler 57.

He todl us he lives wherever he can mostly on the streets not in shelters..and that its not easy and he is trying to make it.

He was full of gratitude about the backpack which i made sure was well filled and i have him $10 and he was shocked and could not get over that and told us he would do the project and blessed us.

Too so many people $10 is nothing...i know what it means to me..its a meal..hell could be 2...i can only imagine what it means to someone on the streets.


YEA>>.i found Megatrons notes..sister you are a goddess

so his name is Sydney!!

he is 57 been on the streets since 2007

he told us he just found out he has prostate cancer and graves disease and has been going to Receiving hospital to get help but is trying to get out UM from Detroit to get the help he needs.

i wish Mr. Sydney the best of luck in his recovery and am sending him like i do all the people i meet love and energy!

Megatron and Doxie hit the streets

Thank you to Meg Norris..With the help of a brand new volunteer (Megatron) we got 17 cameras into labeled and stamped envelopes and hit the streets this past Wednesday.

We got the first four cameras out .. and i took photos myself. Have 5 lined up to give out Saturday at a soup kitchen in corktown, and i am sending 4 to burbs for people at a church that helps vets i think. I have 5 left to find my favorite guys and ask them...and one for Miss Vicky if she changes her mind... fingers crossed.

Took notes on the gentlemen who took the cameras today and got pictures of all but the 1st guy..i had such a good talk with him i forget.!

so here are the notes.. lets see if i can translate..

first gentlemen we talked to was by the MGM Casino on the service drive..popular place to be before and after normal work hours to hit up the the commuting crowd.

I asked the gentlemen if he wanted a backpack and i got out to get it for him then he told me he didnt want one too much to carry around. (that was a first..and i was happy he was honest).. and then asked him if he would be interested in a project i was doing...and went on to tell him about it and how i would love to let him have his voice speak in images to people who may never hear him or much less even look at him..he said he knows that feeling.

I asked him his name and told him mine. He is Don Pixler, from the Detroit Cass hes been around.. esp since its been renamed Midtown to make it more palatable to the suburbanites who associate the corridor as a place of homeless, prostitutes and drugs...thats the corridor i moved into and love! I was 'poor in the corridor' for a very long time.

Mr. Pixler is 57 years old and when i asked him how long he has been on the streets ..he shock his head and told me...too long. I felt his pain.

He was happy to be involved in the project and told me he would do it right away and was an honest man and could be trusted to it..i told him i believed him.

I told him i had a museum pass for him but he declined it. i asked him it was too difficult to get he told me he didn't have anything to wear there. i told him it didnt matter he could exactly as he was but he told me he was too full of shame to go. i told him i understood how he felt.

I showed him how to operate the camera and i gave him $12 i had in my pocket.

then we left.. and then i instantly remembered i forgot to get his picture with the camera i am using and went back to find him..but he was gone.


his not feeling he could go to the museum is exactly why this project is important to me. He feels shame and that he would be judged for being who he is by the white walls of the hallowed space or more to the point the people who frequent these places will not accept him.... and part of his fear is spot on...we ignore the homeless..the undesirables.

we do not have to see them.. we are able to blur that part of our vision where a person stands asking for money. we are able to stay safe in our cars, we figit with the radio, play with our cells, we look away stare at the traffic light wishing it would turn green faster to ease our discomfort, anything but look at that person and at least say hello and tell them sorry we can not help.

which makes his voice so much more reach an audience he may never have a chance to tell a small portion of his story to.

I am so blessed

The community of people around me are amazing.

Thanks to being involved in the Burners without Borders (BWB) global talk group when i posted about the homeless photo project..i had people stand up to organize and set up a face-book event page..(thank you so much Jennie Kay) ..and then the Seattle BWB community is willing to lend us of their NFP paypal account to accept donations.
And people are offering to hit the streets with me to find people to be involved in the project to have their voices voices! and others are willing to take cameras to get them to people in areas i cant reach.. i am so blessed

thank you to everyone!

small bow

Detroit Revealed in Photography, Through the Eyes of the Homeless

Detroit Revealed in Photography, Through the Eyes of the Homeless

Burners Without Borders (BWB) is participating in the community photograph program Reveal Your Detroit, connected with Detroit Institute of Art's Detroit Revealed: Photos 2000-2010 exhibit.

Reveal Your Detroit is a community-based project designed to solicit the public's creative response to the exhibition. The project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation'

Doxie, the BWB Detroit representative, has gotten twenty disposable cameras to give Detroit Homeless the chance to express their story to people who may never encounter them and vice versa the ability to speak loudly with bring more attention to the issue in our community.

She has taken the initiative to get envelopes, addressed them, and added postage, so each participant will be able to mail the camera back to her, so she can deliver them back to the Musuem. With these cameras, comes museum passes for the particpants, and she has taken the initiative to also give them a bus pass to use as they please.

Doxie has been a true community hustler in getting this often unseen perspective in the common view, using her own funds and helping find donations.

In addition to this project, Doxie has been on a backpack-campaign giving out scores of backpacks, blankets, shoes and other helpful items to Detroit's homeless population.

Our friends, the Seattle Chapter of Burners Without Borders, have generously offered to utilize their website's donation link to help get funds to make these programs even more effective.

If you would like to participate in this event or Doxie's backpack program and would like to donate to the cause, it's easy....

Go to:
Click on the Paypal Donation link

Make sure you put "DETROIT" in the comment box, so they know where the funds should be directed.

If you have any questions or comments on this project, please feel free to post them on the wall.

All your support is appreciated.


Project for BWB to help the homeless have a voice..a photo voice

Hello everyone..

I am so excited to share this.. today i had 20 disposable cameras
given to me with 20 museum passes.


well we have an exhibition at the DIA right now entitled Detroit
Revealed where artists shed light on how they see the city.

well as a component to this ..they have asked for community
organizations to get involved ;
"Reveal Your Detroit" -'In conjunction with Detroit Revealed:
Photographs, 2000-2010, the DIA is hosting Reveal Your Detroit, a
community-based project designed to solicit the public's creative
response to the exhibition. The project is funded by the John S. and
James L. Knight Foundation'

I submitted and was called and explained to them how my idea was a bit
out of the norm.. as they wanted each org to bring people to see the
show (they supply the tickets) and then get the kit and go out and
shoot the city from the orgs p.o.v.... so i explained to them that i
wanted to give the cameras to the homeless and that i may not be able
to get people to the museum for many reasons.

But that i wish to give Detroit Homeless the chance to express to
people who may never encounter them and vice versa the ability to
speak loudly with bring more attention to the issue in our

so i plan to buy envelopes and address them to myself and pay for
postage..then ask homeless to either meet with me in a day or two in
the same place or to mail me the cameras. I will give them the museums
passes as well as a bus pass to use as they please.

I am really excited about this opportunity to hear from a community
that most often times has no voice, so they can share first hand what
ever they wish too. I know this may not be the most excited of images
but it will be a form of documentation that a journalist may not ever
be able to be achieve unless they were able to be embedded and build
trust. I truly hope this will be something the people i have
relationships with on the streets are willing to collaborate in.

I know i may only get a few cameras back..and that is totally ok. i
understand that...if i get one back i will be excited and pleased.

I plan to take a picture of each person i give a camera to with the
camera i hand to them as well as with another of the cameras so i know
who has each camera and get a small bio on them to accompany the

I am full of hope that this projects works out as it has wonderful
potential to make an impact!

thanks for reading
~doxie ...from D-troit

Behind in blogging...ahhh

Oh i a so behind in my blogging about the winter of 2011/2012.. bad.

i need to figure out a way to dedicate an hour a week to keep up..i do though have a bunch of emails to myself with reminders of things i wish to talk about and will do that May 1 i will be all caught up.. promise to myself.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

BWB Blog!

Thank you to BWB's Squirt for creating and posting this blog.. she gleaned posts from this blog i keep on the project!!

Friday, December 23, 2011


BWB Detroit Thanks everyone i can think of who has helped us over the last few years...thank you so much...i wish i could express how much your help means to me!

hands together head bowed.


In no are all equally important!

Atelier Gothique
Guilliom Family Foundation
Anthony Guilliom
Allison Guilliom
Max Guilliom
Joe Ferraro
Christopher Breedlove
Chicago BWB
Carmen Mauk
Lee Anna Mariglia
Jojo Smedo
MI point of View
Bacon- Josh Mac
Carol Kaltz
Jeremy Hocket
Faith Shinaver
Eric Miller
Ro Zielke and Rachael.
Nick Papcun
Jess Zerwas
Vicky McLellan
Ken Poirier
Barbarba White
Theatre Bizarre
Shawn Matthews
The Schankin family
Adam Layne
Sharon Layne
Madeline Frost
Becca Emerson
Millicent Johnson - Sharable magazine
Liz Lola Teifer,
Anita LeBlanc
Amber Arellano
Paul Fontaine
Justins Natural Peanut Butter
Ian Perotta
Hamtramck Review
Sarah Mackey
Teal bruce
Glad bags
John Wiley
Chris and Kim Castell,
Tom Nardone and his wife
The Dirty Show
Jerry Vile
Love a Cunt
Alyssa bradish
Liz Teifer
Sarah Tacas
Jennifer Allen
Nicole Laney
Sarah Lachowski
Tabi Hojna
Jade Ashekerra
Haley Jane
Chrissie and Garrett,
Tuka and Jane
Mike Mogill
Cynthia Cooky Jones
Donna a patron of the Saint Ladislaus Hamtramck Soup Kitchen
The ladies who cook weekly at Saint Ladislaus Hamtramck Soup Kitchen
My old landlord and his brother Chester and Fred Kasperzak for letting me take over the basement to house bins and bins of supplies
Soup at Spaulding for allowing me to come and present TWICE!
Pastor Matthew at Spirit Hope Church
Miss Jerry Andres from Spirit Hope Church for running the clothes pantry
Jimmy Santiago and his secret gifts
Angela newson and aya too
Lisa Forley
Cindy Bartkowiack
Amy Hajec
Susan Hajec
Yassar at ProDiscount Hamtramck
Rachal Timlin
Leslie Blackburn and her daughter Hanna
Kim Rhotan
Aylex Hakuai Araque
Pete Coe
Erin McClain
Craig McClain
Jennifer Gabrish
Detroit Soup.
Marc Beaugard.
Aaron Timlin
Melody Joy Shatto
Joshua JKanizzle Cunningham
George Barnett
Lisa Forzley
Lindsey Harnish
Studioklinicseven Kristine Diven
Jori Hayner
Charles McMoses
Meredith Nilsen
Molly Vikart
Heather Favrah Fincati
Andrea Brassert
Keisha Smith
Amy Ellias
Angela Pal
Dub Step Circus
Alyssa Martinez
Karen Shirey- sent to me by Peter Pan
Jay Bee- Frank Buck
Peter Pan, the mysterious
Mike Sudz
Amanda Zins
Jim Bates
Frank Lawson
Michelle Oralee Lewis
Ann McGaffy
Zumbas Mexican Grill
Donors to BWB Theme Camp 2010 for all the socks and backpacks~
Tiffany Sinacola
Rita and Scott Sinacola
Diane Johansen
Chris Cornwell
Hamtramck Senior Center
Kim Rhotan
Ronnie Parrish
Stacy Parrish and kids
Shari and Bob Rehs and Nina
Dan Trevisan
Sola Obayan
Social Good Detroit
Kaye Marie Zbiciak
Jodi Rogers
Mari Vaydik
Alex Pratt
Melody Joy Shatto
Mabel Costello
Valerie Thompson
Steve Nilsen
Nate Klenk
Tommy Nugent
Carrie Bolton-Sawicki and HERO is the Homeless Empowerment Relationship Organization.
Tim Casta├▒eda, & Zumba Mexican Grille
Pete Coe
Tondochan LaSylvet
Hannah Lewis
Jon Koller
Moose Jaw
A Mayonnaise Graveyard
John Easa
Greg Smith
Alison Kinning
Claire Broderick
Andrea Mattson
Fuzy Tek
Rodney curtis
Garrett Myles Goforth
Gretchen Martin
Brian Lewis

To all my Birthday Wish 2011donors
Bryan Rice
Diane Kobasic
Priya Sarin
Monica Storch
Peachy Von Detroit
Avanti Herczeg
Damian Polack
David Koren
Thomas Jankowski
Scott M Reilly
Paul M. Grinnell
Julia Raskin
Bohdi Bill Bader
Arthur Zukowski
Codrin Cionca
One Space
Sarah Elizabeth Whitman
Aaron Krynicki
Tom Nardone
Judith A Mauro
Nicolle Tsertos
Kyle Carey
Larz Gaydos
Abhik Shah
Brian Lewis
Cynthia Cooky Jones
Thaddeus McKracken
Lindsey Godlove Harnish
Legged OfFour
John Wiley
Paulette K. Michelz

and to each of the countless others who donated and helped that I do not know your names and i am so hoping it did not forget anyone if I did please forgive me!

So much gratitude and thanks and love and wonder for each of you for helping this project…by believing and supporting cannot happen without YOU!!

Happy Holidays from Burners without Borders Detroit

Much love


BwB Chicago Winter Ball

Thank you to EVERY single person involved in organizing the amazing Burners without Borders Winter Ball in Chicago hosted at Eco.

So much gratitude for them collecting items to be taken back to Detroit for the Homeless Backpack Project.

This image may not look like a lot of stuff..but it is...all the packs are full of socks and hats and gloves and my car was full.!!

thank you thank you thank you!!

Old post DIRTY SHOW 2011

i never posted up this image from a women i did a print for at the Dirty Show..her friend snapped a picture of us at the moment of printing...and send it to me.

They were both really excited and happy when they learned there donation went to help the homeless!

thanks ladies!

Seraphina Black ..thank you!

A big thank you to Seraphina Black for her continued efforts to Collect for BWB Detroit from her co-workers. who are very generous and give tons of items for the project!!

thank you thank you thank you!


Smokey and Yassar in Hamtramck

December 22

I was in Hamtramck seeing Yassar at Prodiscount to check out the items i bought from him. he has been doing some bulk shopping for me for the project. been getting small stuff from him for years and he now wants to i give him ideas on what i needs and when he shops he texts me deals and costs!

After Detroit Soup..i asked him to price out gloves..they are nice too i saw them and the thermal socks.. 250 of each..will pick up Dec 24 after i hit up the Spirit Hope Soup Kitchen.

On my way into his store i saw Smokey. his name is not Smokey but i have 'known' him since i moved to hamtramck in 1998. I often buy him fruit and stuff when i shop there. last night i asked if he wanted a back pack and told him what was in it.

I asked him name again..its Charles. He has a speak impediment so its always been hard to hear him. but i can always tell when he says God Bless me!
I went in and grabbed a few more things and can opener as his backpack didnt have one when i checked it like i do all of i am glad i checked..and glad cuz i found MY hat...i must have set it down during the backpacking event and bam it got packed...funny!

Glad i could help Charles out and i am thankful that Yassar is helping us out!

we are all interconnected


December interactions on the streets

Dec 4, 2011 on way to see a movie with Mario. i spied a woman sitting under the bridge at 8 and Woodward..i pulled over hit the hazards and got out..the person was covered in a childs blanket..and i quietly walked up and said hello and asked if i could help with some handwarmers and 2 pair of socks.

A women peeked out..and said yes. I gave her what i had and she was very thankful. She pulled back the blanket and i saw she had no socks on at all. and her coat was thin..i ran to my car and had a red wool jacket and asked her if she wanted it..she did. she was very weak..and very thankful..i asked her name and told her mine..she is Mia

i got back in that car and tried to hold back the tears.. Mario was very understanding. that was his first time with me..doubt it will be the last.

Actually on the way to movie at 8 and 75 we saw a man in front of cars and begging and fronting..and i told Mario i would never stop for someone like that even with him in the car.

After the movie at the same spot was a guy named Jim..and later another woman, her name might have been kim i forget...who both lit up when they saw socks..they were very happy.

December 7

I meet Clif at shelby and fort walking caught his eye..he motioned 4 drink i offered socks his eyes lit up and he blessed me!

December 20

Meet John at 75 and 8 mile..

on the 21st..

i saw kevin by work, he is one of my favorites.though i had to ask him to tell me his name again..we wave to each other every morning he is on the off ramp at Howard...great big smile! ..this day his foot broken..someone ran it over at that corner..ironic.. nice..
i gave him a fuller bag that day with extra loot..yup!

Social Good Detroit event

I was contacted about a month ago to be involved in this event called Social Good Detroit..where there would be a panel of speakers talking about how to make Detroit Thrive.

It happened on Thursday December 15 at the Red Grape on Woodward.

There were 4 charities invited to talk about our projects and then a silent auction of sports items and chance for us to talk about our programs, sign up volunteers and accept donations....this all happened before or after the talks.

It was an interesting event..mingled networked...had dinner with Harry Reisig..or should i say he bought me dinner and gave me a space to eat with him..thank you!

FatHead supplied a sticky re-usable logo..see picture..that i took to the BWB Chicago Winter Ball! yea. Thank you!

Detroit Soup

I was invited to present at Detroit Soup on the evening of Sunday December 11.

I accepted as i was honored they liked my proposal. I knew it was going to be a busy day as we had the Homeless Backpacking event from 1 to 4pm.

I got there early with Christopher and Mario with me. On our way in a homeless lady was at the door,her name was Joy. I told Miss Joy what i was about to do and that when i was done i would come out and give her the backpack i had with me.

Heading up the stairs i totally tripped..going up!! and the door guy looked and i laughed and did he.. doh! great entry!

The space was all decked out. I knew a handful of people and after checking in just started to mingle.

Met some people and talked to a guy from the Metro Detroit Center for Attitudinal Healing who asked good questions about how much it costs to make each pack..which to be honest i really dont know...Yet! but will hopefully figure out soon with help from someone else this evening i ran into.

We all mingled and talked, and listened to a poet then the presenters got up. I went third. i presented against 3 other groups..the others being Detroit Day from Ann Arbor, a time/work share project in Woodbridge and a project to help handicapped women start their own business.

I was really nervous once i had to stand up in front all the people..not sure why but i felt out of my element, over tired from the day and i was me..only more nervous and silly.

I started off on a bad foot i think cuz a friend told me right before i went on that since i am established the crowd might now pick me so i had to make them get get it...i know he was trying to help but i stepped off thought process immediately. I tried to cover what i could in the time i had while fumbling and not sure of what i had just said two sentences was a mess.

Lucky for me there was a 4 question session after..where i was able to really shine i think and bring home what it really was about instead of me just babbling. being asked direct questions about something i am so passionate about really relaxed me..i even had the crowd laughing at things..though i was still nervous and not exactly sure why they were laughing..but i get that when i get going..people often giggle at me..and with me too!

After all presenters went there was time to eat and mingle more..and i ran downstairs to give my backpack to Miss Joy who was now inside sorting her stuff and able to get inside a bit to warm. She was really thankful!

on my way back upstairs i tripped up was too funny and the same guy saw me..hilarious, i laughed my butt off again!! People asked lots of questions and i talked to the other presenters to about their projects..which are all cool.

When the votes were tallied the main organizer and i feel horrible that i am spacing on her name right now.. got on the stage to talk about the food we all just ate..which was great and thanked everyone and talked about Soup...then the young boy with her read the name of the winner for the evening.

Burners with Borders Detroit was chosen and went on stage to thank him and take the wad of singles and was a lot. $690.50 I thanked everyone and told them this was going to be so helpful and told them i would be back in March to talk about how it helped!

I am so thankful people what this project is about and support it so much.
so so so grateful


Christopher Breedlove has video of the event..when ready i will post it here!


Wow..the HOMELESS BACKPACKING EVENT we held on Sunday December 11th, 2011 and it was a big day for us..I am just now getting caught up on thank yous.

My mother and i showed up at the Senior Center in Hamtracmk at noon to help set up...and much to my surprise 13 people showed up as well to help set it up.. i thought i would have 3 people show... it was insane so Detroit in the assembly line style of setting things up for people to be able to come in and fill packs...and boy did they..

over 50 people showed up and we packed over 200 most likely like 250 backpacks!
it was so amazing and inspiring and to be honest kind of overwhelming.. they were all packed in less than 2 was just as fast as last year with double the amount of supplies. it was so wonderful to witness as i ran around directing people and answering questions and talking to the seniors who live in the center who were curious about what we were doing. Two residents even came and donated supplies!!

Friends from high school I had not seen in 20yrs showed up with families in tow to help.. people from all aspects of my life... and a handful of strangers too

here are pix to the event ;

That night i also presented at Detroit Soup more on that in the next blog!

Thank you to all the people who donated, collected, fundraised and showed up to help backpacks!!

HUGE BOW to each of you!


Plan to purchase gift certificate from a Detroit McDonalds where for the homeless Thank you Tom Nardone for this amazing idea to gift.. if your a paying customer you can come in from the cold!

Detroit Soup winnings

ohh so happy i thought the price i was quoted for gloves was just for 250pairs but it was also for 250 pairs of socks!! i went and looked at them last night...good stuff..thermal socks and big warm gloves!!

so we just got a double plus good bonus and our Detroit SOUP winnings just went twice as far and there is still $ left over to buy gift certs to McDonalds to help please be paying customers and get out of the cold!!

so grateful

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The BwB Winter Ball

Chicago- Friday- December 16- BWB Ball
Burners Without Borders Chicago & ECO present:
The BwB Winter Ball
December 16th | 10pm to Late Night
@ The ECO Collective 15$Donation

A formal evening and dashing affair to whisk you into wintertime. BwB-Chicago & ECO invite you to come out, dress up, and play with us as we all start to bunker down for the Chicago winter!
Featuring the musical talents of: Searchl1te, Jeekos, Spacew├╝lf, Magpie, JBizzle, Ruff Fingers, Marcin, Good Evening, and Ben X. Tea Lounge. Treats by Edible Alchemy. Egon's WunderBar. Poets Who Know It. Live Silk Screening and more being announced soon.

We will be collecting donations for the Burners Without Borders Detroit Backpack Project consisting of: socks, backpacks, winter gloves, & hats. Please- no sweaters or jackets.

If you would like to get involved artistically or as a volunteer please email:

Here is the facebook invite to rsvp;


DETROIT Sunday- December 11


Tis the season...and we need YOUR help to help others..

WHEN: Sunday December 11, from 1 to 4pm

WHERE: Hamtramck Senior Plaza (thank you Chris Cornwell for donating the space again this year)

We have about 200 backpacks (from a generous donation from the Guilliom Foundation) to fill with canned food, can openers (must have those!), hand warmers, peanut butter packs,ponchos, socks, gloves, hats, hygiene products and whatever else we get donated!

The packing will take place at the Senior Citizens Housing Complex and Henry Ford Health Center on Holbrook in Hamtramck. You will have to be buzzed in by security!

If you have items to donate please bring them..we can always use them
You are are welcome to take Back packs with them if they feel comfortable approaching homeless, if not i will get them all out on the streets.

CLICK HERE for the facebook event or follow the link

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chicago..socks socks and more socks

was in chicago the weekend before thanksgiving and did not have backpacks with me nor was i loaded with supplies..BUT i had been gifted 3 dozen pairs of socks by Vicky McLellan and those were heaven sent!

I ran into two homeless men driving around town was able to gift them socks and i was so thankful to have something.

Fullton was the first man i ran into, he was standing in a medium and i was able to grab some socks out with the help of Christopher and quickly stop at a green light and give them to him.

The next man was Roy, he was in the alley behind a collective called Ecco. He was rummaging in a garbage can and we chatted for a bit...i didnt have a bag to give them to him and his hands were dirty but he skillfully managed to grab them with his wrists and place them inside his shopping cart so they did not get dirty!

Both men were beautiful spirits and full of smiles!

Thank you Vicky!

Friday, November 18, 2011

PREACHERMAN Hometown Debut


Award-winning one man comedy theater show of the Reverend Nuge's journey from pentecostal preacher to atheist street magician finding 'accidental enlightenment' over two trips to Burning Man.

Tix $15 (with 20% of proceeds donated to Occupy Detroit and Burners without Borders Detroit)

WHERE: 15 15 Broadway
1515 Broadway St, Detroit, MI 48226-211

WHEN: Wednesday, November 23, 2011

TIME: 8:00pm until 9:00pm

NOTE: through a quirk of the law, FOOD and WINE are able to be given away after a benefit performance, however you can not advertise the FREE FOOD and WINE. Therefore I will not advertise FREE FOOD AND WINE AFTER THE PERFORMANCE.


(thank you Tommy..we love box wine! )

Tax Deductible donation

Please consider making a year end donation to Burners without Borders Detroit.

As Burners Without Borders Fiscal Sponsor, BRAF is able to facilitate their tax-deductible donations. Please enter the dollar amount you wish to donate below.

The Black Rock Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Federal Tax Exempt ID #91-2130056.

Please send an e-mail to if you want your money allocated to a specific project, and we will make sure it gets there


thank you!

Thank you ...MooseJaw!

Big thank you to Moosejaw for the donation of 100 hand warmers for our upcoming backpacking event Sunday December 11!

thanks Eli!!! xox

EVERYONE please DO THIS!!!!!!!!

help Burners without Borders Detroit help the homeless this would be great to win.. make a guess!!! please please please and thanks ..PS..dont forget to like there page!!!

Homeless Backpacking event

Hello everyone!!

Tis the season...and Burners without Borders Detroit needs YOUR help to help others..

WHAT: Homeless Backpacking event

WHEN: Sunday December 11, from 1 to 4pm

WHERE: Hamtramck Senior Plaza (thank you Chris Cornwell for donating the space again this year)

WHY: because without people like YOU the Homeless Backpack Project simply can not happen!

WHY2: Because WE are fortunate enough to be able to help others.

We have about 200 backpacks (from a generous donation from the Guilliom Foundation) to fill with canned food, can openers (must have those!), hand warmers, peanut butter packs,ponchos, socks, gloves, hats, hygiene products and whatever else we get donated!

Please note we have had amazing cash donations this year as noted above and from two artists from the DAMNED Exhibition; Atelier Gothique ( and MI view (

All of which have afforded BWB Detroit to have enough supplies for 200 backpacks..that is 2x as many as we did last year! 200 packs is ambitious but we think we can do it!

Thank you also to Justin's Nut Butter and MooseJaw for donations of peanut butter and hand warmers!...and to all the private donations of hats, gloves, socks, food, water and juice boxes to make all of this possible..

The packing will take place at the Senior Citizens Housing Complex and Henry Ford Health Center on Holbrook in Hamtramck. You will have to be buzzed in by security!

If you have items to donate please bring them..we can always use them

You are are welcome to take Back packs with them if they feel comfortable approaching homeless, if not i will get them all out on the streets.

I look forward to mingling with you as we create the backpacks and form new friendships!

If you are not able to make the event...please promote it and Burners without Borders Detroit or....

if you cant make it..please consider making a tax deductible donation to BWB Detroit at choose Detroit on the pull down tab!

Thank you ..

Danielle ~doxie Kaltz
Burners without Borders Detroit

Check out Burners without Borders Detroit on facebook...'like' us

Thank you again Soup at Spaulding!!!

Burners without Borders Detroit would again this year like to thank the great folks at Soup at Spaulding for inviting us to present again.

Our hosts the wonderful and lovely Anthony and Allison Guilliom set up a wonderful event. Though not many people turned out matters not...if 2 people show and another and you connect and have a good time..then to me its a success.

we had more than that and i was able to be the only presenter and share what BWB Detroit does and was honored to do so!

Thank you so much for the donations to purchase more items for the backpacks!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Justins Nut Butters...thank you soo much!!

Burners without Borders Detroit would like to send out a big thank you to Justin's Nut Butter for their generous donation of 300 almond maple butter single serving packs to be added to this years backpacks for the homeless!!!

I wrote them a letter asking for help and i was stunning and pleased they wrote back in my in such a short an joke and agreed to make the wonderful donation.

We are so happy that they will be in available for our next backpacking event on Sunday, December 11th in Hamtramck at the Henry Ford Senior Citizen Center on Holbrooke from 1 to 4pm..more details to follow!


Friday, November 04, 2011

Another stop at Soup for Spaulding

Burners without Borders Detroit was asked to present at Soup at Spaulding next Thursday November 10 at 7pm for Burners without Borders Detroit. Please come out and share a meal and support which ever cause you choose! thank you for another opportunity.

here is the blog about our last and wonderful visit;

Hand warmer donations!!

Moose Jaw is donating a few boxes of hand warmers to BWB Detroit! thank you Nick Papcun for the intro!

Thank you MooseJaw!!

Thank you to ATELIER GOTHIQUE at the DAMNED exhibition.

BWB Detroit is so grateful to Charles and Amy Elias of Atelier Gothique who donated the stunning ring that was raffled off at the DAMNED this past weekend as a prize with the proceeds to benefit BWB Detroit.

Over $600 has been donated to Burners without Borders Detroit

Congratulations to the winner David Cagle...We hope you are as happy as we are.

Please know all the donations go toward direct action on the streets to help homeless.

Thank you to the Devil Girls who sold over 300 tickets to participants of the event;

your all angels..i mean..oh you get it!

Lushes Lamoan (,

Sarah Schropp- ( ,

Angie Smith ( ,

Alison Haling ( ,

Lyndsay Martin (,

Jessica Grassa ( and

Meridith Lorde( )

DAMNED donation

JoJo Smedo sold his entry at the Damned!!!!!! The money from the sale is going straight to Burners without Borders Detroit to help provide food and warmth the homeless in Detroit :)

you can view the image here;

we are very thankful to you for all you do!

MI point of view...

From Jojo Smedo- introducing a limited edition print 12" x 24"..(total of 10, signed and numbered); price is $200 with $100 from each print going to Burners without Borders Detroit to help feed and warm the homeless in Detroit-

Thank you JoJo for your thoughtfulness!!

random help from strangers

Thank you to Rachel Timlin and City of Farmington Hills - Special Services Dept (parks and rec) for collecting for the homeless!!

Rachel heard about the project and asked her co-workers to start collecting! Next week i meet with her to get the items which she says are plentiful.

Her co-workers also want to knwo when the next backpacking event will be so they can will be in early December..more details to come!

thank you!

new backpacks!!

5 cases of Backpacks were delivered this week to Detroit via a generous grant for Burners without Borders Detroit from Anthony Guilliom and family...thank you so much..your gift will help so many people this winter! small deep bow! xo~d

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Satori Circus, Naked girls and the homeless!

I am writing about a wacky ass fund raising project for BWB in Detroit.. a handful of local artists and performers got together and created a calendar for Satori Circus 2012 with proceeds to support BWB-Detroit’s backpack project.

These calendars are for purchase.

If you want to help support the cause let me know and we can do paypal or snail mail and I can get one out to you.

Please know that this winter is expected to be colder than last and its estimated more people are on the streets. So help in whatever form you can offer is greatly appreciated.

There will be a back packing event next month..stay tuned for details.

Thank you
Burners without Borders Detroit,


Here is a snippet on the project;
and a full press release;

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Drink and Stitch

Thanks again to Teal and her sister (who i call Purple cuz she wears it so much)for knitting a ton of hats to be put in backpacks for the homeless!

People packing backpacks this weekend were impressed by your work and the mother of the bride was inspired to go back to her church in Arizona and introduce this idea to their knitting circle.

I told her i suspected they would not drink...she said oh not beer but they love their wine!! Perfect!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Bots Wedding and amazing gifts!

This past Sunday my friend Jo got married Ray in Hart Plaza at the base of the Gateway to Freedom statue. They did so to honor the memory of many slaves who found freedom at the international waters of Detroit..a city they met in and fell in love.

They came in from out of state a few days early and invited many guests..they made Detroit a destination wedding! And they did this in a variety of ways, but why do i bother to tell you that on this blog you may be wondering.

well keep reading..One of those ways was to give a bus tour from 9am to 4pm of the city they love..and this was not a popular location instead it was places they loved and enjoyed. They showed no ruin porn, but places with wonderful stories.

Two of those places were the Artist Village and the Motor City Java House were they had activities arranged for their guests to participate in if they so wished.

One of those activities was to pack backpacks for the homeless of Detroit. I arrived there with Rosey and we set up an assembly line of items to people to pack into the bags. Shawn showed up with awesome hygiene packs he made from items donated from hotels by the airport!!

Just over 30 packs were made and are ready for the streets and we are so grateful to each and every guest of Jo & Rays who took the time to help out.
We are humbled and amazed at both Jo & Ray for even thinking of making a part of their visit to Detroit and more so as a part of their ceremony. It shows so much about who they are and the couple they are going to be.

Thank you so much..small bows and deep love!


Occupy Detroit and the homeless in Detroit

This is a really good blog about someones experience with the homeless while they were at Occupy Detroit.

It made me happy to hear it esp as i heard stories about assaults this weekend and no one could tell me if they were by homeless, on the homeless or otherwise. No one could tell me about a sexual assault either, just that they heard about it.

I wrote a response to this blog in the comments. My only wish is that the writer had not listed the locations of the homeless. I work to keep that information private esp. if they are tucked away.

But please take a moment to read this...

Monday, January 24, 2011

homeless is my address, not my name

Christopher Breedlove who helps run Chicago Burners Without Borders brought me article from Minnesota on his last visit there.

It's entitled "Homeless is my address, not my name- an oral history of homelessness in Minnesota" its a project including photographers and interviewers doing story collection throughout the state to bring a name and face to this very serious issue.

Read more about it here and how they did the project here

a quote for the projects page is very thought provoking; "First person narratives by people living in poverty are often undervalued, as is all too common with experiences of marginalized people."

This is why this project is so touching to me and why i have for long not wanted people to photograph what i do, but seeing this project makes me realize it can be done in a touching and caring way. Thank you CB for showing me this.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Soup at Spaulding..and the mars bar.

Soup at Spaulding

I was lucky enough to have Soup at Spaulding contact me and ask me to present for the homeless project.

I was able to present on Thursday December 2, 2010 and I was so happy so many amazing people showed up; Faith, Ro and Rachael., Nick and Jess, Dondo, Vicky, Ken and Babs, Anthony and his son Max, Harry R, Chrissie and Garrett, Tuka, Chris and Kim Castell, Tom Nordane and his wife and a bunch more I didn’t know and some faces i recognized from the first time i went.

I knew I had 3 minutes to prep speak and so the day before I wrote up my little speech I had recited it Breedlove and Faith and felt confident it sounded good though a little worried I may get teared up.

Dinner started at 7pm…a lovely squash soup and salad with Avalon bread and hot tea. At 8 is when the people there to pitch there cause are presented to the audience.

Well the person who was supposed to present with me didn’t show I got to pitch mine alone. Which is a weird feeling I must admit, cuz your like well I guess I win by default and well I hope people don’t feel gipped they don’t get a choice. But then I found out. that it didn’t mean I won automatically as anyone had the option to vote to have the money roll over to the next week. So..the competition was on…oi!

This is what I had prepared so I was allowed to read it cuz normally you are not allowed to have anything with you but they figured it was ok…

Hi! Thanks for coming and supporting this awesome event for Spaulding Court! Thank you for allowing me to present! I am honored and humbled to be here.

My name is doxie or danielle….. and I would like to talk about the Back Pack Project for the homeless I am involved in where items are given directly to the people on the streets.

4 years ago I started to see homeless under the bridges on the highways in Detroit and it made me realize I had too much stuff, don’t we all. So I started to fill my car with blankets and food and my clothes and my dads clothes I still had ..then I would stop and take items to the people who I started to call highway men. I soon ran out of stuff so I started to ask friends and family for donations and their stuff and now I bug anyone and everyone! (all eyes on you!).

In 2008 I started a chapter of Burners without Borders- a civic arm of Burning Man that helps where we see a need in our communities …I see that need in Detroit with the homeless.

Then when Ro asked her family 2 yrs ago to give her stuff to help me instead of xmas gifts she created backpacks full of items she was given- how Selfless and genius! I love you!

Now after asking people on the streets what They need we fill more & more packs with things like; hats, gloves, socks and socks and socks, hand warmers, canned protein (fish, meat beans) and veggies, and can openers of course- along with soft granola bars, (imagine no teeth- food needs to be soft) juice and water…then we tie blankets to the bags with scarves.

Then I hit the streets and look for people who don’t go to shelters for whatever reason and there are many! I also keep clothes and coats in my car too to give out if people need them. I am not trying to get anyone off the streets I don’t have that skill set. I am just trying to help out anyone I can with a backpack filled with supplies, compassion and non-judgment to make a night on the streets a little easier.

I blog about most of my adventures so people can see what happens to the donations they give me. …and here is where I hope you can help me in any way you can Because I can NOT do what I do without the help of people like YOU!

Thank you.

And of course I cried my eyes out…I should not have looked at Ro but I did and I dropped my box. I told the audience I am very attached to this project and sometimes I get that that can be not a great thing.

Then I tried to sit down but I was called back up for questions which I had planted Faith and Ro with one each in case I forgot what to say but since I read from my sheet I was ok..

Well then Harry asked me a question about other ways I raise money…which lead to me getting embarrassed and talking about the Dirty Show and how I raise money there!!
And I got to answer about 3 or 4 more questions then people were allowed to vote.

I am happy to say the vote was unanimous and everyone elected to support the homeless cause! I was very pleased. I then told everyone that a bunch of us were going over to the Mars Bar in Hamtramck and to met us for drinks.

It was a good night… and I got to talk to the owner and he told me any time I would like to use his place to just ask…I told him he had no idea what he just got himself into!!

As I was looking up something today I saw this post someone put on Yelp about the Mars Bar from the evening. I met the guy…and I am glad he had a good time!

One review for The Mars Bar

Teal and Purple

so just this afternoon...Teal from Bay City who came to the backpacking party earlier this month with her sister who's name i can not recall but started calling her purple cuz she was wearing a ton of it that day..

so today Teal hit me up and i knew she might as she was staying with Ro (and Rachael) in Corktown after going to Santarchy. She had contacted me earlier in the week to tell me she had a load of clothes for me...and a bunch of hats.

now these are not just any old no... teal and sister and niece have been crocheting hats and and i guess fingerless gloves and gave me a big back full of them.

Purple told me it takes no time at all.. she can make the fingerless gloves in an hour and a half...yes she makes it sound that easy... i told her i am very impressed and in no way no how could i even start to do the art she makes look so easy.

I told them both thank you very much and that i will look forward to giving out these hand made with love donations!