Thursday, April 30, 2009

Back Packs..and more

so ok ..this guy Greg..who i met through work cuz he likes beer and Detroit..and wanted pictures of Detroit Beer..and dogs...(dont ask!) so anywho

i met this guy and we got to talking went out for a few beers and meals and he is a fan of the city too...and i told him about my homeless project and he wanted to help..

well the other day asks what i need i tell him backpacks...not long after he sends me links to wholesale places on line and i do a bunch of searching and find some really great deals...

so i got :

72 -15.5'' Backpack

72 Can Opener - Stainless Steel w/Plastic Handle

and 96 rain ponchos

and they came in the mail yesterday...and i have a crew of people willing to help me pack them up when i get the rest of the stuff i want...

yea!! and to boot Greg is also making a donation toward buying the stuff i just ordered!! BIG PHAT THANK YOU!!!!

this is going to be cool for next year..and how awesome that i can get it done now and be ready!


Thursday, April 23, 2009


Last Sunday I met up with Hannah, Gypsys sister, at her old place up in Brightmoor! you read that correctly!

and why? well get this she had a ton of and i mean a ton of government issued Department of Justice disaster blankets and i could take as many as i wanted from her.

She also had a ton of clothes and toiletries and all sorts of stuff for a homeless project she used to do with a church.

Sadly i no longer have the jeep, rip, and my car is soo soo tiny so i borrowed Dans car which is not much bigger than Mimi. I did manage to get 63 blanket, all from recycled materials i might add, into his car plus all the toiletries; which were things like razors, soap, toothbrushes, paste, tissue...

it was an awesome score...and i thank you Hannah and Ben for allowing me to get what i could...

I helped them load up the van they were borrowing so they could take the rest of the stuff down to NSO...i hope that went well!

now to get 63 backpacks!!!

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

April 7 and 8th, 2009

April 7th
I did my two big posts about Michelle Rougeau!

April 8th, 2009

Had dinner with Mr. Josh aka Bacon about his amazing trip to Vancouver. While eating at Marias on Joseph Campau in Hamtown..btw its awesome you should go!

He told me had a bunch more cloths from his co-workers and yet knew I was done taking stuff so wondered what to do. I told him I see UPR post they needed clothes and got word from Jean Wilson who heads the Detroit Chapter that she would take what I had as I still have so much.

I texted her to tell he was coming and he loaded up my stuff in his truck to take to her! Sweet!! So I am almost clothes free. I checked just a bit ago to see what I have left in Mimi and mostly its mens pants!!!! Bonus!! And a bunch of Woodward Dream Cruise shirts…brand new!! And new gloves and hats!! Score…can you tell I never know what I have…its like Christmas every time I open a bag! So after this trunk full I go to food and hygiene packs for the summer.

Josh is going to ask co-workers for toiletries for me! Do you have any? Let me know if so and get them to I can get them to people who need them! Think razors, mini-hotel soaps, shampoos, lotions..come on I know you steal them. Pooners. (tampons), other feminine stuffs…condoms….plastic combs, anything like that! Please and thanks!

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April 3 2009

thinking I will stop clothes… and have pretty much decided that I will pass out what I have and be done with clothes until fall. If I even decide to do clothes again. I would rather I think stick to just the back packs filled with usefull stuff like I have made; can openers, hand warmers, hats, gloves, I want to get more rain ponches and stuff like that…that all makes more sense to me.

So I have a ton of stuff to unload, Mimi is full and so is the hall way inside my building. I am so surprised my landlord has not given me shit about it or my neighbor. (he is especially tolerant of my mess in the hall)

I have a shelf I found in the alley in the basement but I have not had time, or taken it, to put the thing together to store all my loot. Need to get plastic bins for food stuffs so no critters are attracted! bad enough i had a mouse probably in my pantry post Bman...amen it wasnt during the time i have had all this pre-packaged food around ...would have been a mouse delight and a poop party for sure. (little bastards poop like you would not believe!

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Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 –

Meet Kenny again outside of Avalon he was getting change from some guy in a van who had me blocked in. while that guy fumbled and looked for coin I climbed into Mimi and got out a prepackaged chicken meal combo pack that Cooky gave me. He was then nice enough to guide me out as I was parked between two huge SUV’s and could not see shite!, thank you Kenny!

After that I went to Port Huron and on my way back I got off at Cadiuex to run an errand. And must to my surprise there was a guy at the top of the ramp on I94, I was not prepared to see somewhere there so by time I saw him my car was rolling up the ramp so I reached backed and grabbed food sadly the light stayed green and I didn’t want to stop the flow of traffic so I kept going. I felt bad esp since I was going into Grosse Pointe and knew I would not see any more people hanging on corners in need. I did though see more houses for sale than I have ever seen, but no homeless…I’m sure they are not allowed there…shooed to the border of Detroit…move along not allowed here.

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March 31st, 2009

been chatting online with this dood; Detroitblogger John.. i had read his stuff on Johnny Redding we found each other on facebook and or myspace...have mutual friends and obviously care about this fucking town or do a fine job faking it.... so this cat and I are supposed to go out and hit the streets, he has a friend who has befriended the homeless and knows of some places..and am all about safety in numbers now...we have been trying to get schedules to match up is a bitch though! Some day. read his stuff

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Saturday, March 21st , 2009

Went back to NSO the next day . to make sure I did not have a fear and to get rid of the stuff I had in Dans car.

Saturday, March 28th, 2009- SPARC set up an event to coincide with Detroit Day so a few of us showed up at the Detroit Dream Projects Temple to clean up the area and help pitch in. Afterward Cooky gave me more loot; two more bags of easy to open and divide food! Chicken in can meals, fig newtons, trail mix bars, m&m’s cuz she remembered me saying candy is a hot item..and it is!

I have been giving out the food on my way to work for the last week; Kasen and the other guy at the top of Lodge and Howard exit, and new guys I have never meet downtown.
March 30

I ordered about 2000 seeds for the Seed Bomb making party at the Spirit of Hope Church at Grand River and Trumbell. We made a few hundred and I bought a wrist rocket to shoot mine!! While there my buddy Mike Mogill was there ..he actually got the word out through Detroit Synergy for the event. And Beth (stealth cunt) brought a bunch of clothes, flannel jackets for me but that Tuka from the church said would be useful there! Instead she gave me a bunch of hand warmers which are always a great thing to have! Thank you darling cunt wait to see you again!

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Friday, March 20th, 2009 –

I had had a rental car since my jeep accident in the middle of February and it was time to take it back..i had already over extended my contract by a week based a small technicality; they officially never told me to take it back they just only assumed I would. Loop Hole; so I conned the girl to let me keep it until the 20th cuz how could I possibly buy another car without the check she was to issue me on Wednesday the 18th.

So ok its 4pm and I have til 6 to get it back to Enterprise and before I do that I have to unload ALL the clothes I have in the trunk cuz I am still driving around with food and clothes even though the rental is so not conducive to this kind of work.

I decided to head down to NSO on Third cuz I know I can get rid of all of it all once. I called Dan and told him I would be there after so we could go drop off the rental.

I park the car in front and look over and notice the side door is locked. I get out and unlock the trunk and start to unload all the stuff I have to people are around. I remember handing a box of wine to an older gentleman who I did not have food for and who I could smell alcohol on already. Mind you I don’t normally drive around with booze for people but it was left over from the stuff I got from Andreas and I am not even sure it was any good.

I continued to empty the car and was almost done when the man I gave the wine to leaned in and asked if someone was supposed be in my car. I stopped gave him the raised eyebrow look…like what the fuck of course no one is supposed to be in my mother fuckin renta car.

I go over to the passenger side of the car and yup sure enough it has been opened and has been closed just enough to not make noise when who ever opened it closed it but not shut either. I go over and open it and notice my black vinyl will never rip grocery bag that I have been trying really really hard not to give away cuz I spent way too much money on it way before it was hip to take your own bag to the grocer and everyone was making them and selling them for a buck.

I got robbed, mind you aint the first time, usually its by people you know who end up being unethical fucks and would rather not pay you what they owe you and ruin a friendship..friends like that who needs enemies right? but i still got robbed; no guns. no weapons.. but stolen from..and that sucks.

Over on the driver side the door looks exactly the same...i obviously did NOT hit the lock button on the car keep pad when i got out...dumb ass.

In that bag were TWO of the three Klean Kanteens I got that took months to come in and that I was very very attached to. They are really SIGG’s. and my the rest of my lunch was in there. And a bum was a really nice box of High quality chocolates was in the. It was over a pound of chocolate with NO high fructose sugar!..grrrr

I got it mailed to me at work cuz I did some research for a lady who was so happy with me as she had accidently thrown away old newspaper clippings from her sons fathers family and was devastated for having done so. So much so she called me back when he finally got my package of them and she thanked me again, asked for my bosses name and number and my address.

Instead of sharing that box I instead horded it and wanted to share it after ceremony on that Sunday. Grr talk about karma smacking me for being greedy.

Now mind you I was not mad about the bag being stolen especially cause my ugly round embroidered back was still sitting on the seat with three of my journals in it, including the one I wrote all my journeys in about for this homeless project, a work one and another one for other projects I work on. It also had my wallet, and like $150 in cash I had just got out of the bank.

I was though disappointed that it happened with about 40 people standing around and not one of them saying anything while it happened. Sign of the times and aint no one gonna snitch.

I get that times are tough, trust me I do. It just bothered me. People came up and told me they were sorry it happened and asked if I had my wallet and such and some people knew who it was and others just thought it was shameful.

I continued to hand the rest of the clothes out and told Earl, Michael and Richard I would be back on Sunday around 1pm after my bee class with clothes for me.

I went to Dan’s place right after that and dropped my box. I cried my eyes out for like a half hour. I felt so vulnerable and violated, not mad just bummed.

It was in my opinion a gentle nod telling me that I was getting to comfortable doing what I was doing and that I need to get sharp and stay sharp. No one can be trusted and you just have to have street smarts. So I am thankful I was not hurt and that my big ugly purse was not taken.

I got the rental car back in time and that night I went to the Spring Solstice bon fire at the Lab. Brenna showed up and had a trunk full of bags for me that she has had since the last bon fire I went to and meet her at. How cool is that? When she took me to her car she not only had three bags full of clothes but they were labeled; jeans, sweater, sweat shirts! Hello and thank you very much!

so the day ended on so much of a bad note...a good test if anything for me to meditate on and learn from!

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March 18th , 2009

Driving in Ypsilanti on Washtenaw Ave on the way to Whole Foods to get Earl some treats for his hospital stay. I saw a man on the street with a sign asking for help and wearing a smock with construction orange reflective strips. I had to flip a bitch to help him. I pulled into the wrong driveway but I motioned to him and he followed me. I asked if he needed clothes or food, he said he had enough clothes so I made him a bag of food. I ended up giving him a gynormous bag of almonds that Andreas gave to me that I had planned on dividing up, lucky him! And some other canned food and a bottle of water. I ended up seeing him walking toward Whole Foods when I was leaving sans neon orange smock or his sign or bags of stuff…and he walked in WF! I feel like i need to beg some money to shop there!

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March 11th, 2009

On way to somewhere downtown…maybe yoga at the Detroit Evolution Lab and I ran into a few peeps and gave them food. Went to look for Albert twice that night, no luck. Its neither really cold or wet so I get why he may not be hanging out in the spy guy warm spot. I wonder when the heat ends and when it does will the building pump out cool air!

After doing whatever I was taking Dan home and was driving west on MLK when I saw a dood pushing some woman near the corner of Third. I asked Dan he was cool with me stopping. He was. I then flipped a bitch and crossed traffic and headed right for the pair and pull up to the curb facing on coming traffic.

The dood sees me and stops and starts to talk shit about what is going on. I ignore his ass and ask her if she is ok. She tells me yes and he is still bantering about who knows what, cuz I don’t really give a fuck to be quite honest.

I ask her if she needs a ride, she pauses and then says yes. I tell her to get in. She says she would like a ride to Michigan and 96 past Trumbell over by White Castle. I know exactly where she wants to go but get my ass all confused cuz of what I actually just did. I finally get in the right direction after a few too many wrong turns and then end up on the service drive and see Amir in his wheel chair and I hop out at the light to see if she needs anything. I give him some food and a blanket if I remember correctly. He thanks me and we wish each other well.

I finally get back in the car and dan is carrying on a conversation with our passenger. I joined the talk and I asked her what her name was, her name is Swandolyn. What a neat name! I told her mine.

She directs me to pull over by the ZGally on Michigan Ave which involves another 4 lane bitch flip, there looks like a bunch of semis and trailers are near by, might be her desination. Crazy ass distance from where I picked her up and I say that cuz she told us she had walked from there just a few hours ago. I pull over and I ask if she is needs any food, she told me yes. I get out and start to rummage in the trunk and she asked me if I have any napkins, I search the truck and the car and tell her I am sorry and explain none came with my dinner, which the empty carry was in the back seat. Dan then says to me ‘pooner’ and I am quickly clued in…she don’t want no damn hand towel she needs a sanitary napkin. I am so clueless! I tell her I do not have any feminine products on me but that I will be carrying them very soon! Doh!

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Remembering Michelle Rougeau

A few months ago my friend Kathleen told me a story of a women in Detroit.
Well actually she led me on a quest to find a story that ran in the Detroit News.=
She told me that; “It may, or may not resonate. The similarities are striking to me, so please bear with me in my desire to share this with you, Dox.” ( my nick name) and she wanted me to also “Understand too that though many years have passed, the wound is still raw.”
The paper article she wanted me to read was the cover story of the Detroit News MICHIGAN weekend magazine for June 25, 1989.
Intrigued I got out the microfiche at work and looked up that day. Mind you I did this knowing Kathleen was concerned about what I do on the streets and I was not a bit annoyed by her concern though I have never felt unsafe or put in harms way.
She wanted me to know this story and now that I do I understand her concern on a deeper level.
Her name was Michelle Rougeau and she was murdered in her apartment near the Messiah Church near East Grand Blvd and Lafayette. That is right near Belle Isle, my favorite place in the city.

She was murdered April 7, 1988.….21 years ago today. I do not bring this up to be morbid….oh no ..on the contrary I bring this up to remember her especially on this day.

To bring a piece of her to me ..and to you. I do not want her memory to stay in a rusty drawer full of faded newspaper clippings to never see the light of day. Instead I delicately unfold them so as not to crack the creases in the pages and deem them unreadable to a future researcher. I read them again as I type there words out to breathe life to her story. I do this to share her story, the story of a woman who was 100 times more trusting than me.. who had faith that led her to places inside of your heart that I wonder if I am capable of and sincerely doubt I am.

She believed in and helped create a co-op living environment with Income pooling, believed in unlocked doors, she gave of herself to such levels that I can only admire of her. Mind you I believe in the power of community but I am ashamed to admit I do not think I could ever give of myself as she did. I am greedy where she was not …I have a need for my own space and privacy..and no wish to be that much as I hate to admit that as I too try to be a catalyst for change in my community.

From her story I see where my limits are …as well as where my mortality exists. I have never thought of myself as someone young and invincible even though my mother insists that I did. And now I understand that I am only scratching the surface of what real altruism really is. She gave everything, more open than I can ever wish to.

Though her life ended in such a horrible way. I still find her life very moving and encouraging. The Mission of the community she was involved in is one that sounds so I resonate with very deeply;

"To show, by doing, that people of all races and backgrounds could (can) worship together and live together in peace and harmony and maybe lift a whole neighborhood at the same time"

My friends message in bringing this story to me is loud and clear. I will keep her spirit near me on my travels around the city, especially today. I am touched to have her story with me, to honor her spirit and try to continue her work on a small level. I am also encourage by her life’s work and hopeful that I will also use her story as a way to expand what I do well as check myself to follow my instincts more and be keenly aware of my surroundings.

Thank you Kathleen...and Michelle


Detroit News reports from the days after her murder;

April 9, 1988-
Detroit nurse found slain in apartment.
A Detroit nurse was found fatally stabbed in her east side apartment Thursday by a 9-year old neighborhood boy whom she befriended, police said.

The body of Michelle Rougeau, 36, a nurse at Harper Hospital in Detroit was found at about 7pm in her apartment in St. Paul’s Manor Apartment, 356 East Grand Blvd. She was seen about four hours earlier in the hallway, neighbors said.

Polices suspect that Rougeau may have been killed by someone who knew her. Although there was signs of a struggle, there was no indication that her killer forced his way into the apartment, police said.

April 9, 1988
Murdered nurse ‘was always the one thinking of others’
Written by Chris Singer and Ann Sweeny Detroit News Staff writers

Taped near the front door of Apartment 203, St Paul’s Manor Apartments on Detroit’s East Grand Boulevard, is a child’s drawing of a teddy bear.

It bears the inscription, “I love you, Michelle”

One of Michelle Rougeau’s young friends came to visit her early Thursday night. Through the open door of the apartment, the 9-year-old saw her body lying on a bare wood floor.

Police Think someone attacked Rougeau around 2pm Thursday slashing her throat, cutting her wrists and stabbing her repeatedly.

She died on the floor near on open Bible. Children’s coloring books were scattered on the kitchen table.

The apartment door had not been forced open. The building’s front door was locked. Police said Friday they have no motive or suspects.

Rougeau would have been 36 years old in June.

She was to have begun her last shift as a nurse in neurosurgery at Harper Hospital at midnight Thursday. She had planned to picnic with a church group on Belle Isle Friday afternoon, then start a new nursing job Monday at Children’s Hospital.

“She was always reaching,” said her father Vernon Rougeau, of Southfield.
Michelle Rougeau graduated in 1970 from Mercy High School in Farmington Hills. She then attended Western Michigan University, where she majored in French.

“I think she started getting a little restless when she went away to Western,” her father said. During her second year, Rougeau went to France for an eight-week trip. She didn’t return for more than a year.

When she came back, said her mother Jane Rougeau, she had changed direction. She got a job as a nurse’s aide and studied to be a licensed practical nurse. She began work as an LPN at Harper in 1976, then entered St. Joseph Hospital’s School of Nursing to become a registered nurse. She graduated in1980, with the school’s last class.

More recently, she was seeking her bachelor of science degree in nursing at Wayne State University and was a clinical nursing instructor in neurosurgery at Harper.

Vernon and Jane Rougeau last saw their daughter Monday night. The Rougeaus have 16 grandchildren; Michelle had divided them up into the “A”, “B” and “C” teams, and Monday she took the five members of the “A” team to tour downtown Detroit.

Vernon Rougeau recalls with a laugh that his daughter had joked about the quiet of surburban Southfield.

“When she was out here,” he says, “she said, ‘Gee, it’s spooky out here. It’s dark.’ She liked all the lights in the city.”

So for a decade, Michelle Rougeau lived in the East Grand Blvd-East Jefferson neighborhood. She moved into St. Paul’s Manor when it opening in 1986 and was president of the co-op. The rehabilitated apartment building is owned by Church of the Messiah Housing Corp.

“I don’t know what she was seeking,” said her father. “We had several talks and we never put our finger on it. I think she found it in the fellowship.”

The fellowship is at the Church of the Messiah, an Episcopal parish at East Grand Blvd and East Lafayette. About 120 adults and children belong to the Church of the Messiah, said the rector, the Rev. Ronald Spann. He said almost all of them live within four blocks of the church, many in co-op housing owned by the parish.

The Rev. Lloyd Thiel of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, where Rougeau was a volunteer, said, “She worked on the serving line…a real spirited gal, kind of a happy-go-lucky person, almost.”

That’s what mother said too. “Bubbly” is the way Jane Rougeau puts it. “Michelle was always and active.”

The Rougeaus had 11 children and Vernon said of Michelle, “She was always the one thing of others.”

An obituary for Michelle Rougeau ran on April 10, 1988;

Nurse stabbed in her apartment
Services for Michelle Rougeau, a 35-year old Harper Hospital nurse who was stabbed to death Thursday in her Detroit apartment, will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in the Church of the Messiah, Detroit.

Surviving are her parents, Vernon B. and Jane C. Rougeau; three brothers and six sisters; an grandmothers, Rose Ulrich and Leanora Rougeau Jacobs.

Visitation will be noon -9pm today in the Haley Funeral Home, Southfield.
Burial will be in Elmwood Cemetary, Detroit.

April 21, 1988

Reward offered: Residents of the St Paul’s Manor Aparments on East Grand Blvd in Detroit have raised more than $2,200 as a reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer of Michelle Rougeau. The 35 year old nurse, president of the cooperative that operates St Paul’s Manor, was found stabbed to death inside her apartment April 7. Anyone with information should call the Detroit Police

I found one reference to her on the internet…it called her a Nigerian Princess of Ilesa;
Michelle Rougeau, member of the Church of Messiah, Detroit, served as a nurse in Nigeria for six months in 1983. Even 20 years later—and 15 years after she was murdered in her Detroit apartment—Rougeau was remembered in the villages of Nigeria as the princess of Ilesa.


In Harms way... remembering Michelle Rougeau one year after

What follows are images of a 6 page spread in the Detroit News....the article my friend lead me too...and that i am thankful to her for having done.

This article ran June of 1989. click on the image and it will open full size..then click back to get come back to this page and repeat with the other pages.

In Harm's Way; In a neighborhood of struggle and hope, a killer wanted for Michelle Rougeau.