I have not yet met Gene..
but i am working with Rex and the Homeless in Seattle folks.
I have met personally with Rex and i wholeheartedly support his organization's efforts to assist individual homeless people's survival.
I too believe that if you show people love, they begin to have confidence in themselves and what had seemed impossible suddenly becomes a series of doable steps.
I have witnessed this transformation myself.. both in the work i have been doing and the work Rex has facilitated.
I have been working with and beside Homeless in Seattle quietly,
but if you check the Homeless in Seattle Facebook page you will find that Rex outed me for a donation I made recently to an individual there.
I haven't let him post my picture yet because that's not my way... but i suspect i will soon...
he makes a compelling argument about the face of compassion being as motivating as the face of need.
I guess you could say Rex at Homeless in Seattle has a heart too big for his reason as well..
but he is a locally successful architect. He has been public about his involvement with the homeless community for some time.
In the course of working with them he has come into contact with both the homeless people he cares for and those who prey on the homeless.
Like me, he has had no choice but to develop a pretty sensitive bullshit detector.
I don't think you can call a man who had the courage to spend a month in a homeless encampment to better understand the reality of homelessness naive.
He walked in with nothing, was treated no differently than any other homeless person and accepted no outside aid while he was there. He has a better informed grasp of the current realities of being homelessness in Seattle than I do.
I trust his judgment on this.
I too was concerned about the amount of money that Gene is trying to raise for this meal in light of what i know Betty and other cooks who provide meals for Nickelsville and those who support them spend...
but then i realized that most of the Nickelsville cooks i know pride themselves on providing a meal for the least possible cost...
because they provide meals regularly and need their money to stretch as far as possible.
I can pretty much guarantee you that those who provide the kind of meals that are talked about for months in camp aren't that frugal with their resources because i helped fund the first anniversary celebration after Nickelsville came back to West Seattle.. and we spent nearly as much.
If Gene is trying to provide an awareness event as well as a memorable meal..
his budget isn't that far off track.
I can't tell you this person is for real without meeting him myself..
but I have every reason to believe he is sincere.
I am sure we will be meeting soon and i will follow up with my first hand report.