A DOAT (that would be Dad of Adolescents and Teens) sent me a link to the following article by Rabbi Abraham Cooper on FoxNews.com. entitled “Could LA’s Jay Goldinger Hold the Key to Defeating Homelessness.” (click HERE for the link)

The article addresses homelessness especially in the wake of London’s tragic riot situation, but it also sends a loud and clear message to our youth entitlement issues. I especially loved the way he not only gets people out of the muck by offering work opportunities, but also gets their eyes off themselves by serving. Exactly what I’d like my kids to be doing.

Here’s a taste. Click on the link above for the full story.

Indeed, British Prime Minister David Cameron summed up the fears and frustrations of many when he asked;

“Do we have the determination to confront the slow-motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations? Irresponsibility. Selfishness. Behaving as if your choices have no consequences… Reward without effort.”

So how do we begin to fix what’s broken?

Jay Goldinger might have the answer. For the last 805 Sundays, he and a small cadre of volunteers have stood on the frontline of Los Angeles’ forgotten jobless and homeless population and delivered change we can truly believe in. Goldinger’s initiative called “Food on Foot” does not merely give out food and clothing to the down and out but has helped turn many of them into productive taxpayers.

His tough-love approach is one that works to motivate people to take responsibility for their actions. Participants start by sweeping the streets. A completed week then brings cards redeemable for food. Ten consecutive weeks brings greater incentives and rewards. For those who don’t miss a week, they can, during the course of a year, get help with medical and dental problems and even see a $3,000 bank account opened in their name while being provided with safe housing and help getting a real job.

What’s the catch?

Accountability. Backsliding is never rewarded.  And there is another key component. Jay demands of everyone—random acts of kindness– like sharing some food, guiding a blind person across the street, helping an elderly person with their shopping… 

Simple acts that remind us it isn’t how much you amass but what you are prepared to do for others that should define our worth as human beings. These simple acts challenge people clinging to the lowest rung of society to validate their self-worth and to realize that victimhood isn’t a coat that protects you from the elements but a straitjacket that locks you in to a cycle of misery.

‘nuf said.

Thanks for taking a productive stand, Jay Goldinger! … and thanks for walking the road with me.


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