True
Facebook

Rex Hohlbein usually starts his Facebook posts with two words stuck together:

needsBOOTS

sendANGELS


needsTENT

loveWINS

His followers know exactly what he means.

In fact, it prompts them to spring into action.

"heartfeltTHANKS." All images from Facing Homelessness, used with permission.

It's all because Rex realized the power of saying "hello" some six years ago.

It was around that time that he, a successful architect, began actually looking up and talking to the people he saw living on the streets every day. The conversations he was having with the homeless and those in need of community assistance were so deep and meaningful, he realized he couldn't let them continue to be invisible to the everyday passersby.

Everyone deserves to be seen and acknowledged.

Rex started a Facebook page called Facing Homelessness that has turned into a movement to spread kindness far and wide.

He regularly posts photos on it and shares stories of people he encounters in the Seattle area who are homeless or in need of assistance.

It's a place to make requests, to provide encouragement, and to show you care. And it's working: Every single ask of his has been fulfilled, no matter if it's been for a bus ticket, boots, socks, gas money, or even a virtual hug.

For instance, take Steve. Steve became homeless after his divorce in 2010. He was in need of a tent.

"needsTENT"

"[Steve's] hoping to get his CDL truck driver license; living homeless though keeps him busy, for money Steve does temp-labor, when we talked he said he was heading downtown to Trades Labor Corporation. Right now Steve is in need of a 2-3 person tent if anyone can drop OFF or ship TO our office: Facing Homelessness c/o Steve 1415 NE 43rd Street, Seattle WA 98105. THANKS!!!"

Done.

Or take Anthony. He was in need of boots.

"needsBOOTS"

"[Anthony's] been homeless pretty much after getting out of the military, has a team of folks trying to help him with head-issues, lost his DSHS food-stamps five months ago, was told he needs to start the process over, says he just can't do that. Anthony is a gentle soft-spoken man, one that you immediately like and want to get to know more. He's in need of new boots, his are falling apart. I asked him if he has a preference, he said best would be desert summer combat boots, size 13. With tax they are around $150.00. If (15) of us pitch in $10 we can make this happen on Monday for Anthony, here is the PayPal link. THANKS so much."

Mission accomplished.

The requests aren't always for items. Sometimes they're praise to show how proud the community is. Like when Alex got his GED.

"gotGED"

"Just taking a BEAUTIFUL moment to say how unbelievably proud we are of Alex. While living homeless out of his car with Karina, he's been holding down a job and AND studying to get his GED. This last Friday Alex called and said, 'I did it, I passed all of the exams for my GED!' Makes me tear up just writing it here, all the struggles this young man has had to go through to get here, it's a really REALLY beautiful thing he is doing for himself."

The compassion shown by complete strangers online has been incredible.

"I’ve been doing this for six years now and it’s pretty crazy how every single request has been met by our community of more than 34,000 supporters, usually within a few hours," Rex told Upworthy.

A small snapshot of the stories you can read over at Facing Homelessness.

It helps to build an awareness about our relationship to homelessness and the role we play in our own communities.

"As a community of compassion we can face homelessness by choosing to see the beauty of [the] person in front of us rather than the issue that overwhelms us," Rex says on his site. "We can give empathy a voice, trusting in our own creativity and compassion to find the answer that fits each moment of interaction."

The movement isn't trying to fix anyone or tell anyone how to live their life. It's simply about adding love into the equation. Every single person functions better when they feel loved.

"needsTENT"

"turningCORNERS"

"pleaseHELP"

We can all make a difference for others. Start by just saying "hello."

"It'll help get things started, to just move forward genuinely from the heart," Rex says. "From there, who knows, that might be all it becomes, or perhaps you just found your new best friend!"

Give it a shot sometime. You never know the impact you might have.

Former President George W. Bush and current president Donald Trump may both be Republicans but they have contrasting views when it comes to immigration.

Trump has been one of the most anti-immigrant presidents of recent memory. His Administration separated undocumented families at the border, placed bans on travelers from majority-Muslim countries, and he's proudly proclaimed, "Our country is full."

George W. Bush's legacy on immigration is a bit more nuanced. He ended catch-and-release and called for heightened security at the U.S.-Mexico border, but he also championed an immigration bill that created a guest worker program and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people.

Unfortunately, that bill did not pass.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

Keep Reading Show less

Roland Pollard and his 4-year-old daughter Jayden have been doing cheer and tumbling stunts together since Jayden could walk. When you see videos of their skills, the level of commitment is apparent—as is the supportive relationship this daddy has with his daughter.

Pollard, a former competitive cheerleader and cheer coach, told In The Know that he didn't expect Jayden to catch on to her flying skills at age 3, but she did. He said he never pressures her to perform stunts and that she enjoys it. And as a viral video of Jayden almost falling during a stunt shows, excelling at a skill requires good teaching—something Pollard appears to have mastered.

Keep Reading Show less