THOM GEORGE

Coeur D Alene, ID, United States

About THOM

An idea worth spreading

Those people most in need are not a budget number to be balanced, they are our family, friends and neighbors.

I'm passionate about

Giving a voice to the voiceless and a face to the faceless.

Comments & conversations

104262
THOM GEORGE
Posted over 3 years ago
How will you take part in JR's TED Prize wish?
James, While I just started on this project, the roots go way back. Thirty-five years ago, living with my parents in a middle-class neighborhood in Queens, NY, I was first exposed to the problem of homelessness in a way that shattered my preconceived notions. My late father was on his church's parish council and brought them a proposal to bus in homeless women from Manhattan for overnight stays in the church's basement during winter months. I was convinced that the conservative church members would never let this happen. I told him that if he got this proposal approved then I would be his first volunteer for overnight duty. He did it. During my evenings assisting at the temporary shelter, I met women who were victims of divorce, abandonment and violence; they would wash out their clothing in the sink and hang them to dry while searching through the NY Times' classifieds for a job. Many of them had been wives and mothers who had not worked outside the home in for 15, 20 years, so employment was difficult to come by (this was the 1970's). Over the years, I have volunteered in shelters and with Habitat 4 Humanity while being a stay-at-home dad raising my two children, well aware of the feeling of financial insecurity that comes from not being in the workforce for many years. Advice? I contacted a friend who is the Director of the local St. Vincent DePaul and pitched him the idea. He has been very supportive. You might try that. BTW, I start today.
104262
THOM GEORGE
Posted over 3 years ago
How will you take part in JR's TED Prize wish?
I am currently beginning a dialog with the Director of a non-profit organization that works with the homeless to provide transitional housing. I am hoping to photograph the agency's clients and paste them on the windows and walls of agency owned stores and offices in town. I wish to engage the clients to assist in pasting their own portraits and participate in JR's wish. Most people either don't know, or deny that there is a homeless problem in small town Idaho, so my wish is that this project will put a face on the issue; the face of a friend, a family member, a co-worker, a classmate. The homeless and those at risk of homelessness do not go away just because we can not see them.