Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Crisis in America: Homelessness

Awakenings is proud to feature The Gem and Mineral Diva, who is not your ordinary diva. What makes this diva a diva? By definition, the term diva  originally represented great female opera singers, almost always sopranos. Today's "diva" describes any extremely independent and wildly talented woman. And, that is Johnna Crider
Turquoise in Copper

Johnna is a wire artist. She reports she learned her skills from Daryl Thompson in Atlanta, Georgia. As an artist, Johnna loves to experiment with various types of metals and loves learning about gemstones and minerals. She has been "wrapping" since 2010. Some of her unique gem work can be seen HERE or by clicking the image at the right. Her selection of gemstones is exquisite and her metallic wrapping provides the perfect setting without any distraction away from the natural beauty of each stone.

Crisis in America

That, however, is not the main reason today for Johnna being featured on Awakenings. When I was first introduced to Johnna's blog by Mary Helen Ferris, a sad image and unusual icon caught my eye: A4TH. Being naturally curious, I had to click the image which immediately brought to my attention the focus on an awareness of homelessness in America.


 Art4TheHomeless

Johnna is the founder of A4TH: Art4TheHomeless, a Georgia-based nonprofit organization that solicits artists of all types to donate portions of their income to help solve the problem of homelessness in America.

Imagine... a movement inspired by the arts to open the eyes of Americans to the plight of their own people. Imagine, through art, music and poetry, we are shining a much needed light on our own crisis: HOMELESSNESS.

Visit Art4TheHomeless Mission, Vision & Goals

Latest information from the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development:
633,782 people are homeless in America on any given night. That is an astounding figure and a frightening concept. There are varying contributors to a person being homeless. Not every homeless person is an annoying pushy panhandler after cash. Nor is every homeless person a drug dealer or a person looking for sex and drugs.

Hurricane Sandy

A prime example of unexpected homelessness was recently encountered as a result of Hurricane Sandy. There was an estimated 30,000 - 40,000 people left homeless. Whether these may be classified as temporary or chronic homeless persons, they still felt the brunt of homelessness but not hopelessness.

Did you know...

  • the average age of a homeless victim is 9 years old
  • the most common causes of chronic homelessness are poverty or domestic violence
  • more than one million veterans are at risk of becoming homeless
  • one in seven homeless people previously served in the military (Dec 2011)
  • many persons are just one serious illness or job loss away from becoming homeless

The Gem and Mineral Diva
Founder of Art4TH 

I, along with several supporters, started the nonprofit organization called Art4TheHomeless. The nonprofit is my dream of opening up an art gallery that will host several events to raise funds for different homeless relief organizations throughout the US. I am a survivor of homelessness—have been homeless on and off since I was nine years old.

Inexpensive ways to help...


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Follow us on Twitter and use the hashtags #homeless, #homelessness, #art4thehomeless


Discover your local shelters and help. 


Related Articles:

Gem and Mineral DIVA Guest blogger (Unedited shared with thanks)

Statistics on Homelessness

Huff Post Impact