Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Mad Housers

The Mad Housers

"MAD HOUSERS Inc. is an Atlanta-based non-profit corporation engaged in charitable work, research and education. Our charter outlines our goals and purposes:

* To provide shelter for homeless individuals and families regardless of race, creed, national origin, gender, religion, or age.
* To develop low income housing for people in need of housing.
* To help people develop the skills and knowledge for constructing and rehabilitating housing and shelter.
* To increase the quantity and to improve the quality of housing in the world.
* To act, if necessary as an advocate for the homeless, to ensure that their moral and civil rights are protected.

The Mad Housers believe that if a person has a secure space from which to operate, they are much more capable of finding the resources to help themselves."

The Mad Housers provide a unique service to challenge the evergrowing problem of homelessness within Atlanta. Their temporary shelters provide individuals with a chance to regain a sense of dignity in a situation that so often chips away at one's self worth. Some may argue that giving temporary shelter to someone is counter productive to encouraging someone to actively pull themselves out of poverty, the Mad Housers refute this, "Some may think that we make life too easy for homeless by providing them with shelter. Trust us, even with the shelters, homelessness is no picnic. The huts are a tool to help the homeless survive and hopefully, eventually, prosper, pure and simple. The is no problem that having no place to stay can help."

The shelters are built within "camps" so people can once again enjoy both the benefits of communal living and the benefits of privacy. The ultimate belief of the Mad Housers is that by giving someone protection from outside elements, you're giving them the chance to empower themselves to a better standard of living.

Monetary donations are accepted through their website as well as donation requests of building materials and used cell phones. Or you can pick up a few things from their cafepress site.

If you're in the metro-Atlanta area, you can volunteer directly with the builds. "All you need to have is a willingness to work, and a hammer. If you don't know how to swing a hammer, don't worry: we'll teach you."

And if you're not in metro-Atlanta, contact them for information on setting up a chapter in your own city.

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