green and blue color plaid scarf  just test, Saving Culuture, Actively Reclaiming Futures in different fonts

Guiding Concepts from our Founder

Our emails are and;
and we also have a new facebook page you can friend and a @scarf_2015 twitter account.


email our founder, Charlie Knight at                   his PayPal is above and "go Fund Me" link is: 

This is where he/we will put thoughts and ideas about this project as they occur, with dates of publication. 
Go to our Vision Page for "talking points".
We are attempting to plan out a month during the first few days and place that here. So scroll down for today's date.
The items will be updated as to what actually did happen within 5  days of the date listed.

19 August 2016:
A car stopped, then started at the intersection of Florence and Pine and then turned onto Pine and pinned me against the car.  I did not get the driver's information as I did not think she would be asking me to pay for any damage to her vehicle, maybe a paint scratch where she pushed me and bent the handlebar and I went backwards and onto the road.  I am not all that well. I will post things here in maybe a month. Everything else goes to the 257 Central St. project page.  Please pray for me and for this concept of S.C.A.R.F.   I hurt a lot these days but because I did not get the driver's information they can not help me medically.  Might not post here until late Oct.

15 - 19 August 2016
Finish work on things for city regarding 257 Central Street Project to try and get approvals for purchase and start rehab to certificate of completion approval.
14 August 2016:
Last day of NOFA Conference and return to Springfield.

11-13 August 2016 :
At NOFA summer conference
08-10 August 2016:
Maybe away and finishing up concepts and review of work done in FY2016.]
07 August 2016:
Sunday I am in newburyport and then catching a ride after the Yankee Homecoming Parade with the Oddfellows to a production of Godspell in Salem, MA. Then back here and maybe to the Berkshires Monday for a few hours.  The point is that we will be speaking to people along the way and at the NOFA confrence later in the week and be very active in completing the views of what S.C.A.R.F. is and can be locally, regionally, State Wide, in the Northeast, and Nationwide.  Also the week after that, starting on Monday August 15th, we will be working very hard to complete information the city wants about 257 Central Street so they will allow a purchase and rehab of that building and go forward with a model for this project nationwide.  A report about this is to be made and it might develop into a book.  People that have the training to do these things and help are greatly needed to make all of this come to pass.  So work on these things will take up the 15-17 of August. The next posting will most likely not happen until after the 18th on this "page".

06 August 2016:
Funeral Services and for the father of Carol Costa (President of the Armory Quadrangle Civic Association) and then get clothing together and public transportation to Boston and then up to Newburyport for the parade Sunday.  Will be brinings some things to read, cameras and some literature about S.C.A.R.F.
04-05 August 2016:
Did get to the Individual Services Committee meeting in Northampton, regarding homelessness, then back to "the office" and met with Earl of the Recovery learning Communitiy after learning I failed to get a grant from them again this year.  But after learning about the failure to win that grant I had written up a review of things that just sort of made clear what we are about and where we need to move to.  The body of a letter to possible people to assist us in this work resulted from that and the conviction to establish a less wordy and more "what is scarf all about" public website. So that process is developing and it should be up an available prior to or just after I am working at the NOFA summer conference in Amherst next week.  You can read that letter here as is was presented to a few people at the meeting.  Friday is the 5th and I will be going to near the Cape to help someone with a water heater and then take a bus back here.  Need to get all the particulars settled Thursday night before I go and stay over at his house as we will leave early in the morning.  I will come back to go to a funeral for a friend's Dad. Then off to wards Boston and Newburyport, MA to be in the Yankee Homecoming Parade with the local Oddfellows group on Sunday.
02-03 August 2016:
Went to various meetings and got back to get email late at night and find out we did NOT receive an RLC grant this year.  Last year's grant has us poised to produce the quality materials to seek to communicate the message of this vision to others and maybe have more grant opportunities.  Much was learned in this grant cycle and we have evaluated situations we could never think of happening.  Much learning done and much to be done.  Now we bring the concept to an even wider audience and see what other help God has for us to proceed in helping people that have experienced a traumatic event in their lives to rehab a house and thus rehab their own self esteem and that of their neighborhood, community, region, municipality, state and possibly the whole nation.   Documents on what we learned being formulated.
01 August 2016:
Here we are, the last month of the extension and I have basically done nothing I was supposed to have done and have not as yet the permission to go on the property or purchase it.  I feel so many times that thw word "failure" is spelled by writing my name as a synonym.

August begins

31 July 2016:
Last day to have report into RLC. I had sent it electronically so the report was in before 5PM on Friday the 29th so I did not need to send a copy via us mail to arrive Saturday, just do this.
Church and plans to be away for the next two weekends and someone to take over for me in taking minutes for the Parish Council meeting. I get nothing done it seems.  Still need to devise policies and such and have S.C.A.R.F. as a reality. Amy I missing the boat here?  Please contact me if you can give some advice as to how this moves FORWARD !
30 July 2016:
Saturday and again no work.  I did nothing. So hard to work at anything. Searched internet, I am so selfish and so full of sin.  We need to get this thing going to help people.
29 July 2016:
Friday, nothing much done this week.  RLC meeting today. Saw Earl at there last day at he south end Bowen center and I am assured the reports were recieved.  Committed to do other things as well.  City stuff still undone.  I feel so much like a failure.
28 July 2016:
Nothing I planned to accomplish last night was done, except sleeping, still can't find a police-man's email.  A whole host of things done wrong yesterday. Today does not seem much better. I have committed to be at two places at the same time tomorrow, that I saw late last night. Must call and try and talk with folks about that.  Need to get the money to pay the cell phone today.  So much to do. I seem to be such a mess.  Looking back over my life I seen nothing but a string of failures and wrong decisions and failed attempts.  I think when my last breath comes I will breath a sigh of release and say finally this string of errors and wrong actions has come to an end.  I do not want anyone we work with to feel this way.  It is a horrible gut wrentching deep down in the "pit of the stomach" feeling of condemnation with NO hope for change or that I will do better in the future.  We need to help our people rebuild their self concepts. We need to show the successes and celebrate them. Even a big mistake can be turned into a learning experience that someone can tell others about and they can help some one else not make that same mistake. We need to be empowering our people to teach the lessons we have learned.  I really need people in the "teaching" fields to help in this regard and how we can "go forward" by and instead of dwelling on past errors we turn them into opportunities to teach how it should be done.  We envision this concept to have people that have experienced a traumatic event in their lives meeting at least monthly and sharing their frustrations and successes as they plan for, move towards, and rehab a house to certificate of occupancy and beyond.  The whole "group" can benefit. BUT the "how" we do this is something I need the imput of educators to accomplish.  Just like electrical work or plumbing needs some things done by the "experts" and the "professionals" and some other things "the average person" can be taught to do. The trick is in learning which is which.  Must also go to the PIoneer Valley Historic Museum today & check on history things for 257 Central, call the telephone company about things, maybe ask for access to walk boundary lines.
27 July 2016:
Back to "the office" to prepare and print for Annual Meeting. Wrote a "state of the corporation" couple of paragraphs report that detailed the last year and did an attendance record of the board of directors members for the year, also a 20th Anniversary Committee report.  Plans seem to be a shambles of broken promises and attempted starts with very few full completions.  My follow through is abysmal. Need to pay for cell phone for myself and friend tomorrow or our phones stop working. Why am I so unable to get things done on time.  We had barely a quorum.  Because one member has missed three meetings in a row without any notice, and had emailed our president saying she wanted to resign, that person was not counted for a quorum.  Hence we just barely met quorum.  We approved the minutes from last year's meeting, which did not have a quorum but no visitors so it was deemed as held.  We distributed Agenda items and went through each one, had no standing committee reports as there was nothing to report on and did not have any changes in the way our board of directors is constituted (although we have had changes in members) and no changes in our bylaws, but can conceive of them in the future.  In all this was an exercise in following through with the things needed to be able to follow state rules and regulations and be able to report that we held the meeting.  Our people need to do the same thing, even though it seems boring or fruitless. The whole meeting was done in about 7-10 minutes as we waited at one moment for a tenant to use a board members phone to call in a maintenance report.  S.C.A.R.F. people will not be versed, I doubt, in the things you need to do when dealing with governments and how often you need to just ignore what reason says and just do it the way the letter of the law says.  When we are "dealing" with inspectors we need to "work with them" and understand that for the most part their interpretations of what the code says "is the law" at that moment.  We might see it vastly differently, but right now we need to do as they say in order to obtain a favorable report.  Now if they want us to demolish solid lath and plaster I can see finding a president in court to show that might not need to be done.  But we need to help our people do things like this so we can say we "went through the motions".
I went to help some one in loading and unloading some things for a picnic and neglected to go and get a bus back. Hence I was late for Church, almost two hours late!  They gave me some pasta to take home, which I did. While unloading some things a friend called the police and we scared a person away from where he had been sleeping in a back yard.  Wrong thing to do.  Now the "homeless  outreach" people will not be able to talk with him so easily; but I can't seem to be able to communicate these things effectively to people.  So I am there and a "part of the action" when we do really stupid things that area quick decisions not, in my mind, fully thought out.
We need to teach our people to looks at things from various perspectives and only after much evaluation do they decide on a course of action and follow through with it.
26 July 2016:
Planed that nothing other than a medical appointment is allowed to interfere with "office each day by 9AM at the latest".  But nothing like that happened.  More "impromptu" meetings with people & finally I was able to meet with the RLC Grant  contact person & show what I had developed for a final report so far.  BUT could not get it printed before they had to go to catch a bus.  So many people want their thing tended to "right away" that almost nothing gets done.  I fear this is the story with the city also, we are so selfish.  I did, however, get the work done & electronically the report was filed.  Must check by email on Thursday to make certain they have it & do I need to send them a hard copy.  I did some work "at the office" and figured I was able to go to Church meeting as there was no Green Committee meeting for July. Wrong. It is August we don't have the meeting so I "stood up" the city council member and others while I went to the "Clearway" meeting organized by some church members. I have messed up again and got nothing done for the city.  Back to the "sleeping spot and do some work for the Annual Meeting for 32 Byers Street, Inc. tomorrow.  Our people need to be trained to say NO to some things & remember what they have promised to do when.  Our men need to learn things from organizations like "promise keepers". 
25 July 2016:
Helping someone at our lodge in AM.  Make phone calls before a board of directors meeting at 1-3PM.  Then some other stuff and start intensive work on RLC Grant final report.  Board of directors minutes and then to lodge to close windows.  Stayed there to watch person still sleeping in back yard.
24 July 2016:
Church Sunday morning, and maybe not much else the rest of the day, relax some.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday may be 16 hour work days.
We need to also teach our people to plan rest, relaxation, pleasurable times, etc.  Part of accomplishing goals is also looking forward to times you enjoy such as some quality quiet time with someone you love, or other pleasurable activities. The concept of "balance" is ever so important and even if for a few months we are heavy on the work side in order to obtain the certificate of occupancy, we still need to build in times of total rest.  We also need to instruct our people that once the certificate of occupancy is obtained, then the whole schedule is to go at a much more manageable pace.  In so doing the continued rehab, even if it only happens one day in the weekend, will be looked forward to with joy.  Especially if they have learned to break things down into small tasks and so each day is a whole list of things accomplished.  Often the key to going forward is not to look back.  But just as often a glance back to see how far you have come will give renewed vigor to the tasks ahead to finish the project you have gone so far to accomplishing already.  Once again, we believe that the average person can be taught to do many things that a common laborer can do under the supervision of a licensed professional.  Even if they are taught what certain tools look like and go & fetch them when needed they are an integral part of the rehab process as rebuild their lives as well as this building which will become their home.

23 July 2016:
So very warm, advised to stay in.  May go to "office" where ac is.  Having to "house sit" to avoid break-in at someone's house at night. Need to order my life and make some sort of an outline as to how our people can break down tasks that need to be accomplished into small steps and then check off each of these "steps" as "goals" achieved toward this one project goal.  I still say our people have to approach such deadlines as if they were appointments we can not put off or a job situation where you have to be there and do these tasks.  There are a lot of hours of what might seem dull "paperwork" to be able to accomplish what is needed with the collaboration of others and the reporting of each step taken.  But I have a gut feeling that if we teach people these steps we will not only help them re-order their lives, and rebuilt this building and the community in which it sits, but we will also give them tools to tackle other seemingly large projects and so "whittle" then down to a size that also seems "manageable".  The key to our people becoming proficient in the housing and personal life rehab efforts is that of them being able to "stare in the face" the seemingly daunting task and basically say "I am going to conquer you in these basic little steps 1, 2, 3, ... and I am starting on number 1 right now", and then just start and finish that step.  We teach them to break things down into sometimes tiny steps. Such as rewiring a house starts with calling around, asking for references, and then selecting an electrician to work with you. The first step is making a list of known electricians to call. The second group of steps is calling the electricians on that list and seeing if they are available. The third referencing or getting evaluations abut each electrician. The fourth is meeting with and selecting the electrician. The Fifth is going over the ideas and plans with him/her. The sixth is entering into some sort of a "contract" and giving written authorization for him/her to represent you. The seventh is getting the costs and evaluating them with the sources you need to use to pay for the work.  Now those are 7 small steps that can be outline and put on a checklist and checked off when accomplished.  Each accomplished step goes a long ways towards rebuilding the life of a person damages by traumatic events. All could be summarized by one step, "get an electrician", but if we break it down into very many small accomplishments each thing done is a goal reached and the self-confidence is re-built.  If we help our people to do this with one set of tasks, soon then can do the same process with other tasks.  Soon the "overwhelming" things of the past are "I can do this" goals that they see can be easily accomplished by breaking them down into small steps and focus on one step at a time. As The Chinese Philosopher, Lao Tzu, said (translated roughly as) "A journey of 1000 miles starts with one first step".  The impetus for success is made by the clear knowledge of what to do and starting to do it.
21-22 July 2016:
Nothing much done this week and it looks like it is happening the same these days.  Need to impress upon our people the importance of making appointment with themselves to do work they need to do for filing papers and such on time for their house projects.  Maybe just taking the papers in a case in a back pack with a small calculator and some other things and going somewhere away from home to get it done.  A library or park or some place where people will not "track them down" and they get involved with another person's or group's "crisis" and their work not get done.  Need to have them say they have an important appointment they need to keep and it can't be broken, but they should be available at such and such hour.  Let others think it is a doctor's appointment or something else, just something they can not put off and then have them "hide out" somewhere, or even drive to a park or something and then do the work they need to get done.  People that never have had to file much "paper work" will most likely not comprehend the importance of this or that it takes quiet,  quality time where they are not distracted, or disturbed in order to get it done in.  Another thing to write out.  Looks like my weekend is booked and I will need to just hitchhike up and back to get some things done for city by August 15th.  Must be away first part of August and RLC report is due next FRIDAY, the 29th.
20 July 2016: 
Am go with a friend to a movie and then back to help him order some books.  Afternoon do more work on plans and estimates.  Buried in paperwork it seems.  Need to get things boxed up and the RLC end of grant report in, preferably by the end of this week, most certainly by the 29th.
19 July 2016:
Here at "the office" for some calls, plastic shelving is 11 dollars each, ouch.  Then worked on a revision of the overview and a S.C.A.R.F. summer newsletter to be published by the 29th with a first run on the 20th.  Will go see a movie with a friend who has been wanting me to go with him for months.  Then work more on the plans needed for the city with dimensions and such and the grant report for the FY2016 grant to the Recovery Learning Community.  Also need to box up more stuff to go to storage. 
18 July 2016:
Got to "office" and just collapsed, so tired. Did some stuff and then realized I was to be in Weathersfield, CT, by 6PM.  Caught the Vermonter south to Hartford, then the 101 Fast bus to the 55X going to Middletown and got off at the lecture site, got there early.  Then on the way back retraced my steps. Got in at 10PM, tired, went to bed.
17 July 2016:
Made a decision today. Tomorrow will start estimates in earnest. Probably to high, but get them to funders so they can approve and the city can give me permission to go forward on the 257 Central St. project.  Very accurate estimates may be impossible as we will not know "what we are getting into" until we are part way through the rehab process.  So estimate high and tell funding sources that and agree we will spend only what is needed for the certificate of occupancy unless spending now on an item (such as a porch) might be more cost effective than to start it again in a year or so.  But for me, I see the estimates to go forward and go towards the higher side assuming we are paying for all the work done by others, even though we expect to be taught and the work done mostly by ourselves.  It is just to much trouble right now trying to explain this "new way" of doing things that I expect to become "best practices" in a decade or so after the financial "bottom" has dropped out of many markets as one by one the world economies collapse. So, at "the office" to work on this stuff early on Monday (and if I 'crisis' comes up, early on Tuesday) with a goal to have the RLC grant report done by the end of the week and the other booklet by the end of July and the estimates into the city with financial approval by August 1st, at the latest August 15th.  I want to get started 'doing' before 'snow flies'.

10 - 16 July 2016:
So much to do and I have such difficulty doing it.  This project is NOT about "flipping" a house.  This project (257 Central St.) is not about my having a place to stay in the city as much as it is about rehabbing a house over a ten to twenty five year period so that a certificate of occupancy can be granted to live in the building and then the further repairs happen over many weeks, months and years with the person that is to live there (myself with this "pilot project" house) doing over 90% of the work that an average person can be trained to do.  Somehow this is difficult for some people to comprehend.  However we are not about just rehabbing a neglected or old building.  People like Habitat for Humanity already do that in other parts of the world and some other agencies locally. What we are about is rehabbing individuals and communities and by extension the areas in which they reside.  Our Founder, charlie knight, is experiencing many physical problems lately and has the recurring dream that he might not survive long.  It is true his life was threatened but this current fear comes mainly from the apparent degeneration of his nervous system, maybe from an accident in 2009 that left him with central cord syndrome and his spine held together with rods and screws.  Since accurate typing is becoming a chore, he feels he must try and put the principles of this group called S.C.A.R.F. down in a clear and concise manner so that if he should die soon others will be able to follow those plans and continue on with this work to aid many.  At the heart of all of this is the main thought of the "Not So Big House" idea as promoted by Sarah Susankah.  It is about taking the money for what would be about a 1/3 of the planned square footage and use that money to build those features into the building that uniquely make it their home.  This theory rejects the idea that one will be selling their home in the next decade.  We focus on those folks that expect to live in the dwelling they are rehabbing for the foreseeable future and probably the rest of their natural lives.  In June a Recovery Learning Community Career Initiatives Grant concluded.  During that time we experienced difficulties as just about every turn and situations the people we expect to help would most probably also encounter.  Situations that would never be imagined happened and we had to ask, what would be the appropriate solution to this problem for our people in the future. As a part of that grant a "manual" or "report" was to be produced but the "approval" to even start the rehab process has not as yet been fully given.  It has and has not.  It has on paper, but it was not delivered to us and then an extension was given but there are about a dozen questions to be answered and assurances given before a total cost can be estimated and that total cost is required before the city can complete it's environmental review and only then can even clean up or calling utilities begin to happen.  My how much has been learned as to how this really do ( or don't as your viewpoint is) get done and indications of how the process might be improved for the good of all. So I intend on working on those documents that must be created and delivered before the 29th of July.  This will most probably be at best a table showing of when a concept was presented and the appropriate response we can think of right now.  Along with that table will be a two or three paragraph narrative with opening and concluding comments.  Another fuller document will most probably be "fleshed out" during the winter with FY2016 being volume or chapter one and FY 2017 being volume or chapter two.  We still need Architects, Accountants, Book-keepers, Carpenters, Designers, Engineers, Finish-Carpenters, Groundskeepers, HVAC people, Interior-Designers, Joist-&-framing specialists, Knights of all kinds (Angels with special skills), Landscapers, Masons, Notary Public folks, Overseers (project), Plumbers, Questioners (to ask us to tell in detail why we think a thing can happen this or that way), Roofers, Siding installers, Trades people of all kinds, Under-Graduate and Graduate student helpers, Vendors of all sorts of materials,  Workers to help when the work can not be done only by the people that will live in the building, "X-ceptional" communicators, Youth with strong muscles and great vision, and Zest filled enthusiasts and more.  Charlie seriously questions his ability to lead this project, he is so frustrated he has not got more done.  But he is trying to get his hopes and dreams down on paper so that if he is no longer "in the picture" someone can carry on with this vision and help others.  We must be considerate and listen to the folks we want to help. Take Charlie for instance. It is not really the cheapest thing maybe, but he wants to take the family home that is falling in (roof failed while he was away) and try and salvage some windows and a lavatory sink and kitchen sink from that building so that the place he lives in the rest of his life has some of the elements he grew up with.  This might not be the most cost effective way of doing things, but it does help to make this house HIS HOME, and that is what we are all about. We are to be helping people rebuild their lives after a traumatic or a series of traumatic events.  We believe that if the average person is taught the skills to do a rehab task, then they can do it and do it well.  It may take a bit more time but they have a pride that they did it, under supervision, and each task they complete helps to rebuild their confidence.  Each neighborhood council or Civic Association meeting they attend helps to rebuild that community.  Charlie was told what he is proposing is a paradigm shift and there will be resistance to this. We agree, but we also firmly believe that what we have here is not only a solution to the "homeless problem" for some, but it is a model that can be come "best practices" for the entire county, area, state, region, nation and even world-wide.  So look back here for that report, even in brief terms and contact charlie at his personal email address ( if you would be willing to help.  Huge costs are arriving from "out of nowhere" such as the need to re-establish water and sewage as well as gas and electric over a 100 ft span from the street, and the thieves that broke in and stole most of the windows.  This is a cooperative and collaborative effort and in only works when we all work together on it.  And like all the houses we hope to help with, for the next decade a plaque will be by the front door and the door the family goes in and out mostly identifying those that helped with this house so all can be remembered in a prayer of thanksgiving and wish for their welfare and prosperity.   And we don't want to saddle people with a big mortgage by doing all things at once, but only those licensed professionals need to do and have them teach the people that will live in the building to do the work they would hire a "helper" to do so the people in the future can say "I hung those 'sheetrock' pieces" or " I helped drill the holes and string the wire" for this room.  We are all about helping people grow and rebuilding them after the traumatic event "knocked them down low". Will you help?

03 - 09 July:
Check at 257 Central Street Project page for reports.  Look at the "overview" made the last day of the FY2016 RLC Grant.

01-2 July:
final report made to FY 2016 RLC grant sent in.  Going to Apple Store in Holyoke for instructions on newer macOS X.11, El Capitan.

July Starts

26-30 June 2016:
Must do application for a grant and complete outline for end of year report.  The 30th we put together an "overview flyer" about S.C.A.R.F.!
Please check at the 257 Central St. Project web page here for more information.
21 - 26 June 2016:
Once again, please look at the 257 Central Street Project for information on what happened during this time period.  My RLC grant is ending and I need to spend money an write an outline for reports. Have gone to the Historic Commission and many times to the city offices about the 257 Central Street project.  So many times I (Charlie Knight) have wondered if I am the right person for this or much of any other project. I seem to not be able to complete much of what I start.  Overwhelmingly I get the sense I just will not be alive in a short period of time.  I do not know what that short period will be, how short, but that is the sense I have.  So I am withdrawing from a lot of things and trying to focus on the hopes and dreams I have had that I thought God wanted me to do.  My feeling is that if I put this stuff down on paper, and others see it after I am gone (have died), then maybe someone with abilities or confidence better than I apparently possess will be able to accomplish the things I have failed s miserably at.  I desperately desire a communication of anyone that would like to help with S.C.A.R.F. and thinks it is worthwhile.  Others have asked "How can you expect anyone to believe you in helping others with housing when you  can not even help yourself."   A legitimate question I think.  So I desperately need encouragement, or maybe the truth, if that is what it is, that "you are a foollish old man that can't accomplish anything".  
The self doubt is so great.  So many in the city say I should not say these things. "People will think you are weak or vulnerable" and you are "telling to much about yourself".  I understand sort of where they are coming from, but I am just pretty much transparent and I set goals for myself and I get really mad at myself when I do not accomplish these goals.   So if you think this project is worth anything, then please tell me so and offer your help.
Right now I am looking at the past 10 months and can not find a lot of progress towards the goals I set when submitting my grant application.  I feel so much like a failure.  I have found a huge complexity in the RFP (Request for Proposal) process that pretty much shuts out the regular person that wants to get a home of their own or a rental property for some "residual income" and help provide someone else with a quality place to live.  I have some ideas on how to improve this process, as I think the people working in the offices I deal with are doing their best and trying so hard to "make it all work" for all interested.  Let's not blame our current workers, but try and work together to make the system work not only for the "professional" but also the people that are trying to have a good life and who have had some really "bad cards dealt them".  Thanks for your prayers and help.

17 - 19 June 2016:
Please look at the 257 Central Street Project for information on what happened then.  With the threat on my life and the various physical difficulties I note how frail life is and the extreme possibility that I might not survive to occupy 257 Central Street, even if I get it rehabbed to obtain a certificate of occupancy.  Hence I need to write the report for what I did and did not do during the life of this Grant from the Recovery Learning Community about this house and the S.C.A.R.F. project.  I feel so worthless at times and as if I have accomplished almost nothing.  But I have hopes and dreams and while any spare time is found I want to be writing down, if only on the computer, my thoughts as to these  hopes and dreams and maybe God can have another do what I am possibly not able to do now.  One plants, another waters, but God provides the increase. So I am not much of anything, but it is my task to write the reports and put down my thoughts on these things I think should happen.  Recent developments mean my Last Will... will also need to be rewritten.  These are things you NEVER think of when you are in your 20's, but are there with you daily in your 70's +.
Please continue to pray and write me (Charlie) at my personal email of if you think you can help with S.C.A.R.F. or the 257 Central Street house.  The water, sewer, electricity and gas all need to be restored and maybe a new support
and foundation.  This project to save a historic house in has now quadrupled in size due to the things being asked of me.

June Starts

So much has happened and so much is to happen
That the (at least weekly) reporting of daily events will resume in June.
This pdf shows what has happened and need to be done yet in the 61 days that covers April and May.

16 April 2016:
More boxes to pack and such. Want to hep in clean up events the 23rd and 30th.  Probably will not say much while I am pretty much in "hiding" to avoid being "in harms way".
15 April 2016: 
It is decided.  I go to the Streaming Myrrh Icon presentation and try and find peace with God. Will have a paper saying what to do with my body and belongings if I do not survive the next few months.  I have three places to "hide out" at.  I am preparing things tonight to stay somewhere else.  I am very concerned that I might not survive after papers are served on the person that made the threat on my life today.  Please pray for me.  I want to be working on this house and SCARF, not hiding out fro an assailant.
In all probability there will be not much of an update on these pages until sometime around May15th.  Pascha is May 1st.
14 April 2016:
Moved more things to storage.  Now committed to move all but books and furniture to storage and keep only what I need in the apartment for like a two week stay in a hotel.  Counselors insisted I must stay some where else.  Talked with the agency that oversees the rental certifications and they want a report of what I filed.  I am visible shaken.  A friend who used to live in this building said he had talked with the person who said they would kill me when he lived here years ago.  He said that person had spent time in jail for attempted murder and that he had been known to have guns in his room before.  I filed a police report.
13 April 2016:
At more training on homeless and employment and how housing and employment need to go together.
People Prayed for me and the threat on my life.
12 April 2016:
At a training on youth and employment. Obtained counsel on the April 9th threat on my life.  Not here for inspection, failed.
11 April 2016:
Move stuff to storage and get other things done before housing inspection in apartment
10 April 2016:
Church and move stuff to storage.  Get materials together to bring down to HAP for re-certifications Monday AM.

9 April 2016:
Personal stuff, moving stuff to storage, and minutes for people.
A person in my building came up to me with all serioiusness and put his finger in my face and said "I am going to kill you".
An internal report of the incident was filed.
7 & 8 April 2016:]
At the Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Springfield, MA most of the day.
6 April 2016
Might not post much here until May 1st.  Worked on a "what do we do next" document and must address in detail the 16 or so items the city presented with regards to the 257 Central Street project.  So I will be "up to my ears" in things. I want to work with the city and make some mechanism for a person to ask how things are going and not endanger the bid but also not influence the review committee process.  Don't want this long wait I experienced and then have to ask for an extension of time to happen to any of the people we will be helping.  If I have not done so, all minutes and such need to be done and sent out for wherever I took them for by tomorrow.
5 April 2016:
Missed meeting with Evan that had been moved to 5:30PM, I had remembered it at 5PM. The VIMUG at 12 noon was a no-show and I sat in cold for 45 min and then went to warm up at Rehab at 1:30PM.  Service Matters forum by HAP was very good and I spoke with the presenters from out of state about S.C.A.R.F. and they seem to like the concept.
4 April 2016:
All things to storage and apartment to be cleaned for inspection. Need to figure out a way so this sort of a delay does not happen to our people.
3 April 2016:
Items to Storage maybe after Church, snow expected.  Worked on 3 page document to suggest "What We Do Next" on this project at 257 Central Street.

2 April 2016:
Went to calling hours for a friend's mother yesterday and funeral today, after church may do Holiday Meals laundry after Vespers and tomorrow items to storage
1 April 2016:
Got notice by a phone call and an email later that a letter dated October 30th recommending me as Preferred Developer of 257 Central was apparently filed and not sent. This is the letter we have been waiting for and with it are more questions and things they want done in a revised Redevelopment Plan.  I have said I do want extension of time because this designation is to expire on May 30th.  See the 257 Central project page for more information.  Will contact advisers & contractors and various contacts this coming week. Will speak with Evan of RLC then also.

April Starts

22 March 2016: through 31 March 2016:
Helped with Holiday Meals preparation and other things. Very low period, not much done here.  People wanting to say I can not do this and it is the same as what Habitate for Humanity does.  I am seeing a difference. I see us helping people to just do the minimum needed to get  them into solid housing and rebuild their lives.I see them rehabbing the house and their  lives on a continual basis but not racking up a huge mortgage at this time. I expect most people to not be affluent and so they will want to apply for help from other sources within a year or two for things like a roof, or new windows, or better insulation, etc.  The idea is NOT to fix up the house so it could even be sold soon; rather it is to fix up the house so they can LIVE in it and have a competent private home inspector give an evaluation of what else needs to be done and when they need to do it. We will continue with the people but the assistance in these things would come from other sources. I do not want to burden people with a huge debt and have nothing else to do on the house. I want them to be continually working on improving their home and in so doing see small improvements that help to re-build their own self confidence.  It is very frustrating that some "professional" folks don't seem to "grasp" this where the "common person" nods their heads enthusiastically and agrees.   So I will attempt to try working at this again Friday.  It is my intention to try and form a for profit company, that might  not really make a lot of money, but as as vehicle to help do some of this, since everything else sees to be in "slow motion" tomorrow, April Fool's day.  That company would be called Charles Knight and Associates and would be a sole proprietorship.  I continue to ask for your prayers.  I feel lik I have been "spinning my wheels" all fall and winter and am now anxious to actually get something accomplished.  The house at 257 Central many of my people are saying we should give up on and it will cost to much to repair.  I do not think this is so.  But the whole concept here is being innovative.  So I ask for your prayers, advice, etc. as we try and do something that is maybe new, but worthwhile.  I have also been looking into forming a property management company to have the leadership comprised of mostly folks that have been homeless before.  And on top of it all I have a housing inspection on my section 8 single room occupancy unit and I am hoping to get help in moving things to storage I was going to move back in late October but the help was not there and then it was Thanksgiving Holiday Meal time and then the Holidayu Meal at Christmas and then the person went into the hospital and now we are "picking up the pieces" again.  Whew.  Thanks for your prayers.
21 March 2016:
I am to help someone who is in his 80's get things ready for the western "Easter" Holiday Meal that will happen on Sunday the 27th.  I will hen meet with Earl at RLC and discuss some personal things and try and get something settled to try and put off the inspection slated for tomorrow at my unit where I currently sleep at Byers Street.  Have put in a lengthy letter to the Director of Housing for the City of Springfield asking her to look into the bid and see what happened. News of the past week will be updated soon. IF I do get the nod to develop this property the news items here will be much shorter and perhaps images as to the work being done.
The most important thing is we help so that any people we are to assist in the future do not have to wait so long as I have had to for a response after asked for paper work was sent in. This process needs to also be better suited for first time people with maybe more training and a person not on the committee as a contact person to be able to ask how things are progressing and if anything else is needed. I am so thankful for the council people that asked this bid be no rejected outright but ask me for more information.  Right now I am re-evaluating everyone I have said would be working with me in light of a year passing and their availabilty might have changed from their side or maybe I now am told of someone else I would rather have on this project or that I might want to do most of it myself if possible.
20 March 2016:
Sunday of Orthodoxy at Church, stayed through afternoon to evening service. back to go to bed and think of the support given in this project.
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19 March 2016:
Grand Encampment, did speak of project to a few, not many.  Back tired.  Need to help our people plan for periods of uncertainty while awaiting responses.
18 March 2016:
$200 donated today for my 257 Central St. house project. Also calls. Sent email to head of city Housing asking.  We must devise a plan to have people doing something after they have completed a rfp response and are awaiting the results of the committee's report to the Mayor.  Went to Grand Encampment Banquet.
17 March 2016:
St. Patrick's Day at Church, Stefi and I start Lenten journals.
16 March 2016:
Ash Wednesday for Orthodox Christians.  Start time of reflection on what God wants me to do.
15 March 2016:
Now another month is half gone.  Maybe I am just no good at getting anything done.
14 March 2016:
Monday, worked on getting a webite back in order and did nothing I planned on doing.  Light in foyer is still out at 1am on Tuesday.
13 March 2016:
Church, then back to the apartment and rest. Then visit with someone having difficulties.  Light out in the foyer again for the 2nd or 3rd night.
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12 March 2016:
We call St. Patrick's day the end of the winter time, and I hope warmer weather is here soon.  Must spend next week in productive S.C.A.R.F. work.
11 March 2016:
The end of the week, report time, nothing done for two weeks. I seem to be mired in inactivity. So frustrating.  Need to move a lot out of the apartment.
10 March 2016:
Appointment with a counselor and then the Rental Housing Association of Greater Springfield meeting at Salvator's Resturant, Bed Bugs is the topic.
09 March 2016:
Unaccompanied Youth Committee meeting moved to West Springfield, actually more difficult getting there. Will take bus early and walk.  Emailed former professor to see if he can look at my bicycle.  Might have to go to a bicycle shop to have them look at it.  Probably try to find a second hand touring bicycle by fall that will be better suited to the type of riding I do most.  Must do a lot of research.  The laser printer seems to have died. A replacement is about $500. Computer not good either. Meeting tonight at 5:30 at the J.W.Williams center about the Central Street realignment project.
08 March 2016:
Not feeling well, feeling discouraged and lethargic. Spent much of morning in bed and at computer, so worn out.  Went to Community Room and met with Earl and Samantha, but did not know about "forums" event.  Then spoke with Samantha about 105CMR410 issues she can use in fighting to have repairs made for folks.
Put up video that Evan made of SCARF idea.  Went to Maple High Six Corners Neighborhood Council meeting, then back to apartment.  So greatly discouraged.
07 March 2016:
Saw Doctor and she said to will myself well. Nothing can be found to be wrong with the tests they took. Will take more.  I guess I just live with this stuff because at the moment it is considered "all in my head" so to speak.  Not much else, went back to apartment and then picked up for two lodge meetings. Discouraged.

06 March 2016:
church and then back to apartment.  Then to event honoring Howard Drw, from Sprihgfield, the worlds first "fastest human" who was black.  Good meeting at Classical Condominiums (formerly Classical High School).  Still not feeling well, have Doctors Appointment with the primary care physician Monday.
05 March 2016:
Not feeling well, did only computer work and went to vespers.  Did not go to Northampton Event. Public Transportation between the norhern and southrn sections of PVTA does not really exist, as I understand it, after about 7PM.  Maybe I can get to things when it get's warmer regularly and I can ride the bicycle.
04 March 2016:
Friday weekly report time, it is March, get a date set for a meeting and  stuff to storage.  Had to arrange transportation to event but did not firm it up to come back, so I took the bus back from Holyoke Community College, boy was it cold waiting outside.  The event is sumarized on the Network to End Homelessness website.
03 March 2016:
Recovery Learning Community group meeting at Bowen Center at 11AM in Springfield. I should have attended and gave progress report but I had a Western Massacusetts Regional Network to End Homelessness meeting at Friends of the Homeless from 10:30AM to Noon, so I was not able to make it. .  At 1pm, at the Rainville, there was a Party for Carmen Rivera as she is going on to other things. Here Replacement, Brenda Garcia was there and I handed out the newsletters we did for that group. This was a "test run" for a Newsletter for S.C.A.R.F. 
Community Policing meeting at 6PM and I want to be there by 5:30PM to help set up. Once it closes I will bicycle down to the  Historical Commission meeting (I arrive towards 7:30PM).  These are important dates for me.  Our people may have also things like this that are important to them. If the group has expressed a desire for our group meetings on this date, how do we help our people get notes from a meeting or a comment they want to share read in their absence for the few  months we are actively working on their house.  We would expect our people to at least attend our quarterly meetings for the first decade that they own their home after receiving their certificate of occupancy.  We are rebuilding lives, rebuilding a structure, and rebuilding a community.  For some of or people they have had to learn to live independently with NO ONE helping them when they were "on the streets" and with some government programs they could not have and affiliation with anyone and still get assistance.  So this idea of networking together and doing things as a larger team that is a community may be something they will need to "ease into" and "learn gradually".  For some, the very fact of attending certain meetings at certain times (like the 1st Thursday of the month, or 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, etc.) was the only solid form of stability in their lives and this they can not at the moment give up, even for a few months. We must understand this. We are helping to rebuild, to reclaim, lives. And for some the only bit of permanency has been these church or fraternal organizations or other groups they attend.  These are valuable things and they help to reweave a web of friendship that later on turn into the tapestry of communtiy in a neighborhood.  Within their lifespan our is maybe both the most significant event or interaction they will ever have, as it is the making of their home that some will live in all their days; an also the most insignificant as the daily activities will be only for a 6 month to a year period.  The first few months are in getting the property. Then starts the 6 months in which rehab and inspections need to occur and the certificate of occupancy granted. Then there are the months or years when you work with people to get assistance from others if need be or work on weekends yourself a bit one day to do a project little by little, bit by bit.  maybe and outdoor sitting area and fireplace for cooking in the summer is something someone wants. That an be done quickly or they can do it themselves working on it a few hours each weekend and so they have been working a bit each week on improving their home.  The value of this continued work in rebuilding the person's self confidence, especially people that have been the victim of something traumatic in life can not be overstated.  It is essential to their well being.  A we plan and dream about the future, an learn about and get the tools to do the job and even attend classes about how to do the work (like workshops at Home Depot or some other supplies store) we are instilling in the person or family the idea that "We CAN do this" and for someone that has been crushed by traumatic event this sens of the ability to do something themselves is paramount to their recovery to become a productive member and even a leader in their new community.
02 March 2016:
Had a meeting with Michaelann Bewsee at Arise and information was printed out there for a meeting at Liberty Heights with Home City Housing and the Housing Management Resources folks. I am convinced now more than ever we need to create a property management company that is comprised mostly of formerly homeless people to manage properties that have a large population of the tenants that are formerly homeless.  From there I went to the Armory Quadrangle Civic Association Board meeting at 4PM and then to a Church meeting at 6:30PM.  I left that meeting at 6:45PM and bicycled to the Amity Lodge meeting using the building at Berkshire Ave where Springfield Lodge, I. O. O. F. meets. At 7:25PM I left there to go back to the Church Bible Study and then rode back to my apartment. Had the light on high (only an hour or so that way and the battery runs down)  so I had to charge the light with the PC that night.  I visited with the tenat selected board member and reviewed the events of the afternoon and  and then Amity Lodge meeting an hour later.  Our people will have similar meetings they are committed to. So let us NOT expect to much from them in the evening and each season have our people determine on what days our group gatherings will be.
01 March 2016:
Plan landscaping and gardening activities and to have orders in and seeds started by St. Patrick's Day is probably a fantasy this year. If the city dose name me as a developer and I get ownership of 257 Central Street it will only be transplants and hanging baskets for this year.  Must go and vote, want to do it at 7PM or so before the polls close. Hate the lower voter turn out we seem to have here in a city.  Will talk to Earl about "Rainville Record" Newsletter.  Good practice for on for SCARF.

March 2016 Begins
29 February 2016:
This is a leap year and this is 'Sadie Hawkins Day', so I think I will maybe stay in, not answer the phone and avoid women. (as if any gal was going to ask me to marry them at this age) but it is an "extra" day and I think I want to do many things but started on working on a "Rainville Record" newsletter last night and completed it finally at about 11PM tonight.   Saturday and Sunday I don't expect to do much S.C.A.R.F. stuff.   I called today. Making plans to move much out.
28 February 2016:
Church and rest.  After Church went to another Church to receive a gift to help me so I can get more of a bicycle fit to me.  Then back to the apartment and found it would take an hour to bicycle to the bowling party the church had.  Getting the gift brought stuff back about the ttheft to my mind.  I becaem very bothered and ended up laying down. Totally forgot bout the Springfield Preservation Trust meeting I had waited 8 months for and the special speaker.  I seem to "freeze" often and can't get much done.  I will seek "professional help", prayer and ask guidance.  Seek to speak with clergy.  Next week have lawyer ask about bid.  Bid was put in 9 months ago today.  Required comments and information was delivered on time 6 months ago today.  Our people might have similar frustrations when they get their work done but the "go ahead" from the municipality does not seem to be on the same "front burner" as our people have it.  How do we help them and gently offer to help the city or town to "move things along" a bit quicker?  We are working collaboratively and cooperatively here for the good of all. Rest on Sat & Sun is so important.   We might even suggest folks jot down some points on a pad of paper but not go into it in detail on these days.  These days are NOT work days. They are days of rest and time for "family" or "myself" time.  We need to make certain that time is sacred.  We need to respect it at all times.  So we need to plan ahead for things.  Probably I thought I would need to attend lodge meeting(s) since I am an officer, since tomorrow is monday it will not be held, Wednesdays loge will meet.
27 February 2016:
No work, personal down time. Maybe moving stuff out to storage. Wanted to go to Church event in Dedham, MA, coudl not get there.
26 February 2016: 
Yesterday and early at 2-3AM, evaluations fro what to do now at 257 Central STreet Project are  done and more plans for reintroducing the 'el' taken off 257 Central in 1923 and using it as a porch & gathering area, much under cover and an enclosed space for gardening tools.. Be at Training at Mercy Hospital for WMRNEH at 8AM (this training was postponed from earlier in month when the trainer from Washington, DC became ill).  No work today but will make Friday report by end of day.
25 February 2016:
Bicycled (as it is predicted to be warmer and dry) to read at Boland School at 10AM, then to pharmacy, then to take images of 257 Central from the Pine St. side walk. Went to appointment at 3300 Main Str. at 2PM, back to pharmacy, then to Arise for Social Justice to tell of the HUD listening session yesterday, was invited for a housing pot-luck and then back here to work on S.C.A.R.F. issues.  Trying to "crystalize" all of these comments into policies and procedures.
24 February 2016:
Was at the HUD listening session on human trafficking victims and housing them (as this might be some of our people)
23 February 2016:
Awaken and still so very tired. This is a pattern now.  Need to record when awake at night and try to build in more time for rest then. Things to do today are to write the minutes for a Church meeting a few weeks ago and those for the board meeting yesterday, also to read this morning in the library the book I will be reading at school Thursday and contact the lady at the school dept about the hearing device for a child in that class.  Probably be at the registry of deeds archives a bit and then eat and go to the green committee meeting. Get there by 5:30PM and read some in "A Pattern Language".   Some of our people might have schedules much busier than mine. We need to accommodate that.  But we need to have them work for a prescribed period of time. The "pay" for that work is what we do in helpig to coordinate the help hey get.  All this can be balanced out as we respect the value for each item in the list and prioritize it's demands in relationship to the demands of the rehab work that is necessary to obtain the certificate of occupancy within the short time-frame that we are given with municipally owned properties.  I most cases the meetings and group events can be "put off" for 6 months to a year.  In other cases we need to make accommodations for the shifting of hours of work so that the work get's done on the building rehab, and yet our people can still attend this event that is so important to their lives.
22 February 2016:
Today was a board meeting and directly after that I went  to a meeting with my grant people about S.C.A.R.F. and note that our people will have meetings with their funding sources also they might have to go to. Especially if this is private funding or some sort of need based grant/loan program.  Back from there to aparment, tired but after email want to be at city council.  Go to city council meeting then back for more email and then to bed.  So very tired most of the time.  Our people, likewise, will be feeling "overwhelmed" from time to time. We will be having them do a "full day's work" and often they might not realize the commitments they have for various meetings and such. Probably a good idea to start our "training" with them on what they will do on the building to do some sort of an individual assessment of their skills and abilities.  We also need to have them look at their time commitments over a period of time, like you have someone track their spending habits.  This way we can help them to find out which commitments they need to keep and which ones they can negotiate being "put off" until the 6-9 months of rehabb work is over with.  It is a lot like having a baby, while pregnant you can't do some of the things you did before as you have energies committed elsewhere.  We need to help our people identify these needs/verses wants that might conflict with the time needed "on the job" working on rehabbing the building; and plan life accordingly
21 February 2016:
Church and then to St. George to visit with someone that wants to give me a card and a small gift. They will do that later, did not have it with them.  I made the decision I would be attending this Church the first Sunday of each month.  It will be a "connection" to by "roots" there.  A reminder of the "family" I still have there and how they heard of my theft and want to help.  Reminded how I need to tell the security departments of the local colleges about my theft and describe the items so if they see them they can contact me.  I think I want to do that with the pawn shops I know of also.  The police are technically doing that but I have not heard from them and so they are most probably overwhelmed with stuff.  My hope is to recover the SD cards with the images on them and my address book with people's phone numbers in them, things like that.  As I deal with this I not ho crippling mentally this whole thing is. We need to understand most of our people will be also experiencing the same psychological issues that can get "triggured" from time to time by some actions, events, or images / sounds.
20February 2016:
No Work on Scarf.  Nice day but I stay inside. I am sort of sick. I am so exhuasted for reasons I do not know.  The Doctor's can't tell; although they are doing studies on it as they know the situation exists.  So I spend most of the day with the computer and resting.  Sometimes our people will need to plan times to rest, to do other things and not work constantly on rehabbing the building.  This is also a healing process for them and scheduled times like evenings and weekends are very important and we should "build" this into their schedules. They might not understand it at first in their zeal to "get the job done" but we are rebuilding their lives after the traumatic incident(s) and the scheduled time(s) to be "down" or just "rest" and "relax" are as important as the time spent with tools "working" on the building.
19 February 2016:
Was invited so went to Bible Study at St. George Orthodox Church.  Our folks might be invited to attend something like this also.  When it is something that is to enrich the soul or mind and even some physical exercise now and then, I think we need to work with them so they can still do the amount of work needed on the rehabbing of the structure to make it their home and allow them to have some semblance of the life they would normally live.  If they can be instructed at one time and then the supervisor knows they know how to do the task, then why not allow them to do that task for about those many hours but do it at their schedule instead of being at the job site during contractor hours?  I think we can. Got back for a visit from Ray P. and we tried to find things on the internet but could not research in his family history without paying fees.  I suspect a librarian might be able to help when we could not.  We talked and had a good conversation.  Ray left to go eat. He had invited me to dine with him at a chinese resturant nearby but I tried to politely refuse. I wanted to stay inside I was tired by then.
18 February 2016:
About 2am or so the sickness "broke" and I was turning the temperature down.  By Thursday afternoon when I met with the property manager I was in a T shirt and shorts.  This thing must have been a "virus" that had just "run it's course" and probably the being at computer, bed, food, toilet, bed, etc. was good to allow the body to heal as much as it could.  Am still feeling tired though.  Some of our people after a sickness might be tired for a bit.  Went to the Orientation and helped with that after making a history of tenant participation at "the Rainville" and then to the FoH executive committee meeting and then to the Armory Quadrangle Civic Association Monthly Meeting with Elected Representatives from the State and City Council.  Folks insisted on drivign me back to my apartment and we discussed manky issues before I left the vehicle. To bed tired but glad I could do a full days activities.  Jut because our people are "down" does not mean they might not have a full schedule of meetings and such they regularly attend.  We should be flexible with our meetings we want them to attend to respect their prior commitments.
17 February 2016:
Went to FoH committee meeting on agenda creation and streamlining so more is accomplished, if possible, in an hour of meeting time; and though to the various ways we need to be sensativeto our people's time in meetings. Move things along and yet allow for folk's thoughts to be heard is one concept; another is just the value of listening to people.  Might need to do this in two different sections of meetings.  The meetings for board members and governing council of the organization might be different than meetings of the clients we are serving.  This is looking way far ahead, but I think it needs to be done.  I go from this meeting which ends about 1PM to the medical appointment at focus care and get there hours ahead of time. I HAVE a book to read.  They can find nothing and I am still so very cold. Blood work is taken and I go back to the apartment and stay bundled up.  I had been inside since Sunday and still am cold.  A good thing to remind me that some of our people could be sick like this and yet no symptoms show something a doctor knows about.  We need to respect the sense of being sick one has.  I went to the pharmacy and got the medication needed and since we did not have a lodge meeting, to the church meeting.  Got back and did not have anyone to help me to put the cream on my back where it was all roughed up and maybe a bit towards infected.  Noticed we need to develop a close relationship with someone on our team with each person we help so that they can share some simple things like this.  I feel so awkward asking someone to help put this stuff on my back.  I don't really want a man to do it.   I remember how strange it felt when a male friend asked me to do the same for him when he had a cream to put on his back.  We need to be super sensative of the needs of our people and their feelings about situations.  Hence each person needs to have someone on our team they can talk with.
16 February 2016: Heard a friend's house had water running out of the windows while she was away.  Firemen came in and trashed the place. She had lots of stuff stored there but had not been able to move it to the storage spot as she was helping another classmate that got sick and in an accident in the countryside.   So now I might need to go up and help her clean out that house she bought and has been flooded and most things destroyed twice.  I will try and re-establish more cards today. Will try and start on a presentation for SCARF using "Impress" which is an open source presentation program and I  think superior to Microsoft's PowerPoint.  Will need to go to the pharmacy and get drugs.  Probably call the clinic to ask about this feeling cold so much.  Seems like everything is happening to stop me working on SCARF and the 257 Central project.  But I don't feel in my spirit that I should stop. So I am trekking ahead as best as I can do. Still sick, so cold.
15 February 2016: Cold. Stayed inside. Hard to do much. Feel so very cold.  Heat turned all the way up. Average temp is 70F in main room, 50F in bathroom.
14 February 2016: Missed bus to Church, walked in cold. Then Parish Council Meeting, took notes for them. Then was brought to Bob's to help him with items to the trash and then laundry. Went to Savers and got card replaces and bought an atomic clock and a sleave to hopfully put lap top in. Later found out clock had problems.
13 February 2016: Cold, stayed in room also, did not go out to check mail.  Did almost nothing, in bed a lot. Not feeling well.
12 February 2016: Trainer sick so training scheduled for today is put off until the 26th.  So very cold I stayed in.  Did not go out of room.
11 February 2016:  Bus to Eastfield Mall to see if my planner was turned in, it was not.  I called it a "date book".  Bought new one at the 1 dollar store.  Took Bus directly from the mall to 3300 Main Street and Clinical person and told them about the stress from this theft.    Read more in Timeless Building by Alexander.  Went to RHAGS meeting on medical marijuana and federal vs state laws.  Almost missed bus back.  Talked with Melody, sweet lady on Bus.  So tired, exhausted, to bed.
10 February 2016: Unaccompanied Youth meeting at Senior Center in NoHa, then stayed for meeting with Evan.  Talked about steps to take next.  This is all a bit overwhelming since the theft.  Can talk about things but having trouble moving on stuff.  Talked with two people about the project on way back on bus. Must get lists together and speak with the folks we want to have "on our team" doing this.  Might just start a for profit company on my own to launch SCARF as a project.
09 February 2016: Saw movie this am with Ray Pauley and got new cell phone set up.  Maple, High, Six Corners Neighborhood Council meeting at Emerson/Wright Community Center on Walnut Street at 6PM.  This was a meeting with comments about the police to keep the level of pawn shops and such the same and mostly people wanted to talk about the Sheriff having a rehab facility on Mill Street. The meeting got really ugly as people were ignoring facts and refusing to deal with the situation as it is but pointing fingers at others and wasting time. I purposed not to go to the meeting Thursday and attend the RHAGS meeting on medical marijuana. 
05 February through or until 08 February of 2016:  Away until 8pm, Feb. 8th, came back by bus in the storm. Peter Pan driver was excellent.
04 February 2016:  Went to that meeting in Northampton of the Individual Services Committee of the Western Massachusetts Regional Network to End Homelessness, got there late as I had to walk a few miles, and then got a ride back with Gerry McCafferty of City Housing and she asked about the bid I made for 257 Central Street. I told her we put in everything they asked for by August 28th and then silence for 5 months.  I told her I was anxious to be named developer and get to work on the house.  I told how I would like to have the house fixed and a certificate of occupancy so I could move in and have a big tent on the front lawn on September 22nd, 2018 which will be 125 years to the day when the Duryea brothers tested the first automobile on an American road.  Now some say they did it in a section of Springfield now knows as Chicopee a few days before. But I am going by the sign the city of Springfield has in the trianglulare park in front of 257 Central Street facing Florence Street.  Gerry McCafferty said she would "check into it" for me. I told her that if I did not hear anything I will ask my lawyer at the next Rental Housing Association of Greater Springfield meeting to discreetly ask what happened.  I went to a mentor training meeting and am to be one of the tenant mentors to help in an orientation of new tenants at the "Rainville" apartment building on the 18th.  Then to do some things and go to the Sector E Community Policing meeting and then to the Historical Commission Meeting. At the Historical Commission meeting I saw Kathleen Lingenberg, whom I worked with when she was in city housing. So good to see her. I gave her my email and hopefully she will respond.    Writing this and will go to bed soon.  I have had so many trials after this theft and so many things to sort out. Will go away this week end.  Must work on business plan. Must codify some things.  Must help my friend and feel I can do something worthwhile as everything seems to be at a stand-still now, but I have a sense that things might just "take off" very shortly with my own projects but with S.C.A.R.F. and I need to find those ready to stand with me on this now.  BUT for the moment I am pretty much paralyzed by the theft and the outpouring of help. I am pretty much overwhelmed by good & bad.
03 February 2016:  No Desk Work, AM, mistakenly went to a Northampton Meeting that is actually tomorrow. Many Narcoleptic Episodes and got back and took a bath and then went to rest and slept through the AQCA Board of Directors Meeting at 4PM. Will need to Contact Erica W. about console for Website for AQCA later. Went to Church and other meetings.  So very tired. So very depressed.
02 February 2016:  No Desk Work, AM;  1-2PM be at Springfield Public Schools, Green Committee consultation. Work on VIMUG website put off or about 2 weeks. Spent time at the Social Security Office trying to rebuild things. Really stressed out over this theft.
01 February 2016:  No Desk Work, AM;  Start trying to rebuild and re-obtain ID's and bank things. See 31 January for lessons learned.

February 2016 begins

31 January 2016:   Church, Parish Membership Meeting, Important building Decision at Church and Parish Council Elections.  I was there and helped as clerk. Decision was made not to proceed with one property looked at but continue to look for a church home. At least the Annual Meeting is over with.  After Church people that were bringing me home asked to go to Walmart, I said OK, and when we got inside they informed me that they were not leaving unless they bought me a bicycle and camera.  Reluctantly  I agreed as I was very tired and drained. The only bicycle that I thought I could shift (because my hands can't deal with the wrist movements when the shifting is part of the hand-grips, was the most expensive bicycle in the place. The bicycle and stuff for it like a cable to lock it up and rack and the camera cost over $300 and there was no way out of it.  I felt I would rather wait a week or so and see what "shows up" as the kid might just throw out what he could not use as cash and the bicycle might be recovered.  BUT there would be no other option and so I agreed to this.  The city is so dangerous it seems that a new bicycle is most probably not something I looked for. BUT it I have and I am very thankful for it. I have become soft and now want to get fenders to go on it if I can.  Whay am I saying all of this on the concept page?  Because I have learned a lot.  I have been reminded how it is to be so vulnerable and to feel violated and emotionally wrought up and really not able to think straight.   I have experienced people trying to help but I not having the time to  process what I really wanted. We want our people to be happy in the decisions made and what is being done for them.  We need to ask permission when invading their lives.  We need to make offers and then wait for them to process the information. We need to help.  And part of that helping is waiting for them to look at all the ramifications of such help.  Our people might be dealing with great guilt because they became homeless, or were raped or robbed or however they might have been victimized.  So all throughout the process, because our people have been traumatized and sometimes many times over, we need to do much more "hand holding" than would be normally expected.  We need to recognize what skills they have and ask them to do what they can do.  Let them assist in the evaluation process, even if it only is assisting us in gaining the information needed for a good decision to be made.  We do not want to violate what little self respect they still might have.  Wow, what a great time of learning I have had within 24 hours or so.  I seek help in any trainings or books or anything to tell about this. And then a blessing, the book "building for the future" arrived, the book to read before "a Patter Language".  I m so excited to begin this and will start when waiting at the Registry of Motor Vehicle to get my duplicate ID so I can access the social security and such and pay my rent and bills.


30 January 2016:   Saturday,  See 961 St. James again. Afternoon, took pictures of youth event at Church.  On way back, at about 5pm, youth grabbed my bicycle as I had gone back to pick up a piece of wood and take it out of the road about 8 - 10 feet back. Had back-pack in bicycle basket and all id and bank cards and such in it, epi-pen, camera and cards for church review, and a whole lot of personal stuff. Spent an hour walking back from this event near AIC and tried to cancel debit cards for two banks and then talk at the police station. Came back. Probably can not continue internet access fees and will need to do email twice a week at the library.  Feel very violated.  BUT this is exactly how the people we are to serve feel. We are to help those who have been homeless, raped, robbed, something traumatic has happened to them and they are willing to do work to put an abandoned house back together so it can become their home along the lines of the "Not So Big House" plans put forth by Sarah Susanka. Please pray for the youth or short person that stole my things that God will bring him the opportunity to change his life and become a contributive part of society and rebuild his life as well and not find stealing the way to get his needs met. Pray that God will redeem him just as we want to redeem these abandoned buildings.  I using the tools to rehab a house someone who has experienced traumtic events in their lives can help to rebuild their lives as well. Something is accomplished. At the end of each days' labors we can see progress towards the goal of a whole and not only livable but also plans for a really nice house that will become that person's prized home.  Thank you for your prayers and for contacting me to say you want to help in this effort to rebuild people and our communities, one individual, one building, at a time.
29 January 2016:   Desk Work, AM;  Friday Report and Website maintenance.  Met with Evan re RLC grant & others re and lack of progress.
28 January 2016:   Desk Work, AM;  Try to make up for lost time. Medical Professional consultation 2PM, 3300 Main St.
27 January 2016:   No Desk Work, AM;  Spoke with adviser about client wanting a shopping cart. Update websites. Point in Time Count, 4PM
26 January 2016:   No Desk Work;  Did apartment work and stuff for Church & property. Put off Registry of Deeds and History Museum research.
25 January 2016:   32 Byers Street, Inc. Board of Directors Meeting in AM;  City Council Hearings meeting. Things boxed for storage
24 January 2016:   Church, then parish meeting about building issues and much discussion.  Hope to box up more stuff for storage in PM.


23 January 2016:   Saturday, Question about storm and ability to look at another building also no Vespers by 5PM. We will make a decision about vespers for the winter at the annual meeting January 31st.  Was sick all day. Will revisit plans for another mirroring addition for a garage at first and maybe something else later. It will be dirt floor or slab on a grade for now I think, that might change. The idea is to work on the fenestration of the thing. Also box some more stuff for storage if well enough.  Have been sick and hurting all day. In bed a lot, but no rest or sleep.
22 January 2016:   No Desk Work AM,  Need to be in Chicopee for the Human Service Forum.  Will speak for Friends of the Homeless to legislators about the need for equality in pay for shelter bed space and services. I will have with me this this document from a local newspaper article.  I will wear the SCARF button while doing this as we are advocating fairness in all things.  Will Have a copy of the 10 talking points initial flyer copies.  Friday Report and Web update, might not put up until Monday.  Want to watch Right to Life March a I personally believe in this.
21 January 2016:   No Desk Work AM will try and reach Evan of RLC, then work on area near the bed and get things back into room from alcove that are to go to storage soon. Transportation to there a problem now.  Meetings at 5PM and7Pm, probably not get to Historical Commission.  Sometime want to make version of 10 point flyer to take the margin my printer requires for a grip edge so things can fold well. Also redesign so that the images can be in "black and white" and not require a heavier expense in printing.  Check with Evan about printing at RLC photocopier.
20 January 2016:   No Desk Work, this AM. A friend called and I had overslept. Often get up a couple of times in the night to work on the computer.  Got to Western Massachusetts Regional Network to End Homelessness' Leadership Council but did not get to presenting our concept.  I feel so impotent and like I am not accomplishing much.  Got boxes to pack up things for storage out of dumpster as someone had brought to recycling all the boxes that were promised to me. Came back to apt and was so tired. I am overweight.  I could not breath well. Dif very little work on the project today.  Actually forgot the things I was going to do downtown.  Started to fall apart again. Was in bed by 3:30PM. 
19 January 2016: 

18 January 2016:   Desk Work, AM.  No Springfield Lodge PM. Last night, early this morning, I did light plans for the window in the bathroom to shine light through a translucent window type opening (about 18 inches by 3 or 4 feet) through the closet and into the main room of the addition. The curtain for the closet would be like a hospital curtain with a mesh or translucent/transparent top to allow that light coming through the window type area in the closet from the bathroom to continue on through the curtain into the addition room.  This would mean less electricity usage just to "get around".  We want to make this building as energy efficient and green as possible, and remember the principles used when the 1860 portion was constructed.  Went to meet with S.C.O.R.E person about forming a business.  Some dampering of my enthusiasm.  Yes I have used the right word I think. I am referring not to water but the device to reduce the amount of fire heat and smoke that goes up a chimney.  Bought book for the project at 257 Central that is used in the earthforms class of the Landscape Design and Management Dept. class at STCC. Got promise of boxes.
17 January 2016:   Church, visit and pack stuff for storage.  Actually I rested and slept a lot.  Did not get much else done.


16 January 2016:   Saturday, To cold to have vespers at place we worship again and I strained my back while trying to help some one yesterday and it still hurts. So not going anywhere, also not at the NOFA winter conference today for the same reason.  I signed up for a class at Home Depot but cold not get to that either.  I hurt so much from the back strain I just update these things and that will be it for today.
15 January 2016:   Desk Work, pre-empted by housing heat supply inspection.  Taking opportunity to clean through things and put stuff not needed into storage until required again.  Wrote the Friday Report to my RLC grant contact.  Decision should be made about dropping internet access or not, but I fear I will have to scrape to keep it for at least another month, to late to cancel now.  I hurt so much. Month half over with and little done.  And it is only now about two months until Spring, officially.  This is the count-down page until Spring.

14 January 2016:   Desk Work put off, must box for inspection , Health Professional meeting, be at 3300 Main by 1:30PM, then box and take
-things to storage and at license board meeting at 5:30PM, then to RHAGS meeting and hear about 7, 14, and 30 day notices from Atty. Shea.
13 January 2016:   Homeless Youth Meeting. Got Info. from STCC library about census date collection training. The webinar on new HUD chronically homeless definiton, then to help Bob and then back to apartment. Hours available to work on things, but no strength to do so.  
Arms hurt, I did something to mess me up yesterday.  No peace. Took 4 hours to eat something. I thing I strianed all the muscles as well.
12 January 2016:   Desk work in AM, 32 Byers Street Building Committee meeting at 1PM. Went to Savers and then bicycled over to the Maple-High-SixCorners Neighborhood Council Meeting at 6PM.  Snow storm came early, almost froze 3 fingers and some toes. Still recovering.
11 January 2016:   Desk work in AM, and update webpages,  yet I was so tired even though I had sleep.  By 12 noon and time to get ready and go I had not done much.  12:30 PM be there for 1PM Basics in Starting a Business class, 1 Federal Street, Building # 101. Might not get much of anythings else done.  Went to Amherst lodge for their members night.
10 January 2016:  
Church, Parish Council Meeting, then Home Depot class, be in W. Springfield by 12:30PM.  Stefi took me over and went to the workshop as she wants to do a similar thing in her home.  I think these types of workshops will be beneficial for our people. Then we went to Costco afterwards and shopped and ate there before returning back really late and so I just went to bed.


09 January 2016:  
19:30AM, Home Depot class.  Read and update websites and REST.  Country issues and weekend relaxation. New format for 2016.
08 January 2016:   Report made and consultation on first promotional piece for S.C.A.R.F. and start on presentation ("MS powerpoint", etc.) piece.
07 January 2016:  
Can not be at RLC meeting as will be at Individual Services meeting at Friends of the Homeless for the W. Mass. Network to End Homelessness.
Have agreed to help District Deputy Grand Master Samuel White with a spot on his installing suite so we install the lodge in Pepperell, MA tonight.  He picks me up at 3PM and will get back really late. Someone else will need to be at the community policing meeting and I will not be at Historical Commission meeting Tonight.
Still need to get the addition square footage & interior re-clading/insulation costs to be recalculated for current prices for 257 Central Street.  Spent only about 3 hours on the projects today.  Did get trace 257 Central street back to January of 1860 though.
06 January 2016:  
10:30AM cardiologists meeting at 3300 Main ST.  Trade organizations lists as well as the clubs and organizations to be sought / obtained (maybe city hall), at a later date.  Just so cold I will not want to be out much.  Back hurt tremendously in earl AM. Heat wave, it is 5 degrees F. at about 5AM, was colder than minus 7 yesterday at that time. No Amity Lodge at night, due to cold weather. No laundry but got the money to do it by weekend. Also went to Registry of deeds.  Got to AQCA board meeting and then back to the apartment.  Phone message reminded me of Epiphany service at Church tonight, so bicycled up. Service and Holy Water and blessed chalk. Seem to have left cane at someplace, maybe Kimball Towers. Will check on it tomorrow AM. Cardiologist says my heart is OK, but they are working on the problem I have, others have it, and the science has not developed yet far enough to be able to advise anything that they know can help me.
05 January 2016:  
List of clubs, and organizations to be sought/obtained put off until later. So COLD, stayed in bed and at computer.  Did not meet with RLC Grant contact re-literature and cover letters. Will reschedule after I see the "heart doctor" on Wednesday and know if more tests and such will happen.  Did not go to Boston due to the cold.
04 January 2016:  
Was at First Church by 9:30AM for the Mayoral inauguration, saw City Council sworn in,then their organizational meeting.  Then over to the Registry of Deeds to check on 257 Central some more. Got back to 1862, wan to get back before house was built.  This is similar work I would hope our people would seek to do, but I know most may not desire to dig through records, that is why you hire a Title Search Attorney.  Started working 4 hours+ a day on this project (this, S.C.A.R.F., etc.)
03 January 2016:  
Church, then a little boxing up. Did not feel well.  Went to bed early, must rise early tomorrow.


02 January 2016:  
Website, especially Vision page, finished.  Very Cold out. Will maybe not make it to Vespers, staying in.  Wind Chill is below freezing.
01 January 2016:  
Stayed to re-do website and make pdf of talking points with regards to S.C.A.R.F.


31 December 2015:  Wait a week to secure roof area and windows at 257 Central St.  "Holiday Visit" plans now a shambles, reschedule to Jan.
                                     State interested in what we are envisioning, got a word from a Senator and sent back some information. Check out the Vision page.
30 December 2015:  Still more to be done on Holiday Meal clean up. I just wonder if this will ever end.  Still can't get away to visit. Contact city about clean up.
29 December 2015:  More cleaning up by laundry of Holiday Meal.  Just goes to show how "real life" of others can demand your time.
28 December 2015:  Clean up and store after Holiday Meal, but there was still some to do in AM.  32 Byers Street at Noon and minutes afterwards.
27 December 2015:  1st Sunday of "Christmastide" at Church, then helped Stefi get furniture moved so laborers could have breakables removed ahead of time.

26 December 2015:  Maybe Clean up from Holiday Meal, or by Monday.  Feast of Saint Stephen at Church. Read some by 257 Central.
25 December 2015:  Holiday Meal and clean up at Commerce High School.  (This is report day, not much done after Dec. 22.)
24 December 2015:  Tried to help with Holiday Meals preparation, but can't seem to do anything right.  At Church for Christmas Eve events.
23 December 2015:  Failed to send electronic wishes by now to all city council people and folks I have worked with. Christmas parties
22 December 2015:  Reworked "What To Do Next" to reflect possible start date not until Feb or March, did plans through 2018.
21 December 2015:  Went to City Council Meeting, last one of year.  Saw new councilors seated.  Reworked plans.
20 December 2015:  Bought Magazine at CostCo about insulation and energy efficient houses for use on this building.

19 December 2015:  Well this was my Friday Report including Saturday.  Afraid I'll die without getting this idea even outlined well.
18 December 2015:  EchoCardiogram this morning.  They got someone else to help with the Holiday Meal preparations for today.
17 December 2015:  Nothing from the City so far.  I will wait at least a week more, maybe until 5 days after Christmas.
16 December 2015:  Went to memorial service for Liz A. at STCC, kept passing out.  So discouraging. I "wilt" all the time now.
15 December 2015:  Nothing much done all day. Asked counselor why I am not accomplishing things. Will ask about SCORE soon.
14 December 2015:  City Council met but I have heard nothing.  Need to reach out to seek help and funds, seems so difficult to do.
13 December 2015:  So discouraging.  Heart, lung and muscle problems.  Definitely fear I will not live to see any house completed.

11 December 2015:  This is Friday Report time.  Almost half way through the month.  City council meets Monday, and yet no word on the bid for 257 Central Street.  Looks like I will donate the wreath bought for the house to someone else. So tired so much of the time. It is like resources are not being used and I am tired and exhausted so much.  Will need to work on getting ready for Church Parish Council meeting after Church Sunday and that means working on cleaning up my apartment and boxing up more stuff for storage.  Just don't feel like doing much of anything. It was so good to see Evan yesterday. We got a lot of stuff out but so much of the time I feel so discouraged.  I want to spend next week looking a business resources I can access, classes, workshops, etc. And look at philanthropic resources and preservation resources.  So many other projects to get started as well.  MUST spend 8 hours a day on this, if not now, then by the beginning of 2016.  Must consider this like a full time job. And by "this" I mean my housing and providing for others.  Will review between Dec. 26 and Jan. 7th what I have written thus far and try and find bullet items, main points, etc.  The need to have the outline of the book in place.  This might not be just a manual for here but a book others can use to do this type of thing in other places.
The real possiblity is that I will NEVER live to see this accomplished in this area, but the "book" will be my ideas to "spark" the imagination of others so that similar projects are started all over the country and even other countries and hundreds, thousands, even millions of people in need are helped.
10 December 2015:  Am scheduled to meet with Evan today but hope I can move it again.  I seem to be called for all sorts of things and I am not getting much done.   The trouble is that I, Charlie, have various physical problems that render me pretty much useless many days. The pain from the accident in 2009 was getting better and now is getting much worse and nothing seems to "take it away".  The degenerative nature of the narcolepsy is affecting me and the cpap machine makes it so I can not breath and so it does not work for me.  Must put various things down on paper and start many entities so they can be continued once I die.
My concern is great that I want to get many things "off the ground" and that I might not have much time to accomplish all of this in.  I hope I am wrong, but that is the nature of the "premonitions" I seem to be having lately.    I will try and make a report tomorrow.  I don't want to be taking up to much of people's time but also I often feel a bit depressed as the physical pains and such wear at me.

04 December 2015: Spoke with Evan and will talk with him next week. We spoke about the project and the need to do letters of introduction and informative folder and such to talk with people to have them be part of the group to make this a reality.  We agreed to meet next week. No report for this week.  So much happening and so tired I do not seem to be able to get much time when I am rested to do things.  I did attend the community meeting at RLC and spoke of this project to people there.  My time seems to be increasingly used for other things for people that have "crises" or so they say.

27 November 2015:  It has been good to get away to the Berkshires and just not be near anyone that knows my day to day functions.  I did try and help someone pack up stuff that needs to move, and while I was with that person the property management company said they had extra paperwork to do and that the person could take up to 10 days to move after the lease was signed. Signing the lease is problem. I accompanied them to the location, over 2 hours by public transportation (the same time as going to Boston, to give you a reference point) an then the person that told them to come up was sick and could not come into work. No one knows what others are doing, so no call to not travel that distance. So the next bus back and then so tired both they and I rested and slept and it was 6 hours before we could pack one box.  That was Tuesday.  Got packing again on Wednesday at 'noonish'.  So tired from the Tuesday trip that they were told they had to do when talking with the Property Management people on Monday.  Our people may have that sort of thing or the silence from the city on the bid I put in.  It is now 6 months after the bid was submitted.  In two days it will be 3 months after I had an architect provide detailed drawings and the licensees of the purposed contractors and the Attorneys of Record and such, as well as the funding letters.  So maybe this is just being ignored and that is the same as if the bid was rejected.  This is the type of frustration our people might also have. So we need to celebrate their successes and what they have learned so far. We need to give hope for the future and help them make plans.  The past few days I made some plans for minor things, but it was still work on "the project" and I think this is what we need to do for our folks.  Hopefully this sort of a coordinated effort will help when holidays come and the certificate of occupancy is not yet there and people can not have that special meal or event at the "new house or home" because things just "happened" or "didn't happen" as might be the case.  This is what happens all the time in the building and remodeling trade - schedules get all messed up when materials are not available tor the installer can not come as expected or the prior inspection can't be done as was agreed to.  So we need to help our people get over these setbacks that might seem just an inconvenience and what "goes with the job" for a builder but for the lady of the house or someone else that is planning on a big party at the 'new home of our own' this can be a disaster of a large magnitude.
Do you have ideas to help us make this process smoother for our people?  If so please communicate them to us via email and join us in these efforts.
This is the day after Thanksgiving and we are "cleaning up" after the "holiday meal".

20 November 2015:  Nothing much done this week, week just unraveling as I try to help in the preparations for the "holiday meal" and now wait and see what the lawyer has to say.  I now understand the city might not respond to me, just send out another rfp or destroy the property as if I never bid on it.
So discouraged and wondering if I have done the right thing here.  Maybe I have been wrong.  Maybe there is no need for this service.  Maybe people can not afford to reclaim the culture of old houses.  Maybe I am just disillusioned by this all.  Maybe I am just crazy and should be dismissed as useless.
I have ordered another Badge a Minit machine because it would cost another $10 for the part I need and might as well buy a new one for $19 more.
I am looking back on even the past 6 months and feel I have not accomplished much of which I started out to do. The pains are now daily and frequent and there are other debilitating issues.  Evan was right, I need to consider I might not be able to get this house, or any, in Springfield to "fix up".  Maybe I just am not competent enough to do any of this work.  Maybe I have nothing to offer.  Maybe I am just to old and have been a washed up "has been" and can give nothing to society in return for all that society is showering me with.  It cost's the community and greater society over $1,000 a week for the fine services that are available for my maintenance.  An there seems to be NOTHING of great value I can give back in return.  Maybe now is the time to look hard and long and re-evaluate whether this project can ever be accomplished with me at it's "head" or if it is something that never should happen anyway.
At lest I have not spent any of the grant money quite yet.  Maybe what I need to do is just fold up tent walk away from it all and folks will realize how great and incompetent I was and someone else will get this done.  Or wiser heads will determine this was a foolish idea and maybe I was a con man at it all.
If that was the case, I coned myself as well.  But with the cold rains and snow comes the chilling feeling that once again I can not accomplish anything, or so it seems at the moment.  I am not "depressed".  I am just trying to look at things "realistically", as I have been asked to do.  It has been 33 years since I moved from Sandisfield, MA & I can not see much of anything I would label a great accomplishment in those 33 years.   Maybe I need to retire from it all.

13 November 2015:  Met with Evan from RLC at 2PM here and he took me to UNO's resturant to talk as a "belated birthday" gift and to FedEx Office to print backgrounds for S.C.A.R.F. buttons.  One of the pieces of the button making device I bought online was missing, will need to buy new parts. $30 dollars gone again.  Found out the circles are to small, probably want to make them the same size as the Mylar, 2.75 inches wide.  I had made a daily guide to start following Sunday (the 15th of the month), or at the latest Monday the 16th.  It tell what I do hourly.  Also showed the revised schedule for work with the realization that work might not be able to begin until December. Then we discussed briefly the very real possibility that the city might just ignore my bid, like they did at 169 Maple Street, and either put the building out for bid with other properties again or just condemn and demolish it.  I am hearing all sorts of complaints from "friends" that I have been spending time on this and I should have been spending it on the house that fell in and will take over 100,000 to repair in the Berkshires.  I want to keep that land just to camp on once a year or so.  I am 71 and without someone living with me I am certain the social services wioudl have me committed to a nursing home if I tired to live there alone.  This started me reviewing mentally my life and coming up with the thoughts that I have been nothing but a burden and can not even accomplish getting a house fixed myself here, and can not afford my own rent.  So who am I to think that I can do anything, including trying to establish an agency to help people get into a home, something I am currently not able to accomplish myself and I have been over 140 days (the better part of 5 months) trying to do that.  These are very real thoughts and self inflicted condemnations.  Am I any different than anyone else.  Would not our people have the same negative thoughts when progress is so slow.  What do we do in the beginning to counteract this?  Wednesday we wen to the Revitalize CDC event and helped out, got myself all paint, as I was washing the walls so they could paint a veterans home in Holyoke.  There it came to me, remembering what Colleen Lovelace had said about the 53+ homes they had helped at Revitalize CDC last year.  I want the goal so that w can have so many buildings "in the works" that we can count a "certificate of occupancy" granted once every week (on average) with S.C.A.R.F. by the end of 10 if not 5 years.   Lofty goals but doable ones.  The First Time Home Buyer classes talk so much about NOT getting such a house. About how much it costs to fix up, etc.   I understand all of that, but this is NOT just about getting a home for a person/family but about saving Culture, the culture of a building that wa an asset to the city/town we work in years ago, and with help it can be made into an asset again for the days to com.  Bob Maurice asked me what the "A" was and I saw one scarf image might look like an 'A', and then thought some more and wondered if I could not reverse the green neck scarf so it pointed up with its ends and the neck area towards the bottom so the two neck scarfs would look more like 'V' 'A' and stand for Virtueous Assistance. or something like that.  My thoughts are a caldron right now and boiling "out of control".

06 November 2015:  What a messed up week.  Will retake a class in "basics of rental property management" at HAP tomorrow morning.  Talked with Earl and was not able to speak with Evan this week.  Great Frustration on everyone's part as we have not heard from the city.  Under the terms of the rfp I am not allowed to ask questions, as I understood it, but rather must wait for them to ask something of me or make their decision as to whether or not to accept my bid.  The threat of being evicted is lifted, I had my rent in on time, just is they did not pick it up.  But I will still start moving most belongings to storage. Bought a desk to replace this one for a computer and the people I bought it form broke it trying to fit it into a car.  Next time I just take my dolly and walk the items a few miles home.  Much safer.  Went to an event for Revitalize CDC and figured out that most people can do anything if they are shown how. Most of the "contractors" laborers I see are not "rocket scientists" and so I think anyone can be taught.  I think that is the principle behind Home Depot and Lowes and any other "home improvement center" .  Have copied files and set up a space on my computer and am now able, at 3:30AM on Saturday the 7th, to make this report.  I think it is probably time to get a new computer, this one seems to be "dying" or at least getting "old".  I have used it daily.  Saturday I am taking the "Basics in Rental Property Management"  class at HAP again ($45 a pop) and I have the newest book (another $45). Also want to take the "First Time Home Buyers" Class that I should have a credit for given I took the "Home Buyers Club" class a few years ago. I guess the person I was communicating with got sick or is somehow on "leave" so my messages never got through. Will ask tomorrow or call the HAP office Monday as I had expected a call back this past Tuesday and it did not happen.  Want to put things together for the S.C.A.R.F. project and spend time talking with people next week.  Want a meeting soon, have been saying that for to long.  We did do a video shoot when I saw Evan last and that will eventually go on a You Tube Channel.  And I seem to have so many pulls in so many directions.  I am quite despondant as it seems like I am not achieving much in the time alloted.  The city council will meet the 16th, the next meeting will be hearings meeting on the 23rd and then it does not meet until December 7th.  So if the committee accepts my bid, then it has to go to the City Council for approval and the Mayor make the declaration and the papers get signed and the money is transferred and then and only then can I even call someone about getting electricity to the site.  I am discouraged and I can just think how it would be for others that have not had any of the training I have had.  I think I know why so many just plain "give up" on improvements to their lives or why some people in my building spend so much time in watching TV or eating and socializing and gossiping and complaining about others to make themselves "feel better" so they do not need to face up to the fact that they are NOT making improvements in their own lives.  This I ask of people is a bit of harsh reality, but I filly expect to go through it myself first.  I am like the first few people exploring the south pole of this globe.  Have to make a detailed map of what we encountered so others can follow the same, or a similar, path with greater ease.  I do hope all of this is helpful. At the Revitalize CDC meeting I set a goal for S.C.A.R.F. of 52 homes rehabbed enough to get their Certificate of Occupancy yearly.  I know that is a "tall order" but Revitalize CDC helped about 50 people in greater Springfield in the past year.  There are over 700 abandoned, neglected, or just boarded up houses in Springfield alone.  Fifty houses a year only makes a small dent in that housing stock that is currently not used. There are 18,600,000 vacant houses in the USA, that is enough for every homeless person to have 6!  As on girl said to me (I say girl as she was very young, with a baby and I do not know where the father of the child was) "I just want a house with a back yard my children can play safely in".  Now who could argue against that.  I am not asking for much. Maybe some "seed money", maybe some "pro bono" work, maybe some volunteering of funds and materieals and labor, but you are helping a person who has had a really tough break in life go from a subsidized small unit to a home they have rebuilt themselves. You have Saved the Culture of the fine examples of architecure and craftsmanship you can't find today, and you have Actively sought to Reclaim the Futures of people in need.  These are pretty lofty goals and I know they are ALL attainable if each person and company or group just "gives a little".   Together we can do this gang, and the hope of getting a house a week back to have someone living in it and being once again a vibrant part of this city (and in other cities and towns as well) is an attainable goal.  Since the weather will be getting cold soon, I am looking to have our "kick off" meeting out at the small park at the top of the hill at central street.  This is so we can feel the cold and know how nice it would be to have an abandoned building used again by a person or family that is currently homeless or in some small place and that has had a rough time in life. BUT with their daily labor (sweat equity) and your contributions we can make on safe back yard a week to happen.  I am overcome with the reality of the urgency we have and the need to redeem our housing stock that is deteriorating and might need to be demolished, as we now speak.  In some ways, YOU hold the key to this door. Your efforts and joining with me to seek others will make it happen.  Thanks for looking at these comments.  Soon, after Thanksgiving, I hope to haven another page up that will give sussinct outlines of what we need to accomplish.  The synthesis of these comments pages into crystallized thoughts and goals.   The logo is changing also soon. To a red and black checked scarf from the green and black checked one.  That is because the nights are getting cooler and I associate the red and black checked with the flannel shirts I wore when younger to keep warm in the winter.  So keep looking at this site and what we are doing, and tell me how you can help.

23 October 2015:  Not much to report.  Spent a good deal of the time helping a an 80 year old guy that the city made him clean up the invasive growths that came back this year in his front yard.  They are horrible things. We cut them down completely and they grew right back up.  The only solution is, in my mind, to just take all the plant and dirt and such away and put in new clean topsoil and put in certain plants.  I felt good about my choices as a neighbor how had been there for over 40 years said that is the selection of plants they had many years ago.  I have still not heard anything about the eviction that is set for Nov. 1st.  Therefore I am quite worried.  We want to also figure our temporary housing for our people if this happens to them also.  I did not realize how easy it is for a tenant to be put at risk when no lease is involved.  Have not been able to focus much but know we need to understand this a situation any of our people could be involved in also.  So I am thankful this has happened.  BUT I am saddened that we have had 30 days since the eviction notice and no word that they accepted the rental payment and recinded the previous order to get out by November 1st, so it looks like the tenancy has ended here and I NEED to remove my stuff very soon.  Will talk with the Housing Assistance Program in Springfield if I can. If not, then I seek to speak with the lawyer for the 257 Central Street Project.  So this is the short report on what is happening, not much.  I have been so in fear of losing this place to crash at night and and the same thing happening to other friends that I have just not even been to many meetings I normally go to.  It is no fun when you "freeze" and can't seem to do anything.

16 October 2015:  The half way through October report is due today.  I might have more of a report the end of tomorrow, the 17th.  I am going to a class tomorrow on Human Centered Design that should help in aiding the people we help in designing their spaces in the rehabbed houses to fit their lives and not some idea a builder might have as to how to rehab a house so it will "sell" well. We want them to be happy in the homes they are establishing.  To day I am delaying helping an older person with some critical things he must do in his yard to get this information up and the daily log for 257 Central which includes some troubles I am having at my current rental location.  It may very well be that a tenant gets into the process with us to rehab and live in their own home and their landlord is fine with that in the beginning, and then decides he/she/they do not want the tenant to leave at the tenants time schedule but want to evict and ask for possession of the rental unit right away.  This will put our people at great stress and impair their ability to work on this project while their current living situation is in jeopardy.  This makes me feel more confident than ever before that while working on the rehabing of the house all but the most essential items need to be boxed up and ready to move, or in storage, so that the persons working on the rehab can do so with full focus on that and not be distracted by the possibility of needing to box and move things.  I would suggest that items should be boxed with labels as to what is in that box, the boxes numbered, and a log to help a person find which box certain items are in.  Also the boxes need to have additional seaasonal labels, such as Summer, Winter, Spring, Fall, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, 4th of July, etc. so that items only used once a year and only used in a particular season can easily be found when needed. This applies to before the move and even after the people have moved into their new home after receiving the certificate of occupancy.  Not everyone can break into a schedule to unpack everything and things might get stored in the basement, attic or guest room for months at a time.  People might take a "vacation" from their regular job (if they have one, or from schooling) to work on getting the building "in shape" so they can get the certificate of occupancy and move in. This could take at least 3 or 4 months out of their lives and after that time they would need to throw themselves back into college or work with extra time spent their as it was when they were working on the house.  This is especially true when we are talking of an individual without children or a spouse.  So whether we are placing belongings in a storage facility or just storing them in a "guest room" or "side wall" with a drape over them, we are still using the time before once get's the approval to buy and develop the property to put non-essential items in storage or consider if we even want to keep them any more.  The essential items that are seasonal can be boxed up and only taken out for use during that season.  In this manner, if something "comes up" and the person's lodging becomes "in jeopardy" then it is an easy task to box up the remainder of the items being used daily in a few boxes or suitcases and move the boxed items to storage and then continue on with the house rehab with only a short delay, maybe a few days and/or a week-end. When I finish helping my friend this week, weekend, and the first few days of next week I will do the same for my belongings and begin work on the flyer for S.C.A.R.F. that I hope to have in final draft form by the 23rd.

09 October 2015:   Met with Evan Goodchild, my new main contact with the Recovery Learning Community on this project.  We went to 60 Byers and talked about the importance of rehabbing older houses like this one that have historical significance mainly because of whom were past owners or residents there.
Talked of an opening event at the park at the corners of Pine, Florence and Center Streets. Since that date I have had the opportunity to pay for a class in Holyoke on the subject of Human Centered Design and it seems this also fits with the theme of the "Not So Big House" movement so I am reshedualing the meeting at the park so I can attend this event on October 17th.  I want to coordinate with Evan so he can capture the event as he is a "videogrpher".  It is probably best to push it back a week or two as I need to make more contacts and get some initial small face to face meetings and set up this one with an assurance of at least a half dozen people attending.   IF the city does designate me as the developer of 257 Central Street, then we can meet at the park and I will have places for people to park at the 251/255/257 Central Street property.  That would be very exciting if we can say that the 257 Central Street property rehab is an actuality and it would count as the first in a series of rehabs that would help to re-weave the threads of "community" and pride in ownership that seems to have been lost in our urban communities these days. 

02 October 2015:  This will be a short end of the week report, pleas look at September 29 & 30 to see most of what I have posted of this weeks end report.
Today I was taken to a German Dinner and about a week ago to a fine movie.  My friend has tried to provide me with things to have me find them enjoyable so that my mind does not dwell on the thoughts that I have not heard from the city on my bid for the property at 257 Central Street.  I have heard nothing so I doubt the City Council will take up this issue on the October 5th meeting.  Got sick and did not box up things as I had planned.  Will try and work on them next week and provide an example for those that follow me.  All non-essentials and especially those things I have not used and the ones that are NOT seasonal that I do not expect to use in the next few months should be boxed up and sent to storage.  All summer clothing needs to go there also, clearly labeled.  The idea is to have most of my stuff out of the apartment by the middle to the third week in October.  And all but the very needful ones out by November 1st.  It is entirely possible I might just give up the apartment, visit friends, and find a place to sleep in the daytime while work is going on at the building at 257 Central Street.
The point is that something can be done, mostly planning, while you are waiting for word from an official.  You can "busy" yourself and can "visit" folks. But the truth also is that while you are spending 8-12 hour days working on rehabbing a building you will most certainly not be doing much else than eating and sleeping.  So all that other "stuff" can go to storage now so you are ready to move when you can.  Also some clothing and amenities can be in the building as one room is completed after another room.  This way the stuff you use every day will also be there for when you are working, like a small fridge and your microwave, also dishes, etc.   The building needs to have electricity, water and sewage tied to it and operational as soon as possible so work can continue and people do not need to go to a "outside john" to "do their business".  Also the furnance needs to be operational, even if it must be vented through a window for now.  Heat needs to be in the building and work can continue.  Once the building is ready to receiv a certificate of occupancy the move of all the stuff can happen for what you need first and things in storage later.  I think it is good to plan for a one or two car garage.  You might not need them right away, but they can store the things that don't need to be kept warm and that means you can release the storage facility and put that money towards the other stuff for the house.
Lights, heat, taxes, insurance, etc.  So I will start on the book and especially this phase of moving stuff from where you are living to storage about now and to the middle of October.  We want this part done so that it can be transcribed and maybe others can follow in my footsteps and make their transition easier.

29 & 30 September 2015:  Will try to get boxes to box up items in current apartment to go to storage and get ready so I can leave at a moment's notice.  As of early this morning there is no word from the city, over 30 days from the time we had to have all items in and Sunday I had three people ask me about 257 Central St. This posting is after 1PM and will be the last post, I think, of September.  I am very concerned about this project for what was easy to do and I had lots of help "lined up" for a July 15, August 15 or September 15 start date. Now that the earliest looks nearer October 15th or later a plan 'b' needs to happen.
We need to "deal" with these realities and start polling our "people" to see what to do next.  I think we will need to ask for a start date delay or hiatus time.
This is going to be a mid-week report to close out this month tomorrow.  The first meeting the City Council will take up regular business is October 5th.  After that it will be October 19 and 26th.  If nothing is done and the property is not provisionally transferred until October 26th, the paperwork might not be able to be done until November and it would be near Thanksgiving before any work could be done on the property.  This is why I am seeking information about  precedents in asking for a hiatus in the work during the 6 months allowed to get the work done and a certificate of occupancy issued.  If I am so anxious about this, then how will it be for the others we are to help to do the same thing.  What things, in addition to what I have been doing, can we have them do to focus on the positive things.  What do similar agencies do.  The the big question is do we want this a straight board of directors or do we want this a "membership" group which essentially meets once or twice a year and elects the governing board of directors at its annual meeting.  We need to think of not only the needs of the entity we would be creating but also the needs of some of the groups that might be "non-profits" and how their hands might be tired as to dealing with an entity that might not be also considered a "non-profit" with direct links to the "community served".  The idea is for work to be ably to continue smoothly once I am gone from this area or dead.  Yet, as Sarah Susanka expressed in her book "The Not So Big Life", we need to not "tie" the organization to one set way to do things so it can respond to the needs of the moment and fully engage in whatever avenues are currently available to move things forward so our people can quickly obtain and rehab properties to live in comfortably.  Perhaps the best way to "create the future" is to fully focus on the opportunities present in this current moment we have.

26 September 2015:  A foreboding had replaced the discouragement.  I bought a dolly yesterday for $45 and straps to tie things down for about $20 and then a roll top desk for $40 to eventually bring to the house and use as my "prayer closet", a place with a locking roll top (Savers seems to have lost the key) and God blessed me as I was trying to roll it back by having the lady that donated it see me and offer to help in driving it back to my current apartment.  Such a nice lady Robin from Chicopee is.  If you join me in asking God to bless her I know he will know whom she is.  She is a Christian lady and I gather this once might have been her daughter's desk.  It has a not so deep drawer under the pull our piece for writing, little cubbies inside the role top where my Bible is now stored and a prayer list, and two larger and deeper drawers below.  It is only a 20" x 26" footprint and only 3'10" high so it will fit well in any small space.  The dolly will be used to move things (could not afford the extra $39 for one with pneumatic ties and this only holds 600 Lbs, but I think that will be OK for the stuff I want to move and set a pattern for the people to follow.  I know we will need to move trash and such out and I think a bucket will fit fine on this, even if we need to put a larger platform on it.  I have heard nothing from the city after the deadline of August 28th where if everything revised and by professionals (incurring a cost of around $4,040.00) had not been into the city they would reject my bid.  I also got a notice of someone whom is on our "team" for this project putting in a high bid and the city never accepted that bid, just put the thing out for another rfp and added other properties to it as if no one had bid at all.  So now I am wondering and as I do that and question things I think of the negative thoughts that any of our people might have in a similar situation.  Such thoughts, whether true or not, do nothing good to your disposition and "eat" at your sense of well being.  It is Spiritually and Psychologically and Socially more "profitable" to focus on other things.  So if I can do so, I buy something towards the project, even if it is only a book or two, so I am "working on it" in some way.  We can help by having maybe weekly or bi-weekly meetings with our people and either there or at a monthly "pot luck dinner" we all get together and share the accomplishments so far, and maybe leve in the hands of God (regardless of how our clients might define that term) those things we really can not affect any changes over and to worry about them would not be helpful in moving along towards the purchase and rehabbing of the house to make it a nice home.  As of Monday it will be 30 days since I was to get other people and have them send everything in or the bid would be rejected.  I will spend that at the doctors and other medical appointments and then at a city wide Crime Watch meeting to keep busy. If I get out of the doctors in time I will go to a board meeting.  If I have a mess of things going on I am certain others do as well.  Paul Thornton of STCC writes many books and one of them was "The Answers Are On The Office Walls" and in it is a quote that says something like this: "You never know what World War 3 someone else is fighting".  I will most probably, and the rest of us in this project as well, not know the depth with which some people are "fighting" other issues.  So if we can lower the discouragement and disrepair factor in this issue we will be doing a great and good service for our current people (clients) and those that follow. The On-Line Etymology Dictionary says this about "client": Look up client at " late 14c., from Anglo-French clyent (c. 1300), from Latin clientem (nominative cliens) "follower, retainer," perhaps a variant of present participle of cluere "listen, follow, obey" (see listen); or, more likely, from clinare "to incline, bend," from suffixed form of PIE root *klei- "to lean" (see lean (v.)).  The ground sense apparently is of one who leans on another for protection. In ancient Rome, a plebeian under protection of a patrician (called patronus in this relationship; see patron); in English originally "a lawyer's customer," by c. 1600 extended to any customer."
I highlight that to re-quote these words  "the ground sense apparently is one who leans on another for protection."  Is that not what we are doing, providing someone our people can "lean on" in this process and provide some small sense of "protection" as one navigates the sometimes difficult process of gaining the governmental approvals to even be able to obtain and rehab an abandoned building.  So it is all the more clear that we provide something for our people in this time of difficulty.  I think also it might be helpful, in addition to re-capitulating what has been learned thus far, to have a speaker come in and talk about, assumed the approval is granted, what the next steps would be and give "homework" for the people we are helping to accomplish to assist in these "next steps".  I would really appreciate it if someone would give me some feedback on these comments personally at  One of the things I will do is to visit some by about 9:30AM today and then go near the property I put a bid in for and read a book in a park nearby to be near the property.  At least I can do that, and publish these comments.  Then, by Tuesday of next week I will spend the last 3 days of September boxing up everything I will most probably not be using in the next few weeks to put in storage so I can be "ready to work" when the notice if given.  Already we are working on plans to not start until November, and maybe seeking a concession from the city to "stop the clock" for 3 months (I understand they require this to be completed and a Certificate of Occupancy granted within 6 months) during December, January and February or better the 4 months of December, January, February and March so we can be working at times when the ground is not frozen and it is warm enough to work on roofs and siding and masonry work, etc.  It is now at a point where contractors are hurrying up to use every moment on other jobs to finish up before "the snow flies" and I could not expect them to drop everything and go to this task.  If I am encountering these feelings and frustrations, how much more would it be for one of our people that before had the most difficult task was telling the landlord a leaking faucet needed fixing and then waiting a bit before he could get his people scheduled to "fix it", and probably not as promptly as they desired.

22 September 2015:  Very discouraged. Have heard nothing so far.  Have re-evaluated plans for a possible start date of October 1 and November 1.
But that means trying to do main roof in the last month, in March.  One can ascribe all sorts of evil intents to a delay that might actually just mean that the people involved are so very busy with other things that they can not get around to a stack of papers on their desk to send out letters of approval or denial.  This does re-enforce for me the need to build into our "program" something to counteract these long spaces and somehow encourage our people.  I know for a fact that at least one city employee is doing the work of three or four other employees because when someone "retired" the city did not hire another person, just shift the burden of work over to this other friend who is very compent.  The result is that this good employee is now almost totally "burnt out" much of the time.
Hence, I am not blaming the local governmental people. BUT we must build something into this mix so that our people focus on the positive strides they have made and not on the delays that are happening because of forces totally beyond their control.
Maybe one solution is sort of "field trips" to other places that experienced "delays" and seeing what a nice home they now have.  I want to celebrate what our people have learned to do and encourage them to continue to look at the past successes as indicators of the future successes they can anticipate.  I might be absolutely crazy, but I think I want to send a letter to former President Jimmy Carter and ask if he has any advice from his experience in starting Habitat for Humanity.  I want to reach out to people that might know how to help and give advice.  I do believe this project is unique and worth while.

18 September 2015:  Made an "Hourly Log" to divide up time and have me be onsite at 257 Central except for when I travel to and from and am sleeping at some other place.  Hence I would be on the site 18 hours a day or so, but about 6 of these would be inactive, just watching the site from inside.  I would travel to the sleeping site in the daytime, say sometime after when the workmen come and sleep there and then travel back to be at the work-site before the workmen leave.  I would be given instructions and have a good 8-10 hours of work I would accomplish, and then just be at the site as a "night watchman" from about 11PM or midnight through 5AM. At that time I could read and even rest a little.  I would be "at work" though operating as the security for the place.  Maybe turn the lights on and make  tour through the building like any security force would.  In this manner I am hopeful we can set a plan in place that others could follow.  It is sad that a city is so corrupt that the criminal element seems free to do "their thing" at night, but that is the realities of our world today.  This would not be a time to count on for sleep, although it might happen from midnight to 5am if there was no activity.  All of this happens until a partial Certificate of Occupancy is granted for a section of the house and then I move in there.  This is a policy I think can work, and if we obtain a truck camper or something else like that so some one can go there or at a place near by in the daytime, then the sleeping and a main meal can happen "off site" and when you are there you would be "working" on some task.  This seems to be the most economical way of securing a building and yet not running afoul of laws to protect the health and safety of people who live in buildings.  At 6AM I would start the day again by cleaning up and getting the site ready for workmen.  Tell me what you think of this idea.  I still think we might need, at least for the first few weeks, to rent a "pod" and a porta-potty to keep peoples tools and working materials safe and allow for toilet functions.

18 September 2015:  If this is not changed, it means there has been no positive word from the city since the additional information was put in by the date requested three weeks ago.  I will look at 9AM and the next time I will check email will be in the morning of 21 September 2015.  One of the things we learn from this is to get a "team" or two of people that work well together so they can get the type of information needed by any particular city or town.  That might also include someone who is known by the city or town as one who has successfully "flipped" houses. That is they are known to have been able to rehab a house and sell it for a profit.  Thus such a person "on board" would mean to the city or town that we had someone with "past experience" and the approval process might run smoother. Just thinking aloud.

16 September 2015: I posted this yesterday on our facebook page (listed as " This weekend I will also try and ponder the types of people we would want to have on our board of directors for this entity. Please contribute to his "working list" and especially if you know of some people to add. Such as contractors, property or real estate lawyers, property management people maybe even retired folks that have expertise in this field, social work people and such. If you talk with some one please emphasize this is not a "for profit" company and we will be helping people "get on their feet" again and so much of what we do will be done for free or on a bare bones or "cost" basis. We are attempting to build community and revive some fantastic old houses to become vibrant homes again and put hope in the hearts of not only the future owners but all who pass by and see the newly renovated and well kept up building over the years to come."
ANY advice people have for the setting up of this entity and its funding going forward is greatly appreciated.  By the very nature of working with people in business to help folks get into substantial homes of their own means we will need to have a board with political thoughts that run the full gamut from ultra conservative to ultra liberal,and I truthfully think labels and names really fail greatly in defining political thoughts as most people I know are one way towards some things and one way towards other things, but what I am saying is this is a project in which we need to transcend political alliances to join together for the good of the people are and will be serving who need help and might not have ever thought in terms of political action and might never plan to do so.  Having put that idea "to rest" I ask all to email me at my email above ( and tell me their thoughts and suggestions for someone to be on our team that is forming this entity and also maybe on our board of directors that files the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of the Commonwealth and others.  I am almost afraid to say this, but I guess I need people to help us promote this idea, which means I will be working much harder and many more hours in the future smiley face.  This will be the comment for this week as early Friday morning I will be traveling to New Hampshire to the retreat center at Contoocook NH with a  Church Men's Retreat. The Wikipedia about this retreat center is <> .  I am thinking more and more that we need to build into our "program" regular pot luck dinners, picnics, visits to construction sites, visits with architects, visits with environmental and sustainable living people and also some sort of retreats or just times to "get a way from it all" and "refresh the batteries" of our people.  Most may be holding down low income jobs or going to school and have a full time with their families.  We need to help them, as a community, to find the time to reflect on life, to appreciate what they have learned thus far, and allow them to take the time to "stop and smell the roses" as the phrase goes.  So now is to find a place close to where they live, in this case the greater Springfield, MA area for some sort of a retreat and some sort of 'fun' times.  I am thinking of how barn raising events happened years ago.  I found with interest this article on taking and old barn and making it into a home, not much different than our concepts of taking old and dilapidated city/town owned structures and making them habitable and alive again. There are many folks in the area of NY, CT and MA that do this, barn raising, all the time.  I was going to give a link but think it is best for you to just search for it online yourself.  But I did find a Wikipedia article on it. And that article starts something like this: "A barn raising, also historically called a "raising bee" or "rearing" in the U.K., describes a collective action of a community, in which a barn for one of the members is built or rebuilt collectively by members of the community. Barn raising was particularly common in 18th- and 19th-century rural North America. A barn was a necessary structure for any farmer,...".  This tradition in conservative, capitalistic, Yankee, New England is something I desire to revive for the rebuilding of houses into homes for people that have already had their share of troubles in this life.  If we can get together and "collectively" help a person work on and make an abandoned or neglected house into their home, we can do so much good and like in the days of old when we helped a neighbor build his barn we will also be building community and a common respect for and investment in the area as a whole.  So maybe I have talked more like two weeks in this one post, but we need people to "get on board" and help us make this entity a reality before 2016 and then help us knit together the people that are willing to cooperate and collaborate and just plain give to help build a more integrated and inter-respectful community. And just like this quote from that same Wikipedia article that "a barn was also a large and costly structure, the assembly of which required more labor than a typical family could provide. Barn raising addressed the need by enlisting members of the community, unpaid, to assist in the building of their neighbors' barns. Because each member was entitled to recruit others for help, the favor would eventually return to each participant."  Rehabbing a neglected building is a large and costly structure, more labor and such than one family can usually provide. And each participant would have the favor returned to them.  I envision each person agreeing that in others helping them get their "home" in shape they will also, over the next 10 years at least, help in building at least 5 more homes for others with us.    Again from that article "Most barn raisings were accomplished in June and July when the mostly agrarian society members had time between planting season and harvest season. Timber for the framing was mostly produced in the winter by the farmer and his crew hewing logs to the correct shape with axes or felling the trees and bringing them to a sawmill.   An ancient tradition is to place a bough, wreath and/or flag at the high point of the frame after the last piece is in place. This celebration is called topping out and historically the master carpenter may also make a speech and a toast."  In buildings today a flag is raised at the tallest point when it is "framed" and pretty much "built".  And I would like to have most of our heavy work of exterior and support carpentry, masonry and roofing done also in June and July and maybe some days in August.  Then the rest of the interior work can go on in as the days turn shorter and the nights cooler. BUT I can see all of this happening so that a family that get's a house by June could get the certificate of occupancy and be moved in by Christmas time in December.  Maybe to even be in there for Thanksgiving but if work has progressed enough and such we could all have a Thanksgiving meal at the property, walls not painted but covered, floors not sanded smooth and maybe windows in and furnace working but no curtains yet.  It is exciting to thing about what we can do collaboratively and cooperatively to help not only each other but our whole community to come out of the cold night of selfishness into the warm light of community efforts for the good of all. And there are benefits as I see a plaque on the completed house by the front door and also one by the door the family uses most to enter the building that thanks those that helped make this a reality.   And that plaque would stay up for at least a decade.  That article continues: "Barn raisings occurred in a social framework with a good deal of interdependence. Members of rural communities often shared family bonds going back generations. They traded with each other, buying and selling land, labor, seed, cattle, and the like. They worshipped together. They celebrated together, because cities were too far away to visit with any frequency by horse and wagon. Despite traditions of independence, self-sufficiency, and refusal to incur debt to one another, community barn raisings were a part of life."  And I am also told that in a barn raising the ladies cooked and provided a meal, not unlike a Church or fraternal group's "pot luck supper".  They worked hard to make a meal for the folks lifting the beams and putting the roofing on and such. So all worked together. We could see the same thing at certain times, like maybe the roofing or a painting bee when many would be paining and some gettting a meal together outside on board on saw horses so we can eat as a community and survey the work that has just been completed in making this house look even more like a home.  All of this has to go withing the framework of current societies rules and regulations. BUT I am CERTAIN that officials can find the way to approve some group efforts and I would want to invite them also to these meals.  Have the building and wiring and plumbing inspectors come and join with us. They are not our adversaries, we all want a safe and secure home for this group.   AND to close on things. And I think I have written enough for a whole month or more, I think I would want to invite the Mayor and City Council (or whatever the governing structure is where the house is being rebuilt into a home) to come and be with us, maybe State or National officials also.  It is a big thing to go from a subsidized apartment to a home of your own where your kids can play in their own back yard.  And talking about children (kids).  Most recently a place to help find shelter for families has moved next to the buiding I am currently living in.   Oh how it rips your heart apart seeing these people with all their belongings and the bewildered children that know not where they will sleep tonight, if they can, and what tomorrow will bring clutching onto a toy or looking around as they try to play, expecting someone to say "NO" at any moment. Any one of these children could have been my grandchild.  So now my eyes are opened and I see an even wider need and see where we could help not only an individual or a couple (sometimes aging) but also young families or a family with only one adult as the "head of the household" build a better place to raise their children in.  I just can not fathom why people and corporations are not falling over themselves trying to "get in line" to help.   I think it is only because we are not as yet a corporation with few grants to pay for the non-profit filling fees and when we are such and a 5 01(c)3 recognized group it might be different. We have he opportunity here to build a better society, one house at a time. We can work with so many other groups doing similar work.  But ours takes the homes no one wants and joins volunteer labor and donations of materials and expertise to make a NEW LIFE not only for the individuals that will live in the house, but for the surrounding community and the governmental unit (city, town, etc.) in which it is situated.   So I go off to a class soon about rental housing, as some of our people might rehab a large house, a duplex, that would have them also become landlords and providing rental housing for some others.  The vision is expanding.  And then the retreat to ask God as I ask YOU to assist in getting the  "right" people together to make all of this happen.  I can envision many buildings being worked on at a time and in many a city or town while groups of people everywhere are following these guidelines to rebuild their communities and helping people come form a point of full dependency to a point of being once again complete members of and contributors to the life and well being and vibrancy of their communities. We CAN do this folks, and we can do it NOW!!!    Thanks for your prayers as I pull away from the hub-bub of right now and the uncertainty of the future for myself and spend part of this weekend of September 18, 19, & 20 of 2015 being "easy" and asking God to "put in my heart" the direction He wants me to go with this and show me the resources or the people to visit to see the resources so all of this can be done.  I know this is a long post. And if I had been standing on a cornner with you while you waited for a bus that bus and another might have come and gone before I was through talking.  I think I can talk for hours and hours about the possibilities and benefits that will come form us gathering together and helping a needy person, couple or family.  Can't you just imagine a little one coming up to you and remembering when you helped as their house was being built and asking if you could come over and see their new puppy?  This is the building of community and trust and the warp and woof of our society that has been unraviled so much by greed and selfishness. Thank your for reading all this.  Now stop and do nothing and this of how YOU could become an even more active part of this ideal. Then as God, as you understand God to be, to guide you in knowing what it is you should do.  Listen to your heart, your soul, the innermost parts of your being as they speak to you of the divine blessings that come when you help us in these noble endeavors.

11 September 2015: 3PM and yet nothing from the city as yet. I thought we had submitted everything they wanted two weeks ago at 2:22PM.  It is so hard just waiting to see what people decide.   We need to make certain we build in something so that while our people are "waiting" that they can be also "celebrating" what they have learned and looking forward to what they will do if approval is given (and also how they will respond and what steps to take if approval is not given).  It is good to be helping at the Glendi festival at the Greek Orthodox Church, it will take my mind off of wondering if I did not so something right.  Tuesday night at the Maple, High, Six Corners Neighborhood Council meeting Councillor Melvin Edwards said he would "check into it" this week and maybe what I need to do is just ask him what he found out Monday the 14th of September.  I have signed up for a class and paid my fees in Residential Rental Landlord/Tenant issue for next Wednesday.  What bothers me is the time frame that this must all get done in 24 weeks and with each passing week it get's more difficult to work on the outside of the building and this is what we will need to do for about 2 months before we can even think about getting heat and water/sewer and such established inside.  I am so happy this seems to be happening to me in this manner so we can understand what our future clients will be going through while they wait.  We must build in things for them to do and accomplish more skills during this time.  Maybe a time of someone that is doing this to share with others what they have done and learned so far?  Sounds good.

04 September 2015:  We are now focusing on getting a group together to agree on things and file with the city and Secretary of the Commonwealth.  The focus now is on creating the entity to help others while Mr. Knight waits to see what the city says about his own bid.  If nothing is heard from by noon 10am today we will assume it will be next week, at the earliest before anything will happen and Mr. Knight will go to the Berkshire Hills to see friends and to participate in a family reunion.  He is also scheduled to be away at a men's retreat relating to Church and will be helping the week before at the Glendi celebration at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, all of these being things he has done yearly in September for many, many years.  Although he will most probably NOT be taking college classes he hopes to assist the Campus Civitan Club at Springfield Technical Community College, continue reading Sarah Susanka's books in the "Not So Big House" series, and read an older version of a book that is the text for a course in "sustainability" that he might of taken at STCC.  He is hoping the city says yes to designate him as developer of 257 Central Street and he will spend most of his hours there helping to get it in shape to get a certificate of occupancy.  It is so late in the year to start a project like this that "all hands on deck" will be the watchword to get all the stuff that needs to be done while the weather is good.  Mr. Knight believes he only has 24 weeks to get the certificate of occupancy or maybe lose the property.  So the best he can do is to buy the older version of the text book and read it in any spare time he might have.  The next update here will not that in a newsletter of the Recovery Learning Community of Western Massachusetts, and other places, a call will have gone out for people to contact him at the email links above if they are interested in becoming a part of this entity and this or future projects we are involved with.  Comments will be posted here about the whole rfp process and how we can hep our people ("clients") navigate this "adventure".  It is imperative we assemble a caring team of people that include contractors, lawyers, social work people, architects, engineers, home remodeling experts and such as we might need so that people can contact and pick from a few sources to assemble their own "team" and have them "ready to go" when they respond to an rfp or tax auction or the like.

28 August 2015:  This is the day we got everything together on the 257 Central project and it was submitted it to the city by 2:22PM. This is the deadline set by the city.  We either made this or the whole project was to be rejected.  We have spent 100 days looking at this and it is now about 90 days after the bid submission.  We want to help our clients so that they do not need to wait as long and go through so much uncertainty as I have experienced.  The Architect and I will meet. Before that I try and make copies.  We will need to get a copy of the letter of commitment form the funding people to keep in our records digitally, we submitted it, which the city copied, over a week or two ago.  "Why can't they...." that I have heard just is not a valid statement today. Our people will need to ignore or dismiss such from their friends and relatives because this is a different day and we need to follow the rules for today and they will need to follow the rules of tomorrow's projects when they seek to respond to an rfp or tax auction or whatever in the future.  There will NOT be another entry here past the 28th until a decision is made.  Then I will report how it went with the 257 Central Street project. Already I now have people I can call "friends" in the Registry of Deeds, various departments of the city, Historical commissions and libraries, and various other places.   Once we get a few projects done so that people see this approach works then I believe folks will be "scrambling to get on board" to be a part of this good thing. BUT right now I, and S.C.A.R.F. (or whatever our name ends up being)  are unknown entities. Also I have been homeless, on "public assistance", and partly because of my age (and partly due to physical limitations), not employed.  There are lots of reasons for people to look askance at me/us.  We submit things & we wait and I read Sarah Susanka's book on the  "Not so Big Life".

19-27 August 2015:  Just lost, due to computer hard drive malfunction, all I typed here for an hour.  Auto save just never happened. I brief, I mentioned my fears that this project would "blow up in my face" tomorrow as I need to have in by then all the completed plans, etc.  That the person representing the funding people and a contractor himself is asking for things that I don't think can be provided.  That the city wants all documents or they will reject the bid tomorrow.  That I had the choir director of my Church come over with her family Sunday afternoon and we stood by the old 251 Central side of the fence at 257 Central Street, Springfield, MA. We talked of what could happen and then prayed.  We asked in prayer that if this is God's will that I get and rehab this house, that the doors open so no person can shut them. And also we asked that if it is NOT God's will I get and rehab this house, that the doors shut so that the richest man in the world can not pay to have them opened again.  Then we prayed the Lord's Prayer and agreed it was a "done deal" and now it is in God's hands.  That does not mean I stop work on things, only that I put it in God's hands and am willing to proceed as He directs.  Regardless of what happens to 257 Central, I am still going forward to create this entity to help others gain a home through their own sweat equity and the assistance of others using the abandoned and/or neglected buildings a city or town owns so the person can be put in a building they helped to make a home in the city or town from which they came.  I mentioned all sorts of things about this project we have noted before here.   I spoke of how everything needs to be into the city before tomorrow and that I would be contacting the Architect today.  I spoke of my trials in things being asked of the General Contractor I get advice from that represents the funding source and I doubt those answers can be given.  I mentioned that in the Building Department yesterday I looked up the permit records for this house and those between 251 through 259 Central as they were often owned by one person and thus permits taken out to do things on all of the lots.  But in 1923 a permit was taken out the demolish an 'ell' and put up a room with a kitchenette (very similar to the type of rooms I have lived in for some 19 years) and this now conforms with the old maps that show an 'L' shaped building on this lot.  This is done over 60 years ago when William Johnson pitched his 100th shut out game against the N.Y. Yankees in May of 1923.  I mentioned that this part of the building is old by its own right.  I mentioned I am pretty fully convinced that the main building of 1860 was built under a variation of the "Hemenway Plan" where there is direct entry to a two room house with a passageway to the back of the chimney.  This is exactly what we have here in this 1860's section of the building.  And I mentioned that the registry of deeds goes back a similar amount of time until it gets a bit 'fuzzy' around 1900.  So I am feeling a little more confident about this being a "clear" title.  I am learning so much and I hope that when I produce the "book" on this it will not scare people away.  It is a very difficult process and full of opportunities for great depression and hopelessness.  So we hope by founding this entity we can "hold the hands" of people as they go through these steps to owning their own home and getting on more "solid footing" than they have been on for years and can put the bad stuff "behind them now".
So I will stop here and hope it does not crash in saving this page and do the recording of what I found out yesterday and contact the people I need to today.  If you are reading this on August 27th, please join me in prayer about this project and contact me through the email here if you would like to be a part of this or future projects.
I am now being asked for copies of people's licenses and registrations for construction work and supervision.  So much to do. So many times for a mistake to mess up.
Looks like there are so many things that the least little wrong step and the whole things is cancelled.  We need a guide for people so the average person can do this.
We also need to provide for our people in case a clerical error or something they forgot cancells a project on them.  It is so much of a reality to me the night before deadline.  Everything is in the city's hands and approved by them by tomorrow or everything is cancelled as if the last 90 days never happened.  We need to build in some sort of pot luck meetings, fun elements, something to help a person or family that is going through this keep the focus that this is all for the betterment of their lives and it is just because they ARE important and a vital aspect of our society that we do this.  The urge to "give up" is so great.  We need to help them through this.
Maybe the day before decisions or a few days before, is a time for celebration and "graduation" or other complementary meal looking at what they have accomplished thus far and the things they have learned.  Yes, it is stressful but look what they have learned.  Some can now search in the Registry of Deeds online and in the archives. Some can look through the Assessors Data Base and find property information. Some can check for taxes owned and calculate what the home would cost that way.  Some have taken local classes by us and others in financial literacy, or first time home buying, or others in landlord and property management issues.  All in all they need to be able to look back with pride at this stressful time and see with pride how much they have learned in these past few months.  This we need to do for them.
Even if this property search and submission fails, they need to see it as a success; what they have learned and how much more capable they are now to "do it again".

17-18 August 2015:  Looks like might lose house at 257 Central Street.  Apparently promises have been made on my behalf that have not been followed through with.  I know that I have been promised things only to be told it would be the next day, then days later, then the next week, etc.
Focus mentally is in preparing to lose the 257 Central Street project and just make the concepts here and create an entity with a board of directors and my concepts recorded so that once I have died this work might still be able to be carried on.  I believe in the concept but it is ever so important that people understand we are NOT talking about a full house remodel at this point, only whatever is necessary for the certificate of occupancy and then some little more to make it good to live in (The Not So Big House concept and the concept of a sustainable or "green" house as far as is possible with limited funds).  We are not talking about a substantial remodel that changes the essential nature of the building.  This is all about helping people who have been in some sort of a traumatic event, like becoming homeless, raped, identity stolen, etc.  These are people without great funding resources and normally without any "savings" as to have "savings" is prohibited under most "programs" through which they have obtained shelter and a means of mere survival.  We are, or at least in speaking for myself I am, talking about using that person's "sweat equity" to work on and repair a home so it can pass the tests for a certificate of occupancy in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as interpreted by the local building or code enforcement officers.  This is a minimalist program.  The reason it is this was is that there are other "programs" to help the "poor" once they have owned the home for about 2 years.  We want to get the people out of subsidized shelter and into a house that they have helped make their own and has become their own home.  We want to move them to be productive members of the community in which the house is situated.  We know much more can be done.  And other "programs" are set up to "help" in those aspects.      Our focus is so much different than the buy and rehab and "flip" idea that many sort of baulk at it and feel it does not seem to make sense.  But we think it does make sense.
If the roof can go without being redone for 5 years, then let's not re-roof the building but do what is really needed, like maybe replacing the missing plumbing and electrical work, de-leading if needed, or a new furnance ofr repair existing furnace enough so that the certificate of occupancy is able to be issued.  Once you thoroughly "gut" a house, now now are no longer "repairing" the structure.  You have almost made it like it is a new construction and if you are altering more than a certain percentage of the building, some "agencies" and "authorities" view this the same as "new construction".  Some people do not understand that and view the "gut and replace" model as the only way to "deal" with an older building.  I feel this is one of the causes of a shortage of good housing today.  So, in the case of 257 Central Street, Springfield, MA certain promises have apparently been made on behalf of Charlie Knight that he would never have agreed to and if these promises are not upheld, as they have "just been words" so far, the participation by the city may be withdrawn.  What is now being asked for is the plans that were promised over a month ago.  These plans should have been presented to the planning department for approval and if it can be done within a week is now problematical as it is assumed these will need to be plans certified and given under appropriate "seal" by licensed professionals.  Charlie is committed to this concept and will spend at least this year and the next, should he still be alive, on this idea of S.C.A.R.F. and creating the "entities" to make it a viable option for people, regardless of whether he is able to have a place of his own or not.  We may be treading in areas that I would hope S.C.A.R.F. could hep navigate through so that our "clients" would never have to see these more difficult sides of this process and deal with the entities that would dispense negativity and doubt and distrust at a level higher than we can dispense hope, encouragement and a vision for a new life.
This whole website is an attempt to be totally transparent and share with all what we encounter so hat a guide can be written later so we can steer our "clients" to make contacts with people that "get" the idea of helping someone with their "sweat equity" to make a home for themselves.  I did not say a house that would win awards.  It is just a house that the people can personalize and make their own.  We are providing the basics for them to make a "home".  It is like the robin building a nest.  We can provide lots of bits of building materials on our properties, string, yarn, twigs, etc. BUT it is the individual robin that determines how these elements will be put together to make the "nest" that this robin can call their "home".
If we omit that element of "choice" then we have pretty much "lost" the concept we are working towards and might as well "fold" our tents and "go home".

13-16 August 2015:  Will be at the NOFA Conference at U.Mass, Amherst working at that conference. Do some design work and bring book to show people.

12 August 2015:  Signed contract for a grant to start this entity in earnest while I try to rehab a small house for myself and learn whom I can trust to help others.  Next month a booklet will start being put together.  Contact me if you would like to be on the initial board of directors as we form this entity and file the papers necessary. 

08 August 2015:  Looks like some things are coming together, but it is a challenge to share with people who have been contractors for years and done things a certain way that I want it to be done differently.  That I think it can be done differently and that it will NOT necessarily cost more to do it that way.  At any moment the first attempt with building a coalition to fund the purchase and rehab a little house for myself, charlie knight, in a city might just "fall apart".
But if I can not do this for myself, how can I do it for others?  It is the others I must always keep foremost in my mind.  If God blesses this it will be for the sake of not myself but the others whom come after me and can likewise be helped.  It is now three months after the decision had hoped to have been made.  This means much work is three months behind and the winter will be arriving.  The chimney and masonery and foundation and siding and roofing and much insulation must be accomplished before "first snow fall" and the roof and preferably before first frosts.  At least 30 if not 60 days on this project have been lost.  What will need to be done to keep this thing on track to be finished in the dead of winter?  This weekend, assuming the papers are signed and all things proceed ahead from Monday, then action on plan approvals could progress to next week, or the week after, and if planned work approvals are gained and the historical commissions approvals are granted then it is the work to bring electricity to the building and plumbing and sewage to be there for the professionals to hook up and then heat to be provided so work can continue inside.  We will be beginning at the time we had hoped to have all outside work accomplished.
Prayers are needed so that no other person we help goes through this sort of delays and somehow we can reduce the "hoops" people need to jump through.  This is uncharted territory.  I am not aware of any other concept like it.  We are like renting only to homeless people, we are seeking to rehab houses that have been neglected and deserted and are perhaps falling apart, just like the lives of the people we try to partner with to get them homes of their own.  But it is homes with the "Not so Big House" concept where finances and sweat equity is poured not into extra space, but into the little details that relate to the person who is to live in that home and his or her family and friends.  It is not about rehabing a house, but making it a home. A place you want to return to and a place your really do not want to leave.  At an American Indian museum I once saw manikin  figures of an indian "couple" building their "dwelling" make of saplings lashed together with bark or skins lashed and sewn on to that framework.  I thought then, what a great way to build that relationship.  I think it is true today, a many and woman that work together to build their home, also work together to build their life together.  So, if we have people working together to help someone build not a house but a "home" for themselves and the ones they love, then we also build community.  WE build a careing community that listens to the desires and wants of the people we are compelled by God to seek to serve to get to a better place in life. I ask you to pray so that in the future I can reach out to someone to help others go through less hassles than I have gone through so they can spend their energies in tearing out the unwanted, saving the old but wanted and putting in the new so the "home" becomes their "labor of love" and with the help of others a caring community is built within this city.

02 August 2015:  Abnormally exhausted Thurs through Saturday.  Still trying to deal with requests and demands to do 257 Central like a "flipper"
or to gut it and rebuild or tear down and rebuild.   All of these violate the principles S.C.A.R.F. is founded upon.  We need to "solve" these "problems" and have "solutions" others can "accept" before we can move forward.  I do not "accept" what others are doing as being the "best" way to do things, regardless if that seems to be how almost all the other contractors are doing it.    The must be a better way, and I need your prayers as I/we seek it.  The 'I' is because I, charles knight, is writing this. The 'we' is for all who join with me in desiring to find away for people to economically get a building up to code so a certificate of occupancy can be issued and then work on other "remodeling" as they go along and not incur tremendous expenses of gutting and rebuilding when to do so in only an "easy" solution for the contractor and totally ignores the character of the building and the needs of the eventual occupant.  The contractors need to see themselves as employees of the eventual owner and not "fountains of knowledge" that can not ave planned procedures changed to something that would benefit the owner more.   Part of what we stand for is not having contractors remake houses into something that has no "soul" and it would be "impossible" to make a "home" out of that once remodeled structure.  I say we need to stick to the "Not So Big House" principles spoken of in the books by Sara Sussanka.  I am buying more books on this concept and that of other architectural and remodeling principles so that the house is constructed with the eventual owner in mind, and not just some nebulous possible future sale.  The house might NEVER be sold and live through the life of the new owner, and maybe be transferred down to the children and children's children.  I reject the idea of building for a future sale to someone else.  To much of America is predicated on moving every few years or decade.  In the 1900's people put down roots.  The Bible tells of doing that.  We need to put down roots again today.

29 July 2015:
Met with contractor and Architect at 257 Central and looked at house and tore apart insides.  Estimates now give costs far above project limits and negate the philosophy of this program.  So discouraged, we want to save culture, not tear it down and erect a new copy of the real thing.
My desire has always been to save and make useable again, not make cheap copies.  If this is the way things have to be done, then this concept is flawed and not allowed by current society. 
I will not subject any client to the emotional distress I am going through and such with 257 Central Street in July of 2015.  It is inhuman to do so.
The idea of this project is to rehab an existing building with a little remodeling as need be for a Certificate of Occupancy, so that historical aspects of the home are retained.
The new owner can do anything they want in 10 years, but for now a portion of history would be retained and the person goes from being a drain on society to a homeowner and a productive member.
Tearing down and building a new synthetic imitation is not saving culture, it is promoting a lie.
This are just the founders thoughts at this emotional portion of his home project.  If it can not work for him, can it work for anyone else

28 July 2015: 
We will require our people to keep accurate records and a running journal of their work in obtaining and rehabing a vacant and abandoned building to get it back on the tax roles and a safe place for people to live in.  In this manner any problems that come up or any solutions they would want to share would be easily found by them at a later date.  We might not require it for the 10 year period, but during the first year, and maybe for the first 5 years, we will probably want our people to gather for a monthly meeting with a "pot luck" dinner to precede any presentation and discussions.  That way we continue to build "community" and can share success stories and have the opportunity to learn more through speakers and such.  We are building the future.

15 July 2015: 
It is essential we gather a compassionate group of people and industry people to advocate for those trying to go through the hurdles and do all they need to do to make this place a home.   The amount of things needed compaired to when a person was renting or on a section 8 rental voucher are staggering.  BUT it is just these "roadblocks" that are keeping good people from becoming home owners and in some cases acting as deterrents to good home ownership for people in a "protected class" in this state.

04 July 2015: 
A person seeking to get an abandoned or vacant city or town owned property will agree to the goals of this project, assist in formulating what they need and want in order to get a certificate of occupancy and undergo whatever training from whatever sources we can find so they can become knowledgeable of what needs to be done and not become a victim of "scamers" and con artists. Often the people in most need may be trusting of someone who seems to know what they are talking about and we do not want people that have often been very poor to be separated from what little money they have by bad contractors and others that feed upon and prey upon those in difficult circumstances.  That is why we will insist on certain "trainings" to help our people succeed in being homeowners and productive members of the community. We will work, wherever possible, to have existing agencies and groups provide this training just as they do regularly for other segments of the population.  Much exists that is free for out people, we just need to identify where the sources are and have them go and receive the good instruction so they are protected by knowledge.

15 June 2015:
The concept is that the people involved that we help to reclaim abandoned and vacant houses will be willing not only to work on those houses themselves, but to agree within a 10 year period to help us with at least 5 other houses that people will be
working on to make into homes for themselves.  Thus we create a "community" based upon mutual help and those that helped
someone rehab a house would also have a vested interest in that home and helping the person continue to live there.
We want to build interactive communities that invigorate a city or town and make it a vibrant and caring place to live in.

04 June 2015: 
The thought is that this entity is to help people that are willing to put in the sweat equity to work on a project themselves.


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