Come on upstairs… check out the resource center.


Remember, I’d imagined an upstairs…

If not… check out the coffee house… keeping it simple post. Let’s start off with where we left off with the this post for the coffee house.

On the way up to the 2nd level, you will see community artwork exhibits hanging off the walls – continuing/connecting the importance of drawing the community together, as with the coffee house. For the transition area, think of an open staircase – not enclosed or boxed in. There is signage from the coffee shop downstairs directing people to the 2nd level. Ease of access will be accommodated, the entire building will need to be ADA compliant.

On the second floor there will be access to the organization’s offices, as well as space for the resource center itself. Once upstairs, you will be greeted by a reception attendant. Who will be able to help direct people to information, trainings, mentoring, and programs. There will be a small, yet comfortable seating area. Mimicking the feel of the coffee house downstairs.

Like the coffee house down stairs, there will be chalk boards hanging down. This time with local community happenings: voting issues,school board meetings, crime watch, neighborhood association meetings, etc. A small bulletin board on the wall for residents to post. A dry erase board with the resource center’s schedule of events.

There will be space for 3-4 desk top computers – which will have access to the internet and be specifically channeled to food, job, and housing resources, a training class schedule, partnering organizations, and available programs. Social networking sites will be blocked.

There will be a conference room and two rooms set up for class rooms. The class rooms will also be used for community meeting spaces. All rooms will be installed with technologies for presentations. Including (but not limited to) projector, wall screen, and presentation dry erase boards.

Offering a comfortable, welcoming, come-as-you-are, hands-on, safe environment that promotes proactive productivity.


Introduction: The Community Resource Center

So, why a resource center?

Well, just like the coffee house, it was a natural selection. A resource center is another way of building community and strengthening the neighborhood. An information hub. Local happenings. A place where people can come to learn, be trained, and be equipped. See a familiar face. Ask questions. Receive one-on-one mentoring/guidance. A place where they can learn to fish.

fishingYou know the saying… give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day… teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. The goal of making information accessible, resources available, mentoring, and training classes is to teach the man to fish for his lifetime.

You’ve already realized I have a passion to build community. Well, I also have a passion to see people succeed in their lives. My heart is wired for outreach. Equipping. To serve. Empowerment. Compassion. And… to model mercy.

I am a connector. I am internally wired to help people, to foster connection. Connecting people to each other, to what is around them, and to healthy solutions that fit their lives. And… I love doing it.

This resource center is about connection. Sustainable living. Collaboration with existing organizations. Partnering. Creating good clear communication. Creating strong healthy programs that fit the needs of the people/population group. Creating classes that provide hands-on training. Not duplicating what is already out there. But, finding the gaps and filling in. If the resources already exist, we will make the information accessible and direct people to the appropriate contacts. Contacting our partnering organizations and introducing the person. Taking an interest.

Getting Un-Stuck

So, my balcony is organized and ready for guests, my living room is re-arranged, and the closets are… some-what cleaned. And… I’ve been chomping at the bit to get back to blogging again.

I would’ve started this post with pulling apart the next insight… communication. But, that seems to be where the bridge washed away. So, instead of going there right now, we’re going to go around it… and come back to it later. It’s an awfully important insight and topic to cover. But, since that’s where the bridge is missing… I’d rather jump into pulling apart what the resource center looks like… (I think it’s time).

So… let’s get to it!

Hitting The Wall

2677951937_86a6596446So, have you ever hit a wall? You are in the middle of a big project and… bam! There is this big, brick, sturdy, what seems to be unmovable wall. Where did it come from? And, why is it there? Or… maybe it feels like the bridge to your next thought has washed away somewhere.

Well, that’s where I am right now. As I’ve been blogging away happily, brick_wallI’ve been able to clear the cobwebs out of my brain. The vision is becoming more and more defined, which feels awesome. Lots of good momentum and progress. Then… about two weeks ago, I hit a wall.

So what happened?

Well, behind the scenes of the blog, I’ve been taking classes from “grant writing” to “the roles of collaborators”… and what seems like everything in between. I’ve been identifying organizations to volunteer with… networking… asking lots of questions. I’m working on “de-bugging” the vision, I’ve got a research project that will determine if Austin is a location that works, I’ve been pulling apart who the target psychographic is, and at some point… I’ll tackle my business plan. And… in the process, I’ve gotten over-loaded with information.

Information over-load. Not a bad thing. It’s a reality of research.

How do you deal with it? What if you want to start doing something? You’ve been researching for a while… and you’d rather being doing something about it. Have you ever felt that way? I’m right there… right now. One of the things I have learned is that I’ve got to give myself some balance in order to move forward. If I feel like I can’t DO something more hands-on with where I am, then I can do something in other areas of my life.

What does that look like?

Well, for me, it means shifting gears and taking a week just for me and for catching up in the apartment. What happened laundry1-main_Fullto the floor… where did all these crumbs come from? And, why isn’t the vacuum working? Hmmm… looks like I’ve got some work to do around the house. You should see my laundry pile! Yikes. And… oh my, I just looked at the kitty litter box.

One of the things, I’ve learned is that it helps me to switch gears and do something such as home projects or finding things to take to Goodwill, so I can feel as though I’ve accomplished something. It also lets my brain focus on something else, so I don’t feel as though I’m hitting my head needlessly against that brick wall. They may seem like small projects, but they have a finish line to them. It really helps to take the time to decompress and focus on the “life stuff”. Then I’m ready to tackle the vision with new energy… and new ideas. So, for the next week, if you need me… I’ll be cleaning out the closets.

Have patience with me… I will be back to blogging soon.

Initial insights, more in depth… asking for help, what holds us back?

Continuing on. Today let’s look at why it’s so hard to ask for help.


If you fall down, pull up your boot straps. Get back in the saddle and go again!

Ah… that creates a challenge. Do you see the challenge? We are proud people. Asking for help not so easy.

“that’s an obstacle unto itself. Some of us are better at it than others. Asking for help isn’t easy. If we want to ask for help, does that mean we’re weak?”

No, definitely not. We are not weak if we ask for help. Though some will say or think that we are. I think it’s just the opposite… we are stronger if we ask for help. Because we are including people. On multiple levels…

But, still there are people who will say and go to the grave believing it’s a sign of weakness to ask for help. Why is there such a bad connotation to it? (More on this later… we’ll revisit again.)


I can do it myself! I've got it all under control. I have no idea where to go.

What is it about asking for help that is so bad? Is it bad to say… I can’t do it all on my own? I can’t juggle everything myself. Isn’t it realistic to be able to say… I can’t do everything myself?

And.. yet.

Think back to your own situations. What keeps you from asking for help?

What would be some other things that would keep other people from asking for help?

Stubbornness. Pride. Independence. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of being judged. Fear… in general. Self doubt. Stepping out of our comfort zones. Burdening others with our problems. Emotional baggage… hopelessness. Feeling helpless. Not knowing where to turn… and, not knowing what’s available. Thinking we don’t need any help… and, thinking we have to do it all on our own.

Or… maybe it’s our physical situation. Maybe we’ve not had a model of what it looked like to ask for help. Maybe we’re following in our past generation’s footsteps.

Intial insights, more in depth… looking for answers, needing tangible tools.

Let’s look at how these insights play a part in the bigger picture. The more we understand the better we can be at coming up with good solutions that “break through” as opposed to just offering band-aids.

“People don’t know where to look to find the answers they need… and many times don’t know who to talk to. We, as people, need tangible tools to be proactive… to make healthy and responsible decisions…”

This can go for any struggle we have… health, housing, food, relationships, job, family issues, addictions, etc.

image4963930xSay you’ve lost a job. Where do you turn? What do you do? How long has it been since you’ve done the job search process? Do you locate the newest newspaper and consult the local help wanted section? Is your resume in order? Do you have a resume? Do you know how to write a resume? Do you even know what you want to do? Are you in survival mode?

I could go on with these questions… there are a slew to ask. Many of you may know that now-a-days looking for a job is so much more than looking inUnemployed Worker the help wanted section, searching Craigslist, or scouting the neighborhood for signs in the windows. It’s about “creating your brand”. What do you have to offer… what are you bringing to the table… what is your expertise? How do you present yourself in person, on paper, on the internet, through business cards/stationary? Touch, smell, sight, and sound.

Let me ask you this… how would you know that you needed to create a “brand” – the brand known as you, if you were never introduced to the concept? Where would you go to hear about it… where would you be introduced to such a concept? It’s becoming more main stream… but, I didn’t hear about it until I started actively participating in a job networking group. I wouldn’t have known. Sure, the networking group was readily available… but, if someone doesn’t know it exists, how would they know that’s where they’ll learn this?


Let’s also take into consideration people who may be starting from scratch. There are many people trying to figure out how to summarize their entire work history on a couple pieces of paper. Who may not know the language to use, what’s most important to include, they may not have much to include or it’s all over the place – what do you do with that?unemployment_250x251

There are people who may have never used the internet (or may not have access to a computer). If they have access, they may not be equipped on how to use it for locating a job, and certainly may not have any inclination of what Linked In is.

What about the people who need just to have a job, and have taken any job to survive to put food on the table and clothes on their backs. Or, the people that don’t have a work history, what do they do?