Connect with us

Good News

Good Samaritans Install Portable Hand-Washing Sinks for Homeless People in Cities Across the US

A Georgia-based nonprofit has been quietly installing portable sinks in city streets across the country in hopes that homeless people will be able to wash their hands – a simple yet important task that most of us take for granted.

Elias Marat

Published

on

(TMU) – As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the United States, skyrocketing unemployment has threatened millions of Americans while food banks and other social service providers struggle to contend with growing poverty.

And while the idea of sheltering at home seems simple enough, the heartbreaking fact is that millions across the country don’t have the luxury of enjoying a roof over their head during this crisis – let alone clean running water.

However, a Georgia-based nonprofit has been quietly installing portable sinks in city streets across the country in hopes that homeless people will be able to wash their hands – a simple yet important task that most of us take for granted.

Over the course of the last two months, Love Beyond Walls has been setting up hand-washing stations in areas where unhoused populations congregate and pass through.

Love Sinks In

It’s great partnering with Redeemer Lutheran in Midtown ATL to ensure sanitation is present as they walk with people experiencing homelessness..#lovebeyondwalls #LoveSinksIn

Posted by Love Beyond Walls on Monday, May 18, 2020

It’s important work, especially with a pandemic currently raging and health authorities urging Americans to comprehensively wash their hands with soap and water to prevent the virus from spreading.

On the Love Beyond Walls website, the group describes its vision as bringing “dignity to the homeless and poor by providing a voice, visibility, shelter, community, and grooming and support services to achieve self-sufficiency.”

Photo by Love Beyond Walls

The group’s founder, Terence Lester, was himself homeless as a teen. In an appearance on Katie Couric’s new YouTube series, The Bright Side, Lester explained that hisLove Sinks In campaign was begun in hopes to support a commonly neglected population during the pandemic, which could be their most dire time of need.

In recent years, the United States has experienced the startling return of viruses once believed to be under control. However, rising poverty levels and a growth in mass homelessness have ensured the spread of diseases commonly believed to belong to the last century, or much less developed countries in the global South.

Several outbreaks of Hepatitis A, a vaccine-preventable illness, have occurred in states like California, Kentucky, Louisiana, Utah, and other states.

Public health officials say that the virus spread due to a huge increase in homelessness and an accompanying failure by local governments to provide them with basic amenities and hygiene tools like clean water or public bathrooms.

Lester explained:

“People would say things like ‘I’m fearing I’ll contract the coronavirus because I have nowhere to wash my hands.’”

And with the help of allies like hip hop artist Lecrae, a friend of Lester’s, the group has been able to expand their operations. Ever since the Grammy award-winning musician began supporting the group’s efforts in March, several dozen sinks have been installed across the Atlanta, Georgia.

The sinks are also sanitized at least three times daily.

Love Beyond Walls is also teaming up with homeless charities in poverty hot-spots across the U.S. Cities like Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, Columbus, New Orleans, New York City, and San Bernardino could soon see sinks dotting their streets thanks to Love Beyond Walls.

During her interview with Lester, Katie Couric surprised the nonprofit leader by making a $10,000 donation to the cause, ensuring that 50 more portable sinks would be built – ensuring that in addition to receiving a bit of dignity, unhoused people could also have the basic hygiene needed to weather the storm of COVID-19’s spread.

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Activism

Akon Finally Breaks Ground On His Futuristic $10 Billion Solar Powered “Crypto City”

Avatar

Published

on

The rapper, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Akon has been making significant progress on his development plans in Africa, which involve the creation of a futuristic city that runs on clean energy and cryptocurrency.

In January of last year, Akon revealed that his agreements with Senegal President Macky Sall were going forward, and a few months later it was announced that the engineering and consulting firm KE International was awarded a $6 billion contract to build the city. The company previously said it had already received $4 billion from investors for the first two phases of Akon City’s construction, giving the project a price tag of at least $10 billion. 

The project goes much further than just this one city and it has already begun to make an impact across the continent. In the short time since the deal was finalized last year, a large number of solar street lights, and solar home lighting units, have been installed across 14 African countries, according to Akon Lighting Africa.

The effort was made possible by a private-public partnership model and a well-established network of partners including SOLEKTRA INT, SUMEC, and NARI.

Phase 1 of construction on the city is expected to be completed in 2023, and will include roads, a hospital, residences, hotels, a police station, a waste facility, a school, and a solar power plant. The entire city is expected to be finished around 2029. The city’s economy will be facilitated by Akon’s cryptocurrency “Akoin,” which runs on the Stellar blockchain. Stellar is a crypto ecosystem that includes its own cryptocurrency XLM, and also allows for the development of other projects, such as decentralized exchanges and additional currencies like Akoin. Banks around the world have also been considering using the Stellar blockchain for stablecoin deployment. 

Akon believes that cryptocurrency is the solution to the corruption problems that create widespread inequality in Africa because the blockchain provides a record that would make corruption extremely obvious if it were to take place. With an independent cryptocurrency, governments are unable to print money and devalue the currency, and the control of the money is decentralized.

In an interview with TMZ last year, Akon compared the vision that he has for the city with the fictional “Wakanda” from the movie Black Panther.

“This movie literally made an idea of what Africa could really be. It’s just ironic that I was already working on this before the movie came out, but it’s something that helped me a lot when I was trying to explain to explain to people what I was trying to do,” Akon said.

The city’s crypto-economic system will also solve many problems specific to the developing world, like instantly calculating conversation rates for currencies, which is often an obstacle because there are so many different regional currencies and methods of trade. In some cases, people even use prepaid cellphone minutes as a currency because it is easier to use and exchange than traditional currencies. Akon says that the Akoin wallet will allow users to trade between cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies, and cellphone minutes instantly without having to go through a major exchange using Atomic Swap technology. The app will also teach users to become more familiar with the technology in general.

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.
Continue Reading

Good News

Michael Jordan Gifts $10 Million to Open 2 More Health Clinics For Uninsured In His Hometown

Elias Marat

Published

on

NBA superstar and Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan is making big philanthropic moves in his hometown community of Wilmington, North Carolina, by donating $10 million to help open a pair of new health clinics for uninsured, under-insured and generally poor members of the community.

The announcement came Monday morning and was made by nonprofit healthcare group Novant Health Clinics, whom Jordan has been working with to help bring much-needed access to primary and preventive care to low-income residents.

“I am very proud to once again partner with Novant Health to expand the Family Clinic model to bring better access to critical medical services in my hometown,” said Michael Jordan in a press release. “Everyone should have access to quality health care, no matter where they live, or whether or not they have insurance. Wilmington holds a special place in my heart and it’s truly gratifying to be able to give back to the community that supported me throughout my life.”

The latest move brings the number of new clinics Jordan has helped build in the Tar Hell State to four. In 2019, the 57-year-old former shooting guard unveiled the Michael Jordan Family Clinic in Charlotte, bringing much-needed access to primary and preventive care to low-income residents. Jordan himself contributed $7 million to the opening of the clinic at the time, which was also being operated by Novant Health.

During the October 2019 opening, the six-time NBA champion tearfully explained that “it’s a very emotional thing for me to be able to give back to a community that’s supported me over the years.”

One year later, Jordan opened the second clinic and expressed his family’s “great pride to know that we are making a difference in Charlotte.”

“We’ve been dealt with some very difficult cards in 2020,” he said at the time. “I hope 2021 is going to be much better.”

The Charlotte clinics have already seen over 4,500 patients while also providing crucial support during the ongoing pandemic.

“The regional health care system and Jordan previously partnered to open two Michael Jordan Family Clinics in Charlotte, N.C., bringing comprehensive primary care, including behavioral health and social support services, to the area’s most vulnerable communities,” the company said. “Jordan’s gift will help Novant Health bring this same integrated care model to more rural and rural-adjacent communities in his hometown, offering much-needed services to those who are uninsured or underinsured. The two new clinics are slated to open in early 2022.”

So far, the two Michael Jordan Family Clinics in Charlotte have administered almost 1,000 vaccines for the disease with plans to ramp up services in coming weeks.

“This pandemic has exacerbated health equity gaps across our state, making our efforts to close them even more emergent,” said Novant president and CEO Carl Armato. “We look forward to standing these clinics up as quickly as possible to ensure all members of the community have access to necessary medical care.”

Monday’s announcement came just one day after Sunday’s historic Daytona 500, which saw the Bulls legend and owner of the Charlotte Hornets make history as the first black principal owner in NASCAR in a half century as driver Bubba Wallace – the only Black full-time driver in the circuit – led by a lap before finishing 17th.

The Brooklyn-born Jordan, who grew up in North Carolina and was an avid fan of NASCAR, is worth $1.6 billion according to Forbes. During his time with the NBA, he earned $90 million as a player and $1.8 billion in endorsements, before taxes.

In recent years, the former pro basketball player has become a prominent philanthropist, donating to various causes including pledging $1 million to relief efforts in the Bahamas following September 2019’s Huricane Dorian. In September 2018, Jordan also donated $2 million to relief efforts in the Carolinas after Hurricane Florence devastated the region.

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.
Continue Reading

Activism

Florida Man Uses Stimulus Check to Start Thriving Home Garden to Feed His Community

Elias Marat

Published

on

When millions of people across the United States received their federal stimulus checks to help them cope with the devastating economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown, most people spent their checks on basic necessities like food, rent, mortgage, utilities, and other basic necessities

However, one man from East Tampa, Florida, decided to use his funds to invest in a much more long-term project: building his own garden at home and using it to help provide food for himself. He’s now teaching his community about the massive benefits of food independence.

Michael Chaney, who goes by the nickname “Spirit Mike,” has long been interested in gardening. It wasn’t until the pandemic struck and local supermarkets were struck by the crisis that he was able to muster the self-motivation and time to fully pursue what began as a hobby and now has turned into his passion.

When he received his first stimulus check, he immediately used the funds to purchase some pots and start growing his first tomato plant. He also spoke to seasoned gardeners at the nearby A Land of Delight Natural Farm to pick up some materials and advice that would enable him to begin growing his own food, he told local radio station WMNF.

Now, Chaney is growing not only tomatoes but also collard greens, ghost peppers, mustard greens, strawberry guava, eggplants, onions, papaya, cashew apples, sugar cane, lemon, yucca, and lettuce, among other plants on his .3 acres of land.

“I do biointensive gardening, which means planting as much as you can in a small space,” Chaney told Atlanta Black Star. “I specifically picked these types of fruits [dwarf plants] because they grow fruit fast.”

Chaney derives the most pride from his moringa trees, which he values for its high viamin C content and celebrated medicinal properties as well as its antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant qualities.

“That is the Michael Jordan and the Kobe Bryant together,” Chaney told WMNF with pride.

“If you were stranded somewhere and all you have his this and water you would not only survive, you would thrive,” Chaney added. “I don’t work out. All I did was add this to my diet and add flax seed fiber and I lost 65 lbs.”

Chaney also has nine chickens that he purchased for only $3 per chick.

“My aim is to make my food cost zero,” he explained. “So, my food scraps go into the soldier fly larvae bin, they eat that and produce more larvae. Those larvae get fed to the chickens. The chicken produces eggs, I sell the eggs and eat the eggs; life is good.”

Chaney made sure to meticulously plan his garden so that actually managing it and ensuring its success would be much easier.

“It’s very important that you plan your garden. Do your research before you put a dollar down because you want your dollar to go as far as it can,” Chaney said.

He is now upholding the garden – which he has named New World Growers – as an example of community self-determination and food independence at a time when food insecurity is sharply on the rise.

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.
Continue Reading

Trending