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Briny Breezes Channel 8


Lee Godby is chief engineer for Channel 8, a TV station that serves the town of Briny Breezes, Florida. Lee has been known to have curiousity about a wide range of subjects and he has become curious about homelessness. Judy Kraft introduced Lee to Carl House who has had similar curiousity. Lee and Carl became aware that the National Coalition for the Homeless (Dr. Michael Stoops) has identified Palm Beach County (PBC) one of the most hostile places in America for homeless people. They are aware that PBC and Broward have experienced several killings of homeless people by teenagers for sport, and that there are far fewer resources for homeless individuals and families in PBC than there is need. They are aware that their friends think of homeless people in negative terms (as substance abusers, as people who don't want to work, as people who chose this lifestyle), but they also know that hard times can come upon the best of us, and, further, that 41% of homeless people are in families and 25% are children. On February 8, 2009 they articulated a project to create a series of TV interviews to help us see homelessness thru the eyes of homeless people. Joan Nichols is Historian for the town of Briny Breezes with talent in photography and historical documentation. Here are the ideas for interviews articulated on February 8.

  1. William Laney is a man our age who has social security income. Deteriorating health resulted in loss of the part time job that supplemented his income and he lost his small apartment in Ft. Lauderdale. Bill coped as best he could, in shelters and using the Ameri-pass on Greyhound lines to discover America, thus having the opportunity to sleep on the bus. Eventually Bill realized that wasn't seeing America as much as he was homeless, and, in the next couple of years, he wrote a book about it ("Homeless Isn't Hopeless"). Bill was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of Southeast Florida and he gave a simple and eloquent talk about what it is to be homeless. He says, "if I had a home, I could...." As of today Bill is still "homeless". We intend to interview him on March 9 at BBC8 so lots of people can hear his story. We intend to create a YouTube video excerpting parts of our interview with him.
  2. We know several families that have become homeless and that are being helped by churches and synagogues collaborating as Family Promise of South Palm Beach County. On March 12 we'll interview Grace Magri on BBC8 TV. Meet at 7:30 at BBC8 (Briny Breezes Community Center). Live broadcast is 8:00-8:30 am. Here's an earlier story about B'nair Torah Congregation and their work with this program.
  3. Westgate Tabernacle Church is said to be the de-facto emergency shelter for homeless individuals and families in Palm Beach County. Yet rather than being helped by PBC, they face constant harrassment on zoning and related issues while Palm Beach County cannot help the people that Westgate helps. Here's an interview with Pastor Avis Hill.
  4. Rabbi Barry Silver is an advocate for the homeless and for their care. Here's YouTube testimony by Barry.
  5. Synthia Love is an 18 year old girl who was homeless and who now is a spokesperson for the Palm Beach County Coalition for the Homeless.
  6. There are several spokespersons for Palm Beach County, Rita Clark is seen by the Florida legislature as the person they want to listen to. Let's interview her.
  7. The Lord's Place is doing important work to help individuals and families....
  8. Adopt-a-Family is doing important work to help individuals and families....
  9. The Salvation Army and AVDA are doing important work, but they have strict rules about who they can help. Many families don't qualify....
  10. PBC has a task force empowered to analyze our homeless situation and to recommend remedies. Let's learn what can say about our future.
  11. PBC has a task force on affordable housing. Are they looking at solutions that can help people of very low income, or people with only Social Security income?
  12. What are Dade and Broward doing to help homeless people? Can we learn from them?

Lee, Joan, (Rita), Bill, Fr. Stephen, Dr. Stoops, and others, please help us make this mission statement as accurate and useful as it can be. Click on "E-Mail" on this page to send a message helping us to correct or improve this page.

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