Mental Illness and Homelessness by Phoenix

At my last outreach, a volunteer said in a moment of frustration, “Why don’t the lazy people just get out of bed and work?” He was referring to the homeless, to the mentally ill. He was referring not to his own opinion and prejudiced perspective, but to what people say about the homeless and the mentally ill. Depression is as simple as “getting out of bed” and finding work.   I could go on and on about why this is a major misconception, but I’ll keep it simple. As it stands, we don’t understand the mind, and we don’t have … Continue reading Mental Illness and Homelessness by Phoenix

The Bike: An Anecdote by Phoenix

Today, when I was at Desert Industries looking for some good books to read, I felt a little sad because I didn’t get to go to the library and check out some resource/research materials, and I was frustrated with my bike. For whatever reason, I cannot get the bike to work, as the brakes are problematic and it makes a funny sound that I don’t trust. I hate riding this bike because it’s kind of unsafe, but I can’t figure out how to fix it. Anyway, I was frustrated with the bike and sad I couldn’t go to the library … Continue reading The Bike: An Anecdote by Phoenix

Realism by Phoenix

Often times, this cruel world wants to push us to be “realists.” Meaning, “it is what it is,” or, “I accept reality at face value,” or, “it’s black and white.” Recently, this term “realism” was used pejoratively against me, meaning, they were saying that “I don’t see reality as it actually is.” They were implying everything from I live in a fantasy world to I don’t confront reality as it actually is due to inherent weakness. But, as a metaphysician, while I acknowledge that some things in this existence are “fixed” (just think of Bertrand Russell’s “facts”), not everything is … Continue reading Realism by Phoenix

Why I Chose Legacy Initiative (Disappointments) by Phoenix

Lately, I have been humbled. I’ve been thinking a lot about Emmanuel Levinas and his contributions to philosophy, particularly existentialism and phenomenology. He says many relevant and fascinating things, one of which is that we must be aware of (our) materiality, which includes the spiritual as well as the physical in his system of thought. It’s the material that places us in the present, for when we suffer, we are forced to confront the present, we are forced to confront the moment, no matter how hard this is. I have had to do that lately in my life. I will … Continue reading Why I Chose Legacy Initiative (Disappointments) by Phoenix

A Beautiful Exhaustion: It Takes Humility by Phoenix

I enjoy serving with The Legacy Initiative. I enjoy serving the homeless population of Salt Lake City. I enjoy doing humanitarian work. In all of these things, I am blessed. To take part, to say I can take part, to do good work and to care for others. In all honesty, the work doesn’t get any easier. It’s taxing, in more ways than one: emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally. But I would say it’s certainly worth the exhaustion that comes with it. As my friend Tracy said, the work itself is fulfilling, and I heartily agree. It makes the tiring aspects … Continue reading A Beautiful Exhaustion: It Takes Humility by Phoenix

Dining with Dignity by Tracy Mangum

Every month, the Legacy Initiative makes approximately 900 bean and cheese burritos to feed our friends that are currently experiencing homelessness on the streets and shelters of Salt Lake City, Utah. Some people wonder why we do this, when there is a daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner served at St. Vincent’s on Rio Grande, and other soup kitchens in the downtown area. The food services that are offered are cafeteria based, and because of the amount of food served, is not very personal. The people wait in line, are given food on a tray, and are expected to eat quickly, … Continue reading Dining with Dignity by Tracy Mangum

Hunger by Phoenix

On August 13, 2016, I got to take part in a Legacy Initiative event called Dining with Dignity, where we served the homeless population of Salt Lake City a three-course meal, with desert, pasta, and salad. It was an amazing event. Just trust me when I say that, yo.   Have you ever been hungry? Say, waiting impatiently in line at a fast food restaurant at a place like McDonald’s or Wendy’s as other customers throw a fit for not being served on time? Have you ever been impatient with a server at a fancy restaurant because they messed up … Continue reading Hunger by Phoenix