the course of a discussion with my better half, Casey, about what we would
do if we had considerable financial resources, I professed a desire to
do something for the many people in the United States who find themselves
- for whatever reason - homeless and perhaps almost lifeless.
If only it was possible
for them to have a time-out from the daily struggle for survival on the
streets, especially if there was no cost to them in any way and no time
limit on how long they took to get back on their feet.
I began to sketch out
a very rough (and uninformed, I have to say) set of ideas about how one
might go about building a community for such individuals.
The basic unit would
be somewhere for an individual to rest, recuperate, receive full medical
attention (mental as well as physical health care), without feeling every
minute that it would be taken away from them.
In time, as they progress
(which could take weeks, months, even years) each individual would graduate
from relative isolation to a gentle integration into a larger community.
Each individual would have to prove themselves fit to enter the next stage
before progressing, both to protect them and to protect those with whom
they would be interacting.
The last stage would
be one in which they are fully rehabilitated, ready to go back into the
wider world (or to stay within the support community, assisting those who
come after them).
The location for such
a community would not only have to be far from any connurbation but also
distributed in such a way that it would take more than a day's walk to
get from one subcommunity to another (so that the risk of infiltration
would be minimized).
It would cost considerably
too, although if individuals chose upon graduation to stay and help the
community that might help to defray some of the running costs - it would
after all be very people intensive.
I thought of "The Haven"
as a suitable name for the community, and later wondered if the materials
might prove suitable as the basis for a story.
I don't have a detailed
structure yet, apart from that for The Haven itself, but I'm sure inspiration
will come to me shortly.
If I'm *really* lucky,
the capability to make the concept a reality will occur at some point,