January was cold and windy but we were still able to find some people outside to talk to. One of our most successful strategies was to roll up to people and say, “Hi, you’ve found Poetry for Personal Power.” Our partner, Jennifer, would ask people, “Do you have personal power?” This worked, too.
We found a young person, Kristen, who had previously been homeless, that talked about stategies she used to maintain her wellness. She talked about living out of her car and how she’d been able to overcome that situation. She talked about how she was able to use writing and volunteering to move beyond depression.
We also met two friends who had overcome addiction and were able to find recovery in their families and working with the support of each other. Lisa told us that one of her most powerful resources was spirituality and building a community of people around her who believed in her. She says that the kindness of strangers was profoundly uplifting.
Vickie, her friend, had spent almost a year in a wheelchair after a very bad accident and many doctors had told her that she wouldn’t be able to walk again. She overcome both this physical disability and her alchohol addiction to tell us her story after years of sobriety. “There are tons of resources for help here in Kansas City,” she says. “You just have to reach out for them.”
After this we got found by Stevo Svobada, who got into video while going to Central Missouri State University in 1989. He works at a local news station as a photographer and features the local music and arts scene through a video zine called Svoboda. This is found at http://svobodakc.blogspot.com/ He videoed us talking about our project. He had a camera mounted with a laptop so that he could do live streaming video as he went around and talked to people in the Crossroads. Check us the interesting rig he designed in the photos below. He interviewed us for his blog and featured us on the event page. He’s got a much better camera than we’re working with, so the video quality is a lot better.