When I grow up…

I think I have figured it out. (You know, the what I am going to be part.)

I have been trying to consider leaving my son in day care and joining the full time working world, but each time I do he signs milk to me or comes over for a hug and I think “I just can’t do this.”

It’s a new place for me, this wanting to stay at home. I have been rabidly independent for as long as I can rememeber. I have never considered staying home. This is the first relationship I have ever been in when I allowed someone else to support me. It feels strange. I feel as though I should trade in my Feminist Membership card for a pair of apron strings.

However, I think I have found a balance.

In the Colorado County Domestic Relations Courts there is a role called a Child and Family Investigator. This person acts as an investigative arm of the court and assists the courts in determing parenting responsiblities in contentious divorces. It is work I am well trained in doing as I used to provide this service in restraining order court for couples involved in domestic violence situations.

I met with my supervisor from my days in restraining order court and she excitedly suggested I open my own private CFI practice.

I am.

I will be able to accept cases and clients on my terms, for my own pay rate, and do most of the work from home. I will not have to leave my little man in a day care center. I may have to hire someone to come into my home two days a week, but that I can do. Best of all, I can continue to accept environmental cases, and therefore still save the world, one species at a time.

I have spent the past three days researching my new position, creating a website, preparing trust accounts and billing, getting an introduction letter and brochure together, and discussing the option of employing other qualified friends in this new enterprise.

I am excited. I will be dropping off my introduction letters next week and will be ready to accept clients immediately.

Wish me luck!!

A little paint here, a homeless shelter there…

We (Denver) welcome the Democratic National Convention to our illustrious state today and our preparations for the arrival of the 17000 odd media personnel and tens of thousands of attendees have been intense.

We distributed hundreds of thousands of daisy seeds to create a “unifying flower theme.” Sadly, few of the daisies came up, so there is really no unifying theme.

We passed “protest safety” ordinances prohibiting the carrying of bicycle locks and caribiners, in addition to various bodily fluids. (There was a lively city council debate discussing the necessity of prohibiting the carrying of bottles of urine and “feces bombs”.)

We painted the flower pots on the 16th street mall several shades of vibrant green, power washed the streets with our limited water supply, and cleaned up the streets.

Yes, we swept all the homeless into area shelters, and then into area emergency shelters, so we could limit the number of homeless on the streets during the convention. It would seem that tourists and conventioneers often complain about the homeless panhandlers in our fair city, so the city has decided to clear them away (for this convention at least.)

Colorado, with an average of 300 days of sun per year, is a popular place for the homeless, and a fairly easy place to survive outside (until winter, that is.). Denver and other area cities have passed increasingly restrictive panhandling laws, but the courts have ruled that panhandlers have the right to ask passersby for money, so the restrictions don’t get rid of the “problem.”

There have been a lot of criticisms about the various efforts being made to deal with Denver’s homeless, and many rumors about free movie and zoo passes. However, many of the programs are simply volunteer efforts to help, not city funded “sprucing up” schemes, and many of these volunteer efforts occurred prior to the convention, and will continue to occur after it.

The Co-Owner of Sly’s Salon commented on a recent Indecision 2008 article slamming a volunteer “haircuts for the homeless” effort: The fact is that the City of Denver is not giving out movie tickets, bus passes, museum tickets or zoo passes to Denver’s homeless residents. The “Homeless not Hopeless Cut-A-Thon” was conceived and created by Sly’s Salon and was in no way sponsored by the City of Denver. Tickets were distributed by Sly’s Salon and not from the City of Denver or Denver Human Services. All costs involved with having the Cut-A-Thon on the 18th were incurred entirely by Sly’s Salon and the stylists that agreed to donated their time and services for the event.

A Denver’s Road Home Employee clarified the clean up efforts as well:

I work for Denver’s Road Home and I would like to provide some clarification. Denver’s Road Home is a comprehensive, long-term plan designed to put people into housing while addressing the underlying causes of homelessness. In the first three years since implementation, Denver’s Road Home has reduced chronic homelessness by 36%.

The City and County of Denver is not giving out free haircuts. The owners of a private business, Sly’s Salon, distributed coupons and gave out free haircuts. We applaud this and other community efforts to help the homeless.

Denver’s Road Home is not aware of any zoo passes, museum tickets or other cultural activities being distributed to the homeless during the Democratic National Convention. A clarification to this point was issued by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.

We are not hiding the homeless; we are helping the homeless find housing. Ensuring the homeless have short and long-term housing has always been the priority of Denver’s Road Home. This is not new for the DNC. Service delivery will be “business as usual” with a few extras during the convention to make sure everyone wanting shelter has a place to go.

There is a hint of scandal surrounding the city’s decision to move the homeless off the streets and into housing during the convention, and I certainly think there is a desire to show a pretty Denver face to the national media. However, these homeless individuals won’t be able to escape the convention madness if the city doesn’t provide them with a place to go. I wouldn’t want to have the convention in my living room, I doubt they do either.

As for the actual treatment of the homeless during the convention, we will have to watch carefully to see what happens. I am hoping our city’s officials don’t use this event as an excuse to sweep this huge issue under the carpet.