A Different Perspective

Just a Christ following, husband, and computer geek trying to make sense of the world.

Christopher O'Donnell - main geek

By God’s Grace and Mercy, I’ve been gifted with an opportunity to see the Ecosystem of Poverty from a different perspective. This perspective is something of a backhanded blessing. I’ve been homeless and hungry, I’ve couched hopped for something like 8 years. It’s taken me close to 16 years to start to understand God’s purpose to that pain.

God knew that if He mixed my love of discovering why things work the way they do with a compassion for helping those described by Jesus as “…the least of these.” These are the homeless, hungry, and hopeless. These are those who for whatever reason cannot provide for themselves or others the basic elements of poverty.

Simply put, the Elements of Poverty are based off of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. He describes five stages we traverse while trying to achieve what he calls “self-actualization” or the desire to become the most that one’s self can be. While Maslow himself never described the stages as progressive to each other, this was added later. He believed that these different stages were ambiguous, not progressive as later depictions illustrate.

While sifting through nearly 16 years of experiences, I’ve noticed a pattern within the deficits of those who have a positive poverty coefficient. These five categories are ambiguous in nature, but dependent on one another; some more dependent than others. Someone suffering from homelessness, would also be suffering from safety, and most likely employment.

Our current problem is not having more of these services. Our current problem has nothing to do with resource management. Our problem is that the current direction of need’s narrative; it’s about me, not you.

I believe the Digital Missionary Reporting System changes the direction of narrative between those who want to help and those in need. The narrative becomes about continuing the conversation between you and your creator: 

“How do I know they’re legit?” 

Instead of just asking for your table scraps, whatever you can spare, they give you, the benevolent community member a card that simply reads, 

“If you want to make an impact in this person’s life, let’s connect.”

If you, someone considers themselves a benevolent person, wants to do more with your gift to the person standing on the side of the road, let me attempt to answer that question.

Yes, I said attempt. This project is still within the alpha stage of testing. It’s designed from the ground up, over the past 4 years through the collection and interpretation of the previous 16 years of data.

Currently, I’ve run into a problem: in order to prove that this project will work in improving the communication strategies between the truly benevolent, and those struggling to survive, it needs people. In order to populate the Neighborhood Need List, we need Digital Missionaries to report the needs within their communities through the Digital Missionary Reporting System.

Just like Schrodinger’s cat, the moment we observe it, we have an opportunity to influence it. What if started to ask ourselves “How can we maximize our giving to this person” every time we saw someone begging on the side of the road, or sleeping at a bus stop?

When we see a fire, crime, or someone struggling between life and death, we have resources to call on in order to help. Within the category of “emergency services” however, we have yet to have defined a category dedicated toward impoverished outreach. Until today (Nov/2019), we haven’t had the tools to make a sustainable attempt in fulfilling the needs around us.