Seráh Blain: Moments of hopelessness and hope


By Sarah Henry

Previously, we shared the story of Seráh Blain, an Arizona humanist who is living on the streets of Phoenix until she raises $56,310—two dollars for every person who was homeless last year in Arizona.

Seráh BlainNot only is Seráh experiencing the physical challenges of living on the streets, including dehydration and exhaustion, but she is realizing the emotional toll exacted on the homeless population every day of their lives. While trying to experience all sides of homelessness in Phoenix, Seráh is moving away from the community and “family” that she has already bonded with in her brief time on the streets, and is facing the emotional struggle that this requires. Her blog is an eye-opening account of everyday problems that we struggle to imagine or relate to, and it’s a great place to stay up to date on Seráh’s movements and fundraising.

I miss my community. I feel alone and untouchable so much of the time. I hate the way this feels. I hate that it’s a reality, not a project, for too many people in Arizona and around the world. I hate that I can’t fix it. I can collaborate with others to create awareness, and raise money to save at least one transitional living shelter for women, but it is discouraging that this awful, lonely, untouchable feeling is alive and poignant in so many people because we don’t do a good job of investing in human well-being in Arizona.

Those are my moments of discouragement. I also have moments of great hope, because when I think about what Madison Street Veterans’ Association is doing for veterans facing homelessness, I know we have a way to make things better. This organization takes the organic process that happens among people—the development of little communities of solidarity and support, even (especially!) in harsh circumstances, and they capitalize on it to create a model based around peer support, accountability, and care. People succeed in transforming their own lives together there. It’s not an authoritarian, patronizing system but rather a humanizing, self-empowering system.

Right now, Seráh has raised more than $20,500. You can help Seráh reach her fundraising goal and make a difference in people’s lives by donating to her project. Thank you!