Portland Man is Determined to make a Cruise Ship a homeless shelter

Portland Man is Determined to make a Cruise Ship a homeless shelter

P. Kenneth Capron of Portland, Maine wants to make a difference no one has ever thought of. He is on a mission to find and transform a decommissioned ship into a housing community for the homeless.

Capron, the president of a nonprofit called Memory Works, has deemed this project Hope Harbor. Currently, hope is what Capron must cling to. He does not have a specific ship in mind, but he is applying for funds.

He applied for a $250,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to orchestrate the first contingent study on converting cruise ships into housing. Capron”s goal is to serve not only the homeless population, but individuals who need housing the most.

“We’re looking at four populations: the homeless population, the low-income population, the workforce population and immigrant population who all need housing. They all need job skills training. We’d offer that on board.”

Although the cruise ship would not be considered long-term housing, it could offer resources and shelter to those who need it most.

According to Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling, the city would need approximately 1,000 housing units and a cruise ship could house up to 800 people — plus 300 crew members to offer social services, counseling and support.

“I have no idea if it’s the craziest idea I’ve ever heard, or the most brilliant idea I’ve ever heard, but what I like about it is that he’s coming up with creative ways to figure out how to build housing in the city of Portland,” Strimiling told WMTW.

“There’s tons of hurdles that anyone would have to overcome to do this, but once again I need housing. So if people want to bring crazy, far-fetched ideas to me, I’m happy to hear them out,” Strimiling added.

Overall, Capron is optimistic about the idea and wants to pursue it forward.

“I’m big into things that other people haven’t tried,” he told CBS Boston.

Capron believes the housing genuinely could benefit immigrants, single parents and others in need of more affordable options.

“Portland just happens to be really the best laboratory I can imagine because we have all the pieces to do the study,” Capron said.

Capron went on to further express his optimism and belief for why his concept could work.

“They’re going to try to throw all the negatives at you up front. That’s why we’re doing a feasibility study to see if those are valid negatives or something we can work around,” he said.

142,000 slices of Pizza were given to the Homeless

142,000 slices of Pizza were given to the Homeless

“A Heart for the Homeless” could be the main slogan for a quaint and small pizzeria in Fargo, North Dakota.

Back in 2015, Mike and Jennifer Stevens opened a Little Caesars franchise. Months after they opened the restaurant, they saw a homeless man sitting outside a gas station for several hours at a time.

Heart broken, Jennifer and her daughters, Sunday Stevens and Paige Loftus, knew they had to do something. “My daughters and I were looking out of the window and saying we should get him something,” Jennifer told Today Food. “We brought him a pizza. He was so thankful and so gracious. Then we ended up doing it again to a different person. And again for a different person. And again for another person.”

The Steven family’s act of kindness did not stop at individual slices. One year later, their kindness soared when the family realized many people were looking through the dumpster for scraps of food. 

Mike Stevens giving away free pizza to the homeless.

Mike realized he could not stand by and watch those experiencing homelessness starve, so he posted a sign on the restaurant door, reading:

“To the person going through our trash for their next meal, you’re a human being and worth more than a meal from a dumpster. Please come in during operating hours for a couple of slices of hot pizza and a cup of water at no charge. No questions asked.”

Their kindness changed gradually. The family went from giving away a couple of slices to giving away entire pizzas to those who could not afford a meal. Mike and Jennifer even began a partnership with a local homeless shelter, freezing dozens of pizzas for volunteers to pick up and deliver to the shelter.

According to Food Today, the family has given away over 142,000 slices of pizza, which is equivalent to $70,000. Although Mike lost his life to leukemia on December 1, 2017, his wife and children continue to give away free pizzas to the homeless.

To those whom share Mike and Jennifer’s vision for helping the homeless can visit their Go Fund Me Page.

“We are hoping to raise funding for the next year so we can keep donating pizzas to our beautiful community,” Jennifer said.

Overall, Jennifer continues to help those experiencing homelessness because she shares a heart for them just as her husband did. “He really, really pursued this,” she told Today. “It’s a small thing that we can do to bring a big difference in their day and it’s just kept going. You have to come together to help each other out. We just do it because it seems like the right thing to do.”


Louisiana appeals court upholds state regulations on abortion

Louisiana appeals court upholds state regulations on abortion

Louisiana’s 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that abortion physicians must continue to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, reports The Hill.

Pro-abortion litigators had argued that the admitting privileges law imposed an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions, because the regulation would force abortion clinics in Louisiana to shut their doors. However, the 5th Circuit Court found “no evidence that any of the clinics will close as a result of the Act.”

Judges on the court concluded that only 30% of Louisiana women at most could expect to wait longer for abortions as a result of the regulation.

The 5th Circuit Court distinguished Louisiana’s admitting privileges law from an analogous Texas regulation which the Supreme Court struck down in 2016. The Supreme Court had used an “undue burden” test to determine that Texas’ law was constitutional.

In contrast, when the 5th Circuit Court applied the same test to Louisiana’s regulation, it found that the regulation “does not impose a substantial burden on a large fraction of women.”

Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals did not immediately respond to a request for comment from news agencies.


Gosnell Movie Depicts Chilling Reality of Abortion

Gosnell Movie Depicts Chilling Reality of Abortion

“This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels — and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.”

This excerpt is from the grand jury report for the trial of Gosnell and his constituents, who were found guilty of first-degree murder of newborns as well as two mothers. In what could characterize a serial killer documentary, the report describes how the police walked into a horror site: cat urine, trash scattered everywhere, unsanitized instruments, and most shockingly, newborn feet kept in jars. The trial, in 2011, should have received national coverage, but due to its controversial nature on abortion, it was ignored by many in the press.

Fast foward to October 12, 2018, when the new movie, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, will be released to the public. The movie is based on the research and book of Ann McElhinney, who also drafted the script for the movie along with fellow producer, Phelim McAleer. Both were moved to change their positions on abortion after uncovering the details of Gosnell’s abortion clinic and case. Ann McElhinney states this clearly in her book:

“Reading the testimony and sifting through the evidence in Gosnell’s case, in the research for my book and for writing the script of the movie, has been brutal. I have at times wept at my computer. I have found myself praying the Our Father sitting at my desk when I hadn’t prayed in years. At times when I was confronted with the worst of this story I didn’t know what else to do. I have had a profound sense of the presence of evil in the actions of Gosnell and his staff, and their complete lack of conscience.”

After being released on October 12th, it is receiving widespread attention from conservative and liberal media alike, giving it the attention it deserved seven years ago at the trial. Reviewers are applauding its portrayal of Gosnell’s horror house, describing the movie’s banal depiction of evil as chilling and incredibly moving. One reviewer, Rebecca Hagelin, with the Washington Times stated in her review, “The filmmakers created a brilliant work that shows no graphic details or gore, but simply presents the powerful reality of abortion as described by abortion providers and crime investigators in their actual court testimony.”

Another reviewer, Mike McGranaghan, stated in his review, “On the whole, Gosnell is a well-acted and compelling courtroom drama. Women suffered greatly under Kermit Gosnell’s “care,” as did babies who emerged alive. The story of what he did is, irrespective of the national debate on abortion, important to have told. The film tells that story passionately and with feeling.”

Go see Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer in select theaters October 12th. Check out the official Gosnell movie website for more information.


Bikers Worldwide Dress Dapper to Raise Millions to Prevent Suicide

Bikers Worldwide Dress Dapper to Raise Millions to Prevent Suicide

On September 30 more than 120,000 partcipants worldwide took part in the annual gentlemen’s ride, adorning themselves in their most distinguished suits and ties and riding on classic and vintage motorcycles.

This was no ride for pleasure; the sole purpose of this ride was to raise money and awareness for men’s health.

Sydney-based motorcyclist Mark Hawwa and founder of Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride (DGR) says he believes DGR is an excellent way to overcome the typical-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles, while also bringing men together.

The first ride took place in 2012 and Hawwa decided to host the ride annually to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues.

Last year 56,000 owners of vintage motorcycles and scooters raised $4.85 million in 581 cities. Their goal was to raise $6 million dollars this weekend, which would then be donated to the Movemeber movement.

After a ride host from Austin, Texas committed suicide in 2015, Stephen Broholm, marketing and public relations at DGR and the rest of the team decided to donate a major percentage to men’s mental health issues as well.

Riders from Pakistan even commented on the pertinence of the ride.

“I believe it is a great way to counter the negative stereotypes sometimes associated with men riding motorcycles,” Gul Hasan said. “It’s also a great way to meet new people and openly discuss issues related to men’s health.”

Adel Khalid, a rider from Pakistan’s Lahore said there were quite a bit of stigma surrounding men’s health issues in Pakistan.

“I did not even know about prostate cancer until a few years ago when I found out that my father was diagnosed with it,” Khalid said. “I believe in this cause and much-needed awareness to avoid other people getting affected by it.”

Overall, the organization is working hard to combat and raise awareness to the public, letting individuals know that three out of four suicides are done by men. Despite the seriousness and sadness of suicide, these men are working to create a large impact. Broholm said IP clinical programs were opened and anytime there was a major breakthrough it would help everyone globally.

From the DGR’s website, “our focus is on gentlemen who have been dealt a tough hand in life.”

When a Boy’s Condition Prevents Him from Going outside, an Officer Offers to be His Best Friend

When a Boy’s Condition Prevents Him from Going outside, an Officer Offers to be His Best Friend

Someone once said, “There’s no age limit when it comes to friendship.” For officer Ronald Saladin there was no limit.

School Resource Officer Ronald Saladin, 29, first became best friends with 6-year-old Braylon Henson after finding out about his genetic disorder.

The first-grader suffers from ectodermaldysplasia, which is a condition that does not allow him to have sweat glands. With this condition, Henson cannot go outside if the temperature is above 74 degrees Fahrenheit because he may overheat.

Lately, Braylon has had to stay inside during recess ever since he started first-grade at Bay Minette Elementary School.

According to an article printed in Good Morning America, mother Jamie Wright said, “Right now it’s extremely hot, so he hasn’t been out at all.”

Despite not going out, Braylon gets to have fun with some drum pads and officer Saladin.

“He hangs out with Miss. Stewart, his counselor, she is so awesome with him. They bought him little drum pads, he’ll play on those and they would read.”

Eventually the friendship with the officer sparked when Braylon went to the counselor’s office and Ronnie Saladin, the school resource officer questioned, why the boy was not outside during recess.

“I didn’t understand why he was in there everyday,” Saladin told GMA.” “She said he had a skin condition and he would cry sometimes and feel left out. I said, Well, he’s not going to feel left out. He’s going to walk with me.”

The friendship ignited popularity for Braylon among his peers. Saladin even brought Braylon a little police officer’s uniform, so he could look the part for their patrolling through school.

Braylon assists Saladin in looking for safety issues on the school grounds and writes “tickets” for teachers and students who are breaking minor rules.

“When they’re running in the hallways, he will yell at them and keep order,” Saladin said, laughing. “He’s very smart and even though he has that skin condition, he’s really positive. He has a lot of talent. He wants to be a drummer and I feel like he’s going to be very intelligent.”

Before Braylon started first grade, his mother was worried if Braylon would get bullied for his condition. After she also expressed her concern, Saladin wanted to ease her concern and be a pal to Braylon.

“He felt left out, and I didn’t want him to feel out. His mom was afraid he was going to get picked on and bullied when he came to school, Saladin told News WKGR. “It’s definitely a blessing, like it was meant to be.”