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March 3-9, 2010 Page A-5
The least among us?
Wolverine Bar association
By Dr. Chad Audi
dress oddly, don’t have jobs
Two recent news articles
and agendas to keep, and who
have set me to thinking. One
are on the way down, if not all
item in the Sunnyvale (Califor-
the way down, to the bottom.
nia) Sun told the story of the If we are wise however, we
life and death of Guy Meyers, will step back before we over-
“the “Guitar Man.” He was look the “step down” people
a neighborhood fixture — a around us. Yes, we need to be
homeless man who drank, responsible and take care of
played guitar and watched out our own personal problems.
for his neighbors. The other, But we should never get so


49th Annual Barristers’ Ball
a local one, told of the life and busy we fail to recognize the
death of 95-year-old “Greek- people we pass every day as
Saturday, March 20, 2010 • 9 PM – 1 AM
town Stella” Perris, a homeless human beings. While we are
woman with mental illness passing them, we should ap-
Detroit Renaissance Marriott Hotel - Downtown
who was a beloved member preciate them for who they
of the Greektown community are and notice their needs
A wonderful evening with great entertainment.
for decades. Each of them, and their infinite value. They
though misunderstood by may have a mental health or
The Annual Ball is a fundraiser for the Wolverine Bar Foundation, which
those who did not know them, Dr. Chad Audi substance use disorder or provides scholarships and supports many community programs.
gave something invaluable to
any of us reading this article
some other barrier. However,
the people around them who
today. It was said of “Guitar
they also have a lot of good in
The Ball is an excellent way to network and connect with many of this
took the time to interact with
Man” that he loved to help
them. area’s legal, business and community leaders and have fun at the same
them and got to know them.
other people even if he didn’t
We should watch out for Featuring
We get so busy in our lives
take care of himself. People
them in two ways — we should
Musical Guest
thinking of how we are going
who helped out “Greektown
see them and we should do
Doug E. Fresh
Michelle A. Carter, President WBA – For tickets,
to handle our own problems.
Stella” with meals and shelter
what we can to care for them. If
call (313) 962-0250 or
This time of year, we hurry to
felt affection and pride in her,
we do, we will have something
do our errands so we can get
even though she might startle
to celebrate — their humanity
out of the cold and away from
passersby when she shouted
and our own. At the Detroit
the snow. We think about
at them. She paid her own
Rescue Mission Ministries, we
what we need to do to pay our
way and inspired people to
try to look every day, to see,
bills and keep our jobs. As
keep moving.
and meet, the needs of those
we do our worrying and mind
For every person who re-
who come to us. In doing that,
our business, we pass people
mains alive who remembers
we are continually blessed for
every day. Sometimes we are
Guy and Stella, there are
it is an honor and a privilege
so preoccupied, we forget to
countless others who never
to serve and know each one
look at them as human beings,
noticed them until they saw
of them. Maybe that is why
as people who have their own
the local news coverage or read
we have been able to serve for
needs and who at the same
the articles in the paper about
101 years and will hopefully
time have infinite value.
them. Sometimes we are so
continue to do so another 101
Would you benefit from affordable,
“Guitar Man” and “Greek-
busy with our lives and con-
years. May we never forget to
high quality rental housing?
town Stella” left a legacy that
cerns we miss the “step down”
recognize the value of those
may well be unequaled by
people we pass on the streets.
who only seem to be — but are
The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV), previously termed Section 8, administered by the Michigan State
These are the people who may
not — the least among us.
Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), may be able to help. HCV is a federally funded rental subsidy program
that assists persons with paying their rent.
Building a sustainable planet
MSHDA’s HCV Program is partnering with Southwest Housing Solutions to make available supportive
housing rental subsidies for one hundred fifty (150) designated one-bedroom apartments at Piquette Square
We are in this world for the long haul
Apartments located at 285 Piquette Street, Detroit, MI 48202.
By Tom Watkins
national Auto show in Detroit, The Project Based Voucher (PBV) waiting list will be established by MSHDA beginning Monday,
announced the creation of March 8, 2010 for all applicants who qualify. The waiting list for the PBV program will remain
As individuals and mem-
1,000 news jobs at the Wayne open indefinitely.
bers of a family, town, state,
assembly plant building the
nation and the world commu-
new, green Ford Focus. He
You may qualify for residency at Piquette Square Apartments if your income falls within the allowable
nity, we should all be dedicat-
called the governor “a cheer-
limits, you can prove residency in Wayne County (living or working – see requirements below) and you meet
ed to the development of sus-
leader, a thought leader” for
one of the following criteria:
tainable communities. Why?
clean, sustainable energy for
• Homeless Veteran (must have proof of veteran status)
Because how we interact on
Michigan. • Chronically Homeless
multiple stages in this life im-
pacts us all. To think we can
This is great news for work-
Southwest Housing Solutions will be accepting applications beginning Monday, March 8, 2010.
take action where there is no
ing men and women who
A staff person will be available to determine eligibility and assist eligible individuals with the
reaction is nonsensical.
would like nothing better than
application process. Please contact Southwest Housing Solutions at 313-297-1381 between 9:00 am
to see all this “green” talk put-
Sustainability matters. Sus-
and 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday to make an appointment or to discuss your eligibility for rental assistance.
ting some green in their pock-
tainability issues are front and
ets by helping them get back Residency Documentation Requirements: You must provide a COPY of proof of residency in Wayne County
center at two intersections of
to work. When the governor along with your application. Acceptable documentation includes: a current lease, driver’s license,
my life: interacting with to-
announced her green push a state ID card, utility bill, letter from the homeless service provider on their letterhead, social security
day’s youth and understand-
year ago she said, “these ini-
printout, or voter’s registration card. If the applicant or household member works, or has been hired
ing China.
tiatives are all about going
to work in Wayne County, please provide a COPY of proof of the work address or a letter from the employer
When interacting with
from rust to green.”
verifying employment.
young people on college cam-
The governor, at the auto
puses, or as the former state
Tom Watkins
show press conference with
superintendent of schools,
made problems that nation’s
Bill Ford, praised Republican
or interacting with two young
rapid industrialization has
Senate Majority Leader Mike
people who served along with
caused. This focus is painfully
Bishop and Democratic House
me on Earth Force, I see people
slow — certainly economic de-
Speaker Andy Dillon for put-
willing to listen and learn.
velopment has trumped envi-
ting aside the usual partisan
Earth Force is a national
ronmental concerns as China
bickering and working with
organization (www.earthforce.
has rushed to catch up to
her to craft alternative energy
org) established in 1994 that
the rest of the world — but is
legislation that will help create
“engages young people as
about to speed up.
jobs for the residents of our
active citizens who improve
Shanghai Exposition 2010
the environment and their
will attract governments and
The public and private in-
communities now and in the
people from across the world,
vestments in green and new
focusing on the theme “Better
battery technology have ex-
I was on the Earth Force
City, Better Life.” Expo at-
ceeded $2 billion, which could
board because of my love of the
tendees will learn to create an
help create thousands of new
outdoors, but mainly because
eco-friendly society and main-
21st century jobs in Michigan
of my background in busi-
tain sustainable development.
and have helped jump start
ness and education. Desire
All this from a country that
the domestic auto industry.
to protect the planet seemed
was opened to the rest of the
These investments are a
to ooze from the pores of two
world a mere 30 years ago.
powerful emotional lift to a
teens, Anna and John, whom
I met at Earth Force. I learned
The sheer fact that China
state that has lost nearly a mil-
so much from both their pas-
chose the theme “Better City,
lion jobs over the last decade.
sion and knowledge of actions
Better Life” bodes well for
Yet, we must continue to put
we could, and should, take at
the planet. The Expo’s motto
the pedal to the metal in the
multiple levels to develop sus-
is: “Keeping in mind the next
alternative energy arena or we
tainable practices and policies
60 years development while
will be overtaken.
in the public and private sec-
preparing for the next six
China has its eye on be-
coming the green capital of
I learned from them that
China’s goal is to leapfrog
the world and has the drive
we could develop communi-
the U.S. in green technol-
and resources to get there.
ties where our environment,
ogy. We cannot allow this to
While it is good news for
economy and health are thriv-
the planet that both the U.S.
ing and that we need not com- Gov. Granholm, forward
and China are focused on de-
promise on one to achieve the thinking and fighting to diver-
veloping green technology, we
other. I learned from interact- sify Michigan’s stagnant econ-
cannot afford to lose the new
ing with John, Anna and other omy, has been in front of the
green arms race with China,
young people affiliated with “green revolution.” She under-
who for economic and altru-
Earth Force the importance of stands we can make “green”
istic reasons is attempting a
listening to youth about mat- and create jobs while we help
cleanup that will impact all of
ters of the future. to clean up the planet.
It reminded me that as edu- The governor is working
As the 21st century unfolds
cators and business people we double shifts in her attempt
we ought to listen to the youth
did not have to always behave to make Michigan a new green
of this country about the value
like the sage on the stage. An- economy powerhouse.
of green sustainable develop-
na and John were great envi-
ment as we invest in the R&D
ronmental teachers for me.
Clearly, we have the intel-
that will keep us competitive
lectual firepower in our ex-
on the world stage.
China’s World
ceptional public and private
universities, together with the
We need to continue to
engineering and manufactur-
think globally and act locally
ing know-how in our DNA, to
as we work to build a harmo-
The People’s Repub- position ourselves to become
nious, sustainable world for
lic of China is hosting the this reimagined Michigan.
all — while creating jobs at
World Expo <http://www.
The governor has found a in Shanghai
partner with deep pockets in
Tom Watkins is an educa-
this year. If there is a more pol-
the Obama administration,
tion and business consultant
luted country on this planet, I
which has been pushing green
in the U.S. and China and
have not been there.
served as Michigan’s State
Yet, having traveled around
superintendent of schools,
China for the past 20 years, I
Ford’s better idea
2001-2005, and state mental
also have seen a growing in-
health director, 1986-1990.
terest in addressing the man-
Bill Ford, at the opening day
Read other works by Watkins
of the North American Inter-
Morial criticizes jobs bill
National Urban League “Regretfully, it appears that deserve an up-or-down vote.
President and CEO Marc H. congressional leaders prefer Instead, they’ve been pushed
Morial earlier this month met
to be timid instead of tough,” aside so more can come to
with President Barack Obama,
Morial said. agreement on less of a solu-
asking for specific provisions
“Rather than appease those
to address job training, minor-
who would obstruct reform, For more information about
ity contractors, youth employ-
we should challenge them to the National Urban League’s
ment and aid to public employ-
place their votes on the record. Six-Point Jobs Plan, visit
ers to be included in the jobs The many solutions to the jobs<http://www.nul.
legislation. crisis that have been proposed org/.
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