Bridge Room Closed Week of 8/18-22

Open mouse showing rollers. Photographer John Nash. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Click for larger image.

Open mouse showing rollers. Photographer John Nash. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Click for larger image.

We are preparing for another group of Senior Aides to start Monday 8/25. We must clean the workstations, which means at least two days of down time per machine due to using Microsoft Windows: the Linux part can be upgraded while the computers are in use and the user doesn’t even notice, but Windows requires individual attention to each and every box one by one for about two days. We also must take apart each PC to share our one DVD drive in order to load the Windows.

The Bridge Room will re-open as soon as we can, but regrettably it will need to stay locked during this process as any use of the computers on the Internet before they are ready would force us to stop and re-do the entire computer again from scratch.

Note: Done. Re-opened 8/25

The Market is Always Right

The biggest folly I am seeing in people and in business is concentrating on irrelevant things while failing to change important things so we are effective again.

I recently read an article in Bloomberg, for example, about how Coke, a major brand, is concerned that sales are dropping as people become more concerned about the effects of food they eat on their health. Coke’s focus then is on changing the size of the bottle and changing advertising, or buying competing brands, instead of changing their product so it is healthy. Would it kill them to use real sugar instead of the (cheaper) Type II Diabetes inducing Corn Sweetener?

Another current example is Microsoft with their Windows 8 product. They made the Windows 8 like a cell phone interface instead of a desktop interface. This works when a person is only consuming media on mobile devices but is extremely frustrating to use for real work on a desktop. Canonical went through this identical faux pas two years before Microsoft came out with Windows 8 — they removed the hierarchical menu and used only icons and a search box instead. The result was customers fleeing in droves — Ubuntu had been the #1 Linux distro, and a new distro (MINT Linux) was formed to take the #1 slot as Canonical fell to #2. But Microsoft did not learn from this and leave in a clear hierarchical menu but repeated Canonical’s error. Ask yourself how Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Surface Tablet sales are performing: then ask yourself if you would redesign a successful product to look and act like products rejected by the market.

People do this also, concentrating on how to prevent the loss of public assistance handouts instead of focusing on building their hard and soft work skills to be capable of supporting themselves.

It is all about continuing to do what we are comfortable with instead of adapting to accommodate the market. And the market is always right.

Access Fort Wayne

By Rebecca Townsend - Courtesy of an0nym0us via Flickr Creative Commons

By Rebecca Townsend – Courtesy of an0nym0us via Flickr Creative Commons


We have been asked to join the Homeless Coalition of Fort Wayne, Work One, Hope House, Genesis Outreach, HH & Go, and Blue Jacket as a panelist on Access Fort Wayne on Wednesday, August 6 at 10:00. We will be discussing Employment and Substance Abuse in Fort Wayne in the Access studio at the Allen County Public Library downtown main branch downtown Fort Wayne.

I do not know if this is a live or delayed broadcast. You can visit the Homeless Coalition at and the Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness at The Homeless Coalition is also on FaceBook at and the Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness is on FaceBook at

While you are waiting, some notes as I prepare for Wednesday’s panel:

More than half the homeless are families with children. The vast majority of these have been thrust into homelessness by a life altering event or series of events that were unexpected and unplanned for.

Homelessness is, in fact, caused by tragic life occurrences

  • loss of loved ones
  • job loss
  • domestic violence
  • divorce and family disputes
  • depression
  • untreated mental illness
  • post traumatic stress disorder
  • physical disabilities
  • emergency medical bills insurance failed to pay

For those living in poverty or close to the poverty line, an “everyday” life issue that may be manageable for individuals with a higher income can be the final factor in placing them on the street. The great challenge for the newly homeless is to figure out how to return to their normal lives.

WHY people are homeless is more important than HOW. The how of becoming homeless is fairly simple, and everyone who becomes homeless runs into this same problem. They don’t have enough money to pay for shelter. When considering why people become homeless their appears to be two kinds of homeless person. There is the person whose only problem is financial. That person will soon recover. In the other group of homeless people … have lost their access to resources because they have issues beyond their control: they are suffering from some kind of mental health issue including addicts.

It must be said that a person doesn’t have to be “crazy” for their mental health issues to become a reason for their homelessness.   It only has to affect their decision making.  People who suffer from depression or anxiety, or both, or a number of other issues, are not crazy by any stretch of the imagination, but they are still trapped in homelessness because they don’t have the means to overcome their mental health issues.