A Talk with Joshuan Banx, Creator of The Homeless Awareness Hunt

About two weeks ago, I wrote about the The Homeless Awareness Hunt, created by Joshuan Banx.

In our initial talks to set up that first article, Joshuan and I talked in-depth about some salient points regarding homelessness, mental illness, and his development of the hunt and the Mental Health Awareness Retreat.

Check out what was said below (chat has been edited to provide continuity throughout)!

joshuanbanx

Joshuan Banx

Banx: The goal [of the hunt] is to help educate people on homelessness, especially in correlation to mental health illnesses. We will also be having an exhibition throughout the month of the hunt.

Me: Now that is AWESOME. I didn’t know about the exhibition.

Banx: It will help educate people about myths and truths on homelessness. For example, most people think homeless people would not be on a computer. They find it shocking. In reality, many people who are homeless find ways to get to a computer and have all the technology ordinary people have just to not feel less… for example, going to libraries, borrowing friends pc and so on.

Me: They can get to computers; that’s a no-brainer for many of them.

Banx: Or they think most people look poor, but yet many try to disguise their looks by wearing good thrift shop or hand-me-downs and mix in with the rest of the population who is not homeless. You will find the exhibit on the first LM along with a gift to the next store. There will also be resources to where to reach out, information on who ends up homeless and why, and also where people can donate if they wanted to directly.

Me: NICE. Dig that. This will definitely help to kill a lot of the assumptions people have about the homeless. People, I know, would be amazed at the WHO.

Banx: A lot of people with mental illnesses unfortunately have the least resources, even from healthy people. This society still sees those with mental illnesses as lazy, crazy, and not worthy to bother with.

Me: We don’t do enough to assist those with mental illnesses as is, homeless or no.

Banx: Yes, so true. So it’s a big correlation to homeless and mental health illness, and that will also be addressed among other things that lead to homelessness. We will also have group discussions on Saturdays at 1 p.m. SLT.

Me: The Saturdays during the hunt?

Banx: Yes, the topics will be in regards to homelessness and its correlation to mental health, open floor to share your experiences, and other topics related to the homelessness, throughout that month. The end of the hunt is the best part, LOL. We will have a sleep out. Basically everyone is invited to sleep in a cardboard box or sleeping bag on the land.

Me: Wow.

Banx: And other events are still in the works, but we will sure try to raise as much awareness as we can. People don’t think it can happen to them, but just a simple fire can make that happen. Most people never dreamed of it and with this economy, it’s worth raising awareness.

Me: A fire, a loss of a job.

Banx: Yes.

Me: Shoot, there are people now WITH jobs that are homeless because they don’t make enough and can’t get assistance.

Banx: Yes! So true. The rent is more than a job pays.

Me: Yeah and it becomes, well, at least i can eat… but have to find a place to sleep.

Banx: Yep, so true. They have real numbers calculated for the states by the mayor and they say that right now unless more than two people live in an apartment, they are most likely to see homelessness due to the rent being so high.

Me: I believe this. I’m an instructor at a university, and when I moved back home, I lived with my brothers because it was easier on us. Hard to live in a space alone.

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To learn more about The Homeless Awareness Hunt, check out my blog post about it. There are about two more weeks left to the hunt, so there is enough time to check out the wonderful exhibit, learn more about homelessness, its correlation with mental illnesses, and its impact on society, and to partake in the activities Banx has put together! This is definitely a worthwhile event in-world that more people should be a part of. BE one of those people. Check it out today.

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A Cause Worth Taking Part In: The Homeless Awareness Hunt

As much as I love all the wonderful, fun, exciting things we can do in Second Life, I find myself that much more passionate and excited about those things we can do in Second Life that benefit first life, too. When I was in a sorority in-world, we used our platform to raise awareness (and funds) for Fibromyalgia. I have written about and given to charities in-world for breast cancer awareness, for those affected by the tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011, and to the organization To Write Love on Her Arms.

When my beloved wifey, Earth Nirvana-Charisma, told me about a new hunt that raised awareness for homelessness, I knew I wanted to talk to its creator.

Enter Joshuan Banx… and the Homeless Awareness Hunt.

homelessawarenesshunt

I talked to Joshuan at length about the issues of homelessness, like the stigma attributed to those who find themselves homeless, before we talked about what he was creating in-world to bring awareness to this plight of so many people.

The Homeless Awareness Hunt that Banx created kicked off August 15, 2013, and it runs until September 15. Presented by Mental Health Awareness Retreat and sponsored by AMERICAN BAZAAR, ..:HC Creations:.., cStar Limited, and :Sugar:, the hunt does so much more than provide a wonderful hunt that will feature creations, such as tents, cardboard boxes, homeless clothes, etc.; as Joshuan told me, “The goal of the hunt is to raise awareness on homelessness especially in correlation to mental health illness.”

Homeless Awareness Exhibit

One of the most intriguing events of the Homeless Awareness Hunt, and one I plan to check out as soon as this article is posted, is the event’s exhibition [here’s your limo to the exhibition!]. Joshuan tells me this is one of the things to experience during the hunt. Running throughout the course of the hunt, the exhibition has many resources on homelessness especially in correlation to mental health.

Other wonderful events provide participants the opportunity to talk with one another, learn new skills, and partake in some musical entertainment, among other things.

Every Saturday at 1 p.m. SLT, throughout the month of August and beginning of September, there will be meetings where participants can come together to tell stories and discuss topics related to homelessness.

Homeless Awareness Exhibit 2

Those people who are interested in photography, might check out the photography class being held August 24 where people can learn photography professionally and can even earn money from it.

On August 31, participants can discuss ways that people can help homelessness, especially in relations to mental health, and on September 7, an Introduction to Scripting class will be held.

September 14, the day before the hunt concludes, there will be a sleep out with performers Prowess Rayna (1 p.m. SLT), Eio Tuqiri (2 p.m. SLT), and Twostep Spiritweaver (3 p.m. SLT). There will be cardboard boxes out and sleeping bags in hopes to raise awareness to homelessness.

To learn more about the Hunt… and to take part in all of its engaging activities, you can check out the Mental Health Awareness Retreat, a safe haven that provides both RL and SL resources for various mental health issues, such as PTSD, Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Anorexia, Anxiety, Autism, Abuse, Suicide, Psychosis, OCD, Agoraphobia, while raising awareness and breaking stigma. Or, you can jump right on into the hunt.