Surviving the Storm focuses on poverty and homelessness in America dispelling myths that people are poor due to being lazy, and addicted to drugs. The book challenges the negative narrative of welfare through true stories of hope, and redemption. Kelvin Lassiter masterfully takes us through the journey of support systems and their importance.
Excerpt: Chapter 1 – How We Remain Disconnected
The lack of resources, and opportunities for success can be reasons people live in poverty. Elected officials has some Americans believing that helping people in poverty zip codes is a bad thing. This practice of helping people has become known as “socialism” (a political or economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned, and regulated by the community as a whole).
Can it be that people receive help just because they are human beings? The opposite of not helping people is “colonialism” (the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically).
It is now time to introduce you to a group of individuals known as “The Spectacular Fourth.” This particular group believes in helping the poor, and will offset the superiority complex that was birthed from the US Constitution. The “closer” is the individual that can make a decision, and live with the results good or bad. The “observer” is the person that watches or notices something around them. They may allow things to unfold before taking action. The “procrastinator” is the person capable of achieving results. They habitually put off things due to the lack of respect of time which temporarily stops their progress. The “agitator” is driven by doing something greater than themselves to acheive purposeful outcomes, rebels or protest something.
About the Author
Raised in the Washington, DC suburbs, Kelvin experienced a middle-class upbringing with a heavy influence on God. That culture would serve well later in life. The death of his mother shook Kelvin to the core. A fractured relationship with his father further damaged his emotions which resulted in turning to substance abuse for comfort. Homelessness and a lost sense of direction soon followed, but one day, redemption surfaced. A Baptist preacher invested his time and energy to restore Kelvin, and other men back to their rightful place. Kelvin’s mind was restored and renewed. In the time frame of one year, Kelvin left homelessness, became clean, and sober, and married his best friend, Gwen. Kelvin’s life was spared, so he could pay rent as his form of service as the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm would say. The calling on his life is really simple: be the change that you want to see. In following this model, Kelvin has helped thousands of people in providing food, clothing, transportation, and financial assistance to the less fortunate. He lives in Washington, DC.
- Where did you grow up, and was writing a book in your plans early in life? Due to my father’s military commitment, there were several cities that we lived in beginning where I was born, Philadelphia, PA. Washington, DC was next, followed by brief stops in Hawaii, the Bay Area, Seattle, and back to the Washington, DC suburbs of Prince Georges County, Maryland. Becoming a published author was the furthest thing from my mind of doing as a young person growing up.
- Is this your first book, and if not, what were your previous works about? I have two self-published books before this one. The first, May the Force Be with You: Goals & Dreams is a short autobiography about life in a military family, growing up dysfunctional, and coming out on the other side living the life I dream of. The second, The Storm is Over for Now, Quotes for Achievement & Success is a motivational quotation book followed by 52 stories for each week of the year about growth and achievement. Those books are currently no longer in print.
- What does the process look like when you put a book together? Well, it depends on the day, and time of year. I may listen to talk radio on Sirius XM Urbanview, and hear an interview that will give me a title to a chapter. If it is summer time, I try to think of a place I’d rather be than at home (not currently traveling except for emergency due to COVID) that will help me relax, and exercise critical thinking skills. I try to stay away from writing during the holiday season due to being in a mood to relax, and prepare for what’s ahead in the coming year. Networking is key as well when putting a book together (especially if you plan to self-publish). Assembling the right team is huge in accomplishing what you set out to do. Different teams have been assembled for each one of my projects, and will probably switch up again for the follow up project to this. Success of the project may look different depending upon who you talk to, but for me, it’s having maximum impact within community groups: the homeless, returning citizens, single mothers, and those that are struggling to find their way in this thing called “life”.
- What books have you read that changed your life? The Holy Bible, It Only Takes a Minute to Change Your Life by Dr. Willie Jolley, Think and Grow Rich, a Black Choice by Dr. Dennis Kimbro, The Mis-Education of the Negro by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, and It’s Not Over Until You Win by Les Brown. There are so many other books I could name, but these are the books that come to the top of my mind.
- What’s more important for you to deliver to the reading audience: content to pacify or content that may cause tension? Always content to cause tension. Dr. King talked about tension in his Letter from Birmingham Jail. In order to get results, there has to be conflict in order for response to take place. Tension can create that. My work with the homeless, and the working poor is solution and action oriented. If I turn up the temperature on the power structure, it’s because sophisticated tension has been created, and delivered. Pacifying the audience will happen as a result of positive conclusions. Pacifying the audience is satisfying the audience while answering the “call” to help people.
- Outside of reading, and writing, what else do you want people to know about you? That I come from a middle – class background, and that didn’t exclude me from experiencing poverty, and drug addiction as a young adult. Redemption is possible if you believe in yourself. I’m reaching back now to help others who are in the same position I left behind. Never did I ever imagine that I would one day become an ordained deacon in a Baptist church. I love to spend time with family, watch sports, and go fishing on the Chesapeake Bay.
- What’s next on the horizon for Kelvin Lassiter? There will be a series of follow up books to this project, subject matter to be determined. One thing is for sure, we will lift up those that are not in position to speak for themselves. I just turned 58 years young recently so I’m hoping to do more safe travels outside of Washington, DC. Retirement is sounding pretty good right now, although I’ll probably always work in some fashion, just working for self is more appetizing.
Contact The Author
Email Address for readers to contact me: [email protected]
Purchase Link: www.saveusnowdc.org/blognewsoutcomes