My Name is Brad – A Docu-drama Film / Project in Memory of Kelly Thomas and Countless Others Who Fall Victim to the Stigma of Mental Health and Homelessness in America

Bradley James was born on April 13th, 1972. Kelly Thomas was born on April 5th, 1974. While neither met each other, they both share something in common. They both suffered from schizophrenia. While Brad lives in British Columbia, struggling to make ends meet, Kelly was not that lucky. On July 10th, 2011, while many in America were glued to their television screens, watching in awe as the US team defeated Brazil during the semi-final of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Kelly Thomas lay in a hospital bed, bloody and dying.

Kelly Thomas, a man who had struggled with fits of schizophrenia his entire life, was dragged out into the streets and brutally beaten by six officers of the Fullerton California police department – he later succumbed to his injuries.

Now, 57 Years of Soul Music Radio is collaborating with The Urban Survivor Humanitarian Network and Cheektowaga-Omni Media Marketing based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to tell Kelly’s story to the world. The company is raising funds via Slated, a crowdfunding platform for filmmakers, to launch the production of their film, “My Name Is Brad” in early Spring 2021.

This docudrama film is an initiative to recognize severe mental health issues and make them a mainstream topic of conversation. The film is aimed to show the controversy surrounding mental illnesses and police misconduct. It revolves around the lives of Brad James and Kelly Thomas.

With the current scenarios looking to get worse before they get better, the producers of “My Name Is Brad” believe that now’s the right time to bring this topic to the forefront of humanitarian initiatives that should be prioritized. With the new President in the Oval Office, we are closer to this dream than ever before – to end the injustice, indignation, and stigma associated with mental health and homelessness.

All funds raised through this film will be used to kick start an Urban housing development in all major cities. Modular container housing can be purchased for less than $2000 per unit. Since the government spends millions on everything else, it’s time to end homelessness and help those who are struck with mental illness. For that, your participation and support are desired. 

From Homelessness to Renting: How to Find Rental Housing without References

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There is no point in sugar-coating the fact that transitioning from homelessness to renting can be quite difficult for an individual, especially in cities like Toronto or Vancouver. From a landlord’s perspective, these markets are full of eligible and desirable tenants, so why would they lend their property to someone without any reference and an unstable (or non-existing) rental history.

This is a challenge most homeless people face, even when they have found a stable job and have enough money for a deposit. Finding rental housing without references can be tough but not impossible. There are a few things you can do:

1. Seek out your regional Housing First* program. It’s designed to help homeless people find stable homes. You’d need to contribute a portion of your income (ideally 30% or more) while the rest would be covered by rent subsidies. It also helps you establish a rent history that can open up more rental housing options for you.

2. Provide potential landlord proof of stable income. If you’ve been working for a while, bring your last three payslips and, preferably, a letter from your employer stating your good behavior (and that they don’t have any plans to let you go in the foreseeable future).

3. If you have a stable income and money for monthly rent but not the deposit, charities like Canadian Red Cross and Salvation Army might assist you (financially). With a decent deposit amount (say three-months rent), you might be able to convince potential landlords to rent to you, even if you don’t have references.

4. Don’t fake a reference history. It is a huge red flag, and if you get caught, it might disrupt your chances of renting with other landlords as well.

5. Talk to the people who are running emergency shelters. They might be able to guide you to individuals who might be inclined to rent to you without references, just to pull you out of homelessness. If not, they might be able to put you in touch with local housing assistance programs you might not be aware of.

Be honest, talk to the people helping homeless individuals in your community, try to save as much money as you can for rent and deposit, find a co-signer if you can, and make sure your employer puts in a good word for you. These might help you find rental housing without references.

*https://www.bchousing.org/projects-partners/funding-opportunities/RHFP

Boggles Brown – The Blurb

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-From “Boggles Brown – My Cartoon Life in the Land Of Schizophrenia” inner sleeve. – 2010

Boggles Brown is broke, except for the “People With Disabilities Allowance” he gets once a month. This month, he lives in a run-down motel – he manages to buy an old beat-up Toyota which is unreliable but reliable if you know what I mean. Somtimes he thinks his car may be bi-polar.

He wonders whether he should be using one of those fancy-named gasoline additives like “Engine-X,” I imagine “Engine-X” to be somewhat like Olanzapine, only for cars.

Boggles Brown struggled through college. He graduated,worked for a while and then became bonkers. It was not worth the ecstacy or all the raves in the world to lose his mind – he knows that now. But it is his life, what to do?

Boggles Brown is not how I see myself so much, as how I think others see me. My mom has read some of my cartoons and scratched her head. I imagine a lot of people will do the same. But that’s not the point – is it? Am I Canada’s Andy Warhol? I think not.

I hope you like Boggles, and if you don’t, I hope you keep it to yourself because the point is that it gave me something to do.

These are all hand-drawn on whatever paper I could find.

– Boggles Brown; “BJAF” 2010

“Genes” – Boggles Brown; Urban Survival Media 2009

Exclusive Boggles Brown T-Shirts Online

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Browse and bedazzle when you wear the words of our talkative transient.

Greetings Readers,

Now, like never before, we have been waiting for a marketing breakthrough to gain that glimmer of interactivity on it’s way to your wardrobe. It’s here – Boggles Brown multi-colour T-Shirts where you get to write the dialogue for our lovable but lunatic street-sage.

https://www.slated.com/films/736655

Drop by and donate to give the My Name Is Brad docudrama the funding it needs and order a Boggles Brown exclusive hand drawn T-Shirt by local artist Brad James.

Stay Safe and Think of B. Brown When You’re Feeling Down.

– The Crew At The Urban Survivor and My Name Is Brad

This Is Not Racist?

If this picture is offensive to you, donate 1$.  If a billion dollar a year company can produce top notch commercials to present their product to the public, that same company should put as much emphasis on it’s personnel’s education.

Said company is quite good at educating mass populations into their stores with the promise of a better life.  The reality is harsh.

This is an experiment to assess how many people still find this image unsettling.  And along with your dollar, please leave a comment as to why this image is offensive.

 

 

A WalMart employee celebrating Hallowe’en in Blackface.