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Page history last edited by jerry 14 years, 10 months ago






Describing an idea for Funding Input.




One of the things that are not available in Northern Virginia for consumers/

survivors/ ex-patients (csx(s) or CSX(s) or C/S/X or call yourselves what you wish)

is an open shop/ garage/ open yard and house residential area,

plus a consumer selected and driven public  meeting space for regional meetings and

peer to peer interactions including other ideas described briefly below.


Using the model of Hackerspaces. which are emerging technical common areas /

communities with tools (soldeirng, oscilliscopes, signal processing, parts some shop equipment

like saws, vise, projectors for technical movies, storage space for donated parts for creating/

designing new devices) for electronics and other types of DIY (Do It Yourself), crafty and artistic projects. 


HacDC.org was created about a year ago, but is too far away for most people

in Northern Virginia to participate regularly, and conveneiently, and

costs membership money (about $50/ month / person) for rent, expenses, etc..

Plus while knowlegable, not as welcoming to mental health, disability, homeless

and poor people as I would like,  and not wheelchair accessible,

so what DIY people tend to do is, CREATE/ MAKE OUR OWN.


Some things that might be done in the C/S/X Hackerspace, 

I'm dubbing JerrySpace include:




  1. learning and transfereing technical skills to and from c/s/x, while LMEC and other places teach office MicroSoft software, it is costly and clerical / administrative mostly, not servers, communication, networking, and hardware oriented.  ServiceSource disassembled and recycles donated equipment in a sheltered workshop for DD clients.  Reusing donated hardware, fixing them and/or hacking them to get them to do something the design was not originally intended is higher level electronics tech moving toward higher paying and perhaps more valued engineering skills. Jerry was an engineering student decades ago, but had better theoretical computer science skills before becoming disabled... Open source software like Linux, OpenOffice, Firefox, perl, python, docs.google.com, etc has allowed him back in the community in a cost effective and many exciting ways.  Giving access to current tech, even Apple iPhones, 3G, 4G, Blackberries like Fairfax County CSBExecs and contracting agents have, reduces barriers to full integration in the community.  The digital divide is segregation of one of the worst ways in today society.  Consider someone at a bus stop, with a cell phone vs a data service, can lookup information on routes, contact friends and coworkers, twitter, whatever, while someone without is possibly harrassed by the police, gangs, and probably even unsafe for various social and economic reasons...
  2. refurbishing computers for c/s/x use: Buying or obtaining in bulk excess corporate or government computers might allow for creating workstations and portable machines for c/s/x.  Getting a pallet of hardware and having space and time to redistribute makes economy of scale work in our favor, just as group purchasing saves government and corporations.  Non profit status makes donations from some entities easier...
  3. learning about assistive tech, screen readers (JAWS?, open source assistive tech), netbooks (OLPC at laptop.org, Asus EEEPC, etc), handhelds (originally Palm, OpenZaurus OpenMoko, etc), cell (SafelinkWireless, prepaid, donated, OpenMoko, etc), SmartPhones (combined PDA & communiations), WiFi (La Fonera Broadband Router, La Fontenna, OpenWRT, etc) , WLAN (networking peer sites through the state??), WWAN ( ? ), etc.  See EPAT for more information on the AT project, but also consider that a wiki, like this NoVAPeers.PBWorks.com wiki is an assistive tech for some dyslexic writers, such as myself, as it enables changes and revisions, quickly putting up ideas like this plus allows group feedback, and forms the basis of a community based process by putting on the internet for the public, the original funding source...
  4. Solar testbed: Using solar power for heating, electricity, etc.  Solar challenge, Solar Decathalon, etc.  Excess generated power could be distributed back into the community and be an income generator...
  5. Green building testbed: environmentally friendly and low consumption/ low waste building.
  6. Wind testbed:  Windpower is one technology to consder.
  7. Water power testbed, streams and mills have been in existence for a long time.  Grist Mill in Mount Vernon, VA probably ground some of Our Founding Fathers and President Washington's food..
  8. Design workshop: some c/s/x are extremely talented and I would like to learn how to create some things like designing a regenerative dynohub for touring.  When touring braking is an impulsive drag, and being able to turn on and off the generator on the fly, while riding or use a reversable hub like some single speed to fixie wheels can..  Automobile hybrids recharge batteries when slowing down, used to propel and power the devices, why not for bikes?  Other creations and maybe patents could help create the income to sustain this and other adventures.  Creating a kit and fulfulling parts for bike and other electronics designs may be an income source, like AdaFruit.com...
  9. GPS Testbed: C/S/X are sometimes geographically challenged.  Mapping routes with GPS, providing good shortcuts, and practical considerations (where's a bathroom, water for exercise, safe rest stop, public transit options, etc).  OpenStreetMap project provides a base for creating your own maps and self determination of what land features are important to you...  Google maps provide some but not full control of the underlying data...




  1. Audo/Video recording, for documenting conferences and c/s/x events plus c/s/x initiated creative arts and technical projects. Doug/Dana adds: For example,  a 1979 project in Boston used a camera operator as *part of* a dance performance (link requested). 
  2. More common electronics like Audio/Video, dvd creation, audio and video editing workstations from Windows Movie Maker on up to Adobe Premier. using open source software like GIMP, Cinerella, MythTV, etc which with some learning, can be widely distributed to anyone who visits by downloading, or with high speed connection at the site, burned to CDR/DVD-R/ USB key, etc. (what people use at their home or bring on their notebooks/ devices is their issue, as long as not disruptive to others, but an open source philosophy gives the freedom to inspect how something works, reduces expensive purchasing and support call delays, and is modifyable/ hackable and free as in freedom, plus being freely redistributable and generally community owned...)
  3. Disability oriented community tv shows exist in the DD community, but not yet for mental health/ homeless in this area.  Streats.TV is one model of homeless awareness in the DC Public TV area, which has not made it into the NoVA suburbs yet...
  4. digital photography: c/s/x may not have digital cameras, and having some available for use, a community to learn how to use for photojournalism, creative projects, documenting the progress of the house and community, while respecting the privacy of individuals too, a fine line in this digital age,  Disability and the arts is widely accepted model, however many Occupational therapists are rather low tech, pottery was the most advanced, and one place had a kiln in a closet like area, where memorial genogram mugs were made in my initial community based treatment, while an old Apple Mac usually lay dormant, but provided an artistic outlet and workshop for making templates to transfer designs to the (badly) poured mugs.




  1. Toy (WowWee Tribot, Femisapien, BladeStar, and others etc) and real robots (rovio, Roomba, etc) are high tech, which most C/S/X may have not experienced.  The therapeutic value of play is not really appreciated.  Anyone spending quality time with children and appreciate gadgets that give a thrill / emotional boost, while medication and traditional therapy has not provided to me, and in some cases a reason to live....
  2. Assistive use of robots like Roomba (vacuuming automaton) for seniors and some other mobility and cleaning challenged folks, common in the disability community...





  1. Bike loan/ rental place for consumers to get exercise, organize group rides, possibly learning some touring techniques and try different types of bikes (folding/ recumbent/ sizing/ designing solar, etc)  Basic bike skills, perhaps for helping people who have never or been decades since being on a bicycle.  Bikes@Vienna has some of the recumbent bikes that people worried about falling over, and adult trikes might make a good first step for those interested, but not yet tried such things.  Organizing group training and social events would promote healthy lifestyles into the c/s/x community.  Private public partnerships might be good here too...
  2. and perhaps maintain/ or assemble a bike for their own use Mount Rainer Bike Coop and other community bike shops (such as in Arlington) allow empoverished (and other) people to donate time, learn how to assemble and maintain a bike and end up with a bike from parts available and donated.
  3. SpokePOV could provide publicity/ advertising for bikes in use after dark...



  1. temporary storage space: sometimes c/s/x and homeless move frequently and  if in a warehouse, limited loading dock type area, might be able to store stuff temporalily, depending upon the community based decision process. zoning and other regulations.
  2. donating excess equipment and recirculating area, like someone has an extra fan, A/C, Fridge, Cabinet, table/ garden hose, kitchen machinery, etc and it finds a home among the community, similar to FreeCycle and other recycling projects but cheaper than Thrift Shops and available to the general C/S/X and disability community, but still part of the larger public community
  3. meeting area/ brokering moving help: so an so has a truck/van/bike trailer/etc, some guys/ gals are willing to help, more like more rural/ farm environment, neighbors helping neighbors, and creating community on that type of thing too.



  1. MOTORPOOL: Transportation is such a big issue for c/s/x and poor people in general.  Various Drop In Centers and programs have vans, and more are trying to acquire them, but a common space and perhaps shop area for light work, plus having enough for car/van sharing similar to the commercial model Zipcar and local governments have to go to regional, state and local events. How people are authorized and selected to drive, insurance and other legal matters to be worked out.  Hybrid Vans ideally for sustainability and lower cost operation, plus being environmentally friendly and CoolCommunities CO2 friendly.  Use human powered transportation for health, economy, and ethical reasons where ever possible.
  2. Another such thing is a scooter rental service.
  3. Non motor sharing.  Besides bikes, a careful GIS / GPS mapping of existing transportation routes and analysis of services such as MetroAccess (currently not serving PrinceWilliam and Loudoun Counties), and peer run paratransit may serve people better.  Creating an online reservation system during the mosly inside winter months when outside (yard, etc) work is not feasible.



  1. Acquiring/Learning and transfering skills for home management Many c/s/x, myself included, have never owned a home, much less had a garage/ workshop, technical and natural community where you could learn about and build plus try really geeky stuff like Garduino (an automated plant nursery system based on Arduino open source hardware described in the latest Make Magazine by O'Reilly). Currently, Jerry lives in a cave with little to no direct sunlight, much less access to cell, satellite, good digital TV antenna signals, solar, quiet enough to sleep well, etc...



  1. Interest in natural environments is stiflled by people not having a yard, much less a garden.  Some day programs like Mount Vernon Community Mental Health Center's CDT (Comprehensive Day Treatment), since renamed to something else, had a garden and even a memorial tree(s) for lost program member(s).  Horticultural and gardening, Farmer's Markets like in Loudoun, Cooking/ Baking in Prince William, etc, are missing in most c/s/x environments, as mentioned in the Funding Input session for Woodburn Crisis Care requesting a Hot House (covered all season growing area).  But if people are out of that program, graduated, or not in crisis, how would they have access to such a place?.  Community gardens are not widespread in Fairfax County, though some appear to exist in Arlington near the Four Mile Run and Shirlington and perhaps other areas.  Memorial Note: PatrickSnow showed me his garden plot behind the apartment/ condo area he lived and was so proud of growing, and probably provided physical as well as emotional therapy, if not nutritional value to his life, and I would hope to continue that legacy into future generations of c/s/x.


CRASH SPACE/Residential Component


  1. Mad scientists/ tinkerers and generally depressed and energy challenged creative people might need a break / nap time and the area would have a restful nap area, safe stayover and might lead to learning how to do/ evolve into a mild peer based crisis based residential area, which currently is not well understood / accepted / realized in this area/ region.
  2. Having a publicly accessible yard and shop does not preclude having residential spacem, in fact it is a lead into it.  Soteria House, and many other models (including issues other than just schizophrenia) may be proposed and derived from the needs of the community, if the region inherits space based on their well deserved work and efforts in the region over the last 3 -> 30+ years...  And using Housing Unlimited model of one house creates another, similar to the natural growth of Drop In Center day programs, we might have more resources for our tired and poor community, many who have experienced homelessness, and local, regional and national efforts to Abolish/End Homelessness, so common in  MH and disability communities...



COSTS (Still in an idea stage.)



Main categories of costs would be

  1. buying (though maybe renting space) with a shop, yard, living/ meeting and residential space.
  2. Costs for buying equipment, electronics and
  3. hybrid vehicles (hybrid vans do not yet really exist, SUVs and sedans do)
  4. plus bikes (folding, recumbent, regular ordinary),
  5. operating expenses for startup until freestanding organization and community develops limited to about a year to really get off the ground, but some transferable from HacDC, general Hackerspace, community bike shops, car sharing/ vehicle motor pools experience and other resources possibly to shorten the time. 
  6. Personnel considered to pay people to start this up.  It's a labor intensive process, and done better with community development process.  Seeding meetings for getting people together to learn what it is and what it could be, gather feedback, similar but quicker than Drop In Centers...
  7. filing / incorporation fees,
  8. insurance and
  9. board/ officer development, finding corporate and other foundation/ community supports plus publicity
  10. and further research work.





Ideally spending the money up front to use the seed money wisely.  Real Estate Space would be on the critical path (longest part of the process) and would need to start quickly.  In previous years, lapse funds were used to rent the RRWG office space, and a similar arrangement might be possible.  Owning the space, as in getting a foreclosed building/ apartment building (separate private space and take over one apartment for common space and office), and acquiring in an area that is friendly to disabilities, meets the price criteria, has sufficient yard space, vehicle access, public transit, solar, satellite, cell and cable, etc...


Most likely a farm type community, as space vs commuting distance is an issue for Jerry and others.

The only jurisdiction Jerry has not resided in this region yet is Loudoun, though it is a ways out from South East (Fairfax).  Access to trails like the W&OD to Purceville, Leesburg, downtown Washington, DC, Arlington, and disability community meetings are some factors, and hybrids along I66 speed commuting, even before any MetroRail to Dulles plans get enacted....




Perhaps one of the most difficult and rewarding parts of this would be the community process.  If publicly funded, there would be various requirements, hopefully not oppressive but member and community feedback is key to success of something like a HackerSpace, Soteria House, Housing Unlimited 12 Step group home, and various other models people want to consider.  Also, if people want to learn and create something like it, without competing then why not?  If public money, then the public has rights to the outcomes and reporting on how it is going.  If privately funded, some things would be more private.

Even in publicly funded residential and treatment programs people have some autonomy and rights to privacy.  These and other issues would need to be explored...








Summary of experience or similar




A place for feedback on the page presented (MediaWiki has discussion tabs, but this section is a workaround for PBWorks.com missing feature...)


  1. DougsCommentsOnJerrySpaceIdea


Page History

 (MediaWiki contains a history tab, missing from PBWorks.com, so adding brief descriptions here)


20090621 Jerry

  1. cleanup typos and additions for clarification.


20090620 Jerry

  1. Adding technical examples of various techs, solar, maybe wind?
  2. Cleanup and explanation of parts / sections of this document for others to clearly edit within suggested guidelines.


20090619 Doug/ Dana providing feedback inline.


20090619 Jerry


  • Jerry created this page to put out a laundry list of ideas for funding, mostly centered around having some common tech, yard and residential space for c/s/x...
  • adding links, fixing stuff


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Page Views:  since creating on 20090619


Comments (3)

Douglas (Dana) Goncz said

at 7:51 pm on Jun 19, 2009

I believe the probability ofa successful proposal is proportional to grantor's perception of measurability of outcomes, and is much less strongly related to proposer's and grantor's perception of predictability of outcomes, so, in general, when proposers base proposals on measurements or measurement ability, grantors are strongly influenced to accept proposal as likely to produce useful knowledge, leading to evidence-based practice in the loooooong run. ==Doug

Douglas (Dana) Goncz said

at 9:36 pm on Jun 19, 2009

I think that "consumer/survivor/ex-patient" does abbreviate best as C/S/X because the categories go like this: Wanderer --> Diagnosee --> Recruit --> Addict --> Consumer --> Survivor --> Ex-Patient. Does this comment belong elsewhere on site? I do *not* want to blur the focus of this very clear page, but this is a comment....

jerry said

at 11:14 am on Jun 21, 2009

Just at idea stage with the rapid deadlines. Measurement and outcomes would be very good to have in a full proposal, but I'm not sure how in this limited opportunity time frame. If Doug/ Dana or others would like to propose a criteria, process or make recommendations, I'd like to see/ hear them, and may be willing to adopt some of them on this project...

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