Tag Homelessness

Real Life Superheroes

Originally posted: http://www.whptv.com/news/local/story/UPDATE-Real-Life-Superheroes-slideshow-added/kk5BteQ0S0GzWZOicxqHRA.cspx
Since the “Dynamic Duo”is taken, I’ll just refer to “Commonwealth” and “Armistice” as the “Philanthropic Pair”.
It doesn’t roll off the tongue as smoothly as the other name, but it does speak more to what the “Keystone Crusaders” do – giving of their time and energy to clean up the streets of Harrisburg.
The “Keystone Crusaders” came about from a magazine article “Commonwealth” was reading about real life superheroes 5 months ago.
“Commonwealth” says, “I thought it was complete, you know, nonsense, until I looked it up and was like wow, you know that’s really cool. They go around and make their cities better places.”
“Commonwealth” and “Armistice” want to keep their identities a secret, so we don’t know their alter egos.
We just know “Commonwealth” is in his late twenties, married with two kids and “Armistice” is a 19-year old who moved from Pittsburgh to be a part of his friend’s idea.
Armed with the utility belt – a staple of a super heroes arsenal, the duo take to the streets to clean up litter.
They even have spare batteries for the homeless whose flashlights might be drained and spare change for the short-changed using laundromats and parking meters.
They also carry a cooler with bottled water for the parched, like Joe Whitfield, who at first glance wasn’t so sure what he was witnessing.

Costumed superheroes visit Granite Falls, Willmar to commit anonymous good deeds

Originally posted: http://www.wctrib.com/event/article/id/81136/

Real-Life Superheroes, from left, Geist, Arctic Knight and Blue, paying a visit to the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar. The trio also visited the Granite Falls Manor in Granite Falls and brought supplies to hand out to the homeless in Willmar. (Tribune photo by Anne Polta)

Real-Life Superheroes, from left, Geist, Arctic Knight and Blue, paying a visit to the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar. The trio also visited the Granite Falls Manor in Granite Falls and brought supplies to hand out to the homeless in Willmar. (Tribune photo by Anne Polta)

By Anne Polta, West Central Tribune
WILLMAR — There was a slight commotion as three costumed men strode into the lobby of the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter Wednesday morning.
“Hi, I’m Geist,” said one of them, shaking hands with a family visiting the Willmar shelter to see the dogs.
The trio left an assortment of gifts at the front counter — cat food, dog food, food and water bowls, a litter pan and some cash. “Keep up the good work,” Geist called out as they departed in an unmarked car for their next stop.
Who were those masked crusaders?
Don’t ask for their real names because they aren’t telling. The three belong to Real-Life Superheroes, an international organization of citizen volunteers who don make-believe superhero personas to commit good deeds.
This much they’ll reveal: Geist is from Rochester and has been a Real-Life Superhero since 2007. Blue, from Granite Falls, and Arctic Knight, from Burnsville, joined Real-Life Superheroes about a year ago.
“We come from all different walks of life,” Geist said. “We all have our various reasons for doing this.”
Action, not talk, is one of the motivators, said Blue. “Apathy is our main enemy.”
The superheroes, who don’t share their identity with anyone other than a few trusted individuals, were traveling Wednesday as they usually do — on their own time and their own dime.
Their first stop was at the Granite Falls Manor in Granite Falls, where they left cookies, crayons, paints and other craft supplies. Their next stop was the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar, after which they planned to patrol the town in search of homeless people, handing out socks and candy bars.
Their superhero activities are many and varied.
They spend time with terminally ill children, work with the homeless and help out with community causes. When heavy rain flooded towns in southeastern Minnesota last fall, Geist loaded a truck with supplies and delivered them to the stricken communities. Blue promotes safe driving awareness, putting up posters during the holiday season festooned with red ribbons that can be torn off and placed as a reminder on someone’s car.
Some of their actions are more risky. One of the things they do is paint over gang graffiti, a move that’s not welcomed by gang members. Real-Life Superheroes in the U.S. and abroad also have aligned themselves with law enforcement as citizen patrols for preventing and reporting crimes.
Don’t some people think the Superhero costumes are goofy? “If they do, that’s fine,” Geist said. “If we can bring a smile to someone’s face, how good is that? When we go out and find homeless people, when we hand them food and supplies, it doesn’t matter.”
It’s attention-getting for a cause, Arctic Knight said. “People are going to be inspired.”
Tari Evenson, manager of the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter, said she and the shelter staff didn’t know about the Real Life Superheroes’ visit until that morning.
“They called us and said they were going to stop by with some donations,” she said. “I wish we had more superheroes.”

There Goes My Hero

Originally posted: http://theminaretonline.com/2011/02/24/article16780
By ??Richard Solomon

Photo by George McCaughan

Photo by George McCaughan

??Ever seen a real superhero? Ever met someone in a mask who had been shot? When I stumbled upon an article about a man in Seattle who wore a costume and fought crime, I had to find out more. After reading more articles, sending emails and making phone calls I was granted the opportunity to meet some superheroes and go on patrol with them. This is my story about flying across the country, visiting Canada, staying up all night following guys in masks in the worst parts of Seattle and Vancouver and coming back to tell the tale. I video taped people trying to break into a car, saw a life get saved and didn’t even know it at the time, and managed to meet some of the most incredible people you could ever imagine.
Knight Owl parked his car outside of Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery where fellow superhero Thanatos was going to meet us.
Earlier that day I had flown into Seattle. Knight Owl met me at the airport. I had seen pictures of him online in costume, but he met me in normal street clothes. He looked nondescript and average. He would be the first of several superheroes I would meet over the weekend.
Who are real-life superheros? They are people who wear costumes and adopt monikers in order to help others. They are people who keep their real identities secret and in some way obscure their appearance. (Knight Owl, for example, keeps part of his face hidden and Thanatos completely covers his head.) For some, this secrecy is meant to keep their families safe, while others believe that the symbol of their alter ego is more powerful than their true-life, street-clothes persona.
Saving Lives, On My Own Time
Back in the cemetery, Knight Owl and I headed to the circle of graves where Thanatos was supposed to meet us. But before the cemetery there was the drive to Vancouver from the Seattle airport– three hours in the car with the first superhero I had ever met.
Knight Owl does mostly humanitarian work. He patrols occasionally with other superheroes in Portland, Oregon or in Vancouver, but mainly participates in homeless outreach.
Although he does not handle a lot of crime prevention (“In two years of patrolling, I’ve never once been in a dangerous situation”), he knows what danger is. As a paramedic in training and a former firefighter, he has the perfect response for critics who tell superheroes to quit and leave things to law enforcement. “I’m a firefighter,” he said, “and I choose to go out on my own time and help save lives, for free. How can you criticize me for that?”
To Knight Owl, being a superhero is about saving lives, whether that means giving food to the homeless or knowing first aid in case someone on the street needs help. Beyond the activities, he has also done his homework on the superhero appearance.
He told me of the additions he would soon be making to his suit. Among them, a cowl lined with a kind of rubber polymer that would harden when hit to protect his head; and a gadget that would create brief bursts of fire to scare off would-be attackers. As he related, just because he has never been in a dangerous situation does not mean he should not be prepared for one.
Photo by George McCaughan

Photo by George McCaughan

Amongst the graves, we searched for Thanatos’ usual meeting spot. At first, all I could make out was a dark shape emerging from the dim light of the cemetery. He got closer and I recognized him. As impressive as it was to meet Knight Owl, nothing could have prepared me for Thanatos.
Clad in dark clothing with a distinct death motif, Thanatos (Greek for ‘death’) exuded a mocking image of the Grim Reaper. From a tie covered in skulls and cross bones to a death-themed utility belt, every part of Thanatos’ attire was covered in death symbols.
He had on a long black coat, the aforementioned tie, a flat brimmed hat and all of the skulls looked more like they were from a Halloween novelty store than on a grim reaper’s attire. The overall effect was imposing and awe-inspiring. I didn’t feel frightened, but a criminal might have a different opinion on that.
Yet, his costuming’s dark theme contrasted with the cheerful optimism of the man under the mask.
Thanatos is arguably the most well-respected member of the superhero community. With a MySpace blog over two years old, Thanatos has been consistently doing homeless outreach since his first night out on Halloween 2008.
Thanatos and I did laps around the cemetery for close to an hour. He was open about his mission and about how he feels he is affecting the city of Vancouver.
“I don’t think I’ve made [Vancouver] any worse,” he said. “I know there are those who feel inspired enough to do something because of me.”
He said he was inspired by old comic book superheroes, specifically citing a “Superman” issue in which Superman attends a charity event. “The more you do, the more you have to work with,” he said. “It’s not just crime-fighting.”
He felt that the homeless people of Vancouver live with death every day to the point that he wanted death to start looking after them.
“Something has to be done, and there has to be a way to draw attention to it,” he said.
“There’s just too many people dying on the streets. It’s too easy to die on the streets. . . . I am a parody of the death. Where death walks around and dispenses grief and sorrow, I walk around and I dispense life.”
So he put together a costume and called himself Thanatos. His costume is not only aesthetics and skulls though. There is a surprising amount of functionality in what he wears. A utility belt with everything from a flashlight to marbles (“Have you ever seen The Defender?” he asked me), a multi-tool and cell phone close at hand.
But why wear a costume?
“I do it in costume because what I’m doing is much more important than who I am,” he said. “I was told by a cop that people on the street had nothing better to live for than to look forward to death. I said, ‘If that’s the case then death better start taking a hand at taking care of them.’ That’s where the costume came from. It got modified because I realized walking around with a big scythe and long robe wasn’t going to work.”
He believes this symbolism works. “People aren’t stupid, they get the idea, they know what I represent. I represent death. Death is so common now that he’s walking around on the street taking care of them. People get it. It’s a very powerful symbol. I put on the mask, take on the persona and here’s someone from Florida just to interview me.
“It’s not just me doing it either, and it does work. It draws attention to the problems, whether it’s high crime in Seattle or homelessness in Vancouver.”
Thanatos goes out whenever he can to distribute bundles of goods such as bread, peanut butter, socks, a razor blade. His goal is a noble one.
“You do what you can,” he said. “I give out my bundles. I do what I can, I’m keeping that person alive for one more day. That’s quite a victory over death. If I do my normal handout and I hand out 10 bundles, that’s 10 victories.”
Homeless outreach is not all he does. Whether he is dressed as death or in street clothes, Thanatos also observes area street gangs and drug dealers.
He takes copious notes on who sells what– and where– and copies down license plate numbers and makes notes on where those cars travel. He will submit this information to the police and he said he has previously succeeded in helping get drug dealers arrested.
A Man Named Armando
After the interview, Thanatos drove Knight Owl and I around some of the bad areas of Vancouver. We finally stopped outside of a homeless shelter, where the three of us handed out items. People were openly grateful, thanking us over and over. The Minaret t-shirts I had brought with me to distribute were a hit and the razors I had also packed vanished right away.
Thanatos had shoes, pants, and other goods. Everything vanishing in a matter of minutes. Some recognized him, others asked who he was. Several of the more nervous people came up to me to ask me who he was. I explained what he did. I was surprised that for many of the homeless I met that night, they just wanted someone to talk to. They were grateful for what we were handing out, but they were also grateful to have someone actually listen to them.
We got back into Thanatos’ vehicle (he drove with his mask off to avoid being pulled over, not at all concerned that I could see his face) and headed back to Knight Owl’s car. Along the way Thanatos told me a story about a man named Armando.
Armando and his family walked to Vancouver all the way from Chile. They were being tortured by police in Chile and finally had to leave. The police cut off all of Armando’s fingers. His wife was raped and had her breasts cut off. Their torturers then mutilated her face and tried to cut off her nose, but failed because they cut upwards and the knife got caught on the septum. Surprisingly, Thanatos told me that Armando is one of the most cheerful men he has ever met. I thought about how the average person must treat them– looking away from the woman with the scarred face, ignoring the man with no fingers. These were people who just wanted help. And Thanatos was doing what he could to help them, one bundle at a time.
We dropped off Knight Owl and then Thanatos took me to the Vancouver train station. It was only 1:15 a.m. Thanatos apologized for the early night. He explained he had to be up for work at five and needed some sleep.
The rest of my night had nothing to do with superheroes but was important nonetheless. The train station was closed and Thanatos had already driven off. I didn’t have his phone number and I knew Knight Owl was busy. Two shifty guys nearby started talking louder, looking at me and then walked towards me.
I made a quick decision and began walking. I couldn’t stay at the station, but I knew nobody in Vancouver. I realized suddenly that I had nowhere to go and almost nobody knew where I was beyond I was spending the night in Canada. If something happened to me nobody would notice until I missed my interview the next day. I was wandering the streets of the worst part of Vancouver.
I was carrying a camera, my laptop in a backpack and a duffel bag of clothes. If you’ve ever been (un)fortunate enough to be alone in the worst part of a city in a foreign country with no one to call and nowhere to go, carrying all your possessions and being eyed up and down by what seems like every shady-looking person in the area, you’ll know exactly how I felt.
I couldn’t run with all the bags I was carrying. I wondered if homeless people feel this same way; having everything that matters to you fit in a few bags, nowhere to go, hoping to stay safe. But I just had to make it through a few hours, they live with this feeling every day.
I ducked into a 24-hour diner full of people and nursed a coffee and milkshake for three hours. I didn’t get mugged or hurt that night, but whether that’s because of dumb luck or actual safety I can’t say. I wondered if my trip to Seattle the next day would be less eventful. I had no idea what I was in for.
Harder Than the Last
The next day, Saturday, I was set to see Phoenix Jones. If Thanatos was the most respected member of the Real Life Superheroes community, than Phoenix Jones was certainly the most famous. Media continually begged him for interviews. He even has his own Wikipedia page.
Jones has become an Internet sensation, with articles about him going viral. He has been stabbed, shot, tasered, and had his nose broken, but he still fights crime on the streets five nights a week.
At just after midnight on Sunday, I paced anxiously outside of my hotel. A friend, George McCaughan, was with me. He had flown up from Tampa that morning to go on this adventure for himself and take pictures.
At 12:30 a.m., a car rolled up in front of us with three superheroes inside: Buster Doe, Pitch Black, and the famous Phoenix Jones.
From the moment he began talking, it was obvious Jones was a very intelligent man. His suit was absolutely incredible. It sports a ballistic cup to deflect bullets, along with leg plates to protect his inner thighs; a bulletproof vest underneath stab-resistant armor that was lined with blood-coagulating packets; and even special gloves. I recalled Knight Owl telling me of the hardening rubber material he wanted to get for his cowl; Phoenix Jones had this material in his gloves, meaning that every punch he threw would literally be harder than the last.
He demonstrated this to me by whacking his gloves emphatically against the hotel desk. I tried it myself and felt the gloves get harder the more forcefully I hit them.
Jones also had a working utility belt. It lacked the death theme that Thanatos’ had but was efficient nonetheless. A taser, tear gas with special properties, and a cell phone were also part of the outfit.
It’ll Ruin My YouTube Clip
Phoenix Jones first sprang to life in a water park in Seattle. “I was at Wild Waves with my son,” he said.
“At the end of the day we were going back to the car and we always race back.” He said someone had broken into his car and the glass from the window cut his son’s leg. Jones was doing his best to stop the bleeding and hold his son’s leg together when he saw someone close by with a cell phone. As Jones recalled, “I asked him to call an ambulance and he said, ‘I can’t, it’ll ruin my YouTube clip.’”
Later, police told him they could not find the person who had broken into his car. Jones had found a mask wrapped around a rock in his car, the tool the burglar had apparently used to break the window. He called the police to tell them of the discovery. They never called him back.
A few weeks later, Jones was outside a club and saw a man get struck down with a club (the man would have a large scar for the rest of his life). He ran to his car to get his phone and saw the mask the burglar had wrapped around the rock to break his window sitting in the glovebox, where he’d left it after he found it. On a whim, he grabbed the mask instead of his phone and ran back. He chased the assailant down– wearing the mask– and succeeded in holding him down on the ground until the police arrived. When they asked him who he was, he replied, “Phoenix Jones.”
He explained to me that the Phoenix part of his adopted name comes from the mythical creature that rises from the ashes, signifying life from death, birth from destruction. Jones, he said, was because it was a very common last name and he wanted to represent the common man.
Like Knight Owl and Thanatos, Jones feels the real foe he is fighting is apathy. A man who would rather film a kid being hurt than call the police is the exact kind of person Jones hope to inspire to change.
The Superheroes of Seattle!
After the interview we went back to the lobby where Buster Doe and Pitch Black were waiting for us. Before heading out, Jones delineated the roles for the evening. “Buster Doe, you’re on backup duty,” he said. “Pitch Black, you call and then backup Bus’ if needed.” If Phoenix got into an altercation, Buster Doe was to help him out as needed while Pitch Black called the police. Once the phone call was done Pitch Black was to help Buster Doe if the situation hadn’t been settled already.
Though there were only three out that night, there are actually 11 members of the Rain City Superhero Movement. Jones is the leader of the group. The others go on patrol with him as often as they can.
Jones also told me that there would be several people in plain clothes shadowing us all evening. They were unknown members of his superhero group who would all be carrying cell phones and guns. If someone pulled a gun on any of us, we would have someone nearby to pull a gun on them. I kept an eye out all night and, despite the warning, did not notice anybody until Phoenix Jones told me the next day who the shadow forces were. I went through the photos of the night and, sure enough, the same people were around us multiple times.
We walked up and down busy streets just as the bars closed. Reactions to the superheroes differed wildly. Some people became excited and begged for a picture with them. Others shouted obscenities. A few inebriated revelers became scared. Most of the women we came across were eager to get a photo with Phoenix Jones, usually inviting him home with them. “I lost my hotel room,” they would say. “Can you help me find it?”
Most people seemed to recognize the trio, some shouting, “It’s the superheroes of Seattle!” I heard constant references to “Kick-Ass,” a movie that all superheroes seem to praise and hate in the same sentence. They think it portrays the process of becoming a superhero well, but the over-the-top violence and the lack of planning the character Kick Ass puts into his costume seem to turn them all off to it.
Throughout the night, Jones was unfailingly polite to everyone. He would greet people and ask how they were, if they needed help. Nothing was too small for the superheroes– whether it be getting ready to break up a fight, stopping to talk to people about staying safe, and making sure a drunk man did not hit his girlfriend.
During our patrol, I spotted countless police around us. Some were in cars, while others were on bicycles. All of them managed to glare at Jones.
The “Jones Patrols,” as he called them, were a direct result of his activity. “The mayor of Seattle got upset that I was stopping all these crimes and the police weren’t,” he said. “He made a rule that every single officer has to spend at least an hour of their shifts on the street. . . . You can argue that I’m not helping or that I’m not effective, but because of me there are more police officers patrolling the streets. I’d say that’s a good thing.”
Photo by George McCaughan

Photo by George McCaughan

They Are Not Batman
Roughly halfway through the night we came upon three men trying to break into a car– using a screwdriver, a crowbar, and a hanger all sticking into the door and trying to force it open. Jones asked them what was wrong. One of the men said he had locked his keys in his car. We were on a fairly busy street and Jones asked if they would like him to get a police officer. The men looked uncomfortable at this idea and declined, despite Jones insisting that a cop may have something on hand to jimmy the lock.
The men looked shiftier, so Jones decided to talk to a police officer. He and Pitch Black went off with George to find a cop while Buster Doe and I stayed behind by the car. The three would-be car thieves glanced uneasily at my camera but didn’t say anything because I wasn’t taking pictures. (I was actually video taping the whole thing, including the license plate of the car!). While we waited, two officers rode by us on bicycles, but did not stop or say anything about the car with a crowbar sticking out of one of its doors.
Jones reported back something similar. Police said they did not have anything to open the door. When he raised the possibility of it not being the men’s car, he said they just shrugged. In that type of situation, Jones explained he could not do much after notifying the police. We moved on.
Real-life superheroes are not vigilantes. A vigilante is “any person who takes the law into his or her on hands, as by avenging a crime” according to dictionary.com. Another definition on the same site notes that is an act “done violently and summarily, without recourse to lawful procedures.”
Jones and the other superheroes are not vigilantes. They all learn their local laws and call the police whenever something happens. They do not break the laws and they do not take justice into their own hands. They are not Batman. They are much realer than that.
In fact, Phoenix Jones thinks Batman is one of the worst superheroes to be influencing people.
“As Bruce Wayne, a billionaire, he spends eight hours a day doing nothing and pretending to be a careless jerk. Then he spends four hours every night fighting crime? How about instead of beating up some drug dealers you buy their house. How about instead of fighting gangs you buy the neighborhood and clean up the streets.” I had asked Jones earlier about what he did for a day job and he revealed he was a professional MMA fighter and worked with autistic kids when he wasn’t fighting. In many ways, Bruce Wayne has nothing on Phoenix Jones.
After the car incident, things were mostly quiet. We went down a lot of dark alleys and kept an eye on those who were especially drunk or loud.
At one point, we walked by a woman passed out on a stoop in front of a doorway, neck bent at a horrible angle, breathing shallowly. A shady-looking guy with her said she was fine and friends would be along soon to pick them up. We asked if he wanted an ambulance but he insisted no. We told him to at least fix her neck and he rearranged her.
The girl worried us so we stayed close by, unsure of what to do. The woman looked like she may need real medical attention, but on the other hand perhaps she was indeed fine. A steady stream of people walked past her, unconcerned.
Finally, the decision was made. Pitch Black called an ambulance. While he was on the phone, two policemen rode by, again on bicycles. I watched one glance at the woman, clearly unconscious, and then keep going.
Within a few minutes, one ambulance, then two, pulled up. Another came after that. The woman’s “friend” moved further away and by the time the third vehicle arrived he had disappeared. We heard the paramedics say the woman had low vitals and Phoenix Jones observed a tube being put down her throat.
Emergency Medical Technicians took her away. I received a phone call from Jones a few days later. Apparently he had received an e-mail from someone saying they were friends with the woman. The friend wanted to thank him. The woman had asthma and that combined with a little too much “fun” were causing her to asphyxiate. She may have died if we had not called an ambulance. I thought of the shady guy near her, the police who rode by, and the people who walked past. None of them had looked even a little concerned.
It was late enough that we decided to call it a night. The heroes led us to a 24-hour café, Night Kitchen. Jones and Buster Doe ordered Sprites and some fries to split, while Pitch Black asked for Limeade. Apparently lemon-lime is the flavor of choice for masked crusaders.
Jones headed to the bathroom to take off some of his costume, mainly his chest piece. The way his suit is configured leaves him with less mobility for his head.
“Remember in Batman,” he said, “when Bruce Wayne asks Morgan Freeman to make some changes to his suit and Morgan Freeman goes, ‘You want to be able to turn you head?’ You have no idea how true that is.”
Jones kept his mask on, but put on a simple t-shirt over his bulletproof vest. The five of us sat there for an hour while the heroes exchanged stories. Jones told us about some of his first patrols and showed me photos.
At about 4:30 in the morning we called it quits. Buster Doe drove George and I back to the hotel.
And that ended my weekend with superheroes. I had the opportunity to see two of the biggest names in the superhero community, and meet people who stop crimes and feed the homeless. I saw an entire community that is relatively unknown doing what they feel is right and changing lives in the process.
Interested in learning more about superheroes? Check out RealLifeSuperHeroes.org and RealLifeSuperHeroes.com to find out more.

Homeless in Seattle: a struggle on the streets

Originally posted: http://www.thejibsheet.com/?p=4652
By Jeremy Graber

(SOURCE: Anonymous) From the left: Skyman, Thanatos, Red Dragon, and White Baron

(SOURCE: Anonymous) From the left: Skyman, Thanatos, Red Dragon, and White Baron

Locals call the restaurant and shop area on Alaskan Way “the aqueduct.” The street is lined with businesses such as Red Robin, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, and ferry services which shuttle tourists to and from Bainbridge Island.
To the less fortunate, this area is called home along with other spots across Seattle that provide shelter from the cold and wet weather after the sun sets and the strip closes for the night. These are the people who were unable to get into the many homeless shelters that are found throughout the city.
Many shelters have entrance requirements such as passing drug and alcohol screenings, background checks, and sex offender checks. Those who do not fit the bill find themselves put back onto the streets to fend for themselves.
The Union Gospel Mission Men’s Shelter has room for 209 people per night, which includes 104 homeless people that are part of their residential recovery program, a program created to help those suffering from substance abuse find long-term solutions to attaining a better life.
Among other services, this specific shelter offers occupation counseling, spiritual guidance, and programs specifically designed for women and children. They have staff on duty 24-hours a day to receive donations and to aid in emergency intakes when they have the room.
Late at night a “Search & Rescue” van patrols the streets handing out blankets, food, and clothing to those that are camping in doorways. There are anywhere between 10 and 20 people standing outside of the Mission’s doors on 2nd Avenue, hoping they will be let in or wandering with no place else to go.
If you come back to Alaskan Way after the businesses close, it is painfully obvious that it is not enough to take care of those in need. On Saturday night, two brothers were huddled together with their dog hiding in the bushes under the overpass below the Pike Place market.
“We’ve been homeless for about two and a half years now – only in Seattle for about a year,” the oldest said. His youngest brother claimed to be 18, but it he was obviously far younger. The two had been hiding from the police that force them out of the area during the day.
A coalition of approximately 10 superheroes from Seattle, Portland and Vancouver (Canada) spent close to 18 hours on Saturday handing out food, hygiene supplies, and provisions to the needy which included the two brothers. They pointed out various encampments throughout Seattle where people had been taking shelter.
(SOURCE: JEREMY GRABER) Knight Owl renders aid to a homeless man who defended his possessions

(SOURCE: JEREMY GRABER) Knight Owl renders aid to a homeless man who defended his possessions

One such place was under the 6th and Cherry street overpass where at least 30 people were under blankets, sleeping bags, and ponchos. Their possessions were cluttered together in piles of various sizes which indicated how long they had been there.
The encampment was inhabited by those who were sober and those who were obviously not. There was a married couple who found themselves homeless within the past few weeks after they had been evicted. Underneath an American flag, two veterans shared a spot where they racked out for the night.
For two hours, the group of super volunteers unloaded supplies from a minivan and conversed with the inhabitants. Skyman, a native of Seattle, had prepared almost 100 bundles that he called “Sky packs” which contained 2 puddings, a granola bar, two pairs of socks, and hygiene items.
Knight Owl, a superhero from Portland, gave medical attention to a man whose hands were badly injured while defending his possessions from a gang that frequently raids their shelters.
“They come in the night as we’re going to sleep to steal our things,” one of the homeless said. He describes a group of 8 or 9 men that rob and attack them on nearly a nightly basis. He added that “many of the people here can’t get into a shelter because they don’t pass the drug tests.”
The people under the overpass pointed out that it is hard for many of them to stay clean because of a white van that comes by selling drugs. “Those who are struggling with their sobriety find themselves unable to say ‘no,’” commented Thanatos, one of the superheros from Vancouver, Canada.
A spokesperson from the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness said stories like this are all too common. People are assaulted and what little they have is taken from them, sometimes by the people that they share the same space with. “More needs to be done to help them, we just need the resources to get the job done,” the volunteer said.
As federal and state resources shrink, many of these shelters are relying heavily on the donations from their local communities. With a shrinking economy, outreach programs are finding themselves with less and less to work with.

Real Life Superheroes Get Their Own Film

 Photo by Theodore James

Photo by Theodore James

Originally posted: http://current.com/entertainment/movies/blog/92969198_real-life-superheroes-get-their-own-film.htm
Superheroes aren’t just for fiction anymore — no longer restrained to the pages of comic books, the large and growing community of Real Life Super Heroes (RLSH) are on the streets as agents of change — with mixed results. No magical-power infused mega-beings, they do what they can to make a difference in home-made costumes, sometimes armed with pseudo-weapons — as an antidote to the pumped-up versions usually presented in films. And now they’ve been lovingly captured in a film of their own, the documentary Superheroes, which premiered at Slamdance. Producer Theodore James and director Michael Barnett gave us the low-down on the process, the provenance, and what comes next.
Q: Many of these real-life superheroes could be discounted as dorks or weirdos, but by the end of the film you manage to tease out their eloquence. What were the main traits of these people that you wanted to portray in the film? Is there something that you think they all have in common?
MB: There is definitely one thing the whole community has in common, and that’s altruism. I wanted to the audience to leave the film knowing that every single real life superhero does something heroic in his or her own way, to make their communities a better place, regardless of resources.
Q: Do you think they’re escapists?
MB: There is definitely a level of escapism for some RLSH but by and large, after donning the costume and experiencing what it’s like to actually help somebody, most superheroes become deeply entrenched in the notion that they can make a difference, be it big or small, and that seems to be the driving force for most of them. That, and it’s “hella fun,” according to a super hero we know from Clearwater.
Q: Was there any point where you wondered about any of your subjects’ sanity?
MB: Absolutely not! Not even with Master Legend. I think these guys — I’m speaking of the ones in the film, because of course its hard to speak for the whole community — are eccentric dudes and ladies. They put on a costume, and they realize something: That they can step outside of themselves and their lives, and maybe even become iconic in their communities. It really does something for them. Also, they all have day jobs. For example, Zetaman works at a packaging plant, Mr. Extreme is a security guard, Master Legend is an air conditioning repairman, some of them are tattoo artists… But a lot of them are trying to find a way to do it full time.
It’s funny how our culture treats people who calls themselves superheroes– they’re either ridiculed or adored in their community, but never treated with apathy. There are so many news stories are out there on them, and some of them make fun of them, and some celebrate them… But even when just putting a costume on and walking down the street – people will always react to them.
Q: Do they develop relationships in their communities?
MB: It depends, of course. Life helps people around his neighborhood in Harlem — homeless people, for instance. His community knows him well, and he knows his community. But then Mr. Extreme works differently — he listens to the police scanners and then he goes out and patrols the area where he hears there is a lot of criminal activity. The result is that the communities he helps don’t necessarily know him. But he’s still out there on the streets, at least four days a week. We wanted to deconstruct the “superhero” myth, in our society, and then rebuild a sense of what it means to be a real life superhero: Some want to fight crime, and others want to give food out.
TJ: A few of the subjects in the film confront drug dealers and try to bait criminals into committing crimes. During those nights of filming we were all a bit nervous. Thankfully nothing happened to the subjects or the crew.
Q: Many of your subjects never divulge their true identity to you… Did you find this was something that made it hard to build trust between you and your subjects?
MB: The opposite! Making this film has helped me understand that it is not necessary to know somebody’s real name in order to truly know them as a person. If anything, our lack of needing to know their true names helped them open up to us.
Photo by Theodore James

Photo by Theodore James

I think when we approached them and they didn’t tell us their names and bios, we were like “That’s cool, we don’t need them. it’s not part of our story.” Which is different from how reporters react — they need a name to print a story. But what’s a name, really? If someone wants to identify themselves as Mr. Extreme, then that’s who he is, to us. But, for instance in Mr Extreme‘s case, I nonetheless got to know him deeper than the costume. He’s a guy that I’ve gone to a couple times a month over the course of the last however many years, have spent hours on end with talking about his life, his family, and getting to know him. I don’t need a name to truly know him.
Q: How did you come across this subject, in the first place? And what made you decide to make a film about it?
MB: I stumbled upon this vast community online. Go ahead, google Real Life Superheroes. I dare ya!I’ve been a cinematographer for 15 years, and have shot a lot of films. I started directing a few years ago, and was making a film for a TV network that, that Theodore [James, the producer] was producing. He was looking for a project, and I mentioned that I’d been gathering some research on this thing. I turned the research in, to him, and he was amazed. He started doing more research, we got in touch with Mr. Extreme and we went to shoot him. He was the first one to agree to work with us. When we got home and we looked at the footage of him we just knew. We realized that this guy is fascinating, and we could just do a film about him alone! But it expanded: We got in touch with Stan Lee, and when he agreed, the community just fell into place.
Q: Were there any scenes that didn’t make the final cut that you miss terribly?
MB: We had to cut a lot of Zetaman, who is an exceedingly noble and humble guy. The work he does with the homeless is heartbreaking and inspiring. He is a true hero in every sense of the word and I’m bummed that we had to lose segments of his story line in the film. I’m also bummed that we had to lose Master Legend‘s “House of Death” scene. Keep an eye out for the DVD, it will definitely be on there!

Gift Certificate Handouts

Usually when we go out on an Outreach to help the Homeless, we hand out such consumables as bottled water, sandwiches, and other cold foodstuffs. But with cold weather coming on, I’ve been thinking about how to get people hot food, hot beverages, and maybe a warm place to rest, even if for a short while. That’s when I came up with the idea of giving out McDonald’s Gift Certificates (or other certificates of your choice).
The certificates will allow the bearer to buy hot food and hot beverages. They may also rest awhile inside the warmth of the restaurant, as paying customers, so that they won’t need to worry as much about being chased off by the staff.
Some people worry that if they give money to the Homeless that it will be spent on drugs, or alcohol. But with Gift Certificates, this worry is pretty much eliminated. Also it allows the holders not to have to carry food on them like they would if you gave them a sandwich on the street. Sometimes having food on them attracts unwanted attention, or even rodents.
Now I already know McDonald’s fast food isn’t everyone’s meal of choice, but it is a darned sight better than nothing, or maybe even food gotten through dumpster diving.  Calories are needed to survive in cold weather and fat content isn’t a great concern.  The consumption of hot beverages reduces the need for the body to burn calories just to maintain body temperature.
The typical Outreach package I put together runs about $10, this is enough for two complete hot meals at most restaurants.
The following remarks are from my colleague, Phantom Zero on this subject:
“FYI, just from personal experience, supplies can be cumbersome and heavy–so slips of paper as opposed to lugging a dozen plus bottles of water and sandwiches is more efficient. You can keep them handy for any-time homeless outreach.
However–no guarantee that any establish will let someone who is homeless in, as they may feel its disruptive to business and might drive customers away (regardless of laws or statutes stating otherwise).
BUT a lot of places do allow the homeless to “freecycle” foods which are past their due time (by virtue of standards and practices), but still perfectly good foodstuffs.”

Real life superheroes

Dynamic-DuoOriginally posted: http://www.sundaypaper.com/More/Archives/tabid/98/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/5904/Real-life-superheroes.aspx
Costumed crusaders shine a light on Atlanta’s homeless situation
On a Friday afternoon in a Downtown Atlanta parking garage, a couple of superheroes step out of an SUV and prepare to embark on their latest mission. They look as if they’ve stepped out of a comic book, ready to storm a supervillain’s hideout. But today’s objective doesn’t involve death rays or alien invasions. Instead, they’re about to walk through Woodruff Park and check on the many homeless Atlantans who congregate there.
Just another day on the job for the Crimson Fist and his sidekick, Metadata.
When The Sunday Paper tags along, summer temperatures are still causing dehydration on the Downtown streets, so the dynamic due brings four cases of bottled water.
“And then I believe 80 packs of crackers, and something like 48 packs of fruit snacks to hand out,” the Fist says, adding that as they distribute the water and food, they’ll  “just walk around, talk to people, make sure everyone’s doing OK.”
They hoist shopping bags filled with bottles and snack packages over their shoulders and set off for the park.  When the bags are empty, they’ll return to the parking garage to restock and make another circuit.
The Crimson Fist’s maroon-and-white uniform draws a few stares as they begin the two-block walk, as much for the striking logo—a red fist inside a black star—as for the incongruous pairing of red gloves and sneakers. Metadata collects a few look-overs of her own, clad in a form-fitting Lycra bodysuit and huge black lace-up boots.
The Crimson Fist—named for a comic book he created as a child—doesn’t mind. A little gawking comes with the territory.
Since he first began, “people have kind of warmed up to the idea,” he says. “Especially in areas like this, areas that I go to quite a bit, they get used to seeing me. I mean, it’s Atlanta, so you get used to the weird stuff after awhile.”
The pair are part of a loose-knit community of real-life superheroes that stretches across the country and as far as Mexico, Brazil and the United Kingdom, keeping in contact via sites like reallifesuperheroes.org and heroesnetwork.net.
These heroes refer to themselves as crime-fighters, activists or, in the Crimson Fist’s case. humanitarians. Some, like Atlanta fixture Danger Woman, advocate for a particular cause (she champions the rights of the disabled). Others simply act as a kind of colorful neighborhood watch, armed with first aid kits and video cameras—and maybe some pepper spray for protection. Still others work to, say, drive drug dealers out of local parks. Almost all engage in some form of public service—whether it’s visiting children’s hospitals, collecting items for toy drives or reaching out to the homeless.
The Crimson Fist has tried the crime-fighter-on-patrol route, but “I don’t focus on it as much anymore, because I’m a lot more focused on trying to be more on the humanitarian side of things,” he says. “I try to make sure I stay on my side of the fence as much as possible. I find that I just get more out of helping people than hurting people.”
He knows a thing or two about the latter. “I did a lot of things in my life I wasn’t necessarily proud of, did a lot of bad things and hurt a lot of people. So I kind of decided to try to give back, to try and help stop the problem that affected me when I was younger.”
Once that decision was made, his evolution a couple of years ago into the Crimson Fist “just kind of came naturally. As a kid I wanted to be a superhero, you know? And I just one day decided, I might as well bite the bullet and just go for it. And it worked out a lot better than I expected.”
His partner, a recent college graduate and freelance artist, is new to Atlanta; this is her first time going on a handout with the Crimson Fist. She started out in another city, volunteering for other real-life superheroes as an operator, or “Oracle,” named for the support role assumed by comic-book character Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) after she was shot by the Joker. Just as Oracle helps  Batman behind the scenes, Metadata, in real life, helped heroes with directions or other remote assistance as they conducted handouts or patrols.
“I had heard about real life superheroes in a psychology class,” she says. “I did a little research on it and really liked what I was hearing from people, and I really wanted to help.”
It’s taken a bit of negotiation to allow a reporter and photographer to come along. The Crimson Fist knows his outfit attracts attention—that’s why he wears it, after all—but he’s been disappointed by media reports on his work in the past. His hope is that the sight of a man in a colorful costume will inspire onlookers to explore what they can do for others.
“I fully understand that there’s a bit of silliness to the superhero thing,” he says. “But there’s much more important things to focus on than how silly I look in the costume.”
Atlanta’s homeless population is what he’s chosen to focus on. It’s certainly a community in need of help. According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs 2009 Report on Homelessness, on one night in January of that year, about 21,000 people were homeless in Georgia—and more than half didn’t even have a place to stay in a shelter, or were in peril of not having shelter space. The Metro Atlanta Tri-Jurisdictional Collaborative on Homelessness, which surveyed the city of Atlanta, DeKalb County and Fulton County, found 7,019 sheltered and unsheltered homeless people, accounting for at least a third of the state’s homeless population. of those, 87 percent—6,131 people—were located in Atlanta. About 2,000 were on the streets.
The Collaborative’s survey shows  a 6.5 percent increase in homelessness over the last six years, even as DeKalb and Fulton Counties’ populations grew by about 17 percent over the same period, with more respondents without a full-time job in 2009 than in previous years.
“A lack of affordable housing in our area contributes to the issue,” says Vince Smith, executive director of the Gateway Center, a homeless services center that provides housing and programs to help get people out of homelessness. “With job losses and foreclosures, many people we’re seeing now are homeless that have never experienced homelessness before. With this Great Recession we’ve been in, there’s also more stresses on familes and individuals, and that’s certainly true of my colleagues at other agencies that deal with homelessness, as well; the stress level is extremely high.”
On the bright side, Smith says, hard times have encouraged others in the community to get involved.
“Anecdotally, I have seen an increase in the community’s response to the needs of others,” he says. “I can tell you that my phone rings more frequently now than it did three years ago with people wanting to do something to help others.” And local agencies, he says, “are working together more collaboratively with the community at large today than in recent history.
“Homelessness isn’t some ethereal concept,” he continues. “It’s our brothers and sisters, our nieces and nephews, our children and parents. It is us. The community response has been overwhelmingly encouraging.”
Back in Woodruff Park, the homeless response to the curious-looking do-gooders in their midst is a mixture of gratitude and wariness. Cries of “Hey, superhero!” precede requests for water. Several onlookers take pictures with their phones. One shabby-looking individual asks for an autograph. “I’m not tripping, right?” he asks.
Metadata approaches clusters of wary men with a water bottle and an engaging smile. More than a few times, a small crowd gathers around her. But she’s not fazed.
“They just want a little help,” she says. “I don’t see anyone attacking me for bottled water or a fruit snack. When you get down to it, they’re just people.”
The Crimson Fist acknowledges that approaching destitute strangers can be a foolhardy endeavor, especially dressing the way he does. “I mean, there’s always a risk,” he says. “That’s why I carry some protection, just in case something should happen. But I care enough about the people out here to take that risk.”
Not everyone in the park this afternoon is homeless or even destitute, but the heroes don’t discriminate. “You never can tell who needs help,” Crimson Fist says. Still, he makes a point of asking each person if they’re OK or if they need anything. “It’s a sensitive situation for some people. Sometimes they can get offended if they don’t need help. But generally speaking, most people are just happy to have something.”
“Can I join your organization?” someone calls as they pass.
“Just help people out,” the Crimson Fist replies. “That’s all you gotta do.”
“I don’t want to hold you up,” one grateful man says. “I know there’s a lot more people that have to be saved.”
By 2:30 p.m.—two hours after they’ve started—140 bottles of water have been handed out, and the snacks are all but gone.
“It went really well,” Metadata says of her first Atlanta outing. “I’m glad we got as much as we did. I wish we had enough to give to everyone.”
The Crimson Fist says he attempts to conduct handouts about once a month, setting aside money when he can to devote to supplies—something that became harder due to a recent stretch of unemployment.
“I think we spent about $40 today,” he says. “If I’m out here by myself, I’ll usually spend $25 or $30.” During the summer, that money largely goes to bottled water. But in the colder months, he expands his focus to clothing, blankets and other ways to keep warm, rummaging through thrift stores and even going through his own clothes to see what he can afford to give away. “I just save as much as I can, try to find the best deals I can,” he says.
No matter how much he saves, “I always think I’ve brought enough stuff, and there’s never enough. It’s overwhelming sometimes to see just how big a problem there is, but it’s always nice to help at least a small portion of that.”
Both agree that while they enjoy the one-on-one interaction, their ambitions go beyond handouts.
“I like being able to directly hand something to somebody when they need it,” the Crimson Fist says. “But you always want to do more.”
Metadata adds that they’re aspiring to more than distributing food and water.
“We’re also trying to get a community outreach going, get other people involved, get businesses involved,” she says. “We want to make sure that years from now, when maybe we’re starting to get to a point where we can’t do it anymore, like on a physical level even, that the community can take care of itself.
“It’s just a matter of connecting with people and saying, ‘This is what we’re about,’” she continues. “‘It’s not about going out and dressing up, it’s really about helping people, and here’s how you can do it and here’s how you can reach us.’”
The Fist sums up: “It’s not so much that we want to draw attention to us doing [this], as we want to draw attention to the problem and to show people that anybody can do this. It doesn’t take an actual superman to help solve the problem.” SP

Parties interested in helping the Crimson Fist with his mission can contact him via e-mail at [email protected].

“I mean, it’s Atlanta, so you get used to the weird stuff after awhile.”—The Crimson Fist
“The community response has been overwhelmingly encouraging.”—Vince Smith, executive director of the Gateway Center
Call 2-1-1 anywhere in Georgia to find or give help for homelessness and other problems, or visit www.211.org.
Gateway Center
275 Pryor St. SW
Hands on Atlanta
600 Means St., Suite 100
Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless
1035 Donnelly Ave. SW
Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless
477 Peachtree St.

H.O.P.E. 2011

Razorhawk is organizing a massive homeless outreach event at Comic Con 2011 in San Diego

This will hopefully be the most massive outreach to homeless people in Southern California on the weekend of ComiCon 2011. We hope to get 50-100 heroes and hero support together to reach out to the homeless with food, water and supplies. hopefully making an impact that will be felt everywhere!
Updated information can be found at-
The event will go from 10PM July 22,2011 until 12 or 1 am and will recommence on Saturday afternoon July 23,2011 at Noon and run for 4-6 hours. We are also acceting donations and sponsorship that will help us get more supplies so we can help the maximum number of people.

Further Information
From Atavistik
“Hope alone gets nothing accomplished… you must have the will to make that hope a reality.”
July 23rd (Saturday) 2011 is a day that members of this community will meet at the San Diego Con to both attend the Con and to participate in a joint outreach effort to aid those in need in that area. while the odds are that a large group will be in attendance, many community members will not be able to participate. as such, we kinda figured that it would be cool to supplement the group effort in SD with as many other such handouts as possible anywhere and everywhere we can. anyone interested (I’m even leaning towards non-RLSH and non-gimmick people here) could take the 8-9 months until getting ready to do as much good as they can….. that doesn’t mean you have to save it all up til then either. think about the prime package possibilities people! {sorry, couldn’t help it} and what’s the point? because alone, at best you are seen as a costumed eccentric (not in most instances though Rolling Eyes ) at the Con, Raz and those guys will be people in costumes…. at a Comic Convention Rolling Eyes ……. that do some outreach. in costume. if we hit on the same day from the west coast all the way to Lady Liberty, from Tenochtitlan to Barrow and anywhere else that you couldn’t possibly walk from here (okay. so the Statue of Liberty is on an island and most people think Montezuma is a tequila} but you get my point) doing outreach with a flier about the HOPE meet (okay, so I’m not sure HOPE is all caps…. but I like it that way) and a simple explanation thereof, well…… then all you need is contact info and informational links.
since Raz said he’d work up a pdf flier and I have a bigger mouth than my little brother, I’m posting the sign-up sheet. I say “sign up sheet” because people could be interested in helping out, if there’s someone from here already doing this in their area we can direct that help in their direction. if there isn’t, maybe that interested person could get something going anyways…..
in short; outreach/handout, July 23rd 2011, in your town (it’s up to you)……. interested??
More information at: http://www.therlsh.net/bulletin-board-f23/hope-2011-homeless-handout-t6234.htm

Superheroes Anonymous

life-posterOriginally posted: http://www.sccougar.com/features/superheroes-anonymous-1.1595742

How Costumed, Creative Altruism is Sweeping the Nation

Published: Monday, September 13, 2010
Updated: Monday, September 13, 2010 19:09
By Matthew Weitkamp
It’s late in New York City. Darkness has fallen and roaming the streets are the downtrodden and forgotten: Homeless men and women, starving and alone, cry out for hope. Their cries are being answered in the form of a masked man who stalks the streets with food and water, swooping in to help save these poor souls from a horrible fate. It’s late in New York City, and a superhero is saving the day.
A new wave of charity is sweeping across the landscape of our Nation. Costumed, creative altruism has set its roots. There is no ‘Justice League’ or ‘Avengers’ group, however. There is no centralized organization where the heroes meet to plan their war on crime. Across the country there are as many as 300 costumed heroes, all unconnected with one another. But individually they are still pushing past a skeptical society; one that is wary of their intentions.
New York is home to one such hero, “Life”, who walks the streets with determination to make the world better, and leave it better than how he found it. Born into a Hasidic Jewish family, Chaim (which is Hebrew for Life) took the teachings of his father, a Rabbi, to heart. When a person has something to give, regardless of how little, you must give to those who need it more than you.
“My family taught me that charity and helping other people isn’t optional. There are horrible, horrible injustices in the world and if you can do something, even a little, to make things better then you should.” Chaim has taken a piece of his Jewish faith, that charity is compulsory, and turned that into one of the code of ethics for Real Life Superheroes.
Life, a co-founding member of the Not-For-Profit organization, Superheroes Anonymous, is not the same kind of hero you’ll find in the pages of Batman or Spider-man. He doesn’t beat up thugs or commit vigilante justice. Instead, Life uses his time to help the homeless and inspire others through his actions. “I’m a realist. I’m a grounded person, as much as a man who wears a mask is a realist.”
Every night Life takes a backpack filled with necessity items with him out onto the streets. He gives bottled water, candy bars, tooth brushes, and a listening ear to all the homeless he meets. Everything Life gives he buys himself; a personal investment financially in his own desire to change the world. An expensive proposition, when you think about it.  But for Life, that investment is worth it.
Life says he’s often asked why he wears a costume. Plenty of people can perform charity without dressing up or wearing a mask – so why does he? “Like a police officer, firemen […] even a business man: It’s a uniform … [you] feel like you stand for something. You wear the costume and you feel like a superhero”
“A costume draws attention to yourself,” explains Life, on why the costume is necessary, “and gets people to notice you.”
People can be inspired to do charity, Life says, when they see a mask or a cape. “You don’t have to be Batman and take down huge criminals or stop a war.” He says it’s all about what each of us can do, today, to make a difference.
“Start small, start realistically. What do you have the time and resources to do? … I get (emails for advice) all the time. They always have big goals. ‘I want to do this and that – I want to clean up my city of crime’. And I go ‘ok, but you don’t have the power to do that right now? What can you do, now, that’s small?’ You have to start small and be realistic.”
And how long will Life continue to be a Superhero? He admits that, while he won’t hang up his mask anytime soon, his role as a superhero might change over time. “I see Superheroes Anonymous becoming a Not-For-Profit organization that supports real life superheroes […] I won’t ever stop doing charity work. If it means being behind a desk instead of on the street, then charities will need that too.”
His outfit, like his attitude, shows just how adult Life is. Chaim doesn’t wear a cape or a cowl – he wears a tie and a Fedora. He’s a professional, working on the streets of New York City, presenting himself as a man who takes that one step further. Should Life ever need to take on a new role of heroism, like that of an executive for his organization, he feels all he would have to do is take the mask off. The rest of his outfit is professional.
The choice to become a superhero is not exclusive to Life in this country, but his is an example of creative altruism at its finest. Like-minded citizens all across the country are doing their part, too. Heroes like Citizen Prime, from Florida, who works to establish more homes for orphaned youths, stand as beacons for men and women looking to take on a new role in the protection of American’s from social injustice. These superheroes are real, walking the streets as an Iconic symbol for a better world. Life stresses that even though they might look odd or different, they’re a necessity.
“As long as you find people in need, you’ll have a need for superheroes.”