From: Howie Jacobson <>
Subject: Dispatches from Podcast-land

Hi there - Howie Jacobson here, excited to share with you the two most recent Plant Yourself episodes.

1. Helping the Unhoused - and Homeless - Move From Poverty to Prosperity

This week, I spoke with "Momma Kai" Sanders, an activist focused on finding and implementing global solutions to homelessness. Her ability to choose to see the best in people is matched only by her "systems thinking" approach to the complex, convoluted issue of persistent, intergenerational poverty.

This isn't a theoretical conversation; Momma Kai and her 7 and a half year old son are currently unhoused, living out of their car in North Carolina.

The conversation starts with me asking about what that's like. Momma Kai shares her personal experiences, both sublime and infuriating, and explains how the system is set up to make those who need its services feel “less than,” of lower worth than others for lacking secure housing.

We spoke both about policy solutions and the resources needed by the unhoused to deal with their own past and ongoing traumas. We talked about how behaviors that are often criticized — drinking, doing drugs, being “promiscuous,” and engaging in violence — are all attempts to regulate a nervous system that is pushed to the brink by the trials of housing and food insecurity.

Momma Kai emphasized the need for empathy and understanding, and the importance of providing tools and mental models to the unhoused so they can “weed” the dysfunctional patterns of thought and emotion that are choking the gardens of of their brains.

And she reminded us that in order to solve the crises of poverty and housing insecurity, we have to be willing to view every person as having been born with infinite worth, a value that does not diminish one bit no matter what happens to them or who they become as a result.

Finally, we spoke about Momma Kai's vision of a network of off-grid homesteads where the unhoused can be sheltered safely, be free of monthly utility bills, learn to garden to achieve food security, and receive paychecks for their work so they can more easily enter the job market.

I hope you're as inspired as I am by Momma Kai's grit, love, vision, and heart. That link again:

2. My New Life in Spain - an Audio Walking Tour

I've gotten a lot of positive feedback about this episode, which surprised me because I didn't interview anyone brilliant or inspirational. But if you want to spend 40 minutes walking and chatting (ok, listening to me chat) about what it's like to let go of my ife in the US and embark on a sometimes-overwhelming new adventure, here you go:

Be well, my friend!