Author Archives: Jeff Paddock

Plead Your Asylum To Me

It’s weird where our eyes will wander when we’re forced to recount our trauma.  I arrived in El Paso, Texas, and connected with HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Services. HIAS has been working with migrants and refugee populations in the US and Latin America, and I was volunteering on their Border Response Team for two […]

The Mythical US-Mex Border

I remember the migrant surge of 2014 when women and children began arriving at the mythical US-Mexico border. I say “mythical” because for most of us, the border is this never-before-seen streak across the world. It marks where our laws begin and where our sovereignty starts. But few of us have actually been South to […]

Returning to Honduras – Chilo

I stood in the middle of his living-room and looked up into blue skies. Chilo giggled like a child and worked like the devout. When I met him, he was a giddy eighteen-year-old finding his swagger. I had just arrived in Honduras to begin my two-year journey. He was my ‘national staff’. Anyone in international […]

Hiking the 4,000 Footers NH: Video

  In 2018 I started hiking the 48 tallest peaks in New Hampshire’s White mountains. There were many moments along the trail when I felt remarkably human, and I tried to include a few in this video, including every single summit, in order, with some fun thrown in. Thank you to the 4,000 footer community […]

Paying For Privilege

I hope to afford my conscience everyday. When we go to work, we’re paid an hourly wage. There’s also a moral wage – an invisible currency that pays for your peace of mind. You don’t receive it from an employer. The ‘universe’ doles out moral dollars to your soul for every good deed, charitable act, […]

Drunk Signature

Your nose hairs have burned to a crisp already. The apartment air is sour and the floors stick to the bottom of your shoes. You’re perched on the edge of the couch holding a clip-board. At the top of the page, illuminated by the window light, it reads: Representative Payee. Your client stirs in his […]

Race, Credit, Sour Cream

This room is way bigger than I expected. The hall is the size of a football field and full of crowded tables. Three hundred fifty people are there. Five of us sit at the front of the room and try not to let our hearts pound into the mics clipped to our shirts. We’re on […]

Two Evictions Ago

“Fuck.” I say it aloud whenever I find out. Motions to evict always feel like going to a higher defense condition – defcon four. In those cases, ‘shucks’ doesn’t really cut it, so I try to take evictions seriously and play my part. I can’t do anything about hoarding or domestic violence, but back-rent is […]

How Banks Talk To ‘Poor People’

The community told my CDC they wanted financial services, and my CDC hired me. It was clear from day one we needed regular workshops and trainings, because a startling amount of residents were still unbanked and operating in the informal economy. Thus, the first thing I did was ask people why they didn’t have bank […]

Three Steps to Better Cash Flow

Cash flow is my favorite subject by far. It’s also one of the most complicated to work with. As is my aim with every client, I want to translate financial language into useful ways of understanding your money. Take an interest in the cash entering and leaving your pocket and I swear opportunities will appear. […]