Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Kicked Out of Circle Park

"Pack Up and Leave"


Chapter 13.36 PARKS

January 10, 2006

I have been going down to Huntridge Circle Park for some time now sharing food with the homeless and the needy.

We have had no "problems" with city officials until today. Contrary to what the officials are saying, there are no fights, no problems and we always clean up after ourselves.

Today, Marshal Timothy Shattler, Field Services Lieutenant came down to the park at approximately 2:30 pm and told us to "pack up" and leave. He said he received a citizen complaint and also stated that we were breaking the law. He told us that we cannot share food with more than 25 people without a permit. A fellow homeless advocate asked him about multiple people sharing at different tables. And the marshal said, "No that won't work because you are using the same plates."

I asked the marshal if he would site the law that we were breaking, and he told me that I could possibly find it on the internet under City of Las Vegas Municiple Code.

Shattler also said, paraphrased, that "these people shouldn't be using this park anyway because they don't live in this neighborhood."

(In actuality, most of them DO live in this neighborhood.)

He advised us to find some church who would let us share food in their parking lot. He also advised us to go to the city council meetings and/or apply for a permit.

About a half hour later another marshal showed up but didn't say anything that I know of.

As you well know, not lending a helping hand to our needy friends with food and clothing only makes matters worse for them. Allowing us to help with their food and clothing needs helps reduce local crime. Allowing us to share food and clothing with them also gives them an incentive to go to work and keep their dignity.

With not enough money or bus passes, it is impossible for many of them to travel around town in a timely manner to eat and work. The homeless are scattered all around the city. And they don't get to pick where they work with their day jobs.

The only public meal site that I know of is Catholic Charities at Main and Owens who feed lunch daily at 10:30 am. For any of the homeless or needy who are working, it would be impossible for them to get to this location at this time.

Sharing food daily at 2 pm at Huntridge Circle Park has proven to be a convenient time and place to assure that these people get one hot meal per day.

Under the circumstances, we cannot and will not 'stop cold" in our mission. That mission is to share and lend a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in need. The long-term goal is to help get the homeless into permanent, affordable housing. And also to help those who want to work get Identification which the government has made nearly impossible for the homeless.

Most other homeless advocates who are better funded drop off the food and immediately leave. I, on the other hand, bring hot food that cannot be just dropped off. I also stay at the park for awhile each day to observe and talk with people to see if they need medical attention, the use of my phone for job connections, bus tokens, coats, socks, blankets, soap, shaving gear, underwear, etc.

I am not with any city or county agency. And I am not with any non-profit organization. But it is still my/our responsibility to take care of each other until government officials fulfill their responsibilities.

As a side note, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, we have 5500 homeless veterans in Nevada and only 219 funded beds.

Local heroes

"Gail Sacco...She estimates she feeds about 500 people a week at a cost of 50 cents a person."


Borrowing the words from one of my fellow homeless advocates,

"Let the government house them and let us feed them."

Any and all support you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

See you tomorrow at 2 pm.

Gail Sacco

Peace Activist
Homeless Advocate

P.S. For the God believing:

"And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:40

For Jews and Christians:

The Bible on the Poor

For atheists and agnostics and humanists:

The Affirmations of Humanism:

A Statement of Principles

For complete Statement of Principles:

Partial Statement:

We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.

We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so that they will be able to help themselves.

We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of humanity.

We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.

We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.

We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in the service to others.

We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.

We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that we are capable of as human beings.

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