Friday, March 03, 2006

What's the Problem?

The funny part about this is that back in June of last year when FNBs was only going to Huntridge Circle Park once a week, we had no problems with the authorities and the neighbors.

But back then we were only serving once a week on Sundays- bagels, one pot of rice, and one pot of beans to about 15 people. But this evolved into a seven day event serving anywhere between 50 and 100 people per day.

Also, the young FNBers have had drum practice, and poster making gatherings, etc. in the past with no problems with the city regarding permits.

I never really considered myself a FNBer although many folks refer to me as such because
I try to follow the fnb philosophy.

But I think the problem started when our homeless problem became public. I was portrayed as a local hero for feeding the homeless and needy everyday. I was also bringing clothing and blankets to protect them from our 30 degree winter temperatures.

There are a lot of issues with the homeless, needy, and hungry. My opinion is that the basic needs have to be a priority: food, water, safe shelter, clothing, and hope. Then the other issues have to be addressed: safe, affordable permanent housing, the problems with obtaining identification, SSI benefits, VA benefits, drug and alcohol addictions, jobs,
police abuse, and the money being made daily with the revolving door of incarceration.
For example, the homeless are being arrested daily for activities that non-homeless persons are not being arrested for. The city and the jails are receiving government money for each person, each day in jail.

When my homeless friends went missing for days and weeks, I would call the jail to see if they were there. When one elderly, handicapped homeless friend was taken off the streets by one of the non-profit organizations that is part of a $3 million grant and then thrown back onto the streets after four days, I spoke with a city employee.

In addition to being against everything FNB stands for, I don't think the city likes it too much to have non-homeless witnesses to these abuses and the long-term or permanent oppression.

I guess maybe some of the non-profits are also not too happy with me. I'm taking some of their "customers" away. Some of these non-profit organizations are also receiving government money for each customer.

I don't pretend to know all the answers to these multiple issues. I've always said that there is a need and a place for each of us homeless advocates.

I would like to END homelessness and not just address the symptoms. But sometimes it seems to me that the city and some non-profits don't want to END homelessness. Maybe it has something to do with the money they are making addressing the never-ending symptoms of homelessness??

My court date is March 20th at 8:00 am, and I will be pleading not guilty.

This is my way of expressing my disatisfaction with the city for not properly addressing our homeless problem and instead trying to hide it up in the north part of our city- away from the glitter and lights of Las Vegas.

Peace and love thru the struggle

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