Monday, April 02, 2007

Catholic Charities Ban Homeless Advocate, AND
new emergency program with a 200 bed loss

Comment: The article below written by homeless advocate, Mike Lee was posted on his blog on Wednesday, March 28, 2007. The article posted on News 3 was posted on April 2, 2007.

So, if I have this right (and as always, I could be wrong) "the winter program helps about 400 people stay out of the cold each night." The winter shelter has closed. But, Catholic Charities is opening up a "new emergency shelter program [which] will provide 200 beds year round for those who need it most."

...but West adds there are other programs aimed at helping the homeless get back on their feet for good.

"There are beds available inside a work program," said West.

The work program with beds is NOT new. We are losing 400 emergency beds and gaining 200 emergency beds. That's a 200 bed loss.

In addition, 40-50 women who were staying in the dining room during the winter are being (or have been) kicked out.

Will the "new emergency shelter program" accomodate men AND women, or as usual, just men?

New year-round homeless programs opens at Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities Ban Homeless Advocate

From the blog:

Who decided that homeless people are stupid and helpless? At some point in the history of providing services to the homeless someone had to make this decision. Someone had to decide we aren’t capable of running our own shelters or even participating in the process. Somewhere, somehow, someone decided that grown men and women are incapable of making decisions for themselves. That they should be treated like children. Told what to eat, when to go to bed. To be subject to arbitrary rules which govern something as natural as when to wake up in the morning.

If one were to examine the present social policy closely you would discover that due to our poverty we are automatically treated as little children. A dog in Lied animal shelter is fed and housed better than we are. For present policy has decided that we are to be treated as children. Fed and housed in conditions worse than animals. Like Barbary apes at the zoo we are put on exhibit so a few can make money off of our captivity. Our zookeepers smile and tell half truths. Frozen donuts become pastries. Watery soup becomes nutrious meals in proposals that fill the coffers of so called charitable organizations.

As a person recovering from homelessness I look back and become angry. When I slept in the rain I was mad. Mad because at every twist and turn I was treated like a child. Once I escaped (at least temporary) that circumstance I became an angry advocate for my other 14,399 brothers and sisters. It would have been easy for me to turn my back on them. After all I got mine, you go get yours. I didn’t. As a result I have been banned by Catholic Charities for daring to advocate for the over forty women who were sleeping in the dining hall. I was kicked off the plantation in their eyes I’m an uppity homeless person. In mealy mouth fashion they claim I’m a risk management liability. Yep they is worried they might get sued if I do something criminal. Keep in mind that these same people call frozen donuts pastries and as a business practice postulate half truths and deceit. Looking at the history of the Catholic Church we see it is full of rape robbery mayhem and not only turned a blind eye to child molestation but also covered it up. Who is the one here with criminal propensities?

By banning myself and restricting media access creates an obstacle to ending homelessness. Mayor Goodman has stated that any one asking for assistance would be provided for. In doing this he is basically saying to homeless people you have to take responsibility for solving your own problems. Forty homeless women through their advocate did exactly that and now that advocate has been banned. They wanted to explain their situation to the public and ask them for their advice. They were prevented from doing that. The question that now must be posed is what are these people trying to hide and what are they afraid of? The tax payers should be concerned because without the voice of the consumer how is Catholic charities held accountable for the money it receives from the public? What is truly interesting is that two City Council members Brown and Tarkanian sit on the Board and another (Wolfson) has an unknown relationship with them. Shouldn’t we be asking Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian ( why the media and homeless advocates are banned from Catholic Charities? Shouldn’t we be asking for accountability from an organization that just received $176,000 for its Residential Work Program that doesn’t include women?

I’ve been banished for the Catholic Charities township but I will not be silenced. As such I’ve continued to explore ways that the message ‘We Are Homeless Not Helpless is heard by the largest number of people. One of those ways is the current electoral process. After several tries I finally was able to meet with Sanda Coon candidate for Mayor. Ms Coon is a slightly built grandmother of nine. What was impressive was that as this old bum explained the issues of her future constituents she locked eyes with me. She actually listened and made a few intelligent comments in the midst of my ramble. It was a far different experience then speaking with Masser Goodman.

Continued, next article down.

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