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Letter to Loaves & Fishes Board of Directors, and others

Proposed new logo for L&F after name change to "Loaf & Gone Fishing."
[this was sent via email to ~12 people]
To the Board of Loaves & Fishes, et al,

For the second time in a month, the Loaves & Fishes facility is going to close for a three-day time off.

The first time was really for three days plus, when L&F closed on the afternoon of Monday, April 6, and for the full days of April 7, 8 & 9.

Now, with two-plus-days' notice, (notice for a change!), L&F denizens are told, in a notice taped to the Info Kiosk table, that L&F plans to be closed for three days, beginning on Monday, May 4, for spring cleaning. Including the weekend, that is five straight days that L&F will close its park and other functions/facilities at the complex.

The closure on April 6,7,8 & 9 was justified as being due to a few denizens' use or purchase on-site of drugs or alcohol. Closure for that reason was unjustified. Everyone should not be "punished" for the actions of a few. Certainly, actions should have been taken against the rule breakers, themselves. They should have been 86ed from the facility; Garren 86es people from the park/facility frequently. Why would not this action have been most-appropriate for the rule breakers of April 6!?

It is my understanding that it is L&F management's view that punishing everyone puts pressure on rule-breakers to conduct themselves properly. This philosophy is a craven one. L&F should not be attempting to arouse vigilantism in the park.

The upcoming three-day closure [on May 4, 5, & 6] is justified as being needed to clean the park and complex. This reason for closure is curious to me and others. We were told during the prior long closure that employees would not be sent home, but would be on-site cleaning the park and other areas. Are we now to believe that the L&F facility has, again, become extravagantly dirty after only four weeks!?

Loaves & Fishes and the homeless are in a synergistic relationship. You "use" us to raise money to keep the organization going; we use your services.

In the past, because of the synergy in play, I didn't want to do anything to harm L&F's fundraising, even while Sister Libby's false and faked actions to demonstrate an untrue booming need for aid to families was going on. Now, Loaves & Fishes, under Sister Libby's management, is directly and incompassionately at odds with the needs of homeless people, who have needs which often include a desire to lift themselves up from their roofless [as they call it in Australia] condition.

Unless Loaves & Fishes can show that it wishes to try to live up to the lofty promise of what it's about, derived from the Book of Matthew, it is the position of this L&F denizen [and his humble blogs] that donors should be warned not to give their money or time to Loaves & Fishes.

Right now L&F stinks of rotted fish, and it is not the park that is in need of being cleaned out.

Signed [in text],

Tom Armstrong

Update 4/30/09: I have an agreement with Loaves & Fishes that after May 6 they will not [or will try very hard not] to close their facility for more than three days in a row, including weekends when they are almost always closed. A five-straight-days closure, like the one forthcoming from May 2-6 will be a thing of the past. Homeless people need the services of Loaves & Fishes; a five-straight-days barren period is too much. Many thanks to GB. -- Tom

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