Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is Loaves dumber than a breadstick and a guppy?

Hoy-day! What a sweep of vanity comes this way!
They dance! they are mad women
Like madness is the glory of this life.
As this pomp shows to a little oil and root. *
~Wm Shakespeare: homeless Apemantus in
The Tragedy of Timon of Athens

A World Shelter U-Dome, dubbed a LibbyPod. Loaves and Fishes owns two which were recently donated. Without extras, the pod retails for $2495.
The future will show what actually happens, but the rumormill is rife with information on what Loaves is planning for its rally & march on July 1. Some of the scuttlebutt tells us Loaves' brainpower continues at ebb.

One rumor, the likeliest to be true, is that Sister Libby is in hope of getting arrested.

Last April, when the Oprah-fuelled media blitz was in full-frontal Jerry Springer mode, the Chief-Exhibitionist-Officer of Loaves & Fishes was touting her hopes of getting into a local jail via the backdoor. Here, from an April 6 Bee article, just before Tent City came tumbling down, written by the homeless-help-industry's best friend, reporter Cynthia Hubert:
Fernandez and others said they will engage in nonviolent civil disobedience if campers are forced to leave, and said they will risk going to jail to make their point.

With astonishing cowardice, Fernandez and others DID engage in nonviolent civil disobedience AFTER the Tent City campers where ALL forced to leave. They held hands and sang songs while cameras took it in, in the empty field where the encampment had been, and were of course not arrested.

And here from another Hubert article, on April 22:

Fernandez urged the audience to inundate political leaders with calls and messages demanding [a safe and legal encampment]. "Safe ground!" she led the crowd in chants. "Safe ground!" She told the audience she planned to unroll a sleeping bag on the south steps of the Capitol and risk being arrested to prove her point, but police never pressed the issue.

So now, Libby and the gang are planning a rally at a parking lot at the L&F facility, followed by a march, followed by an encampment by der CEO in a LibbyPod, with staff and cronies gathered round, possibly at the Capitol or more-likely elsewhere. The latest rumor is that the green hats, park staff members at Loaves & Fishes, are instructed to not, themselves, try to get arrested.

But let us back up. Loaves has announced its rally for 10AM, which will feature nu-metal band Papa Roach. Rumor has it that to allow staff and interested homeless to take in everything from the festival-like occasion, the facility will close for the event and for the rest of the day.

Loaves & Fishes has a history of always seeing to it that homeless people can get a mid-day meal at the facility [except on Thanksgiving, when the nearby Salvation Army takes over midday feeding]. I'm told that on the day of the rally, burritos will be served in the morning, with bag lunches available beginning before noontime.

There will then be a march, to a location that is undisclosed. The Safe Ground Sac website says this: "Tough times demand creative solutions. Sacramento has public land that no one is using – land that, along with a unique 'WorldShelter,' can provide a homeless person with a safe place to stay for only $2 ** a night."

It is probably the case that the Capitol is not the destination of the march. Likely, they'll go to unutilized public land, give speaches, yell and scream, and there set up an encampment for a night (or two?). In hope of getting lots of publicity.

The problem here, though, is that this effort doesn't make a lick of sense. Tent City was shut down because the site was toxic and the publicity was toxic to a metropolis that would like to seem to be welcoming to business and tourism during a tough economic meltdown.

And here's a clue: The homeless people, themselves, are on the side of new business because that means job opportunities which many, many homeless people are eager for, contrary to the stereotype of homeless people that columnists like Marc Breton insist on maintaining.

So while the writer of this blog and the homeless-help industry and just about every homeless person I know favors a proper Tent City, it ain't gonna happen for a long, long while, if ever. There was a chance for safe ground, by whatever definition, when the time was ripe, but you blew it then, Libby. And now the time is rotten.

It is time, turn, turn, turn, for the homeless-help industry to grow up, respect the city and county government, discuss things honestly with them, and try mightily to best meet the real, doable needs of homeless people AND the considerable needs of the kind citizens of our metropolis, who are ALSO achey in the face of service cuts and rising fees and fares.

But hopefully it's all a dream, the rumormill is wrong, and the scuttlebutt has all been an effort in Tom foolery.
* What the homeless character Apemantus means is that all the vain commotion is properly seen as madness by someone outside the thrall of it.
** Dick Fischbeck in the first comment to this blogpost explains how it's possible to rent a WorldShelter U-Dome for two-bucks a day when it retails for $2495: $2 * 2people * 365days * 2years = $2920. He also tells us "They say the U-dome has a 5 year life span." Fischbeck is associated with RanDome Shelter.

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Blogger Dick Fischbeck said...

$2 * 2people * 365days * 2years = $2920

They say the U-dome has a 5 year life span.

June 26, 2009 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Tom Armstrong said...


Fair enough. I'll change the blogpost such that it includes your calculation.

June 26, 2009 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

World Shelters has located parcels of land that is zoned for emergency shelter. No law needs to be broken.

Bruce and I supervised the homeless setting up the 2 World Shelter structures and hook up the solar swamp cooler. On the 2 day we had completed our contract and left as the homeless were lining up for the transport to Cal Expo. Cal Expo closes July 1st and hundreds of homeless we be sleeping under bushes in Sacramento. Not good for business or tourists.

But for the grace of God it could have been I. I got to go back to my hotel, cool off in the pool and have dinner at the Sushi Cafe.

June 28, 2009 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Dick Fischbeck said...

World Shelters writes:

$2/person/night includes-

U-Dome200 for two persons (or couple with child, or mother with two children...), or U-Dome80 for one person
domes configured with locking hard-panel aluminum-frame door and inner screen door, panel vents, roof vents and windows.
Platform/floor appropriate for the site.
One shower system per 20 site residents; including U-Dome80 configured as private shower, 1-gpm on-demand propane hot water shower, platform, clear water tank, grey water tank, other elements vary depending on number of units.
All on a 36-month lease with $1 buyout; the lease period being ~half of the anticipated lifetime of the shelters.
Note that shelter lifetime is significantly extended by protecting the panels from UV. Our material is rated "10-years", but this varies based on locale. if the panels are painted or otherwise protected from UV then the degradation is slowed or stopped. UV is the only thing that degrades this material.

June 30, 2009 at 4:06 AM  

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