Skip to main content

The Bee's golden boy, John Kraintz, not so golden

There was a very long and very glowing article on John Kraintz in the Sacramento Bee on Sunday, "Homeless man has key role in Sacramento debate," that requires a response from SacHo.

It is a core tenet of this blog that the truth about homelessness and homeless people get "out there" to the public. Unhappily, despite the enormous amount of coverage of homelessness in the popular local media, the public continually gets distortion. Cynthia Hubert is the reporter the local homeless-help industry thinks is the most friendly toward them, and, yep, her articles, with just an exception or two, have a distinct skewed quality.

Make no mistake, John Kraintz deserves a lot of credit for his interest in and work for the homeless. He is a bright, amiable, thoughtful fellow. As a longtime chronic, intends-to-remain-homeless person he fits in with 10% of the community. Certainly, as a part of the enabled homeless population, weighing in in support of Loaves & Fishes' enabling policies, and having opinions that are enough in accord with the radical-leftist put-an-end-to-capitalism leadership at most core homeless-services nonprofits, his is a necessary voice.

But where, when opinions are sought by the Bee and other local media, are the voices of homeless people, like the majority, who don't want to be ensconced in homeless hell?

You cannot blame John for getting (and enjoying) the attention he has gotten. He is useful to the homeless-help industry as a poster boy to motivate donations. He is useful to the media that needs a prop homeless person to make their articles seem to have gone outside the homeless-help industry agitprop. By using him exclusively, as the homeless-help industry and media do, it becomes grotesquely distorting.

Most people in Homeless World Sacramento are seeking — or, at least, welcoming — of regular work opportunities. The vast majority aren't wanting to overhaul America in the image of the Soviet Union. A voice from the majority of homeless isn't heard in the Bee or on the mayor's ad hoc homelessness committees.

Another element that demonstrates the wildly out-of-whack quality of Cynthia Hubert's article is the rat-a-tat-tat of insistence that John is incredibly successful as a homeless advocate. Indeed, the truth is that the Safe Ground Campaign has run into the ground.  It failed.  It's over.  Here are the hallmarks:
Tent City was not "turned around" to becoming a successful start for a legalized homeless encampment. Indeed, at its end, it was suddenly described as "notorious" [by Cythia Hubert!] and was shut down with Libby Fernandez standing behind the Mayor at the time its forced closure was announced.

The C Street encampment was a fiasco from the get-go, proving that the public must never allow thirty people to crowd into a half acre to live in tents, flagrantly violate zoning laws, and make the lives of neighbors miserable.

The Edenic vision of a Tuff Shed utopia was DOA because the public and the resistant city council people and county supervisors were never courted, nor could they easily be now what with all that has preceded.
And finally, to John's great abiding discredit, he was corrupted, helping to engineer a wholesale "jumping of the list" that resulted in relatively undeserving homeless people [John and his safe ground pals] getting 4 1/2 full months of shelter, at a motel no less, at the expense of the most vulnerable to the cold and rain who will need to compete for short stays at whatever shelter for the winter comes along.  [Except for John & friends, a total of about 22 people, and 32 men at the former-detox center, we're still awaiting word of what winter shelter there'll be.]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Mission Five Years Ago, And Today

I have spent the night the past two weeks plus at the Union Gospel Mission and am having an excellent time of it -- not only regards to sleeping in the dorm that the mission has, but also listening to the sermons that are delivered in the early evening. The Christmas music that is performed is also splendid. [And the food -- the FOOD -- has been fantastic during my stay so far! A happier Tom there couldn't be.] I chatted with a pal last night about The Mish – about how things were about five years ago when we both used the mission’s services frequently, and how thing are, today.
Five years ago, there were a lot scuffles between the guys when the front gate was opened in the early afternoon and in the area near the contact window there were some brawls as guys fought over where guys were in line to get a bed in the dorm.
Nowadays, however, the mission is very much a peaceful place both on the grounds of the facility and and out on the street.
I do not know what transformative eve…

Homeless Sacramentans lose case that would have given them the right to set up outdoor camping

8/11/13 I certainly give attorneys Mark Merin and Cat Williams credit for pursuing a case against the city of Sacramento to give homeless Sacramentans the right to set up tents and a campsite. I wanted them to win their case, but they didn't. They lost it.

BUT, it is also necessary to look at the particulars of the case that Merin and Williams brought and see that the situation underlying the court case was not very compelling.

During the period eight years ago when 22 homeless campers set up their tents and brought in supplies to Mark Merin's vacant lot at C Street, near 12th, there was loud noise and plenty of other mayhem. Drug dealers were on the street encouraging buys from the campers. The Hernandez couple that lived in a house nearby were constantly being taunted by the campers, disrupting their lives.

Per always with Safe Ground camps, calm was deserted for the sake of boisterousness.

Leader John Kraintz and the other Safe Grounders would claim to have signed strict a…

After a Three-Month Hiatus, a Fall from a Ladder & a Broken Wrist, Evangelist Jimmy Roughton Returns to Union Gospel Mission to Preach

After being away from Union Gospel Mission for a quarter of a year, Jimmy Roughton returned to preach at UGM on the cold night of December 13 -- despite suffering [a little? a lot? dunno.] from a fall from a ladder that likely immediately preceded a significant injury (a wrist that was broken).


It was good to see his group from Capital Free Will Baptist Church up on the pulpit, with Roughton rough-and-ready to seduce and inspire the happily-captivate crowd at UGM.


Roughton told us in his opening words that he was now in his 27th year coming to the mission.

I recall the first preaching I had heard from Roughton on June 13, 2009. At that time and up to the current time, Roughton is the only preacher I had ever heard evoke Pascal's Wager -- which is something he would do, occasionally thereafter at the mission. He would evoke Pascal's wager, yet again, last night [12/13/17].


Pascal's wager

Last night, Jimmy evoked Pascal's Wager. He did so near the end of his talk, citing …