Skip to main content

Safe Ground's core homeless leaders paid off with motel vouchers

At a press conference in the open, between the old and new buildings at the City Hall complex, the mayor announced that the between 20 and 25 homeless people at the core of the Safe Ground movement will be staying at a motel together for the winter period, which runs from about mid-November until the end of March.

This "voucher" program to house the Safe Ground core people together for the chilly months will cost between forty and fifty thousand dollars, paid for by the city and county and private or nonprofit entities.

Doing the math, I come up with this...
I was told early this morning at the Friendship Park gate that the count of people was 22. So let us say there are 22 people at a cost of $44,000 for 4½ months. 4½ months is about 135 days. 22 times 135 equals 2970 nights' stays. $44,000 divided by 2970 equals $14.81/night. Very, very reasonable.  BUT, that does not include the cost of breakfast and dinner and other sundries that come with shelter space in winter.
It was futher announced, by the mayor, that he hopes that Safe Ground [its meaning here being a legal homeless encampment] will continue to be explored and planned with the hope that there will be political will in the city and county for a legal encampment come next April (which comes immediately after the area's chilly period).

I do hate being The Cynic, but things get a little rotten when the self-annointed movement leaders start getting things for themselves, leaving the population they are supposedly leading lagging behind.

In talking about Safe Ground leaders, I've heard the comparison with Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement. Note that Rosa Parks wasn't bought off by being given the right to sit shotgun on the bus with a vague promise that in six-months' time other Blacks might get some better seats on the bus. Ms. Parks remained at the same level as the other Black citizens of Montgomery. And there is one thing you can say for sure, Ms. Rosa Parks wouldn't have had it any other way.

After the motel-arrangement announcement, John Krainz and Tracie Rice-Bailey each spoke. John was eloquent as he often is and very congratulatory toward the mayor. Tracie likewise was effusive in thanking the mayor and being hopeful for the future of the Safe Ground effort.

Rather obviously, the payoff for not whining about Safe Ground through the winter is that the leaders get the comforts of motel rooms for an expanse of time. Come next April, the mayor will be able to say that he did all he could, but the set opinions of city and county officials will remain as they are and a legal homeless encampment will not materialize.

In the latter part of the news conference, the mayor spoke of an event planned for MLK Park on Nov. 5 which will introduce a three-year plan to secure permanent and transitional housing for homeless Sacramentans. The effort will be one that will show Sacramento leading the nation in its policies to address homelessness, the mayor said.

With all the hoopla and hope — and I would guess that with it all a lot of good will come — transitional and "real" housing will begin to replace tents and shelters.  My bet is that Safe Ground, as an effort to get a legal encampment, will fade fast away. After all, its leaders have proved to be focused on themselves; they'll easily forget.

Other media with stories about the mayor's 11/2 press conference:
"Homeless 'Safe Ground' Group Promised Place to Stay" by C. Johnson for News10
"City, Homeless Group Agree To Terms," by KCRA, channel 3


Popular posts from this blog

More Homeless Hate from Marcos Breton

There was a long spell a handful of years ago when Marcos Breton said something so fully ridiculous in one of his hateful screeds against homeless folk that it appeared to be very apparent he had been taken off the Homeless Beat by his superiors. Unhappily, after a few months, Breton was again writing disparaging columns about homeless folk

In today's Bee [3/5/17], Breton has written one of his longest columns. Online, it is titled "The price downtown Sacramento is paying for Mayor Steinberg’s homeless crusade
Read more here: It goes on for days. The message, essentially, is this: Homeless people poop; they're getting a great deal of what they want from the overmuch-helpful mayor; and business people proximate to Chavez Park are made miserable by the forever-disgusting homeless that are there in great number.

O.K. Let's get into all this a bit. Except in Breton's mind, homeless pe…

The first-person dimension of homeless Sacramentans suffering from Schizophrenia

"Disabilities and dysfunction process from having been shunned and denied access to needed opportunitites and networks of support."
~ the brothers Lysaker in Schizophrenia and the Fate of the Self What is schizophrenia? How many are homeless Sacramentans?

Perhaps 15% of the Sacramento homeless population suffers from schizophrenia. The percentage is difficult to determine for many reasons that branch from both the fuzzy definition of the malady and that many people within the homeless community who have the illness (1) are in denial and are undiagnosed and (2) have the illness as a diagnosis only – the disability can be faked by people who are successful claimants of social security and other benefits.

What is schizophrenia? One webspace gives us this definition: The most chronic and disabling of the severe mental disorders. Typically develops in the late teens or early twenties. The overt symptoms are hallucinations (hearing voices, seeing visions), delusions (false beliefs ab…

Homelessness and Remembrance

This is a follow-up on the matter of remembering homeless people who have died and the Wall that Libby Fernandez wants to build in remembrance of the deceased. [See earlier blogpost "Tell Libby NOT to build her wall."]

This blogpost is prompted by a Philosophy Bites podcast released in the last couple days -- titled "C├ęcile Fabre on Remembrance." Fabre's take on why we honor or grieve for certain individuals or certain collections of individuals is not greatly helpful -- since his focus is mainly one of fallen war heroes and war casualties -- but it does open up the issue of why should there be a remembrance effort for deceased homeless people at all. Who is served by it? And has the effort been perverted by the avarice of charities in their insatiable drive for donations.

It is, for starters, a curious thing for "homeless people" to be a collective that is honored. I write that NOT because I don't want the best for homeless people. But, homelessn…