Skip to main content

The county and city mustn't shirk their responsiblities to homeless citizens

It is crucial that Sacramento County and the city of Sacramento not abandon their responsibility to look out for homeless people in our metropolis.

A Bee board editorial, "New partnership needed for homeless," published on Sept 15, has everything backwards. It is written in support of an effort, by the county and city, to create a “new countywide or regional joint powers authority/public-private partnership” to handle and coordinate the critical task of aiding homeless people and saving them from suffering and harm.

Such a concocted powerful agency will directly deny homeless people government oversight to protect their interests.

Such an agency, composed in significant part by executives from Christian nonprofits to beg for money and aid from Christian church groups, is an affront to what is a cornerstone of our republic: the separation of church and state. Homeless people are citizens and have a right to secular government oversight. An effort to create an authority as foreseen by the Bee board should be opposed on Constitutional grounds.

Besides: Christian-church people are not a backstop to fill in when a government group chooses to shirk one of its highest responsibilities to, instead, satisfy the wants of more-affluent citizens who have the ear of the politicos and contribute to their campaign warchests.

Christian churches, themselves, have been badly affected by the bad economy.  An article in the New York Times, today, titled "Congregations Reeling From Decline in Donations," tells us "across the congregational landscape of America. From storefront chapels to Sun Belt megachurches to suburban synagogues, across denominational lines, religious institutions are reeling from a decline in donations."  Surely, nowhere are matters worse than in our struggling county, that has particularly high unemployment and where state workers are being furloughed.

The state, the county and city have made wrong decisions that don't give the most import issues highest priority.  Helping the poor and homeless should be at or near the top of any priority list, not something that can be abandoned.

Many of the homeless-service nonprofits have expanded their empires in recent years while the regional governments and citizens have suffered in our bad economy. Some homeless-service nonprofits focus on themselves, exclusively, providing terrible, stinting service to homeless people.

Please. Let us not put the jackels in charge.  Let us maintain direct oversight from the county of homeless services it funds (and let us see services being funded!)  And let there be direct interest in homeless matters coming from the city, with funds forthcoming in difficult times.

[This is a slightly altered and augmented copy of a piece I submitted to the Bee a week ago that, by their non-response response, I have learned they chose not to publish as "Another View."]


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 …