Monday, September 13, 2010

County seeks way to abandon its responsibilites to its neediest of citizens, us!

Homeless people trading cards.  Just paper; not people.
An article in the Sacramento Bee, today, leads with this news,
Sacramento County no longer wants to coordinate the area’s homeless programs and plans to turn over that task to a new organization to be made up of government and private stakeholders.
In other words, the county is shirking its responsibilities to the most needy of its citizens and turning things over to some new fandangled agency it'll create and toss a bunch of powers to. “YOU take over this hornets’ nest,” says the county. “We’re too busy with our more-glamorous chores.

“You can do what you want with the rabble, just as you have been. All the moola you reap is yours for empire building. Don’t forget to lock the door on your way out the back. Toodles!”

The most-popular comment at the Sac Bee website put things well. Here ‘tis:
In the meantime, it is pushing forward with a plan to form a nonprofit group or joint powers authority that would pursue government grants, raise money in the private sector and distribute millions of dollars to agencies that serve the homeless.” In other words: Create a bunch of little corrupt private agencies that feed off of the government to fund an enterprise that will be in their own best self-interest to NEVER FIX. Sounds like a wonderful plan (he says sarcastically). When will we ever learn? How many of these “do gooder” groups do we have out there raising money and receiving government funding to “eradicate this” and “put an end to that”? When you come up with a number here’s the next question: What have any of them actually fixed, solved or cured? Exactly.
For the county to hand over the power of life and death for a large group of people to the same old, same old stinking do-nothing do-gooder no-good homeless-services nonprofits is eerily similar to when, in the late 30s, Great Britain handed the Sudetenland over to the protoNazis. I think we all know how well that turned out. [Think WWII and six-million exterminated Jews.]

Supes:  The homeless citizens in Sacramento county are not elementary-school trading cards, or sacks of navy beans. You cannot merrily abandon your responsibilities, even when you have money you would prefer to spend elsewhere to satisfy richer, more-influential constituents (that is, everybody else in the county).

You have a job you are supposed to do, you knuckle-headed Sacramento County Supervisors. Taking care of the poorest — those most in need of the protection and aid that only you can provide — is not something you should discard, nor can you, morally. There will be hell to pay if y’all follow up on the Department of Human Assistance’s plan.

A rationale for the county to dodge its responsiblities here is the supposed success of “One Day to End Homelessness” which was a ploy to grab church-goers’ money to pay for something the county didn’t want to. [The county had other claims to its funds.  I understand.  But helping - saving, really - the indigent must be a top priority, a high claim.]

It is thought that by fully being rid of county [aka, secular] duties to its homeless citizens, the usual suspect of homeless-help agencies can make do with a robust effort to get even more out of the purses of rich liberals and church goers. And that THEY, the nonprofit agencies, with their bon ton friends, can do all the pesky grant seeking.

Allow me to point out to the public that the monster [in size and otherwise] homeless-help agency in Sacramento, Loaves & Fishes, has been adding greatly to its hoard of assets in recent years while the county and public (and especially the homeless) have suffered in today’s economy. L&F added $250,000 to its hoard in calendar year 2009. While Loaves & Fishes has a stated mission of providing shelter and taking care of the homeless, THEY ARE ALREADY SHIRKING THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES. Last winter was a very difficult season for non-SafeGround homeless people. [SafeGround wintered at Hawthorn Suites, thanks to the mayor.  It's no joke; see blogpost.] Loaves & Fishes should have been augustly sheltering more people, something they wouldn't do.  Instead of giving greater power to the bunch of Loaves & Fishes hoarding pikers, the County Supes should be investigating Loaves & Fishes! 

And do you know how much Volunteers of America's CEO is paid?  It's over $300,000 per year!

A huge, fully-dead, rootless tree almost killed homeless citizens in Loaves & Fishes’ Park earlier this year.* And now they are spending $2,000,000 on a warehouse, to hold what? already-stale pastries? donated things they hoard instead of distribute!?  Loaves & Fishes, for one, isn't so competent they should take on more responsibility, even if such was appropriate, and it's not.  Loaves & Fishes is the Three Stooges, only with a better, bouncier haircut for Moe.

Don't do it, County Supervisors.  Help the homeless, don't betray us or abandon us.  We're not all nice, clean, sweet-smelling people, we homeless, but we want to live and thrive and get our lives back, most of us.  Help!
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* Joan Burke, L&F's Advocacy Director was quoted in a Sac Bee article on Jan. 22, 2010:
"By the grace of god, the limb fell off first, piercing the roof of one of the gazebos," said Burke. "It was pouring rain, and people had to come out of the cover. There was quite a bit of grumbling, but not 10 minutes later, the whole tree went over, crushing several benches. So we are very thankful there was nobody there, because they truly would have been killed."

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