Friday, December 3, 2010

Railyard development will bring vibrant Sacramento communities close to the Mission


  The Railyards development will connect three streets to N. B Street, west of 7th St. [see top of map]. The streets that will connect to No. B St. are, in order, from left to right: 5th, Judah, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Sts. [Note that 11th St.is misidentified on the map as 16th St.]
Those of us who stay at the Union Gospel Mission can just look out from the grass in front of the mission to see “encroaching development” moving in to the seemingly-rural setting where the mission is.

A road — an extention of Sequoia Pacific Blvd. — leading north to Richards Boulevard from where the mission is is in final stages of construction. And along that short road the new modular Greyhound Bus station for the metropolis of Sacramento is about to begin to be put up.

Meantime, the Railyard development will bring encroaching urbanity in from the south.

It opens several questions, beginning with the broad interrogate What's to become of the mission?

If it stays at its current location [the red-A marker in the map, at right] mightn't it lose its focus of aiding the homeless and bringing them The Word?  The mission is soon to be just a hundred steps away from the new Greyhound station, such that many lower-middle-class men may endeavor to use the mission as a highly-convenient free-and-basic hotel, with a complimentary evening meal.  When they do that, they displace legitimately homeless men, in desperate need of services.

There is already a troubling situation in Homeless World Sacramento where many men are faux-homeless to 'enable' their substance addictions, their drinking or gambling.  They get disability checks, or retirement checks they use for fun while getting shelter and food from homeless-services charities.

At least in the case of the real and faux homeless of the current time that use the mission's services, souls are readily available for the mission to save.  Any influx of hotel-substituting homeless, coming in from Greyhound, will stay at the mission wholly because they're cheapskates.  [Homeless addicts are 'cheapskates,' too, in the sense that they are unwilling to spend their scratch for anything other that what's fun for them, but they, at least, come to the mission with a huge problem — their addiction! — that makes them readily availed to the Christian message of salvation, and prime candidates for the mission's Rehab Program.]

The encroaching Railyard development, with its traffic and upscale development, and that which will be forthcoming in the River District, more generally, will make the Union Gospel Mission 'out of place,' just as it was in 19801965* when it moved to where it is from Old Sac, which was then being developed as* at the beginning of its transformation into a tourist attraction.

It raises the further question If the mission were to move, where might it go?

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* [update on 12/11/10, The mission moved in 1965, not 1980 as I wrote, incorrectly, when this was first posted.] [source the "History of Union Gospel Mission" page at the UGM website.]

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2 Comments:

Blogger Nagarjuna said...

"If the mission were to move, where might it go?"

I'm sure the answer that will ring forth from every hill and dale will be "NIMBY."

December 3, 2010 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Armstrong said...

Indeed, Nagar. Everybody is for the mission being somewhere, but NIMBY.

December 4, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

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