Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Serna" beds at Sally's for Parkway campers extended through end of April

Logo of the nonprofit organization SafeGround Sacramento, Inc. -- from their website.
According to an article in today's Sacramento Bee, the 32 "Serna beds" that Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna raised funds for for Safe Ground1, but were instead, with one exception, taken by other American River Parkway campers, have been extended an additional month, until the end of April.

Funds to extend availability of the beds comes from Kaiser Permanente [$5,000], "Serna's office," and others, the Bee article tells us.

Except for one member of Safe Ground, that organization's members refused the beds when originally made available in midFebruary. The reason given was that the SafeGrounders didn't want to jump the waiting list at Salvation Army, taking the beds from others who had a better claim of entitlement.

Many SafeGrounders were not reluctant to take beds at Union Gospel Mission once their riverside campground was rousted. To my mind, they certainly had every right to use mission beds, but I also think they had every justification to use the "Serna beds," even as I see it as laudable that most didn't.

Many, including myself, believe that Safe Ground's unflagging interest in having an issue to flog in order to raise funds and claim 'victimization' is at least in part reason why the "Serna beds" were refused. Safe Ground is a product of Loaves & Fishes' highly politicized effort of continual protest, and includes many of the same organization characters, including Libby Fernandez [an SGS board member and L&F CEO], David Moss, Mark Merin, and the lawyer without homeless-services portfolio, Cathleen "Cat" Willliams.

In an interview for SeeJaneDo, Fernandez said that "The ability to protest is written into the mission of Loaves and Fishes. Our philosophy is not to emphasize words, but non-violent action. It’s really about social justice. We walk the talk.”

But one woman's "social justice" is for others screwy politics. If Fernandez and her crowd had their way America would quite literally be transformed into a soviet-style nation, stripped of its freedoms.
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Footnotes:
1 The term "Safe Ground" or "SafeGround" is used for multiple, often-conflicting purposes by the organization of that name, which is also, more-formally known as "Safe Ground Sacramento." In this article Safe Ground means either the nonprofit organization or the tent encampment that was and often still is on the American Parkway or nearby.

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