Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is the Media finally catching on (about Homeless World?)

Click on picture to see it in a readable size.
In the past, news media in Sacramento would bite at any worm-baited line Loaves & Fishes threw into the swirling news waters.  But recent non-events that Loaves & Fishes has tried to promote have been left untelevised and un-otherwise-reported on.

For example, last March, L&F promoted the idea that it would soon be feeding Lee Majors in its chow hall. Well, not Lee Majors, exactly, but some other “6 million” man or woman. Here, quoting L&F's March 2011 Newsletter:
This month, Loaves & Fishes will quietly serve our 6 millionth meal to some hungry and perhaps ill person. Loaves & Fishes staff and volunteers will care at least as much about this meal, we think, as our corporate friends at McDonald’s did about theirs. Needless to say, as we have said for the past 30 years, we could not accomplish this act of service without the extraordinary generosity of the people of Sacramento.
“Quietly” my ass. All this crapola is straight out of the Loaves & Fishes Ladle-on-the-Bathos Grab-the-Cash Playbook. Make the homeless sound like they each weigh about ten pounds and were just shipped in, straight from Calcutta, and are dying of dysentery, and then lunge directly at the targeted Sacramento citizens’ wallets.

Actually, it is unlikely-to-impossible that Loaves & Fishes was anywhere near serving its six-millionth meal to anybody – much less any poor soul who was hungry and perhaps ill. The organization’s effort at record-keeping, you see, is pure bunk, if not bunko. [See the sacHO blogpost “A Look at Loaves & Fishes’ Stats” from April of last year.] Competence at record-keeping is just another thing that is far from being the organization’s forte.

It should be noted that with all the fal-der-al and ballyhooing about the supposed wonders of their meals, the person in charge of meals preparation at Loaves [famous for her straight-from-the-freezer ice-hard frozen-meat sandwiches] was canned recently.  The fired employee was like a great many at Loaves & Fishes:  The friend of a friend of a donor who gets hired inexplicably, coming out of nowhere and doesn't have a whit of skill or experience related to the job he or she is hired for.

Homeless people are expected to volunteer for a year to get a job at Loaves & Fishes.  But while they are doing that, some Bozo comes along out of Left Field, is hired by L&F Administration, and the "homeless volunteer," stung by how corrupt everything seems to be, gives up on his/her insane effort to get work at the incompetent charity.

Media in our metropolis also didn’t bite on the Grand Opening of Loaves & Fishes’ new Warehouse/Admin Offices/Welcoming-Your-Filthy-Lucre Center – though to L&F’s credit, of sorts, the org may have seen that celebrating that boondoggle was not in its sole interest – getting money – since at least some of the people who are prone to help the poor might see what’s going on and actually want to give their money to some organization that actually concentrates on the business of really helping the poor.  And that organization wouldn’t be the constantly distracted, finger-up-the-nose Loaves & Fishes.

One important element in the fresh practice of media not "biting the worm" of doing homeless reporting via mouthing the press releases of Loaves & Fishes, Volunteers of America and other Sacramento homeless-services charities is a pair of "homeless confessional" memoirs by Sonny Iverson in the Sacramento Press and Christopher Lee Buckner in the Sacramento News & Review.

The first section of Iverson's four-part story, "Experiences in Homelessness" was published/posted to Sacramento Press on March 7. The four parts to the story are linked to, here: (1), (2), (3), (4).  The sacHO reaction was posted on March 10, in a piece titled "A vivid story of the torment of homelessness told by Sacramentan Sonny Iverson in the Sacramento Press. Read it!"

Buckner's story, in the April 28 issue of SN&R, titled "the coldest season" in hardcopy, and "Sacramento's coldest season" in it appearance at Sacramento News & Review's website, begins by describing an instance of Loaves & Fishes use of Collective Punishment, [Buckner doesn't say so, but I've been told by other homeless folk that the instance that Buckner is describing happened on New Year's Day.]  He goes on to detail the time-wasting practices of Volunteers of America and Sacramento Steps Forward.  The sacHO reaction was posted April 29 in a piece titled "SN&R publishes remarkable first-person story of life in Homeless World Sacramento."

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