Saturday, May 26, 2012

More Turmoil at Loaves & Fishes

Re L&F from the Charity Navigator website. [click picture to enlarge]
I learned today that Jim Peth and Loaves & Fishes, as of two days ago, have gone their separate ways. For as long as I have been tuned-in to getting information regarding L&F [about four years, now], Peth has been the highest-paid employee at Loaves -- for an assortment of responsibilities I’ve never been able to fathom. He has also been on the Board of Director [which is unpaid], and as of today is still listed as a Board member at the L&F website.

Peth is listed only as a Park co-director, per L&F website. [click picture to enlarge]
I do know that Peth was (with Garren Bratcher) the co-director of Friendship Park. This is the only title he is listed as having. His responsibilities have always been unknown and inevident -- to me, at least. But he has been, by far, Loaves & Fishes’ highest-paid employee – earning over $70,000 in 2010, according to the charity’s 2010 public filing [aka, 990 form] when rather-mysterious reported “other compensation” was included. No other employee makes over $50,000 at the charity. [The CEO, Libby Fernandez, is reported as “uncompensated,”


Per Loaves & Fishes' public 990 report for 2010, Peth received substantially more than other L&F employees. [click pic to enlarge]
though the Catholic Church, which provides all her needs, is recompensed in a round-about way such that the situation is not really fully “uncompensated.”]

The timing of Jim Peth’s departure can have some relation to Loaves & Fishes' financial disclosure of 2011 activity. Their federal report for calendar year 2011 must be mailed by May 31 [though getting a time extension is easily achieved if they needed or wanted one].

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About a month ago, Loaves & Fishes, again, closed its Friendship Park without any advance notice to homeless denizens of the park. This was yet another instance of the administration using “Collective Punishment”* – a practice vehemently condemned by the United Nations and civilized people as a grotesque injustice. Drug paraphernalia or somesuch was found in the trash so the directors and green hats had no pesky homeless people around to keep them from dozing and socializing amongst themselves. They closed the park to all as a reprisal for the actions of one or two people. No business nor any other charity is run with the staggering dunderheadedness of Loaves & Fishes. L&F is a rare bird that has close commonality with the Nazis in Poland in 1939 with its ongoing ‘collective punishment’ practices.

Many homeless people walk great distances to get to Loaves & Fishes for their one meal of the day. To arrive and then be met with “tough luck; go away” is what commonly happens. While mid-day meals near never go unserved, Unfriendly Park is a place for homeless people to “just be” in the interim until their meal is available. A weird feature of being homeless is that sometimes you have nowhere just to place your physical self until there's been a passage of time when there is something that you can do.

Here is how “collective punishment” is described at Wikipedia [emphasis, mine]:
Collective punishment is the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behavior of one or more other individuals or groups. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions. In times of war and armed conflict, collective punishment has resulted in atrocities, and is a violation of the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions.

Historically, occupying powers have used collective punishment to retaliate against and deter attacks on their forces by resistance movements (e.g. destroying whole towns and villages where such attacks have occurred).
What with this new instance of “collective punishment” I will be making a special effort to inform Jewish groups about how the Loaves & Fishes charity treats homeless people. I am hopeful that Jewish people with their keen awareness of the injustice of collective punishment will cease making contributions to Loaves & Fishes if and until the charity is transformed regards to its wretched philosophy of management.

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