Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More on Loaves & Fishes' unreliable service

A homeless man tells me today he is greatly gratified and relieved to have gotten into a shelter such that he will be able to take a Christmas-season job he was offered.

Had he not gotten in the shelter, he’d have been subjected to Loaves & Fishes unreliable services and that would have disqualified him for the position.

As reported in this blog recently ["Loaves & Fishes is in the gutter" and "Strike! Part II of the Loaves & Fishes bowling saga"], Loaves & Fishes “missed” a day of providing regular services [showers; locker access] recently so the staff could take a paid day off to go bowling.

There has been some complaint that in reporting on L&F’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I impugned the integrity of lower-level staff and volunteers. To that, my response is “You're darn tootin’!!”

I hate to bring up Nazis – I’m not calling anyone a Nazi – but the example of so-called Good Germans during the Nazi era comes to mind, here.

Good Germans were people who ‘went along’ with bad policy, claiming to have no responsibility. They saw themselves as good. They were just getting by. They were cogs in the wheel of their society, not decision-makers.

I submit that lower-level staff and volunteers at Loaves & Fishes should have a sense of the needs homeless people have. They are not immune to bearing responsibility. They are not the blithely ignorant subjects of responsible policy-makers on-high. They are adults and with that comes the burden of being responsible for the reach of the effects of ones actions.

To my mind, Loaves & Fishes can rather easily “have its cake and eat it, too.*” They can have Ferris Bueller’s Days Off by leaving skeletal staff to do critical work on some days and by enlisting responsible homeless people to provide aid as back-up workers. But what should not continue to happen is that homeless people’s efforts to work or make court dates or get the full measure of their day is ruined because Loaves & Fishes is continually irresponsible and undependable.
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* Use of 'cake' in this cliche assumes that Loaves & Fishes sees being reliable as a good thing.

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