Skip to main content

The Bee shows some spine: Decries the lack of effort to help the homeless in Sacto city and county.

The Editorial Board of the Sacramento Bee lambasted the homeless-help effort in the city and county of Sacramento in a long editorial on the back page of Sunday’s Forum section. The piece is titled “Leaders dither, homeless shiver.” It tells a tale of Sacramento being backward; having a homeless population that has stayed at about 2,500 for the last seven years while the nation, our state as a whole, and more-gungho counties in California have moved forward, briskly, to save homeless people from their weariness and misery living out on the streets and in shelters that fail to transform their lives.

I don’t know about all the dithering and foot-dragging by politicians and homeless-help industry leaders that the editorial cites as the causes for unaddressed misery in our city and county, but the piece makes its case convincingly that these “leaders” need to get up off their duffs and use resources that are already available and mimic the success at saving homeless people that has occurred in Turlock-Modesto-Stanislaus County and in the counties of Fresno and Merced.

The Bee piece is a resounding call for action. I stand impressed; dazzled even. WTG, Bee!

Here, a sampling of the piece’s scope and vigor:
… the development of a new strategic plan on homelessness should be fast-tracked. Both the available federal funding and the experience of other cities point to the wisdom of expanding “housing-first” programs with ample medical, mental health, employment and other services in Sacramento. Let’s get busy. In both human and financial terms, the numbers speak for themselves here, and we’re showing a real need for teamwork and urgency.
Near its end, the editorial criticizes the City of Sacramento for “[not] even hav[ing] a handle on who its homeless are yet.” THIS is a long-standing disgrace. Dale Kooyman who, years ago, was on the Midtown Businesses Homeless Board has been heroic is calling for the important measure of organizing an approach to delivering help by first getting a good grasp of who the city’s homeless folk are, individually. The city would be wise to listen further to Dale’s counsel on many homeless matters!

One thing I am tentative about is the editorial’s faith that Sacramento Steps Forward can lead the charge forward. Steps Forward has not been impressive, to-date. SSF Board Chairman Rick Cole’s stunt to raise money by gathering attention to himself and his church a month ago was a dishonest way to raise funds; it evidences a callous disrespect to donors, most of whom are too trusting and many of whom are downright gullible. The homeless-help industry in our town and county are not the moral saints they are often portrayed to be in the press and on local TV. Donors should not be treated as chumps; rather, they should be treated well and be giving complete, straightforward information about programs to which they might choose to make donations..


Popular posts from this blog

The Mission Five Years Ago, And Today

I have spent the night the past two weeks plus at the Union Gospel Mission and am having an excellent time of it -- not only regards to sleeping in the dorm that the mission has, but also listening to the sermons that are delivered in the early evening. The Christmas music that is performed is also splendid. [And the food -- the FOOD -- has been fantastic during my stay so far! A happier Tom there couldn't be.] I chatted with a pal last night about The Mish – about how things were about five years ago when we both used the mission’s services frequently, and how thing are, today.
Five years ago, there were a lot scuffles between the guys when the front gate was opened in the early afternoon and in the area near the contact window there were some brawls as guys fought over where guys were in line to get a bed in the dorm.
Nowadays, however, the mission is very much a peaceful place both on the grounds of the facility and and out on the street.
I do not know what transformative eve…

Homeless Sacramentans lose case that would have given them the right to set up outdoor camping

8/11/13 I certainly give attorneys Mark Merin and Cat Williams credit for pursuing a case against the city of Sacramento to give homeless Sacramentans the right to set up tents and a campsite. I wanted them to win their case, but they didn't. They lost it.

BUT, it is also necessary to look at the particulars of the case that Merin and Williams brought and see that the situation underlying the court case was not very compelling.

During the period eight years ago when 22 homeless campers set up their tents and brought in supplies to Mark Merin's vacant lot at C Street, near 12th, there was loud noise and plenty of other mayhem. Drug dealers were on the street encouraging buys from the campers. The Hernandez couple that lived in a house nearby were constantly being taunted by the campers, disrupting their lives.

Per always with Safe Ground camps, calm was deserted for the sake of boisterousness.

Leader John Kraintz and the other Safe Grounders would claim to have signed strict a…

New Triage Shelter [on Railway Rd.] moves toward completion

I received a generous response from Leo McFarland of VOA on the status of the 200-bed Triage Shelter that is progressing toward completion on Railway Rd.

McFarland writes,
Tom, all the contacts and referrals to the Triage Shelter are coming from the outreach team called the Impact Team.  No walk ups are allowed per our contract with the City. Last night's opening was scheduled to be limited to 50 individuals for several reasons. First the Impact team transports each referral over to the Shelter which limits the number that could be handled by this group on opening day.

Secondly, and more to the site permit challenge, we have not completed the full interior build out as yet. We are going to erect physical walls in the Shelter to provide for guests' privacy in the sleeping areas.

Everything is complete for this build except we cannot begin to set it up until the city issues us the building permit.  It is under review by the city and we expect to get the green light v…