In todays Strib Article on the City Council allowing for flexible shelter 
hours, it  refers to one shelter provider saying it would require fundraising 
for 
more staff and other expenses.
   and goes on with "If the City Council's action is motivatd by a desire to 
keep homeless people safe...he supports it. But he would not be pleased 'if 
the main reason is to remove homeless people from pubic view," 
especiallydowntown."

The City Council did not vote for this in order to shove people experiencing 
homelessness out of sight...as some sort of devious way to avoid helping 
people.

Let's stop putting our public servants in a double-bind "yes-but" sort of 
situation.

They responded to the research, lobbying, dialouge not only with the Decrim 
Task Force (half of which was people who had or were currtently experiencing 
homelessness), they were responding to the recs of the Community Advisory Board 
on Homelessness, the Downtown Businessess, the Police--- (Deputy Chief 
Lubinski was concerned for the suffering of people when I heard her speak to 
supporting this issue), and to countless others over the years.

As Council Person Niziolek said "This was a no-brainer"....as Council Person 
Lisa Goodman told me "I don't know why this did not happen sooner."

Well folks, you have to walk your talk when you claim to be an advocate. ..a
nd you have to talk to the people who shape our public policy...and not bash 
them when they listen to the advocates and advocacy groups that seek change.

Shelter providers need to step up and work to get some money--- churches have 
lots of money--- the Council of Churches raised a lot of money for 
Katrina...I think they and other sources can raise a bit of money for shelters.

I am not ok with abdicating responsibility by trying to paint the City 
Council as having some ulterior motive.

Having it both ways never sat well with me i.e. "Public officials don't care 
about homeless people, they don't listen to us" and then when you get what you 
say you want you accuse them of some ulterior motive.

I communicate regularly with Michael Stoops, Executive Director of the 
National Coalition for the Homeless. He was suprised that a city the size of 
Minneapolis did not already have daytime shelter hours.

So, shelter providers should not see this change as some radical change to 
the world.

Again, it is time to step up and figure out how to how plan programs and 
funding for services.

The second guessing to me is simply a way to avoid the responsibility to 
start making day hours available to people experiencing homelessness.

Having been a shelter advocate I know the need and I know that it must happen.

Margaret Hastings
Kingfield
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