I just got done having breakfast with a co-organizer from the Decrim Task Force who is currently at Simpson Shelter. We got together with another organizer to help him get a place to live.
I have had no luck getting a response from the pubic officials who know this man and the incredible work he has done. I have asked them to at least give him a call to say they care about him. He told me there have been no calls or messages. The fact that he is African-American and not getting help is not lost on me. The fact that he is a veteran, well...so it goes in Mpls nice. Kind of tired of seeing folks experiencing homelessness used when testimony is required to public bodies...and then forgotten. This sort of silent lack of response is the hallmark to me of who is "in" and is "out" among the powers that be. Certainly, I am not much of a power person in the existing food chain of politics. Rest assured that, despite this silent lack of response--- that housing will be found for this man. But, the cold slap in the face of indifference towards his plight has left me with a reality check regarding people I thought I could respect. I met him at 7a.m. when the shelter closes. ...had a chance to talk to several of the men staying there. Told them about the City's revision to allow shelters to stay open 24/7 and asked them if the Shelter Staff had informed them of this important change. They told me this was news to them...shelter staff did not tell them of the change. I told them about one provider being quoted in the paper as saying something to the effect that the provider wouldn't like having to sit on a bunk in a shelter basement all day. The response I got to this was "Hey, they should live what we have to live before they say something like that." One man I spoke to works during the day and then stays at the shelter. We talked about how tiring it is to be kicked out of a shelter at 7a.m. We talked about how, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays, after the shelters close...they have to wait for the very few drop-ins to open and then walk, walk, walk to get to them...and they never stay open long enough hours to cover the time until shelters open. We talked about the need for access to phones and the ability get call backs which would be possible if shelters were open during the day ..so people could hook up with services. For shelter providers, there is an opportunity to alleviate some suffering and also provide help to people.The cry that they do not have the money, well....time for the crying to stop and a commitment to getting the money and staff and volunteers needs to happen now. Instead of managing homelessness, shelters need to end it...and a step towards doing that is to provide rest for the weary, access to phones and advocacy resources during the day. When I was a shelter advocate, I would have people on occasion say how much they admired what I did. My response was, "I am doing my job, that I do love...but I do not deserve special praise." Being a shelter provider or advocate still requires accountability like any other job. Margaret Hastings Kingfield REMINDERS: 1. Be civil! Please read the NEW RULES at http://www.e-democracy.org/rules. If you think a member is in violation, contact the list manager at [EMAIL PROTECTED] before continuing it on the list. 2. Don't feed the troll! Ignore obvious flame-bait. For state and national discussions see: http://e-democracy.org/discuss.html For external forums, see: http://e-democracy.org/mninteract ________________________________ Minneapolis Issues Forum - A Civil City-focused Civic Discussion - Mn E-Democracy Post messages to: mailto:email@example.com Subscribe, Un-subscribe, etc. at: http://e-democracy.org/mpls