I posted on this list a few days ago about one of my co-organizers on Decrim 
and his plight which is being ignored by some of the powers-that-be (no one on 
the City Council).

Over these recent years, I have held my tongue about the apathy and lack of 
true work to end homelessness on the part of most shelter providers. I had held 
out hope that over the course of the Decrim Task Force work, that true 
collaboration and advocacy could take place.
Sadly, this did not happen.

Like many efforts started by people who had a passion (and compassion) for 
social justice and helping others, ..homelessness has turned into a small but 
cozy little industry for many.
They get their jobs, their fundraising money and they just keep this system 
of homelessnes maintained.

There needs to be many more places like PEACE HOUSE (and also shelters that 
contain their wonderful spirit) and many more advoactes with their passion and 
love for people and social justice. We need more Sister Roses and far fewer 
fund raisers and bureacrats in our shelter systems.

Haven't any of you ever wondered why me, not paid shelter providers/shelter 
advocates have not really posted to this forum to advocate, educate, dialogue? 
They know about this forum.
My opinion is because they just don't care.

Are any of you aware of the woeful lack of outreach to other possible allies 
and communities that need to be involved in the effort to end homelessness?

Anyway, I still have not received any response from the folks who do have 
some ability to help this wonderful man get the services he deserves to get 
shelter providers.

My hope is that one of you news hounds who reads this post might be 
interested in finding out a bit more about what really seems to go on in our 
system...and you might want to ask me who these powers-that-be are that I keep 
referring to, who have not bothered to even leave a message at the shelter he 
has been staying at, to say "Hello, we haven't forgotten you and the hard work 
and talent you contributed to the effort to end homelessness in Mpls."

The hard reality is that, this post will certainly not win me any friends, 
could mean the overall blackballing of me by those who have tolerated my 
presence. So be it.

To really, end homelessenss, we have to look at ALL the systems in place that 
help maintain and perpetuate it. It means taking a good, hard look at the way 
in which our shelter and advocacy system has helped to maintain, not end 
homelessness. And, it takes a willingness for someone within the Shelter 
Community to speak up and risk being shunned by their peers in order to change 
this insulated system that has little demand for true accountablility to the 
people they claim to serve.

I have heard that there are housing vouchers floating around somewhere for 
folks experiencing homelessness, but I have not been able to find out the 
criteria for getting them or how the decision is made who gets them and why.

I think pubicly funded vouchers (which I am assuming they are) would require 
public disclosure/information about these vouchers.

The barriers for persons experiencing homelessness are huge...and I am tired 
of one of the biggest barriers being the very providers and advocates (paid) 
who are supposed to help and advocate for and with them.

Margaret Hastings
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