Saturday, October 22, 2005

An interesting debate

I had an interesting discussion with a group of homeless men today about the nature of a group meeting within a shelter. Are they a trade union or tenant council and allowed to act on any issue that they choose or are they strictly meeting to discuss internal operations and every decision stays within the shelter? This issue stikes at the heart of organizing people and is critically important for the community. It was interesting that many felt that they do not feel comfortable in rocking the boat since their stay is so precarious. This is a common issue that we at NEOCH confront. There are tons of worthy charities in the community that serve homeless people, but those who utilize the services are always worried that any criticism will mean that the program will close down and cease operation. It is very easy for all us to complain about a politician or a landlord or a business, but it is another thing to have the courage to complain about an organization that holds your entire life in their hands.Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

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