Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Free Times Article on Homelessness

"Far From Home" Points Fingers at Everyone Else

There is a good story in today's Free Times about homelessness. I wrote a letter to the editor commenting on the article that I hope will be published. I won't duplicate my thoughts from the letter here in this blog in hopes that my letter will be published. I did like the article written by Charu Gupta even though I come off looking like a bully. I think that it raises some great issues that need addressed--(not if I am a bully or not). I hope that this lights a fire under the County to actually begin to make progress. Two cities in the United States (Denver and St. Paul) have actually made progress in reducing homelessness despite the horrible federal environment. The federal government has made bad decisions and prioritized certain populations over others in a misguided and misinformed strategy to "end" homelessness somewhere over the rainbow.

I still believe that it would be best for all that Ruth Gillett move on into some other area of County government. I believe that we need fresh ideas and a new perspective. We need bold strategies involving some pain among local social services to transform themselves to meet current needs. We can no longer keep protecting the status quo and diligently following federal policies without objection. We need a new direction, which will actually lead to a reduction in the number of homeless people. Most of all, we need government to start listening to homeless people who are in fact the experts. We need homeless people at the table and we need to treat them as equals not a sideshow. I will have more to say on the issues raised in the Free Times article over the next couple of weeks.

By the way, the new Grapevine is out and on the streets. It is bright red and would look great under the tree. Buy it from your favorite Grapevine vendor at the West Side Market.

Brian "Not a Bully" Davis
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

No comments: