Homeless Start Family Homeless Shelter Despite Crooked City
Politicians who Threatened $2500/day fines.|
Showing these creeps as they really are, in front of TV news cameras, can have quick results! In the days that Martin Luther King led Civil Rights protests, after months of marches, the bigoted mayor of Montgomery, Alabama; Bull Connor used fire hoses against the protesters - the next day the president stepped in. The national news showed the pictures of the firehoses, and the nonviolence of the demonstrators was a stark contrast to the Birmingham police.
In San Jose, we also used the media to expose the truth. San Jose's housing prices are among the highest in the nation, a small room, not an apartment, in the poorest parts of town costs at least $400 a month, with no rent control laws here, eigther. Its hard for anyone who is poor to afford a room, let alone a family to afford a house. There are very few homeless shelters space in this neighborhood and those homeless shelters that the policians allow are cruel and abusive.The conditions at the homeless shelter are so cruel, and we have to endure this cruelty 14 hours a day because of the curfew rules, when people come there depressed after being abused by the staff it could easily lead to suicide. , in fact the director told me that she doesn't care if it does cause suicides! The politicians support this brutality because they are owned by big business. Both mayoral candidates Frank Fiscalini and Susan Hammer are known for their wasteful spending habits. This winter, a minister, Scott Wagers, decided to start a homeless shelter downtown, and also announced that his organization was going to seek permenent housing for its residents. Then the city said that he couldn't keep the shelter open, because he didn't have a permit. (Of course, that terrible shelter could get one.) The city threatened the church with fines of $2500 a day. The church told Scott that it couldn't take responsibility, so he took it himself. He then called all the TV news crews, and The Christian Science Monitor, the local newspaper and several other newspapers, and we were on several TV channels per night and in the local newspaper about every other day for about 10 days. Finally, the city gave in, and not only let us operate a shelter, but also agreed that they'd help us get the permenent housing when the shelter closed, in April. If the past is any guide, the city will try to reneg on its promise and we'll have to fight to get it.
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