Don't Feed the Homeless
The day after the memorial for Sept 11th and a day of tolerance Los Angeles Officals say Don't Feed the Homeless. WOW.....
I only spent two days and three nights on Skid Row but it was enough to scare me straight...i.e. realize that was my destination if I didn't make some huge changes in my life. I realize now that those on Skid Row is made up of some very destintive types.
- Those who have spiraled to the depths of lost and will never recover.
- Those who were born, grew up and still live in Skid Row and will create the next generation of Skid Row
- Those who co-exist with Skid Row, work normal lives and are content with the co-exsistence
- Those who were like me. First time on Skid Row due to economy, bad choices or similiar reason.
Dozens of groups from across the Southland converge on downtown Los Angeles every week to hand out food and clothing in skid row.
Residents and business owners complain about the trash they leave behind. City officials question the wisdom and safety of street distributions in an area with numerous organizations that help the homeless.
Union Mission - the facilities are needed but they offer only bed and meals and neither isn't much to brag about.
Weingart - Don't even get me started about their Transitional program. The Program Manager (Merna) is a snobbish bully who thinks too little of the people she is suppose to be helping.
"These folks don't know what happens when they leave," said Los Angeles police Officer Deon Joseph, who as senior lead officer is a liaison to the community. "We've had people get stabbed after fighting over clothes. We've had people get sick after eating their food. It's just dangerous and irresponsible."
If this is the case... why doesn't these organizations work with the existing agencies and or why doesn't the existing agencies work with the outsiders to do the most good for the people who most want and need it?
Some community activists allege that the opposition to street distributions has more to do with gentrification than with protecting homeless people. The city's vision for a revitalized downtown, they suggest, does not include soup lines.
This makes sense and Skid Row needs a major revitalization. It needs to discontinue being a Homeless Asylum and needs to work with the people who truly want help to better their lives. This means free school / education for jobs that will help them leave Skid Row. Free housing while in school, free daycare, medical assistance and transportation while in school and or looking for a job.
On the side of police, residents and businesses - they have a right to complain and demand that if an organization offers meals it is the organization's responsibility to clean up what they brought. That should mean bringing garbage cans and food that doesn't require utensils.
In my opinion though the most important thing needed is for everyone involved to work together, forget the politic and remember that not everyone on Skid Row is a bum.