Monday, July 9, 2007

Homeless man to seek his own injunction against the city

I was down at the Warming Place tonight and talked to a number of people-- much sadness, confusion and disbelief that the shelter is really closing.

Open Pantry's director Kevin Noonan was there and had a Cease and Desist order from the city in his hand when I saw him. It had been delivered that afternoon from someone from the city (forget who) who had then proceeded to take pictures. He said if the shelter didn't get out, Kevin would be back in court on Thursday.

I guess somehow we thought there'd be an official deadline set by the city. Guess the city thought it would be the other way around. In any case, Kevin has decided that Wednesday night will be the official last night of the Warming Place. My sister Liz, who works at the Warming Place, will order some party-sized pizzas for the guests.

Meanwhile, yesterday one of the guys who stays at the Warming Place wrote up a statement about why people should not have to move to Worthington St. shelter, got everybody but one guest to sign it, and brought it down to Housing Court! He has a hearing Thursday at 2 pm.

I'll report as I find out more.

Painting by a homeless man taking part in Leicester, UK's Homeless Art Show, part of Homeless Service Day - BBC.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Our trip to Springfield, Massachusetts brought us into contact with several street people but it seems that we missed the vast sea of street people the city has to offer. Earlier today the City of Springfield won a court action allowing them to close down an old jail that had been converted into a homeless shelter that housed 90 people each night.

News crews showed up at the court to hear the verdict and then raced to the shelter called The Warming Place to film street people removing their possessions. The sensitivity and compassion this town exhibits just warms the heart and touches the depth of the soul. The Warming Place was run by The Open Pantry which is where we found Al who you read about earlier on this site. The depth of reporting in this case by the Television news is amazing because not one reporter covered why the shelter was being forced to close. The Republican newspaper was kind enough to share that the mayor wants the land for redevelopment. It seems the old jail sits on the scenic Connecticut River and waterfront property with homeless shelters don’t attract business development, but waterfront property cleared of homeless shelters are worth some cash.

I don’t disagree with the mayor. Why should the street people get the river front view? Are they paying taxes? The only real benefit of having street people down by the river is they might take a bath in it once in awhile which has both good and bad elements. They might not stink as bad but have you seen a street person naked? It is an image so mentally scaring that you won’t be able to have normal sexual relations for years.

The part to love about this case is that the street people sued over the closing of the shelter because closing the shelter would cause irreparable harm to the homeless people. What the hell is irreparable harm to a street person? Are they saying being forced to live on the street where we already choose to live is harmful? How is it the city is causing them harm by saying you didn’t have a home when you came to the shelter, and you don’t have a home here in this old jail that city dollars paid for and we need to use for something else that will generate tax revenue. So hit the bricks to one of the other shelters so we can redevelop the city.

Don’t write me bullshit comments and emails about being insensitive to the needs of our fellow man and the liberating of the soul by caring for the less fortunate. These unfortunate souls talked some liberal attorney into suing the city costing tax dollars so they could have a free place to stay. They didn’t offer to move so the city could attract more businesses (which would have increased the tax base generating more money for social programs), or ask for a location that would be mutually beneficial to both the city and themselves. They sued placing their needs above the community’s so they get what is coming to them which is a quick kick in the ass and the joy of search for their collection of shit in the pile of stinky homeless stuff on the sidewalk. Especially when within walking distance there are three more shelters that can handle, and have beds ready, for those staying at this shelter.

In watching the news reports several of the street people claimed that they are not going to stay at the alternative facilities because they are not safe or clean. One street person described the alternative shelter as in disrepair. It seems to me it is in a better state of repair than your house – oh that’s right you don’t have one so just about anything is better. If sleeping in a park, under a highway overpass, or at a bus stop shelter is better than a city shelter then have at it but don’t ask me for change.

The only sad part in this story is that Springfield is going to be flooded with street people and we are not there to meet them. There will be bums at every street corner, tourist attraction and Dunkin Donuts asking for money for a cruller and coffee. It’s like a bum gold rush and we just can’t get our wagon across the prairie fast enough

Want to read about our adventures with the homeless - vist the boxman and his freinds at