Peace be with you.
“There must come a day
When a box is not somebody’s home
The unfinished work of our heroes
Must truly be our own
We can’t let the future become our past
If we are to change the world
Won’t you tell me
Tell me please
How many miles must we march”
The Humboldt County “tax and misappropriate” Board of Supes today graciously gave the homeless $82,000 dollars of your tax money. Well not really the homeless. Actually it is for more office equipment. In related news The Arcata Endeavor Homeless “Services” Center was purchased with $560,000 dollars of funds for the Homeless (even had a ribbon cutting ceremony), and Stillman and her quislings on the Arcata City Council are throwing the poor out of their last real service in Arcata. Why are these “homeless funds” going into temporal buildings, office furniture, and salaries instead of food and shelter?
Back in 1995 the Republicans took control of the Congress and Senate. Part of their “contract on America”
As welfare recipients went through newly required “job skill classes” an entire field of employment became created. Soon private companies began or expanded “training schools” for all kinds of employable skills. Coordinating the welfare-to-work required “caseworkers,” and caseworker’s needed office furniture, buildings, cars, computers, etc. A new jobe market was created around using the poor as a corporate commodity. “Poverty pimp” be came a term.
Soon high wage jobes were being “outsourced” by another Friedman school of thought, NAFTA. As ex-high wage workers had to have two or three jobes in order to try to hang on to their mortgages, the government offered to pay wages to any employer who would hire a welfare recipient. The problem was that as one person got a jobe another lost one.
Welfare to work policies without substantial jobe growth made homelessness numbers began to rise, and studies were commissioned. The Urban Institute (think-tankers of spatial decentralization) studied homelessness in two cities through government homeless services. Though I have not read anything that convinces they learned shit about homelessness, in keeping in the Friedman spirit they claimed 50% of the services were used by 10% of the homeless. They made the claim that these 10%, whom they called the “chronic homeless,” were physically incapable of holding a jobe by virtue of a disability.
As Bush jr. spoke at the 2000 Republican convention he said “in the next bold step of welfare reform, we will support the heroic work of homeless shelters . . . food pantries.” He then got appointed president by the Supreme Court and started the “chronic homeless initiative.” The chronic homeless initiative took 90% of the already bare-bones homeless funds, and spent them exclusively to end “chronic homelessness.” Case-manager jobes got created and homeless food, shelter and hygiene facilities started disappearing. Again the case-workers need of better office furniture got fulfilled and the basic sustenance needed by the homeless went unmet.
Homeless funds start as your federal tax payments. Then the feds (not to be confused with your federal government the “feds” are the private bank known as the Federal Reserve) give the homeless funds to the state IF, and ONLY IF, they implement the “chronic homeless initiative,” and all its policies. The State in turn add a required amount of state tax payments, siphon off a larger amount for “maintaining” the program, and allocate what’s left to the Counties according to how well they implement the “chronic homeless initiative” along with additional State policies. These payments are called “grants.” And “Grant Whore” too became a term.
The homeless being just numbers on a chart to Washington the case managers in the beginning were able to open “case files” on millions of homeless who didn’t fit the definition of “chronic homeless.” They then utilized these fabricated cases, along with their newly self-proclaimed “authority” to justify their ever growing voracious money lust. Grants fund studies, salaries, studies of the studies, salaries, plans, salaries, task forces, salaries, offices, salaries, consultants, salaries, and of course an $82,000 “Homeless Management Information System.” Shelter is full or unavailable everywhere in the county, and the scant food is mostly donated, prepared by the homeless and other volunteers. The only two places case managers have that they can send homeless is to the welfare office or the mental health department, and the homeless could probably find those on their own.
This is an incomplete telling of the tale, because others like police, private security companies, and mental health also profit on the backs of the homeless and poor in general. Don’t believe that welfare reform saved you any money; it just change the occasional welfare queen into the common corporate welfare of poverty pimps and grant whores, and more people on the streets then ever before . In fact, if you disregard the fact that case managers and their needs cost us way more then welfare ever did, you still see an increase by the growing number of cop-hours devoted to driving homeless into the waiting nets of the case managers.