Peace be with you

The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.”
Mark Twain, What Is Man?

A few thoughts on the so-called “magnet concern.”

All research I’ve examined doesn’t support a “magnet concern.” Especially the “magnet concern” involving Humboldt County’s General Relief increases in the 90’s. This doesn’t mean that today is the same as when the studies I’ve read occurred. Plus the lying liars have clouded this issue by making such outrageous, unsubstantiated claims as, people were leaving cities that fed homeless three meals a day, seven days a week, to come to Arcata for one meal a day, five days a week. Not only doesn’t this make any sense, but nobody I’ve ever met made a choice on that basis.

Prior to the Bush II presidency 70% of homeless were homeless in the city/town they became homeless in. After GW that obviously changed as local homeless were run out of their towns and were forced to relocate. I’ve certainly seen my share of locals run out of both Eureka and Arcata.

The search for brighter prospects is both a tradition and case law in this country. It would make sense that if you are not allowed to sleep in town a, but are in town b, then move to town b, so I see it as a possibility that should be planned for.

If the problem was approached with a multi-level approach, I believe this could be, not only dealt with, but could produce positive financial savings/earnings at the same time. Eco-hostels could be profitable and regulated. For people who wish to abide by it’s terms a hostels could charged 5-10 dollars a night (60 people at $5 a day is $9,000 a month, that’s over $100.000 a year).

Transitional housing, which is earmarked for chronic homeless, should be built for the chronic homeless using poverty pimp and grant whore funds. That is what those funds are supposedly meant for, not making people upper-middle-class paychecks.

The non-chronic homeless need living wage jobs, affordable housing, medical care and higher education. Without those things expect homelessness to continue to climb. Until economic reform happens long term camp grounds are the most affordable emergency measure. I see long term campgrounds as needing to accommodate at least 1% of an areas total population (1% is the last guesstimate from the federal government of the nations homeless population). Since we would be one of the first cities/counties offering this option it would behoove us to have extra “short term” camp grounds also. The $5 rent could be paid in both long and short term campgrounds by cash and/or community service vouchers. I always thought land that floods in the winter would be a good way of moving “visitors” on when winter hits.

Also work cooperatives should be sanctioned by the local governments. The ideas I’ve seen along these lines are diverse and would be a rather lengthy dialog, so I will only list a few possible examples. Warehouses could be converted to work/living areas. People would work for pay and room and board at the same place. This would pay employees less then comprable industries, and encourage people to get their feet on the ground and move up to better, more permanent housing/employment. The best example I’ve seen of this is a place in Paris Texas which has a thrift store and the cities cardboard recycling concession. Homeless get their identifications, driver licenses (even truck diving licenses), work history, referrals, room and board, and the warehouse is self sufficient. I envisioned once a joint venture between the recycle center, the bike library, and the city of Arcata to create homeless jobs in an eco-friendly curb side recycling program. Other thoughts are employees in the organic farming industry, non-indigenous plant removal, trail maintenance, and other entry level jobs.

Create extremely low income shelter by allowing, or better yet encouraging, private citizens to allow homeless to live on their property. Think how easy it would be to get houses “up-to-code,” if landowners could defer their permitting costs as long as they supplied a certain amount of extremely low income housing. With a registry, steep fines, immediate payment of the deferred permit costs and retribution to the tenet, the probabilities of the housing staying extremely low income housing is pretty high.

Outreach is important. To let other cities know that we actively sought to really reduce the problems both for the homeless and the housed, from the problems associated with homelessness in our communities. Most people would rather solve the problems associated with homeless kindly, and a working example of a holistic system could go a long towards promoting that. With thousands of homeless advocates around the State and Nation who already want these types of solutions, getting to their governments with a proactive government of our own would create other places to help take the load off Humboldt.

We must start recognizing homeless bigotry for what it is. Even kids who beat homeless people to death feel that it’s OK “’cause they were just homeless.” This bigotry was carefully nurtured by cops, power brokers and news papers to create the hate, animosity, and violence that so many feel towards the homeless today. Just like people of my generation had to learn that their thoughts and actions against different races, sexes, religions, etc. were bigotry, the time has come for us to put class (homeless bigotry like almost all bigotry is class bigotry) under that same microscope. If we treat our homeless (at this point I suggest we start calling them houseless) as members of our communities some, not all, would react in very positive and mutually beneficial ways. I have long said “if I had a buck for every homeless person I met who believed the cops would leave them alone because of the cleanliness of their camp, I wouldn’t of ever been homeless.”

Jesus is credited with saying: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: . . . When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.'” Righteous means morally right. Even if we can’t be righteous, we can treat others the way we want others to treat us. Jesus wasn’t the only one to talk of this moral rightness, the word Karma is Hindu. “You can attract more flies with honey then with vinegar,” is a secular way of saying, “you reap what you sow.” Compassion brings peace and prosperity, When I was a kid the cops didn’t need back-up they had support of their communities. Now so many people justifiably see the cops as bullies that they wouldn’t piss in their throats if their guts were on fire.

Things are never going to get better until we each individually start getting better. Hate and greed breed war, but Love breeds abundance. Love one another!

love eternal


One Response to “”

  1. fightback Says:

    10 June, 2008. Tue…


    The ideas outlined here about vastly
    reducing the homeless population would
    work if the fundamental “family unit”
    existed. Every problem in society can be
    traced back to a disintegrating (not sure of spelling)
    “family unit.” Where is the extended family
    of yesteryear ?

    In the average Indian conscience, a
    homeless person in India sleeping on a street is
    looked as basically harmless, invisible, to be left
    alone, kinda like the cows roaming the streets.

    But in America, drugged up kids of course kill
    the unlucky homeless person with a baseball bat or
    WORSE YET, shoot videos of “bum fights”
    FOR THE ALMIGHTY dollar. America is completely
    addicted to the dollar—-a menace more frightening
    than a crack, meth addict going berserk………

    An idea: paper money cannot buy health, youth,
    conscience, empathy, compassion, and pretty soon
    gasoline…………….. It’s a good THING the patent
    lawyers can’t patent “air” Or are they working on
    that? Or maybe they’re looking for “wmd’s” in Iraq.

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