Arcata starving the poor

Peace be with you

At Wednesday’s Arcata Silly Council meeting (about 02:00:00 in) Shane Brinton tried to get the ban on feeding poor people after 9:30 am lifted against the Arcata Endeavor.  Of course he found it impossible to convince the homeless hating council to show compassion. The City’s official excuse is that now they are going to forced all the houseless people into supervised housing. Simply the enormity of that particular task, should induce the council to allow feeding in the interim. Not our liberals.

I applaud Shane for taking on the crimes done by the rich against the poor, but I take a strong exception with him perpetuating a revisionist history.   That is perhaps my biggest gripe about politicians – they witness some person, or class of persons, getting railroaded, and then agree later on that those railroadings were justified. Any one who blames the Endeavor for other peoples actions away from the Endeavor is wrong. What other establishment gets blamed if their customers do something elsewhere? We blame the Endeavor for feeding drunks in our town, but not the liquor store, or bars, that sold them the booze that got them drunk.

It is NOT the Endeavor’s job to police the town!  To believe that I must call the cops, because I witnessed a “crime” is bullshit!   Likewise to tell the Endeavor that they are responsible for reducing some houseless specific crime or be forced to shut down is bullshit too! The Endeavor is here to help the poor, not to turn them in, or punish them. Not only has John Shelter become the new houseless policing “tool,” he agrees it was the soups kitchen’s fault these crimes were committed in the first place.

The Endeavor is there to help those that are hungry, and that is what they have always done.  Up until this current board, and manager, they did that quite well.  I’ve participated in a breakfast and coffee program back when they fed a healthy, and some not so healthy, but better than nothing, lunches.  I cooked with food not bombs on Saturdays out of the Endeavor.  From the very beginning they were there to feed those ahungered.

Somehow the “downtown mainstreet busyness owners association” (Alex Stillman’s organization) has managed over time to shift the blame for minor houseless crimes from the individual perpetrators to the soup kitchen that feeds them. This is revisionist history at its most obvious. The Endeavor neither did any crimes, nor did they sanctioned any. To scapegoat the poorest of our community is meanness of the highest order, but to then have the supposed advocates for those poor to come along later and agree the scapegoating was justified is a crime against humanity. Why is John Shelter, the paid “manager” of the Endeavor, and the newest member of the lip service group “the human rights commission,” perpetuating this spin doctoring?

I’ve known local activists who were there in the very beginning of the Endeavor.  Most would probably agree that if they had of known what scrooges our local governments are today, they wouldn’t of signed the damned agreement that got the Endeavor in bed with the city government in the first place.   It happened slowly.  First the building was built in partnership with the city where it sits today.  Next a couple of bucks from the city to bail out the costly new “case managers” in exchange for some fellatious “compromise” by the endeavor staff. Now their dollar a year lease cannot be renewed unless they stipulated to, and I shit you not, a “compromise and settlement agreement” which effectively ends their original purpose.

Poverty pimp after poverty pimp got up before the council and claimed the Endeavor was bad, but now it is good. The problem with that is that the Endeavor was never bad. This whole bullshit was made up from the very start. The busyness owners started bitching that the Endeavor was a bad place because they believed it attracted houseless people to the plaza. Randy Mendosa, then the chief of police, reported to the Arcata Homeless Task Force, that there was never any proof that it was houseless people being accused of committing violations of the plaza’s anti-homeless laws, let alone originating from the Endeavor.

The merchant’s apologists and Endeavor’s boss, John Shelter, rebranded the Endeavor this year to the North Coast Resource Center. That’s like rebranding Mother Teresa to keep his job. The Endeavor has always been a force of what’s good in our community. The thousands who have been involved with it over the years should always be proud. Everything that Shelter brags about the Endeavor volunteers now doing has always been done by Endeavor volunteers. The difference was that the pre-Shelter Endeavor let the volunteers get the credit, and today Shelter takes it for himself. Hell, the sidewalk in front of the bars would probably be ten feet deep in cigarette butts by now if not for the years of Endeavor volunteers sweeping them up. Shelter wont admit this because his livelihood depends on you believing the houseless people need his managing style, but wouldn’t the houseless people be better off having food to sustain them, than the massive scale back of the Endeavor’s services under Shelter?

“The problems” everyone at the meeting were eluding to, are not very clear, and nobody wanted to articulate them. Revisionist history spin doctor, and Endeavor board president Dirk Schulze, claimed upon joining the board the Endeavor was “difficult . . . because of a lot of practices taking place and a lot of chaos that was there.” He claims to be some kind of preacher, perhaps one of those preachers of judgmentalism. He believes the responsibility to address the problems he sees in our city belongs to a soup kitchen which feeds Jesus’ lambs. Perhaps his bible tells stories of Jesus feeding only those obeying Pontius Pilate’s downtown ordinances. The interesting thing is Shelter claims he corrected “the stuff going on outside,” yet Schulze blames those very “practices” two years later for chaos.

The problem according to the staff report is, “the site is too small and the uses at the site conflict with City employee safety, as well as transit, tourism, commercial, and residential uses in the neighborhood.” How so? The “uses at the site” are feeding people. How does that use effect city employee safety? They make it sound like the Endeavor is telling people to go out and endanger city employee’s safety. Having worked at the pre-John Shelter Endeavor I know the Endeavor always strove to get its patrons to be kind members of our community.

I’ve continually written about how the policies used by the cops to oppress the poor are referred to as “tools in the toolbox.” Schulze offered the Endeavor to be one of those tools of oppression. I don’t know Schulze, but Shelter knows damn well these charges are made up bigotry, so it is obvious that they’re playing into the revisionist view of the Endeavor. Schulze and Shelter are no better that the uncompassionate ideologies pushed by city council members Stillman, Winkler, Ornelas, and Wheetley. If you go back and watch all the city council meetings since the mid nineties you would be hard pressed to find one “this is another tool in the toolbox” statement not about oppressing the houseless. Every houseless person knows when our government talks about adding a “tool to their toolbox” to fix some problem it means more laws against unavoidable behavior resulting form living on the streets.

The whole problem is that in an attempt to keep the Endeavor open the Endeavor board, Shane Brinton and John Shelter perpetrated lies against the Endeavor in hopes of winning over the very people who made up those lies. What we need as a town is to stand up and say that feeding people is the right thing to do. We started the Endeavor, and we can bring dignity back to it.

There is so much more about this story. There is a poverty pimp power grab going on in Arcata’s “homeless” services industry. It is between those who believing in helping the poor, and those getting paid for managing them. Hopefully I’ll get something written about Fox Olsen’s Arcata House, and its bid to force houseless people to chose either case management or starvation.

Many of you will need the Endeavor some day, others of you helped to create it. It is not to late to save it. It can make a little food go a long way. Pay attention for this to return to the council, and support Brinton in his attempt to do what is right. And, tell Shane that you wont put up with his continuing slide from honesty to liberalness. We don’t need any more Obama republicans, we need justice.

love eternal


23 Responses to “Arcata starving the poor”

  1. JS Says:

    Not feeding someone isn’t starving anyone. That reeks of entitlement. Anything you’re given is a gift, not a right.

  2. theplazoid Says:

    Peace be with you JS

    Damn you read that fast.

    I strongly disagree with you. Entitlement reeks of equality. Those who outlaw all other options for life sustaining essentials must provide an option. Not to mention that Declaration of Human Rights we signed.

    love eternal

  3. JS Says:

    You’re wrong on a key point. Arcata has not outlawed all options. The one major, most often used path remains clear — become employed, earn money and buy what you need with the money you earned. It’s difficult for a variety of reasons once you hit the bottom, or have a mental illness (etc.), but Arcata has not outlawed all options.

    You may despise how modern society functions, but this it it. It’s not changing. Public help might sometimes be available for getting someone back to being what society deems self-sufficient, but society only takes over that role for a person (sometimes) when they are completely unable (forever) to achieve it for themselves.

  4. transient Says:

    HA ha ha!!! JS, which I can only assume stands for “Jack-booted Stormtrooper,” says, and I QUOTE: “You may despise how modern society functions, but this it it. It’s not changing.” jeez! whoa boy! That’s a whopper! Ha! You really expect anybody to believe that? AH, yes, if only we could stop time in the now, becasue, as everyone of course knows, we have finally reached perfection (how many in jail? starving on the streets? dying of exposure in the streets of the wealthiest nation on the fucking planet?).

    Um, ha ha, I can’t stop laughing, I’m sorry, i was trying to say something, ha ha, but, whoa boy, jeez, let my wipe my eyes here, “It’s not changing”!!!! whew! that was a good one!

    ok ok ok, but really now, ok, um, ahahahaha!! Boy do i hate cops! Oh yeah, “become employed, earn money and buy what you need with the money you earned,” THAT certainly hasn’t been outlawed!!! Neither has cops murdering innocent unarmed people – THAT certainly isn’t against the law (Oscar, Grant, James Chasse, Fouad Kaady, MArtin Cotton, etc.). What an astute analysis of the law and the options available to us all!!! Boy, you sure don’t sound ENTITLED, do you JS? The cops are there to serve you and you only, and nevermind the poor and the unfortunate victims that just “get in the way” of law enforcement…nothing should prevent you from being protected by the publicly-funded law-enforcement. After all, you are entitled to have the thugs on your side – you went to work. You’ve always done what you are told. It is your god-given right to have the rabble kept in line for your convenience.

    And “it’s not changing,” Yeah right, buddy.

    • timH Says:

      Dear ‘transient’-
      I guess you believe what you say, and I applaud your efforts.
      However, what we are dealing with here is more than just YOUR reality.
      MY reality is simple:

      I WORK so you dont have to!

      Is that so hard to understand?

      Keep on bashing the system that puts food in your mouth FOR FREE, and see where that will get you and your fellow ‘free spirits’…..

  5. theplazoid Says:

    Peace be with you

    First Tim, why do you believe “[you] work so [I] don’t have to?” Do you automatically believe that I get some kind of governmental dole? Or, do you believe I have some direct access to you bank account? Or perhaps you believe your significant other is slipping me cash out of your wallet? I seriously doubt that someone with your elitist world view would show compassion on his fellow human being.

    Obviously that is very hard for me to understand. What do you do for work so I don’t have to? Do you grow food?, build shelter?, or make clothes? I doubt I (or the rest of the world) really needs another investment banker. The planet and its occupants are not really better off, because of some privileged persons job.

    I must assume that Tim and JS believe the 15,000,000 unemployed USians is a lie. This country went from and agricultural employment to manufacturing employment to service sector employment. Less than ten percent of our society works in the agriculture and manufacturing fields due to technological unemployment (man replaced by machines). This trend is also deeply effecting our last employment opportunities in the service sector. “Automatic tellers” are just one of the ways service jobs are disappearing.

    This reality which you are casually dismissing IS HOW modern society functions. Employers produce more and more with less and less labor. Not only is it screwing labor which depends on jobs, but also undermines the purchasing power of the shoppers of goods producers rely on to buy their crap.

    Add to that inflation and less than living wages, and you have a situation which makes employment next to impossible for people who have lost their housing. Every houseless person is competing for jobs with housed people whom employer prefer because they have phones, showers, and such.

    I agree with Transient that you both sound very privileged. You have a disconnected point of view. Don’t believe that because you have class privilege life is as easy on everyone else.

    Though I don’t eat at the Endeavor any more, I still know that the food they feed is food that the stores would have to pay to throw away if the Endeavor didn’t take it.

    Your childish rants would make more sense if we had thousands of unfilled living wage jobs, but not when we have a 15 million job deficit. Especially when I get nothing from you either directly or indirectly.

    love eternal

  6. moviedad Says:

    “I work so you don’t have to.”
    Now that is propaganda doing its work. You have tapped into the first rule of oppression: Divide the people on any grounds you can come up with. Race, employment, backgrounds, education.
    Congratulations on having and keeping a job. Sucks that everyone can’t say that.
    Congratulations on being in good health. Let’s just let the unhealthy die on the streets.
    Congratulations on having no substance abuse issues. Let those who do die on the streets.
    Congratulations on turning our town into Calcutta. Where can I buy a fly-swatter.
    Maybe you can just step over the suffering in the streets, and blame them for their predicament, but this is not a unique problem. It has been and issue since neolithic times.

  7. Fig Says:

    12-20-2009 (Sunday)

    excellent post.

    my 2 cents: the root problem is
    people being too-clever-by-half !!

    ……sometimes I think if every single human being
    had the ability to grow their own food, make their
    own water (From wells, or desalination, or “make rain”)
    would their still a need for a j-o-b.

    IF THE DINOSAURS can go extinct, civilizations
    can and have gone instinct. SUDDENLY and without
    warning. something to think about perhaps.

    we are all little ants in the universe of things.


    OFF TOPIC: —

    URL: redwood area of n. calif. from 1860s-
    local history of an individual’s life,

    p.s. too many people lusting for a Mercedes, maybe that’s
    the problem.

    just give me my BIG CARL carl’s jr. hamburger.
    price: $2.50 + TAX OF appx. 25cents (almost 10%)

    merry christmas, happy 2010 !!

  8. DM Says:

    So Arcata must be a very oppressive town. With the employed force starving the poor and stepping over their dying bodies on the sidewalk. If I was poor in Arcata I think I would move away. Maybe Stockton or Fresno would be more compassionate. Klamath Falls or Medford might not starve their poor citizens. I wouldn’t live in Arcata. It’s so oppressive there.

  9. theplazoid Says:

    Peace be with you DM

    It is weird how you blame the “employed force.” I never said that, nor did any other commenter. I am glad you are not poor, but that still doesn’t give you the right to put words in anyone else’s mouth.

    love eternal

  10. DM Says:

    I did not mean “employed force”. I meant the “employed, force starving”
    Sorry if I put words in anyones mouth. If Arcata is so aweful, who do you folks live there? Just asking.

  11. transient Says:

    dear DM, fuck you. Thanks for telling me where to live and where not to live, but no thanks. That is the job of a cop. Maybe you are a cop. Maybe you are a cop and don’t know it. MAybe you don’t have to be a cop to have the mentality of a slave driver. Your sarcastic snivveling is not as clever or entertaining as you might like to believe and as I would hope to find at this blog. You have been served.

    Arcata is indeed, as you say, “aweful,” but you probably meant “awful,” because you are sarcastic, but still not that clever.

  12. moviedad Says:

    “…can’t we all just get along?”
    Seriously, there is a slim line between asking for change or dope and mugging someone. I personally do not feel threatened by people begging. But I know some folks, especially the elderly, can get very scared. Some might give money because they feel there is an implied threat.
    I can’t sleep, so why not solve the problems of the world.
    Congratulations on a well written article Tad, so much better without the profanity.
    I just want to point out that it’s not just one side is evil and one is good. It’s so much more complex. There are some good things happening. People are wanting to address the problem. That is surely an improvement.
    In Social Work we see more and more people coming in who have no abuse issues. This is new. In my opinion it is indicative of poverty driven crisis moving up the social ladder.
    I don’t know what you want Tad. Maybe you just want to fight. I think that is useful in certain cases. But if my motive is to help the helpless; I have to figure out a way to work with people who disagree about the way we help, but not the why we help.
    People have good hearts. But they are mostly encased in a mass-media inspired cocoon of fear of anyone not vetted by society’s norms.

  13. theplazoid Says:

    peace be with you

    I want people to have oppertunities to feed themselves without having to resort to thievery. I want everyone to have food in their stomach. Unfortunately some people will never “work with” those they hate. Trying to get the majority of Arcata business owners to agree that the poor should get food and sheltered, is like asking the nazis to accept Gypsies into their society.

    I agree that those who advocate more restrictions on eating opportunities are victims of mass-media dribble, To those that are hungry, the reasoning behind the bigotry in immaterial. Whethter the sides are good or evil is not the point. The point is one side gets to use State sanctioned meanness, and other has to always take it. It is like a grown-up beating little children.

    love eternal

  14. unfunny guy Says:

    You have to see it from our point of view Tad. The majority of the houseless people we have to deal with act like scumbags. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a window to a business broken out by a houseless person, for no reason. Or screaming at passerby’s for nothing, or assaulting a person for the leftovers they are carrying out of the restraunt they just ate at. I look around at these people on the plaza and I see them bumming cigarettes, smoking pot, and begging for money for booze. I see them urinating and defacating in alcoves of businesses. They are already costing us money, why would we want to give more?

    Nobody wants to help someone they see drunk and dirty screaming at people to gimme, gimme, gimme

    Maybe these people are the minority of houseless people, but it certainly doesn’t seem that way to me.

  15. moviedad Says:

    That is a fair statement.

  16. theplazoid Says:

    Peace be with you Unfunny

    I learned that the Nazis used to claim all the jews were this way or that way in order to justify their “run them out of town” policies. I’m sure your are fine with your stereotyping, but I find it a very insulting “point of view.”

    Just out of curiosity – why would you watch a person, housed or not, break windows and not say anything? You see people going to the bathroom in the “alcoves”, yet the cops don’t know who is doing it. I think you are exaggerating the truth. I think you have heard about these things and repeat them like a parrot.

    I hear all housed people are meth makers. Maybe these people are the minority of housed people, but it certainly doesn’t seem that way to me.

    love eternal

  17. DM Says:

    Tad and his blog buddies here do not possess the ability to see other peoples points of view. You are either ‘with us or against us’ is their way. If one expresses an opposing view, you are deemed a nazi, cop, slave driver, mass media puppet, classist, etc. They use seething anger to divert attention from reasonable discourse.

    I was homeless once in Arcata in the mid 1980’s. It was not easy but I never blamed anyone but myself for being in that position. I never expected others to feed or cloth me.

    It takes maturity to see things from other peoples perspective. It takes maturity not to be a perpetual victim. It takes maturity to lift oneself up.

    Let the anger flow guys. You are so good at it.

  18. unfunny guy Says:


    You say you want to help but it’s seems pretty obvious from your last post that all you really want to do is argue. I made a simple post showing you why we as business owners and workers in Arcata we are discouraged from helping the houseless people and what did you take from my post? You compare my thoughts to that of the nazi’s in Germany. DM is right, you don’t want to hear the other side of this problem, you just want to yelll at the top of your lungs so people will pay attention to you. In the past six months I witnessed different homeless people around Arcata break out the windows three times to the Garden Gate, and two of the windows to the old real estate office next to Dons Donuts. Each time I called the police. Just a week ago I saw a homeless lady in front of the jambalaya squat down and urinate.

    Because you are unwilling to listen and try to understand the other issues involved with this, you will never stand a chance of fixing anything, instead because of your actions and responses people won’t want to listen to you and will respond to you with negativity or ignore you. Good luck.

  19. Arcata Cannibal Says:

    If you’re starving in Arcata then obviously you either need to broaden your gastrointestinal horizons, OR learn how to hunt. I’ve lured many a tasty HSU student or homeless person into the woods with the promise of booze, weed, or sex. Once you get a mile or so into the woods there’s no one who will hear the screams or come to harrass you will prepare the meat. and as far as disposing of inedibles such as clothes and bones, one can always carry a camp shovel and have a 6ft hole pre-dug. You folks who use shallow graves are just being sloppy, lazy, and stupid. Now if you’ll excuse me I see a member of the HSU womens rugby team and she’s got leg meat to kill fo.

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