Monday, January 05, 2009

It's Eleven degrees outside, where are you sleeping?

The other morning I'm commuting and weather guy announces that it's eleven degrees outside.

Eleven degrees is cold! In fact it was so cold the car still hadn't warmed up even though I had already hit the highway. The steering wheel still felt cold, and the fabric on the seats. Eleven degrees is COLD!!

So now the commute is done and I'm inside a warm building. I take a moment to check my email and take a look at www.fallriverblog.com to see what's new in the local blogosphere. So I'm reading Shamrock's New Year Eve observations on Fall River-tastic when this section got me thinking..

"And finally.....Correia said he was cancelling First Night because of the
hungry and homeless in Fall River. Did the hungry and homeless ever get the
$30,000 that is usually used for First Night? "


Now, I'm thinking 'gee it's 11 degrees outside, what are we doing about the homeless in our city?'

Back in November the Herald ran an article that said that basically said the city's agencies could be overtaxed if there were an increase in need. The article basically said that at that time there were enough beds to accommodate all of Fall River's homeless but that that could change depending on what a worsening economy brought. How would the city respond? Even Nick Christ, co-chairman of the Mayor’s Task Force to End Chronic Homelessness offered no answers.

"Christ, Dion, Jenkinson and Camara all said financial pressures mean they don’t
know what the city’s response would be to even a 30-person increase in the
homeless population."


The problem is things have gotten worse! In December one of the city's shelters was calling for donations because of an increase in demand for their services.

Eleven degrees is awfully cold.

What is the city doing? Where is the leadership? I'm not finger pointing. Maybe the city is doing something but if so I haven't heard about it. Homeless people are not just out of work bums or druggies or drunks. In these hard economic times, the homeless are also families that have lost their homes because they couldn't pay the mortgage or make the rent. They're senior citizens on fixed incomes that can no longer afford skyrocketing rents. They're people that for whatever reason have no place to go and we really have no idea how extensive the homeless issue is in our area. You can only count the people who have sought out shelter not the ones who don't. With the weather now brutally cold how many more will seek warmth and shelter?

What are we doing to help the homeless in our city?

We have over a dozen empty school buildings that we HAVE to heat. Do we have a plan to use ONE as an emergency shelter? Where can we get donated cots? Where can we get some essential supplies? How many people would we need to staff on an emergency basis?

Task forces are great but they don't keep people warm! Have we taken any action?

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

C'mon, when was the last time that homelessness was a campaign issue in Fall River? Does anyone even care to talk about it?

Anonymous said...

Well it should be, how many people have lost their home or job or apartment and have nowhere to go?? Are you kidding me???

Anonymous said...

Eric Poulin had it on his platform...

Anonymous said...

"Homeless people are not just out of work bums or druggies or drunks."
THERE IS YOUR ANSWER.
If you throw the bum and druggies out of the shelters then there would be MORE than enough room for the truely needy.

Anonymous said...

shouldn't matter if their druggies, drunks, or just down on their luck.. either way their human beings and need some sort of assistance in one way or another.. NOONE should be thrown out to the streets! .. thats always the way this city takes care of problems, lest scre* this guy to take care of that guy ... it's amazing how much money people will spend to keep their cars in a nice warm garage, but can't even give a $1 to help a shelter stay open to shelter HUMAN BEINGS!!! When will we wake up?

Anonymous said...

When a person through voluntary actions ends up on the street then it is their own fault. Society should not have to take care of them. A city, state or country can only do so much, to waste resources on any such person is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Poulin had it on his platform and look what happened? Did he get elected? From what I remember there was an article in the Herald News on this part of his platform and the homeless advocates agreed with him and then later on there was a letter to the editor from the same homeless advocates disagreeing with him. This just isn't an issue a lot of people care about and even if you raise it the people involved need funding for their shelters so they will do whatever they have to do and say whatever they have to say, they will play ball too with the political establishment and fall on their sword as fast as Pat Casey who first said the McGovern Memorial was Bob Correia's and then later it was all her. All incumbents will get re-elected in 2009, you can't beat this Mayor and City Clowncil.

Anonymous said...

get involved or get lost

Anonymous said...

I drove by sacred heart church last night and there were people walking out with bags of food. Maybe there should be a unified
food drive with all the shelters together.

Anonymous said...

There are families thrown out of their apartments because the landlord didn't pay the mortgage and is being foreclosed on. There are many children in this city who are sleeping on couches and floors of friends and other family because they have no home. There are people who are still working but can't afford rent who are homeless. If you call yourself a Christian, then the hard-hearted comments indicate you are not living the Word of God. Most people become homeless because of illnesses, which keep people from working, and they are driven out of their apts/homes. And addicts are not making rational choices-they are governed by damaged brains which create overwhelming cravings for the drugs. They need treatment, and many need long term treatment in halfway houses. Available, free, long term treatment would eliminate many of those who are homeless because of addiction. And most people with addictions are also suffering from major brain diseases-schizophrenia, major depression, bi-polar--which also require free, long term treatment. And those above who are so judgemental should remember: "There but for the grace of God go I." I don't think the Mayor or his side-kick Joe Santos know that.

reality check said...

Kind of ironic Nick Christ, being co-chair of the mayor's task force on chronic homelessness. He backed the previous administration, claiming we had to much low-income housing in Fall River, and that we should tear down Wattupa Heights. The mayor also touts as one of his major accomplishments, getting legislation passed to tear down Wattupa Heights. The city also returned 9 million dollars that the state had given us to renovate Wattupa Heights. Does anybody actually believe that these people care about the homeless. People would be shocked at how many children in our schools are homeless.

sunshine's grandaughter said...

The fact that you had to find a press release from the projo saddens me. I'm sure that press release was sent to the Herald News and WSAR. Did any of us hear of Fall River need from Fall River outlets? No from another state. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Speaking about homeless check out thse numbers in the local real estate market... who benefits?
http://thedeepriver.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Nick Christ, someone on one of these blogs once made a reference that he was a convicted drug dealer. Does anyone have any info on this or was this just a baseless attack or figment of my imagination.

I'm just baffled how someone could remain in the banking idustry (esp. in such a high position) with that on their record.

Anonymous said...

Was that a play on words ?!

Anonymous said...

Come on This question about Nick Christ is rather absurd. While you may not like his past actions etc. on school boards and Watuppa heights etc. neither do I, there is no way this man, is the person of a similar name. It was more than likely deleted for being slander. Christ is not anything like how he has been portrayed on these blogs. That's the sad thing about these blogs while alot is useful, some of it is simple name similarities which lead people down the wrong roads. Some of you are Keystone cops with these angles and these types of connections only discredit the work of bloggers in the know and add fire to thsoe who say the blogs are doing more ahrm than good. What I can say positive about Christ is that Citizens Union has done a lot of things for the community and he has to okay that. To be truthful i often dissagree with him, know him and know enough about his character to know what he is not. In fact, it is like I said a comical. Like imagining Bob Correia as a male stripper just becasue there is one called "Big Bobber."
Enjoy that image folks!

Anonymous said...

Hey I was just asking about something I heard, no need to get uppity with me. Based on your response, I'll chalk it up as an unfounded rumor and move on, apologies to anyone offended. Thanks for the clarification.

Anonymous said...

he has a son with the same name

Anonymous said...

Thanks for calling attention to the issue. Reality Check is correct about the #s of homeless children entering our school district. Check with magnet on Tucker St. and see the data for yourselves.
These children are focused on survival, not performing well on stupid standardized tests. Where is the compassion?

Anonymous said...

The country is BROKE - The state is BROKE - Most cities and towns are BROKE. Where do you people think this MONEY is going to come from. Boston is talking about laying off police and fire. If it comes down to public saftey or the homeless then I vote for public saftey

Anonymous said...

ATTENTION...Love the Hurricane or hate him..this week it was crystal clear how popular and how entertaining his show is.I was not counting but i have been listening to wsar for yrs and i have never seen as many phone calls and have never laughed out loud as much.He certainly is kicked around enough on these blogs but i hope you the people who blog on this site are sensible enough to realize how successful his show has become.

Anonymous said...

Show us the ratings. What are his ratings? Better numbers than Keri Rodrigues? Not likely.

Also, this blog was about the homeless and not Mike Herren. Unless you were coming here to give us his opinion on the homeless situation or to announce he is having guests on to discuss the issue then your comment was of little to no value. Let's keep it on topic. Love it or hate it, try to observe some blogger etiquette.

Anonymous said...

Herren begging for attention again on the blogs. Here you go hurricane. Feel better?

Anonymous said...

Again kicking the hurricane around accusing him of self promotion when infact it isnt even him its me .Guess who??? i just cant believe you cant be objective and because of that this blog and others lose credibility.Good night and good luck

Anonymous said...

Credibility and herren in the same posting? Lucky your keyboard didn't blow up!