That Is the Purpose of City Hall- Protest There!
A comprehensive story about this same shelter was published in 2009; there were 11 comments and NO ONE Showed up at Mayor DeStefano’s House. Why is Mayor Harp Being treated differently? What are legitimate concerns versus political theater? What is the “real agenda” here? What have those who are concerned about the conditions of the shelters done since June 2009 (five years) when the story below was published? Why didn’t Shelter advocates hold Mayor DeStefano to his promises for the five years between 2009 and 2013 before he left office? This article was written in 2009 “Shelter Struggles To Weather The Storm.”
This blog is NOT saying that Mayor Harp should not be held accountable for issues in the City. The City of New Haven has some specific responsibilities to its citizens. Every Mayor should be held accountable for fulfilling those responsibilities. There also needs to be a realistic understanding of what it takes to fulfill those responsibilities. Every citizen has civic responsibilities; those who are beneficiaries of the City’s largesse also have responsibilities and they need to fulfill them. What is the “real agenda” here? How can people of good conscience take sides when there is clearly a political rather than a humane agenda? Humane living conditions should be a concern for all caring human beings, but are “humane concerns being used here as a smoke screen for those with ulterior motives or a sinister political agenda?
Is it easier for caring citizens to be effective advocates if they can be confident that they are not being used by those behind the scenes. Honest, civically engaged people do not want to be used a puppets.
Why is Mayor Harp being treated so differently than her predecessor? What is behind the smoke screen? Please read the NHI article linked below that was published in 2009, almost five years to the date.
Shelter Struggles To Weather The Storm – By Paul Bass | Jun 26, 2009 1:35 pm – (11) Comments
“The 75-bed shelter has been struggling to respond to twin pressures from the recession: more homeless people needing shelter, and less government money to serve them.
That has resulted in some complaints about physical conditions and services at the Grand Avenue facility. When it rained, it rained right on the people sleeping. Other complaints focused on unsanitary kitchen and mattresses, crimes occurring at or near the facility, and lack of promised help from social workers — complaints that have been made at times about other homeless shelters, too.” http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/shelter_struggles_to_weather_the_storm/
Homeless Man Knocks On Mayor’s Door - By Ike Swetlitz | Jun 20, 2014 12:04 pm – (33) Comments
After a city homeless shelter evicted him Thursday night, Flor Rico Jones traveled to Westville to knock on Mayor Toni Harp’s front door. He had company.
The Grand Avenue shelter‘s staff evicted Jones (pictured at left), who is 51 and has been homeless for 10 years, earlier that evening after, he said, he took photos of the facilities. He said staff gave him no reason for the eviction. (A shelter staffer declined comment Thursday night.)
“They told me I can’t come back forever,” Jones said.
In their latest conflict with the city over homeless issues, members of the Amistad Catholic Worker House showed up outside the shelter to rally on Jones’ behalf and to call for improvements; then four of them accompanied Jones on the ride across town to Harp’s house.
Interestingly, most public toilets –even in outstanding facilities—don’t have covers; there is a practical reason for that.
“Jones, Williams and Catholic Worker House member Alan Elbaum said the May 22 meeting ended with three promises from Harp.
(This “protest” took place 28 days after this meeting)
To increase the capacity of the shelter on Grand Avenue to 90 beds.
To have the shelter cleaned up.
Eliminate the 90 days in/90 days out policy. This policy states that, after 90 days in a homeless shelter, a person must wait 90 days before re-entering.
Harp also agreed to try to find room at the shelter for Jones and another homeless man.
Harp said she did call the shelter, and the two men were provided beds.
“The activists said that since then the other man was kicked out after one night, and Jones was evicted Thursday. They also said conditions haven’t improved. The Catholic Worker House started asking people to take photographs of the inside of the shelter for evidence of its conditions. Jones agreed.”
A reasonable question seems to be what else had Mr. Jones and the other man been doing in the facility why they were evicted? There are at least two sides to every story.
One person was evicted from a shelter – it does not say he was hurt or injured in any way – but he called the police! For exactly what reasons? Was he violating shelter rules?
Is there a rule against taking pictures in the facility? What else was he doing?
The fact that five police cars with 10 officers showed up to a site where one resident was being evicted is quite interesting. One has to wonder what else was going on in the City, especially in some of our troubled neighborhoods, and how many police cars and officers were available to address “real crimes” in the community at that time?
Please read the entire New Haven Independent article linked here below. The strategy plan arranged by the advocate representatives is particularly interesting:
“The person who got Rico in [to the shelter] was Toni Harp,” Williams said. “We know where she is. It is legal for a few of us to stop by and knock on her door.”
Rico and Williams, along with Elbaum, Catholic Worker House member Abigail Emerson, and Catholic Worker House founding member Mark Colville, piled into two cars and headed to Westville, the press in tow.
Williams laid out the game plan. They would walk up to the door and knock. If Toni Harp was there, they would explain the situation and ask her to remedy it. If she refused, Williams said, the group would engage her in dialogue until they got what they wanted or she called the police.”
The Mayor was at work in Dallas for a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting.
The similarities of what is happening to President Obama in Washington and Mayor Toni Harp in New Haven are most uncanny and truly discouraging to honest, hard-working, civic-minded citizens.