Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Homeless in Sacramento & Oprah

As a community that has created a magnetized downtown/midtown area attracting homeless from around the country with the domestic services that have been provided for so long (and during these especially perilous economic times, so richly deserved), it is only fitting that we become part of the Oprah show, as the Bee reports.

However, the self-serving comparisons to the Great Depression, the fallacy of which we blogged on several days ago, are not only revealing of how badly educated too many folks—who should know better—are about how bad things really were during those times, but an insult to the families who lived through them.

I’ll be watching today at 4.

“A national spotlight will shine on Sacramento today, and the images promise to be less than flattering.

“In a program about the recession and a growing homeless population, the wildly popular "Oprah Winfrey Show" this afternoon is featuring California's capital city, among other venues. The program will include interviews with struggling families at the Cal Expo and St. John's shelters, shots of homeless children at the Mustard Seed School at Loaves & Fishes and a sprawling "tent city" near the Blue Diamond almond factory where hundreds of men and women sleep every night.

“The episode airs at 4 p.m. on KCRA Channel 3 and at 9 p.m. on KQCA My58.

“Disturbing as the subject matter may be, homeless advocates said they are thrilled about the attention.

"It should be an eye-opener for everybody," said Joan Burke, director of advocacy for Loaves & Fishes, which offers meals and various other services for the homeless, including a family shelter, various recovery programs and a medical clinic.

"But we shouldn't just be shocked, we should take action to change things, because it's unacceptable," Burke said. "It is unacceptable that in this day and age we have gone back to a situation like we had during the Great Depression."