The interesting perspective of one homeless writer on the nine day closing of the major homeless service provider in Sacramento—which is a ten part series in the Sacramento Press, concluding today—and here is the first post.
“This is part one of a ten-part daily series.
“It's May Day, when people weave ribbons around a May Pole and there used to be parades with tanks past Red Square.
“This year, it's the first day of a sudden, nine-straight-day, barely-announced cessation of some essential services at the nonprofit Loaves & Fishes, which advertises itself as offering "survival services" for the homeless.
“Homeless people are used to surprise closes: In my two years of homelessness, there have been Friendship Park closures when empty hard-liquor bottles were found in the men's room trash or when people dash too fast into Friendship Park when it opens or when the L&F staff suddenly goes on retreat.
“There have been closures for holidays, of course. And there have been closures when tree branches or whole trees have fallen in the park. And there have been closures for the park to be winterized and for the heaters in and the plastic around the gazebos to be removed.
“This closure is of the latter kind, to remove the installations of winter. And to do other rather-ordinary work to perk up the grounds and facilities which suffer from unattended-to wear and disrepair.
“The question that I and other homeless people have is Why doesn't Loaves & Fishes act like other organizations and do upkeep on an ongoing basis?
“No profit-seeking business could survive if it operated with the laxity that L&F allows for itself. But Loaves & Fishes doesn't have to answer to anybody. Its donors give generously based on heart-rending pleas for cash and because the Bee, other Sacramento media and the mayor are smitten by the general concept of helping the poor, and don't take an interest in the hardscrabble reality of people trying to make do in a world where "warehousing the rabble" is the operant philosophy.”