First Story: Hope Thrives for Homeless Veterans at Pinellas Hope’s Tent City.  Next 3 Stories are: Who are the Homeless, Hungry, Needy in America??? Parts 1-3 in PDF Format…  

Click onto link below to view the above stories…                                                                                                                                                              

WhoaretheHomelessHungryNeedyPart1-3

Next 2 Stories in MS WORD Format:  Stay Homeless Say Homeless Advocates to Homeless and Public Feeding Homeless Not Solution to Plight

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Thursday, May 26th, 2011 | Posted by Terry Richards

Stay Homeless Say Homeless Advocates to Homeless

HomelessNoVacancyDisabledVeteranFirst

St. Petersburg, FL Mayor Bill Foster taking positive steps to help homeless get off the streets

Mayor Bill Foster of St. Petersburg, FL.

Mayor Bill Foster of St. Petersburg, FL.

by Terry Richards

Retraction &Writer’s Note:  The Headline Stay homeless, say Homeless Advocates to homeless are soley this Author’s words and not that of St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster or anyone else.

The intended effect of using Mayor Foster’s photo as the featured image by this Author when the original story was published was solely to show Mayor Foster as the head of the City of St. Petersburg Government and to coincide with the comments this Author made about him taking steps to help the homeless.

However, after reviewing it, although there were not any Quotation Marks in the Headline, I saw where people might have mistaken the Headline as something Mayor Foster said or that this Author was Quoting Mayor Foster.

Therefore, the featured image of Mayor Foster has been removed and replaced with another featured image, and Mayor Foster’s image is now posted into the text area set forth below. End of Retraction & Writer’s Note. Story begins next paragraph.

Simply put, The City of St. Petersburg has stepped-up-to-the plate with its 2011 Budget for Homeless and Homeless Prevention Services by providing $870,000 of its own funds and another $915,922.000 in consolidated HUD Funding for a total almost $1.8 Million dollars ($ 1,785,922) and dedicated to helping the homeless, hungry and needy in St. Petersburg, especially in the areas of Transitional Housing, a stepping-stone to permanent housing for the homeless. (See full budget set forth below at the end of this story.)

Yet, there are several well-known self-proclaimed Homeless Advocates for the homeless Men and Woman and Children in St. Petersburg who advise their homeless clientele not to accept anything less than permanent housing. How is this kind of advice acting in their best interests? It’s not!

I have to tell you ladies and gentlemen that advising homeless people that it’s better to sleep in the street and be exposed to the elements in order to hold-out/give an ultimatum to the City is not only the most outrageous and ridiculous idea and advice I’ve ever heard, it’s the dumbest and most ignorant idea and advice I’ve ever heard… Obviously, these Homeless Advocates never read the Army Manual on Outdoor Survival…

When I hear an agenda like this it makes me wonder what’s behind it? Is it fears of loss of recognition or status in the community, or is it fears of income loss derived from Charitable Donations if there are no more or very few homeless left living in the street?

I for one want to lose my uncompensated job as a Nationally Recognized Advocate for homes and Disabled Veterans, but not because I don’t get paid and have run my Advocacy on my “own dime” for the last 21-years, but because that would mean the virtual eradication of all homeless Men, Women, and Children, and then I could move-on to another Advocacy, such as fund-raising for MDA for the eradication of Muscular and Neuromuscular Diseases in both Children and Adults, being that I am “One of Jerry’s (older) Kids” who was diagnosed in 2005 at age 56 with Polymyositis Neuromuscular disease and survived.

So to all homeless people in St. Petersburg and anywhere else, I say: If any person claims they are a Homeless Advocate and then they tell you not to accept anything less than permanent housing, this person is no friend to the homeless people…

It’s no secret that The City of St. Petersburg will soon be Enforcing their No Sidewalk Sleeping Ordinance contingent daily on how much shelter space is available. Therefore, it is my advice to all homeless people that if the City offers you Transitional Shelter take it, and take advantage of any and all Programs they have to offer so that you make the transition to permanent housing whether it be via a job or approval for Social Security and/or VA Disability income or SSI.

City of St. Pete’s Homeless & Homeless Prevention Services Funding for FY11

  • Social      Action Funding – $426,000
  • SVDP –      $45,000
  • Safe      Harbor – $150,000
  • Pinellas      Hope – $100,000
  • Turning      Point (PD) – $125,000
  • Operation      PAR – $24,000 (Outreach Team)
  • Total      $870,000
  • Consolidated      HUD Funding – CDBG, ESG & HOME – $915,922.000

Total $1,785,922

These figures do not include FY11 NSP, HPRP or any other funds that may have come through the Housing Department other than what is reported above.

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Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 | Posted by Terry Richards

Public Feeding Homeless Not Solution to Plight

PublicFeedingofHomelessLA

by Terry Richards

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – A recent Appeals Court Ruling Upholding an Orlando, Florida Ordinance Prohibiting public feeding of the homeless such as in parks and on the streets is currently being researched by the City of St. Petersburg for a possible similar Ordinance. See St. Petersburg to consider tougher restrictions on feeding of homeless in city parks at end of story. So here’s this Author’s take on the subject

Based on a 7-month study by this author, Who are the Homeless, Hungry, Needy in America???St. Petersburg, Florida, Chapters 1 through 3 (Set forth below)   public feeding of the homeless at Williams Park and City Hall areas by philanthropic individuals or non-profit mobile soup kitchens is not a solution to ending the specific plight of homeless people who sleep and hang-out in these downtown St. Petersburg areas.  And set forth below are the reasons why it is not a solution, as well as an analogy from Who moved my cheese “An Amazing Way To Deal With Change In Your Work And In Your Life By” Dr. Spencer Johnson, and why homeless co-dependent on public feeding must move in a different direction and change their routine habits.

The first reason being is that about 40% of those being fed are not homeless at all. They are mostly low-income nearby residents who have secured permanent housing who are endeavoring to stretch their food budget dollars by eating at these mobile soup kitchens.

The second reason being is that most of the homeless people without any declared incomes receive $200 per month in food stamps and that is plenty of food money to get them through the month, especially if they also eat at the permanent soup kitchens. Some homeless even get as much as $1000 or more per month in Social Security and/or VA Disability or about $700 per month in SSI and about $125 per month in food stamps. Unfortunately, the above specific homeless choose to remain homeless and eat at the mobile soup kitchens so they can sell their food stamps or use their disability income to buy cigarettes, illegal drugs, and alcohol.

The third reason being is that Substance abuse enables these specific homeless to remain homeless because they like their freedom and/or do not like or want to follow rules that come with transitional housing or permanent housing or a job. Mobile soup kitchens enable these specific homeless to also remain homeless. And for those who do want to find work and shelter, mobile soup kitchens make them complacent and reduce their motivation to find work or even to go to a transitional shelter where they can receive help to find a job or file for Social Security or VA Disability if they are substantially Disabled physically and/or mentally and unable to perform Substantial Gainful Employment.

The fourth reason being is that there really is no actual need for these mobile soup kitchens in that there are 3-permanent soup kitchens within a 20-30- minute walk of Williams Park of which two (2) serve lunch and dinner 7-days per week and the third dinner 6-days per week. These permanent soup kitchens are St. Vincent De Paul, Salvation Army, and the Beacon House, respectively. Additionally, the Unitarian Universalist Church a 10-minute walk from Williams Park serves dinner every Friday night and St. Vincent De Paul serves breakfast everyday but Sunday.

The fifth reason being and it is important for homeless people to duly note that most survival manuals will explain the importance of shelter in protecting yourself from exposure outdoors such as homeless endure. It’s crucial that homeless understand how important one’s mental state is during survival outdoors. It is often found, that the mental attitude of a person during an outdoor survival conflict can make all the difference. Endure the situation or perish can be set in the mind. Shelter not only protects you from adverse weather, but also gives you a mental boost. Much like fire, shelter can give us hope and a sense of accomplishment. Your shelter becomes sanctuary. And public feeding of homeless enables said specific and other homeless not to have any motivation to seek shelter. See Army Survival Manual about shelter at end of story.

So  as reasonable minds would conclude, “We must always be ready to face changes because it happens all the time in our career and personal life,” and so mobile soup kitchens are not a solution to ending the plight of the homeless specifically in and for the City of St. Petersburg. There is only one solution… And that solution is transitional housing/shelter which eventually leads to permanent housing/shelter for those homeless who want to end their homelessness whether that permanent housing is secured with funds via a job or Social Security or VA disability or retirement income.

Finally, and inasmuch as I believe that public feeding in and for St. Petersburg is not a solution to ending homelessness, it would be wise for the City to assist and coordinate as much as possible with the permanent soup kitchens who will experience a substantial increase in people needing their services due to a full or partial ban of public feeding of existing homeless, hungry and needy in St. Petersburg so that they can not only reasonably deal with the ultimate increase from the ban, but also a further increase in homeless, hungry and needy as a result of what appears to this Author of an economy and unemployment worsening rather than getting better, especially for older Americans who are unemployed or not receiving Government Disability or Retirement guaranteed incomes.

Sources

Mercer Story http://www.merceralliance.org/pdf/5_Yr_Plan.pdf

Nicholas Pleace and Joanne Bretherton “Will Paradigm Drift Stop Housing First
from Ending Homelessness? Categorising and Critically Assessing the Housing
First Movement from a Social Policy Perspective” Paper given at Social Policy
in an Unequal World: Joint Annual Conference of the East Asian Social Policy
Research Network (EASP) and the United Kingdom Social Policy Association (SPA)
University of York, United Kingdom, July 16th-18th 2012
http://www.york.ac.uk/media/chp/documents/2006/NPJB-EASP-SPA-2012.pdf

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