Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Smirk

Due to the wonders of video technology, we were able to capture the precise moment when Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis smirked at a homeless women who asked him to explain what the City is doing about the rising numbers of homeless dying on the streets. The moment came at the tail end of a media ambush during our rally and camp-out last week, and was basically his cue to get the hell out of Dodge. The video itself will hopefully be posted soon.

As his gortex-clad back receded into the distance, the woman who asked the question was in tears of rage and humiliation. "He doesn't even feel like he needs to answer the question," she said.

She has a point. The City's big on metrics, but how about this one: More people are dying on the streets now than ever before. Explain that?

If I hear one more opportunistic bureaucrat say we've decided to "end homelessness and stop managing it" as an excuse for leaving people out to freeze in the cold and harassing them in the meanwhile, I think I'm going to have to organize a piss-in on someone's front lawn.

The Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness always had the potential of providing political cover to those who would like to cut back on homeless shelter and look compassionate at the same time, but it's still amazing to see the strategy so ruthlessly pursued.

Ceis, by the way, says more shelter is on the way. With three TV cameras on him, he responded "Yes," when the Interfaith Taskforce on Homelessness' Bill Kirlin-Hackett asked, "Given our lack of shelter space to house those being removed from camps, we'll need to see more shelter space provided, won't we?"

We should have this on tape as well. Do words have meaning? We'll see.

1 comment:

Michaelann Bewsee said...

One of the first outcomes of Springfield MA's Ten Year Plan was to force the closing of a "maverick" shelter where people felt the most comfortable and accepted! Of course, making homeless people feel safe and comfortable is the exact opposite of what most ten year plans are becoming.