Homeless shelters are not the answer to the homelessness issue

Commentary from Harold Parker, Economic development council, San Fernando, California

Is America Profiting from the Miseries of the Homeless?

A first hand look at one of America’s Bum Factories

As a growing population, the homeless worldwide are totaling over 4.5 million of which 3.5 million reside on the streets of the United States.

These men, women and children of America’s homeless, are becoming our new silent minority. Their numbers are increasing everyday, even though the numbers of federally funded programs are growing to help alleviate the plight of the homeless here in our fair America. With the growing population of displaced persons giving rise to the number of organizations, which are dedicated to helping these Americans, which are living on the streets, there does not seem to be that much help directed towards the homeless in general.

The use of the revolving door technique is the cornerstone of this ‘high minded’ non-profit organization. Essentially, the homeless are being fleeced by those money grubbers who skim the profits off  grant monies and turn the needy back to the street, without the help which is needed to rehabilitate them or make them again viable members of our society. This organization is barely held accountable and with the use of creative bookkeeping, they can hide funds from auditors and investigators neigh indefinitely. Thus the fat cats get richer and the poor get poorer.

From where I am standing, the professional health care community has a different view of our nations homeless in relationship to the operators of these “Bum Factories.” The health care providers see the homeless as being extreme mentally disturbed and in need of rehabilitation, either with the use of drugs and or counseling or through sound psychological therapy. But the proprietors of these ‘homeless shelters‘ view their clients with disdain and as crazy misfits and do not have a bit of understanding of the true nature of the individuals under their care.

In most cases the operators of the homeless shelters refer to their charges in silent hatred and in secret abuse as: bums, nut cases, hard cases and lazy bastards, drug addicts and drunks; to verbalize just a few

the many names and attitudes directed towards the people which are in need of help on our streets.

This facility in the San Fernando Valley has no qualified Medical or Psychological care workers on their staff and consequently they are not qualified to handle most of the mentally disturbed clients, which cross their threshold.

The simple fact of the matter is this; this homeless shelter is just a place where the numbers can be accumulated and the results are less than important. For most everyone who is there, this place is just a job and nothing more. I doubt that there is a degreed social worker anywhere on the staff of this facility.

How loud do we have to yell before the authorities finally look to see what the problem is, how high do we have to jump in order to get the government interested in a local eyesore, which is laughing all the way to the bank.

In 1986 the Federal Government passed the McKinney – Vento Homeless Assistance Act under President Ronald Regan, to help the growing concerns of the homeless in America. This act was to give H.U.D. fifteen federally funded programs which were aimed at the agonies of Americans without proper sleeping shelters. This was given in most cases out in the form of grant monies to various sub-organizations, to help the various situations which afflicted our homeless population.

From what I see, the U.S. Government does not keep that close an eye upon those who are entrusted to dole out the grant money to the population in need. This money is not money which falls from the sky, this money is gleaned from the tax payers dollars and should be jealously guarded by the government organizations responsible.

The facilities, which are given the duty and task of administering this money, should not be allowed to make a profit from the federal monies and should be accountable for every penny, which H.U.D. grants to them nonetheless. No outrageous salaries or floating slush funds should be allowed, nor should there be any mislabeled accounts where money is hidden for future use by company officers. Everything should be on the up and up constantly, no funny business or cooking of the books, every thing straight forward, and nothing else.

These grant monies should be used for what they were intended to be used for; to eliminate the pain and suffering of the nation’s homeless, end of story.

Private donation monies, just like the money given by the Federal Government, should be scrutinized by all parties concerned, not a cent should be wasted or used arbitrarily; all these monies should find their way to the public trust as they were intended.

WOW! This sounds just like our local rescue mission here in Panama City. Why are they so interested in expanding into port St. Joe?  Why have the thumbed their nose at the concerns of the downtown community and continued to grow their facility larger and larger to serve volumes of homeless and vagrants? This article is representative of how many organizations have “lost their heading” and have created some perverse alternative to their original charter. Here is a screenshot of the Rescue Mission of Panama Cities own website that shows the levels that they have expanded their operations to. Is it not odd that they have grown so large that their numbers of “lodged” exceeds the population of Panama City? Follow the money….

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