Contrary to the Mayan calendar, the world did not end Dec. 21st and it wont end Jan 1st either

 

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When our blog was created a little over a year ago, it was meant to be nothing more than a central location that people in our community could find information about the rescue mission as it affects our downtown. We found that the local media did and still does a poor job of reporting all of the facts so as to accurately portray the problems as they really are. Since our first post, we now have posted over 100 blog post providing a more complete perspective of the issues. We just surpassed 48,000 page views and receive over 200 emails each week. The tone of each of these emails can be easily categorized running the gamut from “stone throwers”, the ones who litter their commentary with profanity and accusing our blog of all sorts of atrocities, to the other end of the spectrum of those that come from people in our community that have seen the problems first hand and are looking for real solutions. Many times, we answer questions or even critical commentary with a personal response if we feel that a one on one approach helps that fellow citizen better understand the issue. Yesterday we received comments via our blog from a reader and felt that his comments were topical enough that they warranted a blog post of their own.

The comments were offered in reference to Mr. Fox and the PCRM announcing they will be cutting back on parts of their program and scaling back other. Our readers comments are as follows in black text with rebuttal in red:

Now the city, the mayor and the task force will have a chance to see what the homeless population is really about.  In a couple of weeks the downtown and surrounding area will be flooded by the transient population that will no longer be welcome at the mission. This is the exact tone and sence of hystaria that Mr. Billy Fox wants our community to feel with his announcement. Further more, Mr. Fox and his board of directors would have this reader and our community  to believe that it is the big, bad mayor and those evil task force people who are ganging up on poor little innocent rescue mission. What is really happening is that we have elected officials who are looking for responsible solutions to a problem that an iresponsible mission has created. Thanks a lot everyone for making this a reality. What do you think is the “reality” of what will happen Jan 1st? This is not a scene out of Jurassic park or some zombie movie that when the walls come crumbling down that literaly thousands of ravinous beings will be taking over the streets requiring the national guard to be brought in just to save our citizenry from certain death. Apologizes in advance for the sarcasm but the damage from the effects of the rescue mission has already been done. Here is what is really going to happen. As the PCRM lessens the services they provide, those transients and vagrants who are truly the problem for our community will move along as they no longer have a need to be downtown. Without a facility that has created a sense of dependency, they will no longer congregate together in our downtown area. This is the first step of fixing the problem, taking away the draw to why vagrants hover around the area of the mission.Was it really necessary to villianize Rev. Fox and the Mission as a scapegoat and precipitate this action? One can only be “villianized” if they are in fact a villian. Mr. Fox has had opportunity after opportunity to step up to the plate and become part of the solution. Instead, his organization insist on antagonizing the same community who he turns around and ask donation dollars from. Great that the new resource center will  open somewhere; you don’t even know if and when it will ever come to fruition, and in the mean time the downtown and surrounding area will really be flooded with homeless transients. What are we supposed to do then? You all wanted the problem solved but now thanks to all this needless drama, all we are going to get as of January 1st of next year is a real, first hand look at what the problem really is. God it is going to be so much worse now, and even if the resource center is accomplished, do you really believe this population is going to participate? Of course they will participate. Those who are truly looking for solutions to help them move forward, resources will be there for them. Those that are interested in nothing more than a handout and stay as parasites on our community will find that there is nothing for them.Thanks again, I thought you wanted to help!! Now we, the taxpaying citizens who live downtown, will have to pay for your lies and arrogance. We are taxpayers too. We are interested in the same as you, eliminating elements that are a drain on our public resources, property values and business receipts. We want a safe environment for our children and prosperity for our community. If “arrogance” is standing up for what is right then arrogant we are. As far as lies..there are none on our blog. Every piece of data and every fact is verifiable through third-party sources that you yourself can research. In fact there is a tremendous amount of information that has been sent to us that we have not posted that we feel IS accurate but have not posted because it is unverifiable. We committed to remain factual and our email address is posted here on our blog with an open invitation to PCRM management or board members to correct any data that is incorrect. One year later we have never received any communication from PCRM.

I agree. In principle, however, now after January 1st. all the chronic homeless as Rev. Fox calls them will have nowhere to go, accept all over our downtown. Now we are really going to find out how serious and troublesome this problem is. Now that they cannot “hang out” at the mission as they appear to do, they will have no choice but to wander the streets. Just as the end of the world didn’t happen yesterday, Jan 1st will see little change in our downtown area. What WILL happen is the problem of vagrancy will lessen. If people are trespassing, they will be arrested. If the truly needy require services, there are multiple agencies in our community that can provide needed service. The key is to have the PCRM become less of the draw. We actually consider this change by the PCRM a good thing and only the first of many steps they should be making to lower their profile. Doesn’t anyone see the can of worms we have opened. The resource center is potentially years away; they do not even have funding for the land now, even if they can find a suitable location. Then on top of that how does putting it in a location where it is unaccessable, like
Starr Ave, help. This is where logical thinking is important. Understanding what the new purposed facility is and is not allows you as an interested citizen to better make good decisions about what effects you and your community. The proposed facility is based on a campus operating philosophy where multiple agencies with a variety of unique skillsets and resources are all on one site providing the needed services for those in need. If someone requires the services of the facility, they literally can go to any of a number of service providers in town such as a salvation army or goodwill location and ask for help and they will be brought to the facility to get the help they need. Clearly this population will not opt to go somewhere where there are no resources, you mean like food and shelter that the mission has just said they are cutting back on to those who are not interested in participating in program.This is the very argument that allows us to state the fact that the new policies of the PCRM will lessen the effects of vagrancy on downtown. let alone jobs or anything else. What a mess!!!

Billy has spoken…

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Billy fox released a public statement on Friday via the panama city rescue mission website.

From the Desk of Rev. Billy Fox, 12/21/2012

Is the Rescue Mission moving?  Can the city shut it down?  What is the Community Homeless Center all about?  These and many other questions come to me from people I meet about town, at churches and other community functions. I’m sure most of our donors, volunteers and local citizens are asking the same questions.  As co-laborers, you need to know the latest about the city’s efforts to change us. You are a vital part of our Life Changers Giving Team  and thought it best you know where the Mission stands.

Our Strategic Planning Committee and Staff presented the Mission’s Board of Directors  with two major motions to answer the “shall we move” question:

1st Motion – To decline the city’s offer of property at the county jail complex area and stay in our present location.  Also, that the Mission should stay with its original goals and increase its focus on the Mission’s Pathways Christian Recovery Ministries transitional programs.  The Mission’s efforts and resources you fund would be diverted to those who want help and are seeking a hew way of life rather than the habitual, chronic homeless, who choose the vagrant lifestyle. Revised programs would be in place by January 2013 and the Day Shelter portion of the Homeless Resource Center would be closed. (with the city overseeing the chronic homeless away from the downtown area as they’ve desired).

2nd Motion – The Board will begin an active search for a location more suitable for the Pathways population and its programs.  The sale of the valuable downtown property would serve as the major funding resource for the move.

Both motions passed unanimously and the staff was directed to proceed with detailing the changes.

The answers then: The Mission will stay, move only as God directs us and make new pathways for those on the road to recovery.  The Community Resource Center sponsored by the city will have the opportunity to take charge of the chronic homeless population and proceed with its plan to provide services to this population.  Become a part of the Life Changers Giving Team.

http://pcrmission.org/is-the-rescue-mission-moving-a-letter-from-the-desk-of-rev-billy-fox/

Also from the Panama City Rescue Mission website a “history” as provided by the organization:

When Carol and Billy Fox answered the call to come to Bay County almost 8 years ago they discovered a social services community that was behind other communities they had served in 20 plus years of serving the least, the last, and the lost.  Mayor Gerry Clemmons sought the help of the Panama City Rescue Mission with the fast growing population of homeless in the downtown area during  daytime hours.

The solution the Mission offered was a Homeless Day Resource Center on its 6th Street campus.  Within a few months the center was opened, service agencies were recruited and an office was provided for the Northwest Florida Homeless and Hunger Coalition a tax payer financed organization formally run by Mr. Fox. See our post (https://movethemission.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/1000-piece-jigsaw-puzzle/) to coordinate the efforts.  The day shelter brought people off the streets and connected the services of a dozen agencies together to aid them in returning to self-reliance.  Even with its ups and downs and funding challenges, it provided hundreds of people with jobs, homes, health and other resources in a “one stop shop”. This is misleading as the mission is incapapable of serving a large segment of those labeled homeless lacking the infrastructure , resources and know how to address the problems of anything other than a specific bandwith of problemed individual. Additionally, the mission management will refuse you service if you are of another faith than Christian. This fact alone discounts the PCRM as either a sole or primary service provider to the community to address the needs of our population. The Mission created 7 special programs for extending the stay of those who were willing and able to follow the directions of the agencies as they find their personal pathway back to home, thus the birth of The Pathways Christian Recovery Ministries as the Mission’s transitional programs.

The numbers of people becoming homeless continued to increase at an alarming pace. Increased at an alarming rate because Billy Fox solicited every larger growing populations. Why here? Why are our populations of homeless ten fold of other cities of our size? After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, less fortunate individuals and families relocated to our area looking for work and a new life.  The struggling economy and rising unemployment in the following years upset the tourist industry. The continued building of condos, homes,  and related businesses that the area had seen for several years stopped abruptly.  The Mission found itself opening floor space for sleeping in the Chapel and other areas  to an average of 30+ people each night. Cold or rainy weather often increased that overflow bed number to more than 60.  In two years’ time, the kitchen’s meals served went from 400 per day to highs of over 800.

The Deep Horizon oil spill of 2010 led hundreds of people to our area seeking work.  So few found work that the Mission once again rose to the call to help them with shelter, food and a way back home.One more group, organization, company or individual blaming their plight on BP oil. The oil spill had nothing to do with our homeless population problem.

These events and conditions impacted Mission support.  The opportunity for employment for many of our guests diminished and the need for services continued to grow.

The chronic, habitual persons who choose a transient, vagrant lifestyle historically had been about 20% of the Mission’s population.  A few years back that number was 20 to 25 people.  Today that group of people reaches 60 to 80.  Many frequent the Mission’s Day Shelter and come for meals.   With them come the conflicts that often result in the need to call on the police for assistance.  The situation became a revolving door from the Mission, to the jail and back to the Mission again as we cooperated with the city’s earlier request for us to assist.  The actions of this out-of –control group led the city commissioners to create an ordinance targeted at the Mission for nuisance calls to the police.  Services to this population also became the most public  aspect of services provided at the Mission,  producing a negative image and calling into question the effectiveness of the other programs provided.

Mayor Greg Brudnicki’s  Homeless Task Force sought to close the Mission and open a publicly funded shelter and social service facility in a concentrated location, (was this term not “concentrated camp location” just yesterday on your website?..hmm sounded a little too much like concentration camp huh) 14 miles outside of the view of downtown (14 miles out to create buffers between the facility and the general population thus lowering the impact of neighboring property owners/ businesses AND as “experts” on homeless programs should know providing an atmosphere where those participating in programs can devote the required time on recovering, rehabilitation or retraining without having negative influences literally feet away outside the front door of the facility. .  The Mission’s Board of Directors responded  to the negative publicity brought by the ordinance The “negative publicity” was not because of the ordinance, the negative publicity was brought on by the nuisance that the facility created and the arrogant reluctance on managements part to become “co-laborers” in finding solutions that lowered the negative iompact of their own actions. and questions about the Mission’s future.  The Mission would reduce the services provided to the chronic homeless and redirect its efforts to the 80% of individuals seeking a true hand up and a new way of life.  Day sheltering would no longer be provided for those not enrolled in one of the transitional ministry programs offered.  Basic shelter will now be 5 days in a 60 day period, changed from 5 days every 30.   The desire to secure more time in shelter will provide motivation to join a transitional program and begin working toward more permanent long term solutions to one’s homelessness.   An evening meal will be offered to the general public ensuring that no one goes a full day without a meal.  These changes will be fully activated in January 2013. The services provided by the Homeless Coalition agencies will continue at the Mission’s downtown campus until the citiy’s Community Resource Center comes to fruition.

http://pcrmission.org/pathways-ministries-history/

Skewed facts paint inaccurate picture. Letter to the editor

Editorial from The News Herald newspapers:

SOUTHPORT
Just as I spoke out during the public hearings on the lease of Bay Medical Center, my involvement in the Rescue Mission controversy is simply to ensure that people with no voice have someone speaking up for them. When the power of government, at any level, is turned against private citizens, we should all demand an open debate to determine whether the actions are justified.

I have been involved in this debate for something like a year and a half. I withdrew my first letter to the editor on the subject of the Rescue Mission because it was written in anger. I resubmitted it in a more respectful tone, but the message has obviously not had the desired impact. What I have observed since that first letter has been the venting of strong emotions by some, an expression of opinion by others, an ever-changing strategy, (principally, by the major of Panama City and Commissioner Kady), but few facts directly relate to the Rev. Fox and our mission.

I do not speak for the Rev. Fox and the mission’s board of directors. They are quite capable of speaking for themselves. My intent is to speak for the clients of the mission. These are children of the same God who has blessed the rest of us so abundantly.

If you have followed the evolution of this controversy, you should have a clear understanding of the facts. In case you are not up to speed, they are as follows:
The mission has provided an invaluable service in the downtown area for 40 years.

After the mall was built, the downtown business district has had its challenges. I have witnessed noble efforts, and the associated results, to meet those challenges for the past 25 years.

The mayor and the City Council, for their own reasons, want the Rescue Mission to relocate.

Certain elements have turned public opinion against a private organization, damaging the reputation of the mission and causing financial harm.
The city proposed a new, government-funded resource center to incorporate the services of the Rescue Mission at a new location.

The city passed a nuisance ordinance aimed at causing further harm, along with a threat of using the ordinance as a vehicle to seize their property.
The mayor invokes the plight of homeless veterans to win support for his agenda.

The proposed location of the new resource center is opposed by nearby residents. The land purchase was wisely made contingent upon the Rescue Mission’s agreement to be incorporated into the new facility.

The Rescue Mission’s board declined to participate.

The transient population began increasing four years ago and, subsequently, began to decline about a year ago.

The transient population is a subculture within our society that operates regardless of the mission’s outreach. While the meals provided might help to support the transients, they are attracted to areas where the population is either very generous or easily intimidated. The problem does not go away simply by relocating our mission.

It is my opinion that the city has gone about its “mission” in the wrong way, and that it would do well to regroup and extend an olive branch to the Rev. Fox and board members of the Rescue Mission. Contrary to what some have claimed, I am confident that the mission at this point would be more interested in an apology more than anything else.

In conclusion, my research has revealed that only 5 percent of the Rescue Mission’s funding is received directly from churches. As we are in the midst of the Christmas season, and many worthwhile causes compete for our dollars, I would challenge every pastor of every local church to urge his members who have jobs and a home to send just $1 per month to our Rescue Mission. If that were to happen, then I believe we would witness an even greater number of lives transformed by the message and the efforts provided by our mission.

Steve Hough, Southport Florida

http://www.newsherald.com/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/panama-city-should-rethink-strategy-on-rescue-mission-1.67501

Mr. Hough, Your analysis although extensive on the surface is plagued with inaccurate information that ultimately has skewed your story about the Rescue Mission, its effects on downtown and what our community needs to do to move forward. Lets get into your editorial piece and straighten out the facts:

 

The mission has provided an invaluable service in the downtown area for 40 years”. True..except that over that 40 years, board of directors have changed, hired management staff have changed and more importantly the direction of the mission has changed in a way that has now created an organization that operates as a big business, utilizing multi-million dollar budgets, powerful marketing efforts and processes multiple fold more “clients” to use your term than what was every envisioned as the role of the PCRM during its planning stage forty years ago. This expansion of services past the original mandate  has created a negative impact on the surrounding community neighboring the Panama City Rescue Mission. This fact can be verified by a simple review of police reports, lowered property values and business receipts from businesses located near the mission.

 

After the mall was built, the downtown business district has had its challenges. I have witnessed noble efforts, and the associated results, to meet those challenges for the past 25 years.” True again. Many downtown communities across the nation experienced the same phenomenon that our city saw with the changes in shopping habits of consumers. Twenty five years ago downtown merchants got caught with their pants down not reacting to the change and making adjustments to compensate for the exodus of retail traffic. The great irony in that is that the mall you speak of is experiencing the same dynamic with lessened retail traffic as consumers are off to the newest and brightest shopping experience, Pier Park.  But unlike you in many of your previous online post, there are many in our community that see the value in downtown and the potential that it has to become something exciting and unique. With just a little research on your part, you would find literally hundreds of examples of older downtowns that with some hard work, creative thinking  and commitment have transformed their communities. Part of the hard work is to recognize ALL the problems and be willing to make a commitment to solving those problems no matter how challenging or controversial they may be. Eliminating a vagrancy problem that a noted expert on Homelessness characterized as “off the charts” and ten fold to cities of similar demographics is a KEY problem that must be addressed and conquered in order to move forward.

 

The mayor and the City Council, for their own reasons, want the Rescue Mission to relocate.” Here you are going wayward. This is not the mayor or city commissioners conspiring to do anything other than answer to the needs of the community at large. Lowering the impact of the mission on the downtown community is what the constituents who have voted for these local officials have voiced for them to do. The Rescue mission has snubbed their nose at our community when all we have asked is for them to not create a public nuisance. They have refused to do so. Local governments role is to address problems as they affect the whole community and provide solutions.

 

Certain elements have turned public opinion against a private organization, damaging the reputation of the mission and causing financial harm.” There are no certain elements, only citizens, property owners and small businesses that pay taxes and want nothing more than you Mr. Hough, the chance to have a neighborhood where their children can be safe and a  place they can open and operate prosperous small businesses. This has become more and more challenging as the effects of the PCRM have permeated our community. As far as “damaged reputations”, many could point any damage directly back at the PCRM who have been quite confrontational with its neighbors and done nothing to lessen the impact of their facility on the surrounding area.

 

The city proposed a new, government-funded resource center to incorporate the services of the Rescue Mission at a new location.” Your facts are intentionally quite misleading. When you throw in the word “government funded” your intent is to scare all those of us who are committed to having our government be good custodian of our tax dollars. The reality is that the new proposed facility will operate with just a small fraction of its total operating budget coming through tax dollar programs. As a side note, the rescue mission on their own website  says they use “no direct taxpayers money”. The key word that is being sneaked in there is DIRECT. What they are not quite so forthcoming with is the fact that they DO actually receive quite a bit of tax payer money through other agencies that DIRECTLY take tax payer funds and redistribute them to organizations like the PCRM. This additional layer of transfer of money gives the allusion that they are not using tax money when in fact they really are.

 

The city passed a nuisance ordinance aimed at causing further harm, along with a threat of using the ordinance as a vehicle to seize their property.” WOW! ..”a vehicle to seize property”?!? This is so far off base it would be comical if the accusation were not so serious. Are you really implying that the city commissioners have enacted much needed nuisance ordinances just to take property? Here is a better alternative for you.  The city has enacted nuisance ordinances because the PCRM has done a poor job of eliminating their own nuisance.  It could probably be easily stated that the PCRM has no intentions of taking the required actions to lower the nuisance.

 

The mayor invokes the plight of homeless veterans to win support for his agenda.” You have taken one sentence out of a whole philosophy of the problem that Mayor Brudnikci has shared with the community as to the nature of the problem and how it effects our community. This extreme abbreviation of the complete story on your part is both unfair and counterproductive to moving the city toward solutions.

 

The proposed location of the new resource center is opposed by nearby residents. The land purchase was wisely made contingent upon the Rescue Mission’s agreement to be incorporated into the new facility.” Partially true…. As of today, there are many in the neighborhood of the new proposed facility are in fact quite upset over the potential of the new facility being located near their neighborhood. Much of the opposition is due to lack of understanding of what the dynamics are of the new facility. Those of us who live downtown who have lived with the effects of the PCRM would stand arm in arm with our neighbors if the new facility were nothing more than the PCRM relocated. We would not wish a facility like the PCRM on any of our neighbors. But the new facility with its multiple agencies and resources is designed to be quite different in its operations, being respectful of neighboring communities. The land purchase is contingent on the participation of the PCRM. But Mr. Hough as one who seems to enjoy a good conspiracy theory, ask this question. Why would the city commissioners move forward with a vote on the property knowing the task force made up of twenty six people, the bay resource center board of directors, the lead members and supporting staff of over twenty charitable, civic and governmental agencies..easily over 100 people  all on board and then not have the rescue mission on board as well, knowing that a requirement for the facility to move forward was the PCRM to sign on ? Perhaps it is because the commissioners were given affirmation from the rescue mission that they were on board allowing the commissioner to launch the details to the community as a unified effort. PCRM at the last moments draws back their commitment to participation endangering progress of the new facility. This could easily be imagined as being done by design. What better way to pull the plug on a new alternative  facility that gives our community additional options than throwing a wrench in the system?

 

 

The transient population began increasing four years ago and, subsequently, began to decline about a year ago.” Statistics are a funny thing. Nationally the numbers according to the National Coalition for the Homeless don’t match by any standard the information you have offered in your commentary. But those numbers actually are irrelevant to the discussion. A more important statistic as it effects our community is that our homeless population is TEN FOLD what it should be by population.

 

The transient population is a subculture within our society that operates regardless of the mission’s outreach. While the meals provided might help to support the transients, they are attracted to areas where the population is either very generous or easily intimidated. The problem does not go away simply by relocating our mission.” Your facts are a bit twisted consequently your conclusions are skewed. A bit of research on your part of best practices of the homeless advocacy community may help you. The transient population is not monolithic. A snap shot of 100 people classified as homeless will give you 100 people all with different problems requiring different solutions. “Outreach” is effective when multiple types of services are available from a variety of different organizations that each have unique skill sets and resources to provide needed services. Contrary to your point, the transient, homeless, panhandling and vagrancy problem DOES go ways when facilities are moved. There is even statistical data that proves this happens in DAYS as the basic needs of the individual… food, bedding, safety, are no longer available in close proximity to the previous location.

 

It is my opinion that the city has gone about its “mission” in the wrong way, and that it would do well to regroup and extend an olive branch to the Rev. Fox and board members of the Rescue Mission.” Contrary to what some have claimed, I am confident that the mission at this point would be more interested in an apology more than anything else.” Why exactly would you think that the PCRM is deserving of ANY olive branch when they have been the ones that have created the problem and in a most arrogant fashion have refused to become part of the solution? If there are any olive branches or apologizes that need to be extended, it should be Billy Fox and every single board member who should apologize  by jumping on board and participating in the design, implementation and operation of a new facility that will better serve the needs of our community.

 

I would challenge every pastor of every local church to urge his members who have jobs and a home to send just $1 per month to our Rescue Mission“. A better option would be to support the Bay Area resource center with your donation dollars or any other of a host of charitable, religious and civic based organizations that provide needed services but do it in a way that is responsible to the community they serve. 

When things get hot, Billy Fox just want to dump it into the cities lap.

As we head into the holiday season, the Panama City Rescue Mission can serve as a place of comfort and care. Some also say it’s a breeding ground for vagrancy and crime. Not some “say”..this is documented fact. Next year, the mission says it’s shaking things up to change its image and save resources.

Next years philosophy will be a return to the mission’s original philosophy – namely helping those who help themselves.

Marie and Dave Rutenberg are putting in the hours at the rescue mission. For them serving visitors a warm smile and a hot meal is a privilege.

“It was very nice to see that we could do something, even a menial task that could help people,” Ms. Rutenberg said.

Volunteers like the Rutenbergs aim to serve those that need the help. However, Reverend Billy Fox says they’re having issues with those who don’t want the help.

“We put a lot of the resources into those who are choosing a vagrant lifestyle,” Rev. Fox said. “They’re not getting anywhere and we’re not able to help them.” This is actually an honest statement from Billy Fox for a change. But he has not stated this because he has “seen the light”. The reality is the writing is on the wall. Donations are down as the community has tired of the ever escalating negative impact of the PCRM on our community. Other options are available to our community to give their donation dollars to organizations that do a better job of serving the needy and do so responsibly without creating a public nuisance. Mr. Fox is losing his leverage as a sole provider of needed services to our community making him less and less relevant as a solution to our communities homeless problems.

Which is why the Rescue Mission is making changes come January, starting with available beds.

“Right now, they can get 5 consecutive nights in a 30 day period of time,” Rev. Fox said. “Now that moves to 60.”

That’s not the only change.

“It’s going to be case by case…they come and say ‘well here’s a change that’s taken place in my life,'” Rev. Fox said.

He says it marks a return to their original philosophy, one that makes sense especially with the city considering a new community resource center for homeless.

“We’ve become all things to all people, not on purpose, but because the city needed it,” Again, Mr. Fox twist facts to paint a different picture than what is reality. The problems of the excessive numbers of homeless in our community are a direct result of the activities of the PCRM. The city did not “need” the services until Mr. Fox and his organization made the mission into a big business enterprise being “successful” only off of ever increasing numbers of homeless. Rev. Fox said. “Now the city is saying ‘we’ll take that responsibility,’ we’re glad to let them take on that populace.” More crafty language on behalf of Mr. Fox. the city is saying “we will take responsibility” because Mr. Fox has done such a poor job of doing so.  The PCRM management and board of directors have placed city officials in a position that they have no other alternative but to get involved with the problem and take responsibility.

While the center is in the works, Rev. Fox says career vagrants wont be allowed to drain the mission’s resources. “Resources”..this is your donation dollars that are used to pay the $625,000 in annual staff salaries and six figure income of Mr. Fox’s household.

“They’re going to have to hang out somewhere and they’ll be somewhere in the downtown area like they were 7 or 8 years ago,” Rev. Fox said. THREATS THREATS THREATS….the mantra that Mr. Fox operates under. Scare the citizenry to thinking that if Super Billy does not come in to save the day that the city will be overrun by vagrants. Mr. Fox, the city is already overrun by a homeless and vagrancy problem that YOU created and refuse to be a party to with solutions

Rev. Fox and his volunteers stress it’s always been about changing lives, but only if they are willing to take the necessary steps

“The people who really need to come here and want the services should be the ones who are served,” Mr. Rutenberg said. “It’s our privilege to help in doing it.”

Those changes are set to go into effect at the mission in January. Meanwhile, the city will continue their discussion on a news homeless resource center at Tuesday’s Panama City commission meeting.

http://www.wmbb.com/story/20368509/changes-coming-to-panama-city-rescue-mission

News Herald Editors…biased and practicing censorship

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 Mike “Caz” Cazelas, editor of the Panama City News Herald mmcazalas@pcnh.com

For the many in our community that follow our blog on a regular basis, we have heard your voices thanking us for providing valuable information about downtown and the negative effects of the PCRM on our community. You also know that local media channels report the specifics of the Panama City Rescue Mission with velvet gloves. Unfortunately, even with a general bias towards the PCRM management, our community has one media outlet that has been most flagrant in skewing information and flat out censoring information in a way that does our community a disservice. Mr. Mike Cazelas and his editorial staff at the Panama City News Herald have made it policy to not report information about the mission that could be in anyway interpreted as negative. Furthermore they will delete any post in their online forums that have anything less that flowery approval of the Rescue Mission management and even worse publicly attack those with an opposing opinion. It is the role of our community paper to report ALL of the facts allowing our citizenry to make good decisions based on good information. Is News Herald management afraid that the truth will affect subscription rates or advertising dollars or is this just more of the left wing twist that the paper historically takes? Mr. Cazelas, why are you afraid to report that there is a defined opposition to how the PCRM operates and  how their actions effects our community? Why do you systematically delete responses in your forum that are concise and well written, free of vulgarity or any other offending language other that facts? Where is your “unbiased” reporting of the new proposed facility offering the details of what hope the new facility could bring to our community? Why are you not taking your role as a conduit for accurate information for our community with the seriousness that such a position deserves? Mr. Cazelas, the facts may not always be pretty but your not reporting them in their entirety makes YOU part of the problem. There are many in our community who want nothing more than our city to have the best opportunities for prosperity and provide the needed services for those in our community in a way that uplifts our community as a whole. You sir are working against those principals and letting the community down that pays your salary .

Police Arrest man involved in stabbing yards from Rescue Mission

rescue

A man is in police custody, charged in connection with a stabbing in Downtown Panama City.

According to Panama City Police, officers were called to the 600 Block of Cone Avenue at about 8:30 p.m. They say a man was stabbed by another man, identified as 44-year-old Jock Houpt.

He was arrested about an hour after the incident at a bar on Beach Drive. The victim reportedly suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Bay Medical Center.  The suspect is charged with aggravated battery with a knife.

http://www.wmbb.com/story/20237534/police-arrest-man-involved-in-stabbing

Just another example of the negative impact the rescue mission has had on our downtown area. This crime happened literally yards away from the front door of the rescue mission. The accused has been arrested previously and listed his address as “transient”. Why does our community continue to tolerate this nonsense? Why do we allow the management of the Rescue Mission to operate in a way that this is unacceptable? Why do we not insist that Billy Fox, PCRM board of directors and staff lower the profile of their facility in a way that we don’t have these problems plaguing our downtown area? When is enough enough?

A milestone and a disclaimer…

The blogging crew at “Move the mission” just reached our first full year of providing information about the issues of the PCRM and its effects on downtown. Additionally, we posted our one hundred and first post and lastly, we have just surpassed the 43,000 page view mark. We want to thank the many people in our community that understand the importance of the issues covered on our blog and have voiced their support and forwarded us information that was relevant to this topic.We would like to take this opportunity to clarify to our many new readers who we are and who we are not. We are a small group of individual who care about our downtown area. We created our blog twelve months ago to give voice to the issues of the PCRM that are local news media are unwilling to address head on. In addition to our small group of regular bloggers, we have individuals in our community that send us data on a regular basis that allow us to paint the bigger picture of the problems.  We are NOT  members of the cities task force, employees of the city or elected officials. We have no affiliation with the PCRM, the Bay Area Resource Center or any associated organizations. We own no property or have financial interest in the area of the PCRM that would become available with the closing of the PCRM . We have no interest in companies that will benefit from contracts issued by the the BARC to cover the cost new construction for buildings. Our only interest is to keep this issue upfront in the communities mind in a way that actions are taken that  best serve the community as a whole. This is an important issue for our community and we encourage all of our readers to learn ALL of the facts so as to be educated citizens on the topic.