Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Things

I have a good case manager. Though she's been working on my case a short while, she's already achieved more than I have done on my own. Sure, she's doing a lot of hand holding, but that's just what is needed at this point. For two years I've been telling myself that I needed to go down to the Social Security Office and get a copy of my Social Security Card. But I never did. Well, we've already taken care of that. And she's collected other important papers and documents in preparation for applying for services for myself. Just knowing that she's involved in the process, helps me to keep appointments. And as difficulties present themselves, she's quick to get me talking about them, and working through them, so that I don't self destruct - which is my normal M.O. - I've not received such care from any other case manager, or homeless service provider. The city is paying for this service - thank you, Mr and Mrs taxpayer.

It's still going to be while before I get into housing, which is our main goal.

You really can never trust a bigot. And bigots we have in downtown Nashville. And though the situation has significantly changed, their story stays the same. The big business folks and the loft dwellers have long complained about the homeless downtown. This immediately raised red flags for me cause I could see the problems coming. First of all, the word "homeless" is used to label a lot of very different types of people, with the only thing in common being that they are homeless. Then these big business and loft dweller people got more specific in defining their case, saying that homeless people were panhandling, peeing and defecating in public. Well that is a serious charge, and no doubt some homeless people were doing those things, but not all of them, not even the majority of them, and obviously some non-homeless people are doing those things too. But these non-homeless downtown people enlisted the help of politicians to bring the heat down on the homeless, and the homeless population in downtown Nashville did change. Some of the things they did were effective towards their goals, and somethings weren't, but they aren't splitting hairs that closely. Arresting aggressive panhandlers went a long way towards cleaning up the streets of the anti-social behavior of the homeless. Shutting down the mobile soup kitchens only made life worse for many homeless people, and did nothing to bring about the desired effect. But the initiators of these tactics really don't care.

Now, a great improvement has been made in downtown Nashville. The pesky panhandlers and others whose behavior was questionable, have been run off from downtown, or those homeless have learned their lesson, and are not bothering the good folks like they used to. I can't even remember the last time I was panhandled walking along Church Street and 5th Ave North. It used to be a daily occurrence. For all this, you'd think that everyone working and living downtown would be happy, and we'd finally have some peace in the city. Hell no.

The same people are still making the same complaints. They look at Church St Park and see it's full of homeless people, and they pitch a fit. And they make all the same complaints they always have about the homeless. The thing is, the homeless people now occupying the park are nearly all very good and law abiding citizens. They keep mostly to themselves, they don't panhandle or otherwise bother other people, and they pick up after themselves. And this little point is so important. And it belies the truth of the loft dwellers and big business men and women. They are still pointing at bad behavior of the homeless people, which really no longer exists, as the excuse for trying to run ALL homeless people own of downtown. It's not so much the bad behavior of the homeless, but just the general existence of homeless people near where they live, that's got them so upset. This is true prejudice and bigotry - the unequal enforcement of rights and privileges based on cultural and economic differences. It's ugly.

There are two ways to make sure your comments never see the light of day on this blog. One, is to not properly identify yourself. If you don't believe enough in what you say to stand behind your opinions and sign your comments, or, if in previous comments you have been rude, then just forget it. Your comment isn't happening here.

7 comments:

  1. A problem shared is a problem halved, a pat on the back for your helper. This tax payer says - if it is for a good cause then you have my backing. Soon may you have a roof over your head

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  2. I'll bet the same lofties & business owners are also constantly whining about taxes, too.

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  3. So I've been doin' day labor since moving to the city. Yesterday I go out with a bunch of guys to shovel some snow and this one keeps using the n-word. Setting stereotypes aside for a moment, for a Mexican not a very good worker, a cholo, totally Americanized in spite of his fluency, but ahhh... how to deal with that? Can't really complain to the labor hall without bustin' both of our reps, can't tell 'im that my white skin doesn't cover up my mixed blood 'cause I don't think he's smart enough to understand.

    A quandary, to be sure.

    Thanks for visitin',

    Ten Bears

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  4. I'm a friend of themidgetqueen. She often links to your blog. :)

    That being said, I think the biggest part of the problem the loft dwellers and big businesses have is an unwillingness to listen to anything but themselves and their side of the story. It would take too much effort on their part to talk to the homeless people and see that the majority are decent, law abiding citizens - without a roof over their heads.

    It saddens me greatly that a lack of communication is going on. It could so easily be fixed. But I fear that it never will be.

    I don't live near you, but my thoughts and prayers are with you and all the people suffering from not being listened to.

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  5. I certainly believe that these wealthy city dwellers don't think of the homeless as individual human beings and only as awkward human lawn ornaments. Then they try to reason to themselves and others that people that are homeless are lazy or some other silliness. Yet when they have a family member who loses their home due to the current housing market and the family member moves in with them "just for a month or two". How is that alright? How is that not thought of in the same way? Because it isn't as visible?

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  6. I am so very happy to hear about your wonderful case worker. I hope housing is definitely in your NEAR future. I wish the people who complain about seeing the homeless would do something rather than do nothing and just gripe about it. Actions always speak louder than words.

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  7. i agree with abbagirl. perhaps if the complainers did something positive to solve their "problem" such as helping the homeless instead of shuffling them from place to place like animals and blaming everything they dislike about downtown on them, they would be happier. but, lets face it...will they ever really be happy? or do they just need something to complain about? it doesn't really seem fair to put individuals into a generalized group...thats just prejudiced...and isn't that what we have been trying to conquer for decades?

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