Friday, January 30, 2015


Mayor Henry's Smoke, No Mirrors
PREFACE: This posting has to do with "TOOL" and/or "PILOT" program Mayor Henry announced Tuesday. What it is actually, is called
Indiana Regional Homeless Triage Project (IRHTP).
However THIS IS NOT AN INSTANT FIX to our community! We need to stop the Mayor's ordered, third world dictator method of illegal seizure and immediate destruction of homeless personal property. Our community currently lacks enough shelter beds to house all those that wish to just have a place to sleep. Our community also lacks a single contact, be it by phone or walk in, to find sheltering 24/7. These issues are real and even with this triage approach is a tool for shelters and possibly others
Before jumping into the Mayor's new "TOOL" aka "Pilot Program" I want to share my knowledge of who these homeless are. Odds are you know a homeless person be they a close or exended member of your family, a former coworker who got laid off, a former sport team or club member, someone from church, a former neighbor, or someone from your social circle that just dropped out.
Our justice sytem is such a person ever conviced of a felony, is forever branded that they are denied housing and ven emloyment. It makes no difference that the conviction would not put fellow renters or coworkers at risk. It makes no difference if he person has had no legal issues at all for a decade or more ago. So the street becomes their home.
Then you have the working homeless who depends on job that pays around minimum wage and not full time. They have no way to save enough for deposits for an apartment or utilities. These people either walk to work or use the bus. They don't know from week to week if they will work ten hours or maybe, if lucky thirty hours.
Now onto the "TOOL" or "Pilot" or "IRHTP"
Since Mayor Henry rolled out the "TOOL" that would help in getting homeless housed ASAP left me puzzled. Not really, but it did leave me with, this is going to be a good one.
I had read back in either late November or early December that Indiana Housing Community Development Authority and Indiana Family Social Services Authority had chosen four Indiana cities to take part in seminar presented by New Yok based company called Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). The cities were the same as the Mayor mentioned in being Fort Wayne, Bloomington, Evensville, and Lafayette.
CSH is a nonprofit, that provides communities and local agencies with the training to implement a program using I-HOPE., to get homeless into apartments. I-HOPE is Indiana online computerised program that scores a homeless answers. Depending on the clients score they will be advsed to if and what is availble to them, in the way of housing. This program has been available for aboout five years.
In fairness to CSH their big claim to fame is working wih local communities, or agencies to build and operate the Housing First program that HUD is pushing every state toward, over just sheltering people. They have played a key role in several Indiana communities to do such.
If I-HOPE has been available for some time why doesn't the State have trainers over hiring a third party teaching the course? Fact is the State has a training manual on line that gives users the overview of the programs concepts.
CSH has posted online the outline of their portion of training the people representing the four seleted cities. When you read it contains much like most of us would guess.
So will this help our homeless neighbors? I can not see it working unless many things change in our current programs within Allen County, figuring out who has input abilities into the system, how available apartments list is maintained, who will do follow up reviews, and the biggest one is dollars! If these are not addressed this will be one more case of sending money into a garbage disposal.
I deleted much more then is here. I did so because I found if a post is too long few people don't read the entire post so I have broken it into parts. The next part will deal with the issues I raised in the previous paragraph.
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  • You, Gina BurgessKen MillerPhillip Marx and 2 others like this.
  • Ed Rose Well now I know why CSH is pushing the use of the state I-HOPE software program. It is leased to the state, wait a second as Gina Burgess would say and toss in a couple of winks........ From CSH!
    Wow, I wonder if Indiana pays so much per computer connected to it? Also, if any changes made to the software costs the users in the annual license fee?
  • Phillip Marx Twenty three pages that can easily be summarized as saying nothing more detailed than "We intend to help the homeless." Plus, on page 10, they used an undefined acronym (AMI.) I won't waste my time clicking on any of the links they provided at the end. Because I'm pretty certain they are no more usefull than this was.
    21 hrs · Like · 1
  • Phillip Marx I don't think the State of Indiana wants to help the homeless. Just wasting our money on propaganda designed to make it appear they do.
    21 hrs · Like · 1
  • Phillip Marx I look for the feral government to solve this problem soon with the Affordable Housing Act, in which they will eliminate the homeless problem by simply mandating that everyone purchase housing, and issuing a fine to those who can't afford it.
    21 hrs · Like · 2
  • Charlotte A. Weybright If I had the money and the opportunity, I would buy the house next to me (the Abomination #2 in West Central) and rehab it, reduce it from five apartments to three and make it suitable for people to stay for a certain amount of time. All I would ask is that they "pay it forward" at some point in their lives. Or maybe shovel snow for the elderly in my neighborhood or help in some way.
    20 hrs · Like · 3
  • Phillip Marx And I would gladly help you with the effort - as long as you needed contributions of time instead of money.
    20 hrs · Like · 2
  • Charlotte A. Weybright If I get to the point of buying that house, I won't need money - I will need time and strong backs!
    20 hrs · Like · 3
  • Kenneth White Jnr The bigger issue is that City Council is choking on their own spit to ignore or deflect the questions and when certain ones are not bold face lying to the press and have gotten called on it, then the Mayor props up and finds bandaids to pacify the "kooky activists" that are standing up and screaming. I say keep screaming but make sure youre being heard first.

    The City is not the primary Government Agency responsible for poor relief and sheltering the homeless but the ones whom are responsible for such benevolence are not doing their job efficiently either, and that goes for both Wayne and Washington Township Trustees. I havent had a recent encounter with any of the others but all 6 Township Trustees (part of 6 of 20 Townships make up Fort Wayne Aboitte, St. Joe, Perry, and Adams are the others) should be challenged as well, Indigent Care is under their wheelhouse. The fact of the matter remains is that by the City doing anything for or against the homeless population of the City they are both usurping jurisdiction from another Government Agency and finances that could be used more beneficently then they way they are being distributed right now.
    12 hrs · Like · 2
  • Ed Rose Charlotte A. Weybright I wish you the best in your efforts and I hope it comes to happening.
    Phillip Marx I honestly can not blow up all the CC members and even some in helping the homeless as I will address in follow up to this post.
    Kenneth White Jnr
     you are so right that the township is the government body to help the poor. Rest assured they are in my crosshairs but will come in my third Mayor Henry' All Smoke - No Mirrors installment.
    To all, I say take a deep breath, educate yourself on facts, and be prepared for action. We sadly are in an unwanted or desired war to help the homeless. We will have opportunities to be heard and we can make changes.
    11 hrs · Like · 3
  • Phillip Marx I said nothing of city council in my comments, Ed. But since it was brought up, I disagree with you. I think several of them care little about this issue, and none are doing anyting significant about it.
    10 hrs · Like · 1
  • Phillip Marx And I am not saying there are none who might contribute time and/or dollars to one of the local missions. But those local missions are completely inadequate for dealing with the situation. Maybe I've missed something, but has even a single member even done one thing of substance (in an official capacity) to help alleviate the larger problem?
    10 hrs · Like · 1
  • Charlotte A. Weybright The homeless are like gnats to be brushed away, and, when they become too pesky, a "band aid" solution is created to mollify those in power and the public. That way, everyone can close their eyes again and wait for the gnats to become bothersome again. Sorry, but this is just how I see efforts when it comes to helping marginalized members of our society.
    10 hrs · Like · 3
  • Ed Rose Phillip Marx I agree that some on CC have no real interest in helping those in need as they still live in the "OLD WORLD" of those who are homeless is due to their own shortfalls. Other CC members have bought into "WE GOT THIS COVERED" noise. Then we have CC members who are far more in tune to the "REAL WORLD!"
    While sum have tried to read the mannerisms of CC members while various citizens made comments miss read at least two CC members as disengaged. They may have failed to make eye contact or address the homeless issue when they offered their own comments but they are educating themselves on an issue they know little about.
    You and I can make a statement in error and be forgiven by all when corrected. However, if you are an elected offical you are not forgiven and odds are it will be used against you. Look at the way many of us come down on CC members for voting for or against something.
    Just like Tom Didier learned, but was forewarned it could happen, that apparently now some formerly union represented workers have been fired for what appears questionable reasons. Few heard him say he was going to look into any way of protecting these city employees. So we can beat him up for his vote to dissolve the unions or support him in trying to fix a problem. I prefer to support him in allowing the employees an association to stop unjust firings or safety issues.
    Yes Tom Didier is a friend that I agree and disagree with. We don't mix words in our talks and at times we agree to disagree. I know he is among the strongest supporters of the homeless and he is trying to learn the subject. I can tell you, with no reservation he will spend far more then 168 hours fully involved in this matter over the next year then spending seven days on the streets. I wish the other eight would commit to the same but would be thrilled if some spent 24 hours in educating themselves.
    Charlotte is right about the bandaid approach. It is how the system was created over the decades. It is up to those of us committed to see it totally reformed and either join or push our elected officials into getting it done.
    Charlotte knows well that at times working behind the scenes brings results but other times a very public push is required. I believe in I will work with people but you blow me off or play games I then will try to use the general public to get something done.
    8 hrs · Like · 4
  • Phillip Marx I will agree with you that analyzing any elected official is not as cut and dry as some make it appear. I also think that Councilman Didier is a great example to look at because, even when I disagree with his stance on an issue, I can usually appreciate the sincerity of his beliefs. I haven't had a lot of one-on-one discussions with the man, but I still recall the time we stopped in the parking garage after CC one evening in 2006 to discuss the H.S. issue. Didier's summary of the situation was to tell me that "I am certain that, if you knew all the details, you would support this." Now if my response of "But that's the problem, you guys aren't allowing us to know all the details," had been given to one of several other council members, I think their internal response of "Yeah, we can't do that because then you will realize how badly we are trying to screw you" would have been glossed over by some slick-worded response purposely designed to obfuscate the matter further. But with Didier, I honestly think he did not get that. I think he was truely so convinced it was a good deal for everyone, and he honestly did not even realize that his supporting a "good" idea being rammed through by deceptive means was a problem.

    But the bottom line is, what is he doing about the homeless issue as a member of City Council? Is he using his position to call out the police for being heavy handed, or to call out the Mayor for pretending as though he had no part in it?

So...I am wondering what others' in the loop's perceptions are. Frankly, I'm getting the impression that the Feds and the State are making solid moves on the issue of ‪#‎Homelessness‬, while the City of Fort Wayne is operating under the pretense that they have made great strides to get this under wraps. No, there are no immediate solutions on our table still...and the "Pilot Program" that Mayor Henry and his minions are standing so proud of, not only has no net effect until the Spring, if then, assuming we are able to collectively come to agreeance on the type and manner of implementation of said "Coordinated Assessment Tool." Granted, this is a good move, in my estimation, and will definitely help get those assisted who need it most, in a timely and effective and effective manner, rather than continuing to rely on an entirely weak system of " luck" of the caller seeking help. I just can't shake the feeling that this is not nearly as much to the City Administration's credit as what they are implying. What do you think? Am I off base, or "picking up quite a bit more than what they're putting down?" Your impression is of great value to me as I am seeking to sort out the "meat from the potato's", and am hardly pretending to have a clear understanding. wink emoticon
— with June Angela and 11 others at Civil Society's Round Table of Discourse.
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  • Gina BurgessJune Angela and Angel Ward like this.
  • Ken Miller And please don't mistake my tone...I don't yet have a clear understanding of the actions being taken and am very pleased that we are making appropriate steps. I just wonder if someone is standing in someone else's light and pretending it's their doing.
  • Justin Kuhnle I have some info for you on this when i get home in a little bit
  • Ken Miller Looking forward to it. Safe travels.
  • June Angela I don't understand either but in my opinion, it seems that everyone wants to push the homeless in a shelter. ALL the organizations I have delt with is gung ho to put me in a shelter that is paid for by city funds and grants. Not everyone wants to be in a shelter, living in an institutional setting. Granted, the people on the streets need a warm, safe place now, but the common thread we have is a home in the private sector. I know that since I am not considered homeless by the criteria defined by the city, I'm screwed. And frankly, losing hope.
  • Ken Miller June, have you talked with the Township for the vicinity you live? And Lutheran Social Services? And Catholic Charities? Just curious. Also, CANI seems to have some help available for gas (heat) bills. I understand your reservations, but also keep in mind, the idea of a shelter for someone like you is simply to facilitate a transition back to independence. Of course I realize you are experiencing it firsthand, and likely have deeper insight into how it actually plays out, but I just want to make sure you're exploring all your options. If you don't want to talk about it here and now, Feb.1 is just around the corner. Also, are you talking to Angel Ward? She's kind of a pro at this Lind of stuff, whereas I'm just am eager student. 
  • June Angela I have worked with all the services you mentioned. Lutheran is a joke to me. I don't have any utilities so CANI doesn't apply. Catholic Charities helped me with my license plates for my car and my son and I go there for counseling. The trustee in the township I am in is no help. And yes, I am in several groups with Angel. I have found the YWCA has been most helpful to me.
  • Ken Miller Okay, just checking. Didn't mean to question your pursuit. 
  • Angel Ward Township trustee' s are the only ones I'm aware of that help in such circumstances. Sadly they often don't have enough resources to go around. Once you get a denial letter I know some churches will then review your situation and see how they can help. Bottomline seems to be... times are hard! Many live hand to mouth. God forbid a crisis or disability hits! If so it becomes nearly impossible to get your feet back underneath you.
  • Justin Kuhnle The Fed and State is moving slowly, if at all, towards addressing the homeless problem. The last time Fort Wayne's homeless came to light was in 2011 (coincidently the last municipal election). No one, not those in the Mayoral administration or on City Council knows what it takes to drive down the homeless population and do what is best in giving them opportunities to be self-sufficient. This grant from HUD was one that was applied for in 2013 and again in 2014, but instead of being spent, which is under the rules of HUD for that fiscal year, it was placed in a "rainy day fund" by order of the City Council. In essense, the money that the Federal government gave in the form of a grant, was not utilized for it's main purpose. Now, back in 2007, this state, in connection with the Federal government, did a major cut to social service programs. I was working with one such organization at the time, and our group lost 25% of it's workforce, lost our entire addictions department, lost 75% of our case management for the adult continuous treatment team, and had a major reorganization. It was the belief, at the time (and still is again) that if you needed immediate medical care, you could visit the nearest ER. Now, mind you I was working with mentally ill individual at the time, and though they were stable with a structured network of supporters, the moment the state and Fed cut services, all that went away. In addition, at the time there were 3 state hospitals, and in 2007, it was proposed to eliminate 1, turn 1 from state owned to DOC owned, and limit the beds in the other. All this I have mentioned and have very extensive knowledge of was under the guise of "spending cuts". That is why I do not like that term being used by politicians. They have no basis or understanding to the actions they do today and the ramifications they impose tomorrow. Now, on 1/13, when i spoke, I asked about 2 confirmed sources that mentioned Legacy funds were used to purchase part of the 7 properties at "The Landing." Ken, if you can recall, no one admitted to it, though 3 flatly denied it. Well, I have proof the amount was $1 million, was a loan from the fund, and was approved 9-0 by City Council.
  • June Angela St Joe Twp are tough cookies. And they don't help with housing. They were going to help me keep my apt last spring along with Lutheran, but Lutheran didn't get the paperwork done in time which resulted in my eviction. They had a month and still didn't get it. I told my caseworker how upset I was and the next thing I saw was 4 police cars and police pounding on my door saying someone called them saying I was going to kill myself. NOT! Then Lutheran turned me into DCS claiming I was living in my car with my son. NOT! Then they told me a few months later after trying to push me into a shelter, that they could have an apt for me in days if I had a job, and fix my broken tooth. I found a job but couldn't afford the physical. I asked them for help, NO. So I still have no job, no home, no money, and a broken tooth.
  • Ed Rose I'm still writing what I had hoped to post yesterday. The Mayor didn't lie but he could have laid out much more. But he knew the full story would draw a good idea but what are we going to do in the years it takes to have real impact, provided the dollars can be found.
    What concerns me is that they may get to phase one and the other three phases have no time table. I can tell you if they totally complete phase one they pretty much bombed out.
    Now I'm back to writing and yes it is long.
  • Ed Rose June, what you have gone through angers me greatly. What you went through is one of the easiest to fix if there was any damn real leadership here in Allen County. Damnit, now I have to settle down before I go back to my writing!!!
  • Ken Miller Oh, wow. Lots of moving parts to this conversation. .
  • Ed Rose Ken buy yourself some smoke and mirrors!
  • Ken Miller June, that is indeed a rotten experience. If you ever find a dry day on couches, you're welcome to pull a day or two over here in Frances Slocum Ville. I have a bed and room I rarely ever sleep in, as I'm thoroughly adapted to couch-sleeping myself. Never be left in the cold. We're working on getting jobs, Sam and I, and holding this establishment of renter's feifdom.  Sam has run a homeless shelter in his past, has tons of other valuable experience, and we're both on the same goal-mindedness that we'll run at least one here, soon. Hopefully real soon. I'll plunge in headfirst because it's quite driving, this certainty inside. You know what I mean. I can see it in you (and you! And you . And you.), too. "No man (woman, child, or combination or lack there of) left behind" is more than a slogan to us, I can tell through our actions, not our words . Although the words are fun, too. . May God (even the version where this isn't one, for some) bless our good work. When shoulders lean in unison, wheels turn. &that'sreal$
  • Ken Miller Oh, and Justin, keep pressing on, please, good sir. I don't know what the truth is yet, but certain "evidence" does beg question. And the cuts to multiple of our most-needed institutional health services, WAS indeed quite #wide. If we're going to try to live as humans in a fast-paced, wired and wireless, virtually a dataport society...we're going to keep seeing haywire left unremedied. It's a most unwise way to try to run a society, the numbers don't add up right, and if we don't refocus on the aforementioned "humanity" we'll end up as compassionate as the robots on the assembly lines.
  • Ken Miller Haha, and Ed...what can I say, man? I'm so glad I know you. You have a nice face, but the first time you started talking was the same moment I wanted you, or someone just like you on city council. You strike me as a real straight-shooter. I'm quite looking forward to read what you're writing. Don't keep getting distracted. Get it done! Lol, just kidding with ya. I'm sure it'll be scintillating when you publish. Please tag me in it, so it pops up on my wall 
  • Gina Burgess Ken Miller -- All that has been done is the PROMISE of something POSSIBLY HAPPENING in April. It's called a carrot. Its nothing more than a political distraction technique. The Mayor and all members of City Council want the unsheltered street homeless in Downtown gone. Their mere presence proves (or at the very least hints to) that all these so-called economic development policies have failed to provide jobs. If the Mayor and City Council has squandered money for the purposes of creating jobs and then jobs weren't created, then the unsheltered street homeless will serve as a visual reminder of that failure. In an election year, the last thing you want is a visual reminder that you have failed to do the job for which you were elected. Ok, that's the second to the last thing you want. The very last thing you want is any media outlet, even a one-person blogger, to keep highlighting the fact that you haven't done your job to an audience of 3,200 to 20,000+ people.
  • Justin Kuhnle Oh is that kinda like the $33 million from Legacy for a $98 million Ash Brokerage project which promises 50 jobs, but wait for it.....those jobs were promised back in 2010 before this Ash project was even conceived?
  • Kathy Faulkner There is millions of dollar worth of grants that the federal gov is giving out to help get the homeless off the st. Mayor Henry needs to do his job and so does his staff .
    13 hrs · Like · 2
Leaving homeless people on the streets costs taxpayers big money.
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It's a positive step in the right direction. Now we only lack a solution that addresses immediate need.
Fort Wayne has been chosen to participate in a pilot program to assist the homeless, Mayor Tom Henry announced Tuesday. The state, through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority,...
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Deputy Mayor - Karl Bamdemer, FWPD Public Safety Coordinator - Rusty York both in attendance at this morning's Fort Wayne Area Planning Council on Homelessness, plus many other movers and shakers and community leaders....still no Mayor Henry present. Still in discussion: job-description for City-employed government/local agency/homeless community liasion...furthering programs to aid in establishing structure and supportive housing as well as "Housing First" approaches, and ‪#‎FoodNotLawns‬...more to be added later.
 — with Lexie Fretz and 10 others at Citizens Square.
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  • Michelle Hill Sorry I missed this. Hopefully it might be on video in the near future, as I am very interested in this topic.
  • Ed Rose Tell the Deputy Mayor is give me 3-4 hours with ALL STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED IN THE HOMELESS and we will give him the job description. We need this position NOW!
    Also HOUSING FIRST is nice talk but the city's own plan on housing is nearly ANTI HOUSING FIR
    ST. Just look at the application to obtain housing and you will see the requirement of previous housing! Dah!!
    What about the rights of the people that are chased from one place to the next and have no shelter available to them. Their property illegally seized and destroyed without due process?
  • Michelle Hill Very insightful, Ed! I had no idea about the requirement of 'previous housing. This is all just a way to 'look concerned' for the situation to placate the citizens who want a change, without actually making change. 
  • Ken Miller Negativity isn't a huge bit of assistance. Those of us who showed up have no intentions of talking without walking. This is absolutely not all just a way to play pretend. Sorry you feel that way.
  • Ed Rose Michelle, many cities use HUD's semi requirement to avoid HOUSING FIRST but HUD also encourages cities to work around such, as HUD has supported HOUSING FIRST for several years. It is thus far the only PROVEN concept to reduce homelessness.
    Now just HOUSING FIRST is just the tip top of the in depth program.
  • Ed Rose Ken, please explain what you said as it went over my head.
  • Michele Berkes-Adams Identify what is not working, work together to find better solutions. We need both sides to be successful.
  • Jeffery Wayne Landis ill be there at the meeting tomorrow.
  • Ed Rose Ken, I no longer drive and you talk about frustration that prevents me from attending such meetings. But I can tell you I've been researching this topic for most likely 100 plus hours of reading research papers, studies, and some newspaper stories.
    ...See More
  • Gina Burgess Thanks for keeping me updated. I appreciate that. I agree with Ed Rose. The stall tactics need to stop. This problem has been in the public's eyes since Thanksgiving -- 90 days. Last night, I helped take a homeless man to the Rescue Mission and passed out a sleeping bag to another man who knew he would not be admitted to the Rescue Mission due to his failing to follow their rules. Giving a sleeping bag only enabled his behavior, but at the end of the day--I am not going to let a person sleep outside in the dead of winter on the bare, cold, hard ground without some form of comfort when I can provide that comfort. I said this before and I got chastized and I will say it again. The City has no intention of solving this problem. All these meetings are glorified "horse and pony show" tactics to "look" like the Mayor or members of City Council care about the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community. The Mayor can't take time to attend one meeting on the matter. Nor has he responded to requests from people to meet with him on the topic. Nor has he agreed to acknowledge, much less participate in, Jeff Landis' Homeless Challenge. But then neither has any Mayoral candidate (i.e. Mitch Harper, John Roberson, Tom CookDavid Roach). But then neither has any member of City Council nor any candidate who is running against a member of City Council (i.e. John Shoaff, Glynn Hines, Geoff PaddockThomas F. Didier, Tom Smith, Russ Jehl, Mitch Harper, Jason ArpJoe Renner and others). So far, to date, the only ones who have taken the Homeless Challenge are me and Michelle HillMichelle Hill is willing to redo the Homeless Challenge, however, because she did it last weekend when the temps were 40 degrees outside. Putting the Homeless Challenge aside, its pretty clear that we, as a community, are going to have to step in and start doing something. We have people sleeping outdoors, behind dumpters and under bridges and on the cold snow covered ground, without the warmth or comfort of tents, sleeping bags, wool blankets, etc.
  • Jeffery Wayne Landis i havent giving up that shows you the mayor is heartless.
  • Ed Rose Gina Burgess only an idiot or someone who is so uninformed to say by providing a sleeping bag is "enabling homelessness" to a fellow human that had no other options. It would be a moral crime not to extend the helping hand you did. Bless you for doing so!
    I contend you look at a city and look how they address the homeless and you will find the true morals of the city! Not the shinny new buildings, or well lite bridges, or big welcome signs tell you of the real fabric of the city.
  • Gina Burgess Michele Berkes-Adams -- The problem with the homeless problem is that its very complex and multi-faceted. The existing system is working haphazardly. Lots of homeless, lots of homeless segments, lots of homeless shelters catering to most of those homeless segments, but a growing number of homeless are falling through those cracks because of highly individualized needs. Even when you get the homeless off the streets, the rate of return is extremely high due to things like limited jobs skills, limited job availability, limited resources to get and maintain a job should the homeless who can get a job in the first place. Then there's homeless who are unhealthy, have mental health conditions (some homeless related, some not), and some borderline disabled. I could go on and on there, but I think you get the just. Then, from the perspective of our community, there's a lot of people wanting to help but who are territorial (some for good reasons, some for less than good reasons) and others who want to help but feel they can't help. Honestly, it is an overwhelming mess. And, frankly, its time to simplify this mess. Homeless are homeless because they have no homes. So, we need to give them temporary, pre-homeless shelter housing until they are able to get into a shelter (and be willing to commit to staying in a shelter) and we need to work on more permanent low-income housing solutions so that those who are currently being served in shelters can be transitioned out of shelters easier and faster. The current Administration has been "working" on this problem for 90 days. The reality is, however, that for the past 5 years--there have been an estimated 50 evictions a year and 10 "clean-ups" a year. That is 250 evictions and 50 "clean-ups." Who knows how much THAT is costing us in terms of park's department notification/administration, police enforcement and arrest and incarceration, and third party/private party "clean up" services. And we, the taxpayers, are footing the bill for all of this. And then, we as taxpayers who give our time, treasure (money), and talent (labor) to churches and non-profit organizations to help with this cause are having to pay for donations over and over and over and over again to make up for the losses incurred by the street homeless. The street homeless population is estimated by members of its own community to be about 100 people. Based on that number, it takes our community roughly $17,446.57 to provide 100 winter grade wool gloves, 100 zero degree sleeping bags, 100 fleece liners for the sleeping bags (for added warmth and comfort), 100 heat warmer packets, and 50 two-man tents. (Based on retail from Gander Mountain) That's $18,000 to restore the street homeless community to a status it was (or should have been) at before each cleaning. $18,000 per clean-up X 10 clean-ups a year = $180,000 of community donations that this Administration has allowed to be squandered in just one year. $180,000 X 5 years of known clean-ups = $900,000 that the Administration has squandered, with City Council sitting quietly by and not creating or passing any legislation requiring that items belonging to the street homeless (no matter the condition of those items) be returned to the street homeless. City Council, alone, could be saving....SAVING....this community $172,000 annually through homeless rights legislation. ($180,000 spent on restoring street homeless annually - $18,000 that it takes to outfit the homeless and return their belongings to them after a clean-up = $172,000 Savings) And that savings wouldn't require any tax abatement/tax phase-in, no use of Legacy money, no new taxes. It truly makes me want to scream--"Stop the insanity! Do you jobs!" Worse, not a single current person running for office--elected or new candidate---has even thought about how much this is really costing our community. Talk about just heart-wrenching knowing that our taxes are being squandered to inflict suffering, that those who are trying to help alleviate the suffering are being forced to spend more money than is necessary to help, and that those who are elected and those who want to be elected don't want to experience the problem first hand, nor do they have the ability to think outside of the box for a solution and choose to continue to engage in words and actions that have been tried and failed to fix the problem for the past FIVE years!!! Again, I just want to scream--"Stop the insanity!!" 
  • Ken Miller Ed Rose, I was merely referring to folks that have participated very minimally in any coordination of efforts constantly downplaying the unified efforts of those who are diligently seeking to improve the situation and staying positive about our goals and their attainability. I won't apologize for our work. I am as bothered as anyone that most city officials are not digging in on this issue, but Mitch Harper andThomas F. Didier are not to be counted amongst those who are "doing squat.". I can personally attest that the aforementioned councilman are engaged and making efforts to be a valuable part of our solution seeking. I really don't much care who spends a night out doors and who doesn't, so long as real tangible efforts are being made to understand the issue and it's many facets. The rest is media hype, in my estimation, which I don't mean to short-sell...but isn't going to solve much of anything. The real work is being done in (sub)committees and interagency collaboration, I think.
  • Gina Burgess Ken Miller -- I must respectfully disagree with your assessment. NONE of these guys are doing what they could. The Mayor could, via an executive order, stay the evictions and the clean-ups during cold weather. He could also order that whatever is retrieved during the clean-ups be held and returned--if not directly to the street homeless (which might prove difficult), then to those who provide services to the street homeless, including the Rescue Mission, Ava Maria House, Street Reach for the Homeless, etc. City Council members could also create legislation along those same lines as part of a Homeless Bill of Rights, or independently of a Homeless Bill of Rights. But they sit silently by. While interagency collaboration, in the end, will also be the preferred method of handling a complex problem such as this, the reality here is that these agencies and their form of collaboration have existed for as long as there have been evictions and clean-ups. They are ineffective. Gathering everyone together is noble. But actions my friend speak louder than words. I propose that either the Mayor and/or City Council gets off its duff and stop using our taxes to punish both the street homeless and the members of this community who try to help the street homeless. Costing our community nearly $200,000 annually in donations that get confiscated is absolutely shameful. Harper has been on Council for 8 years and has done nothing. Didier has been on Council for 12 years and has done nothing. Bender for 14 years--Nothing. Smith for 14 years--Nothing. Crawford for 20 years--Nothing. Shoaff for 12 years--Nothing. Hines for 12 years--Nothing. Jehl for 4 years--Nothing. Paddock for 4 years---Nothing. Henry for 20+ years (Mayor and City Council combined)--Nothing. Do you really believe that the topic of how to help the street homeless has never come up before now? What have "the unified efforts of those who are diligently seeking to improve the situation" done to actually IMPROVE the situation? Besides developing future goals, discuss how to attain those future goals, and staying positive--the collaborative efforts aren't doing anything to get these people off the street now when its needed most. But, having said all of that, I have myself come to some very important decisions. First, to Mitch Harper -- I owe you an apology for calling you a career politician. While I do maintain that being in office of any type (or series of offices) for 20 or more years should quantify and qualify a person as being a "career" politician. However, in light of my recent review of how many City Councilmen have served longer than you, I realize that it was unfair of me to call you a "career politician" without taking into the consideration that such a term is relative to those around you. I hope you will accept my apologies for that slight. Regarding Jeff Landis' Homeless Challenge and despite Ken Miller's attempt to give Didier and Harper an out---I personally challenge Mayoral hopeful Mitch Harper to take up the Homeless Challenge. So this community that YOU are indeed different from Mayor Henry. We all know you have "thought" about the Challenge, but the time has come to put those thoughts into actions. Stay one night outside without any comforts--no tent, no sleeping bag, no pillows or blankets, no hand-outs from family and friends, no comforts whatsoever--and SHOW that you get it. I am confident that one night in weather that street homeless have had to endure and are currently enduring will be enough motivation for you to craft legislation that helps to alleviate their suffering and save the community a significant amount of money. As you are aware, Indianapolis' City Council has a Homeless Bill of Rights being drafted. The framework has already been done. Step up, sir, and do what is morally right and totally within your power. To Mayor Henry -- You, too, have an opportunity to demonstrate that you are different from Harper. Do you have the courage to put aside the trappings of your office and the comfort of your home to subject yourself to their suffering?
  • Ed Rose Gina, I believe the 100 number is actual outdoor living homeless. It does not include those in shelters at night but no place to call "home" during the day. If you use national averages for cities our size the number could be well be under stated by a decent margin. It is so difficult to locate and get a solid number.
    Besides downtown there are various other areas that small micro homeless societies exist. Some live in cars, abandon houses, mobile homes, empty buildings, or the basements of occupied buildings that the basement is not used. Then you have the "couch surfers" who have a friend or relative a place to sleep.
    Keep in mind some of these people actually work but for nearly minimum wage and not full time. They make enough for food and maybe a bus ride to work but no money for rent and utilities.
    Ken Miller, I fully agree with you. Often working quietly behind the scenes moves the cause along greater then public yelling. In my case, I know for a fact, by true research, that almost every successful program in reducing homelessness is one of embracing the issue over persecution of those who end up on the streets.
    That cities that embrace all those that assist in assisting the homeless and develop or modify their efforts reduce the number of people on the street nightly. However, the city is the one that must be the one to organize such. The city also creates an intake person that any homeless can contact, go through a questionnaire that contains all questions that various shelters ask and find the best suited answer. It may have the person going to the township trustee, the Rescue Mission, the Mathew 25 clinic or say Fort Wayne Housing Authority.
    The city or any government unit lacks the compassion to deal with the homeless outside of providing direction in regards to assisting homeless. Likewise the FWPD should work with our local hospitals to have a social worker on call when police are dealing with a homeless person with regards to moving, taking a homeless person in for mental evaluation and trying to avoid arresting the homeless person.
    So as you see the city would need to add an intake position that is staffed 24 hours a day. There is some unique ways that may not actually have someone in a office 24 hours a day but on call, with a computer link to the data maintained on the host computer.
  • Ed Rose I could go on about housing first and stop violating the rights of the homeless but each requires a new approach this administration appears not wishing to endorse.
  • June Angela I was a victim of domestic violence last spring. As a result of the violence i was evicted from my apt. I applied for housing and the wait time is 2 to 4 years. I have gone to several "services" that claim they will help with housing. All they do is talk. I was told by Lutheran Services that if I had an income I could have an apt. I found a job but was required to pay for my own physical and background check. Again, I went to several "services" looking for help. Nothing. I had to turn down the job. Lutheran told me "At least you know that you can get a job." They then wanted to talk to me about my options. This is such bs. I had a chance to start over and was denied. These "services" in my opinion are not doing their job. they want to keep you in the system. If it weren't for the kindness of friends, I would be on the streets looking for a sleeping bag. Since I am staying with friends, no one considers me homeless. It's a lose-lose situation. I know a lot of people that have similar situations like mine. We need help too.
  • Ed Rose June, that is the very thing the City would play a roll in getting services to maybe modify their services. The problem is there is not one person in Allen County that know the who, what, and where of available services. That identifying an issue is 75% of the way to obtaining a favorable result.
  • Milton Thomas Rusty works directly for the mayor I'm sure he reported back to him
  • Terry Doran June I am inviting you to tell your story at my Theater for Ideas Community Forum, "Homeless in the City of Fort Wayne." this Sunday, 2 pm, Wunderkammer. My goal is find PERMANENT HOUSING for Fort Wayne's homeless and to challenge churches to open their doors to give them shelter.
  • Terry Doran I invited Rusty to the event. No reply. and the mayor who said "prior commitments" and Mitch Harper who said nothing. Two other city council members will be there.
  • June Angela Thank you Terry for the invite. I do believe I will take you up on it. I want to try to make an impact. If my story helps one person, one family, it will be worth it.
  • Terry Doran Great June. I look forward to meeting you. Your story will have an impact I'm sure.
  • Gina Burgess Ed Rose -- Yes, I am only talking about the homeless actually having to live on the street as they are absolutely the most vulnerable. If we can get them temporary pre-shelter housing, then we can work on other segments of the homeless population. But, having said that, I really do believe we need to also work on more permanent low-cost post-shelter options. This is not a very good diagram, but: street homeless (and then other non-sheltered homeless) >> into pre-shelter temporary housing (i.e. tents and sleeping bags) >> then into shelters >> they become sheltered homeless (still needy, but less vulnerable) >> into low-cost more-permanent post-shelter housing (i.e. tiny houses or something). My proposal is not perfect by any means, but it is simple and attainable. $18,000 (maybe more later, so let's say $21,000) to get unsheltered street homeless into pre-shelter, temporary housing. If funding were available or could be found, would you support at least the first phase of my proposal as a "do-able" solution that can be implemented here and now?
  • Gina Burgess Terry Doran -- I just realized that I had not gotten back to you regarding your February 1st show on the area's homeless. Due to the number of special projects I have going on, I can't commit to your show at this time. The best I can offer is my best effort to try to be there when the show is going on, but without any plans of me talking. That way, you aren't relying on my presence taking up time on your show--in case I'm not able to attend. And, if I am able to attend, I will forgo talking unless you have someone else that you depended on to show up and they didn't. I guess in a clumsy way I am offering to be your Plan B....LOL!  Would that work for you?
  • Gina Burgess Also, Terry Doran -- Could you let us know who the City councilmen are that are able to commit to your show? I always like to give kudos when they are deserved--and acknowledging the problem and appearing on your show is definitely worthy of kudos. 
  • Gina Burgess June Angela -- Thank you for sharing your story! 
  • June Angela Gina Burgess, That is only the condensed version. But you're welcome.
  • Terry Doran That's fine, Gina. if you make it you'll have a chance to comment. I'll make sure. Glynn Hines and Geoff Paddock. And I like your posts here, especially the sentence about these meetings are all for show, the appearance of caring. I find that so often to be true, why I didn't go today. Those people many of them, get a salary and status for working on "the homeless problem" but as you state, nothing actually of note is accomplished.
  • Ed Rose Gina Burgess since I know by magic we can get more and more diverse shelter space so NO ONE needs to live out in the elements I have to accept some will be forced to live in it. But only as an ugly mandate.
    My first preference is an indoor tent city. D
    avid Roach mentioned the concept and two cities did use such. One city used it for just extreme cold and the other used it for nearly two years. They both where operated the same. The owners of the buildings leased a single floor of a local group that already operated a shelter. They leased the property for $1.00 a year. The owner supplied lighting.
    The local shelter provided liability insurance that they already had but needed to cover the second building. The cost was listed as "minimal" but not sure what that translates into dollars.
    The local shelter was also responsible for maintaining a safe environment by having someone on site. Because of the size the various micro societies could be spread to various areas of the floor.
    There was an area set aside and secured for the people to keep their property and not worry about thief. The shelter worker maintained the key and log of who had what stored in large garbage bags.
    Port-A-Johns was located within the area and also large garbage barrels. The people staying their took care of their area.
    Again the cost to the city is zero, unless it is a city building they would pay for the lights.
    However, even before that the City and FWPD must stop violating the rights of people that have no option of staying in a shelter and the unlawful seizure, plus destruction of property. Only the homeless in our community face such violation of their rights!
  • Gina Burgess Ed Rose -- Thank you for reminding me of David Roach's idea.  I agree that no one shold ever be out in the elements, but for the immediate short-term....its a stepping stone to a more concrete like David Roach's. Which in turn could be a stepping stone to shelters and the services they provide, which in turn could be stepping stone to home ownership via a concept like tiny houses, which may itself be a stabilized stepping stone to something bigger and more stabilized. Again, no perfect ideas, but maybe the start of a better, more inclusive/less exclusive sequence of services?? Even if only a temorary fix to those agencies who collaborate a better solution.
  • Ed Rose Gina, if I was Mayor or in charge on the homeless my first order would be stop violating the legal rights of the homeless and that they receive the same rights I have.
    Following that I would have the police chief have officers check with the respective
    shelter if they have room for Joe Doe. If not, let him be but I would also have the officers inform those remaining on the street to keep their area clean. Also I would have several port-a johns placed in out of the way locations. A sign would be posted that occupying said port-a-John for more then 15 minutes will earn you a loitering ticket ( I don't want it to become a drug shoot up place or sleeping quarters).
    Then within two weeks I would work out the details of an indoor tent area. From that time on if someone is sleeping on the street is of their choice and not that of the city.
  • Joe Renner I have a new respect for you Ed Rose. Thank you for being you.
  • Ed Rose Joe, I've not changed from day one. I am clarifying my position much more based on research and not newspaper writings. I personally don't like calling out the city but sadly the facts are very clear that for whatever reason our city is failing.
  • Ed Rose Joe Renner. I woke up this morning thinking my last statement may be taken as self pompous. It was not intended as such but just clarifying that my position on the treatment/program of the homeless has not changed. Clarified and more detailed in a workable solution that takes advantage of what we have, redirect efforts, and not at cost to taxpayers when you look at the solution as a whole.
  • Gina Burgess Great idea Ed Rose
  • Michelle Hill Ed Rose--besides the fact that the city is failing at finding a real solution to this issue, they are also spending Large amounts of our taxpayer dollars to fund these 'solutions'. I like many of the solutions given here, by you and Gina Burgess, as well as some references to Mr. Roach's comments/suggestions on this issue.
  • Terry Doran Everyone the Homeless in the City of Churches forum this Sunday is 2 pm, our time, the event page says pst time.
  • Terry Doran The Journal Gazette is covering the event with a reporter and photographer.
  • David Roach Gina Burgess- you had said i havent acknowledged Jeff Jeffery Wayne Landis homeless challenge.. I have i told him I have been homeless before- but i had some resources- so it was more of a choice. I survuved; and i knew it wouldnt be forever. It wasnt in the dead of winter. I cannot do it at this time- because i have some responsiliities that prevent me fro doing so- so- i can afford to take a chance on pneumonia; etc.. ANd- knowing it would only be for a wekend- well example- the Military has various versions ofHELL WEEK- where youfocus on whe it ends- so a couple of days- i could easily endure. as for endless not knowing? well- i wouldnt let that happen id throw a brick through the GOP HW window; and sit out the sentence in jail. - but i have ditues so i cant- but anybody who cant take the outdoors-well- any city /govt building- one large brick. 
    So- by way of correction- i have respectfully refused to accept the Jeffery Wayne Landis challenge- like i said- not because i couldnt do it- i can survive- but that i have other repsonsibilities. but i ahve been making as mujch noise as i can about it - because nothing in this town ever gets done without either back room deal making; the exchange of large quantities of cash; or through lots of noise makes stirring up the masses and the media. thats just the facts of this CORRUPT DYSTOPIAN KLEPTOCRACY WE CALL HOME..
  • Ken Miller It saddens me that we're still pushing around this "challenge" as an endurance test. That isn't what it's for. It was intended to encourage us all, most especially the city gov's "heads", to seek better understanding of some of our fellows' plight, and to really ascertain who they are and how we can most ideally meet their needs. It's to show love Amd determination to be willing to do what it takes and put ourselves directly on the line with these people. Anything else is confused from the actual point and excuses, in most cases. If we really want to do this, we Will.
    8 hrs · Unlike · 2
  • Joe Renner I did last night, and it was very educational.
    8 hrs · Like · 2



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