Those Darn Homeless People
It seems those pesky ‘homeless people’ are ruining
the opening of The Clinton Library & Massage Parlor.
Will someone please feel their pain … and then get them the heck out of here .
Little Rock dubbed ‘meanest’ for homeless by advocacy group
BY ANDREW DEMILLO AND JILL ZEMAN ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
Efforts to close 27 transient camps earned Little Rock the title “meanest city” in the nation, according to a report due out today from a national homeless advocacy group.
The National Coalition for the Homeless branded Little Rock with the title in a ranking of 20 cities. The rankings were derived from purported civil-rights violations and attitudes toward the homeless. Atlanta, Cincinnati and Las Vegas ranked in the top 10.
Little Rock’s ranking results from a proposal this year to close more than two dozen camps of homeless people around the city, mostly downtown. The plan was tabled after objections from advocates for the homeless, but the coalition said a danger remains that the city will move forward with its plan.
“This issue has been percolating here for some time,” said Michael Stoops, director of community organizing for the Washington-based coalition. “This is the first time that Little Rock has been documented in our report.” This marks the third report released by the coalition. Las Vegas has held the top spot for the past two years.
City leaders and some shelter directors on Monday objected to the ranking.
Little Rock leaders questioned the timing of the report, released a little more than a week before the Clinton Presidential Center’s opening, and sent out a three-page news release defending the city’s policies on the homeless.
“This has caught us totally off guard, and it’s unfair,” City Manager Bruce Moore said of the report.
Moore cited steps the city has taken to help the homeless. He said such steps make the title of “meanest city” more dubious.
The city allocates money to the St. Francis House, which provides services for the homeless, Moore said, and Little Rock employees helped with a homeless outreach day on Sept. 25.
In its proposed 2005 budget, the city has set aside $70,000 in community development block grant money for a day resource center for the homeless. Moore said he hopes to allocate more money for homeless services from the city’s general fund in its 2005 budget.
“I just think you’ve got a few people out there that are intent on making Little Rock look bad while we’re continuing to work with a group of individuals to address this problem,” Moore said.
The report also cites comments by Mayor Jim Dailey, who has advocated sweeping out the camps, as a reason for the ranking. Dailey did not return a call seeking his comment.
Sandra Wilson, executive director of the Arkansas Supportive Housing Network and a vocal opponent of the sweeps, said she hopes the report will spur the city to change policy toward the homeless. She said discussions with city officials have seen little progress.
“There aren’t enough resources for the homeless here,” Wilson said. “[City leaders] have to actually look at that and say we really haven’t done any good. … Instead of being silent, we need talk about this.”
Moore debunked the idea that Little Rock called for homeless camp sweeps to clean up the area before the Clinton library opening.
“The Clinton library just has never been a factor in any of our decisions or dialogue,” he said.
The report speculated that the Nov. 18 opening of the library, expected to draw more than 27,000 people, factored in the sweeps.
Little Rock numbers among 168 cities working on a 10-year plan to address chronic homelessness, a plan expected to come out in December.
Phil Mangano, the nation’s top official on homelessness, said he found the report “surprising,” given the discussions.
“There’s this unprecedented partnership around our country to do the right thing and be more solution-oriented in approaching homelessness,” said Mangano, executive director of the U.S Interagency Council on Homelessness. “I know Little Rock is a city that is moving in that direction.”
City Director Michael Keck said the city has “bent over backwards” to work with homeless advocacy groups and other organizations to help Little Rock’s homeless.
“Having someone who doesn’t live here who is trying to get a headline because the library opening’s getting ready to occur — I don’t think it does anything to advance the cause. I really don’t.”
As the report comes out this morning, city leaders will gather south of downtown to break ground for a $1.4 million shelter for Our House. The 70-bed shelter, expected to open next summer, will replace the shelter on Main Street.
Barry McDaniel, president of the shelter’s board of directors, had doubts about the ranking.
“We’re certainly not at the forefront in the efforts to deal with homelessness,” said Mc-Daniel, husband of City Director Barbara Graves. “But we’re certainly not in the rear either.”
Ali, please stop calling yourself “Ali”.
It confuses even me! LOL
(OK, I admit, I’m easily confused ).
So, either start calling yourself “Bin” or something, otherwise I’m gonna have to dredge up the name Alistair again, (and it’s been many, many years since I’ve used that handle).
Ali (not Bin Gali)
See - this is what I was talking about before on the audiominds forum. Ali bin showed up right around the time you showed up over there.
Mr. Gali is confused. He stared out being Pro Kerry then ended up showing his true Bush loving colors (and tipped his hand at his old name), and yet STILL posted Pro-Kerry stuff in the name of Allah. Allah is not happy when made fun of.
Mr. Burning SGali, Bush won. You have four more years, so stop Burning SGloating.
And if you have been following what’s been going on with the library/school/resource center (it has three components, it’s not just a library), you would realize how deeply committed Clinton is to solving problems like homelessness, and how novel that complex is, as these things go. A lot of good will be done there for Arkansas and everywhere else.
|Quote (Ali @ Nov. 10 2004,19:51)|
|Ali, please stop calling yourself "Ali".|
It confuses even me! LOL
Ilag nib Ila
TTFKAA (The terrorist formerly known as Ali)
Hey Phoo, you really need to get out more ....
Now about that Library & Massage Parlor, I wonder if there's gonna be an Interns' Wing ??
Why get out? I feel safe in my little box.
Thought I’d pass along this email I got from Bill Clinton Today
Chappaqua, New York
November 12, 2004
Next Thursday, November 18, the Clinton Presidential Center will open in Little Rock, Arkansas. Newsweek calls it “stunning,” and for people living today and generations to come, my hope is that it will be a vibrant place of history and learning.
The Center includes my library, the archives of the Clinton-Gore Administration and the Clinton School of Public Service. It will also be a home for the Clinton Foundation and its mission of good works here in America and around the world.
I created the Clinton Foundation not only to build the Clinton Presidential Center but also to help build a more integrated global community, one in which we recognize that, while our differences make life interesting, our common humanity matters more.
And so the Clinton Foundation is at work in Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx helping small businesses survive and grow. It is promoting racial, religious and ethnic reconciliation in places like Northern Ireland and the Middle East. The Foundation supports citizen service programs in America and South Africa, and perhaps most significantly, the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative is helping countries in the developing world obtain and distribute life-saving medicine to people suffering from AIDS.
This coming week will be an exciting one not only for me and my family, but for the people of Little Rock and Arkansas, as well as thousands of people I was lucky enough to have by my side during my campaigns and my time in office. I look forward to the opening of the Center, with its thousands of artifacts and millions of documents, and I hope its high-tech exhibits will prove to be both engaging and enlightening to people who stop and visit through the years.
I am especially proud that, by locating the Clinton Presidential Center where we did, we have helped encourage more than $700 million in economic investment and development in Little Rock. It’s the least I can do for a community and a state that meant so much to me throughout my life. And for the country that put its faith in me for eight years, I am proud to be able to turn over the keys to the Clinton Presidential Center on the day it opens. I am grateful, too, to the many thousands of people whose charitable donations made it happen.
If you aren’t able to be with us next week for the grand opening events, I hope you will visit the Clinton Presidential Center sometime soon. And in the meantime, please check out our website at www.clintonfoundation.org http://www.clintonfoundation.org . It contains a wealth of information about my Administration, the Center and the work of the Clinton Foundation around the world.
Thank you for your support. God bless you and may God bless America.
With best regards,
Ofcourse you were invited. You aren’t homeless, are you?