Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hungry, Huddled Hordes Of Homeless

I recently exchanged e-mails with DC Government concerning the fact that the homeless are going hungry while remaining in the hypothermia shelter all day during hypothermia. It didn't go well. Long story short, the homeless will be fed additional meals if they remain in the shelter all day due to there being snow or ice on the ground. If they remain in the shelter all day due to it being 20 degrees outside, they will only receive the usual dinner, no lunch or breakfast. Read our exchange below and my further explanation that follows:

From: Eric Sheptock [mailto: ericsheptock@yahoo.com ]
Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 4:01 PM
Subject: No Food For The Homeless During Hypothermia!!!!!

NO FOOD FOR HOMELESS DURING HYPOTHERMIA

I personally have yet to stay at 801 East throughout the day when it is hypothermic. However, more than one man has told me that food was not provided by DHS/Catholic Charities during hypothermia. It is my understanding that, a couple of days ago, the men didn't receive any food until 5 PM, having last eaten at 7:30 PM the previous evening. Furthermore, the food that they received at 5 PM came from a church.

During the winter plan meeting on September 3rd, Fred Swan assured me that more than one meal would be served on hypothermic days. What happened, Fred? The lack of homeless services in SE was one of the big reasons that guys didn't want to move there. Now that Franklin has been closed, the services that the mayor and others promised are not being delivered. They were only delivered long enough to pacify the homeless and move them into SE. This amounts to a bait and switch.


--- On Tue, 11/25/08, Swan, Fred (DHS) wrote:

From: Swan, Fred (DHS)
Subject: RE: No Food For The Homeless During Hypothermia!!!!!
Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 8:49 AM

Eric

What I said at the meeting you are referring to is that on hypothermia alert days when there is inclement (snow, ice, etc.), which makes it dangerous for individuals to travel to the feeding programs, we would ensure that there are meals provided at the shelters. Otherwise, individuals can utilize the transportation to get to the feeding programs. Shelters to provide snacks, but meals are not provided during the day unless it is inclement weather.

From: Eric Sheptock [mailto: ericsheptock@yahoo.com ]
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 12:06 PM
Subject: RE: No Food For The Homeless During Hypothermia!!!!!

So, if a man takes the shuttle bus to S.O.M.E. (or the nearest shuttle bus stop) to eat, he can't get back to 801 East, even during a freeze, provided there is no snow. HE MUST REMAIN OUTDOORS OR GO ELSEWHERE TO STAY WARM.

The last scheduled bus ride leaves 801 East about 7:30 AM. I know of the UPO van. That is not run on a timely schedule. What I mean is that one must call for it, as opposed to waiting near the MLK library at an appointed time. This may be too uncertain for some to the extent that they don't want to take their chances leaving the shelter to get food. They might not get back soon enough. They might need to wait in the cold in excess of an hour.

RE: No Food For The Homeless During Hypothermia!!!!!Tuesday, November 25, 2008 12:09 PM From: "Swan, Fred (DHS)"

No Eric that is not the case. They can take the hotline van back to the shelter.


Fred Swan is the head of the Family Services Administration which is a division of the Dept. of Human Services. He is often quick to rectify problems that other homeless advocates and I report to him. However, when faced with the choice of improving services at the behest of a homeless person/advocate or saving face for himself and/or DHS, he'll always do the latter. Saving face for the department (or himself) always dwarfs the need to help the homeless in his mind. At least that has been my observation. And I've been watching for a while.

Note: The feeding places that the homeless go to were within 2 miles of the now closed Franklin Shelter. The men would need to walk about 6 miles to get to the NEAREST one from the 801 East Shelter

As for the way that he says things will play out this winter, I've decided to construct a worse-case scenario for you. It would go as follows:

The men of the 801 East Shelter decide to venture out on a cold day so as to get food at S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat), Miriam's Kitchen or DPHW (Dinner Program for Homeless Women), which now feeds breakfast to men and women, making it an obvious misnomer for 2 reasons.

It is 20 degrees; but, there is no snow or ice on the ground.

((There are scheduled shuttle buses that bring the men from the MLK, Jr. Library to the shelter, leaving the library at 6:10 PM and 6:45 PM, 7 days a week. The shuttle arrives at the shelter at 6:30 AM, 7:00 AM and 7:30 AM 5 days per week. There are 2 morning buses on the weekend. This is all with the assumption that there aren't any problems.))

After the men eat, they begin to call the hypothermia van from dozens of locations. The van begins to galavant all over God's creation to find this dispersed crowd of homeless men and return them to the shelter. (There is no set pick-up point or time at this time of day.)

Some of the men will end up waiting in the cold in excess of an hour. They won't be able to wait inside, as they'd risk not being seen by the hypothermia van. In some instances, there is no place for them to wait inside after the breakfast program that they eat at closes down.

You can only image what might go wrong during the wait. How many people will be frost-bitten or freeze while awaiting the hypothermia van?

It is much easier to have one van bring the food to several shelters than it is to have the hypothermia van gallavant all over god's creation to round up hundreds of homeless people and return them to several shelters. It is also much more economical. Consider the price of gas and the time consumed with all of the extra driving.

JUST THINK ABOUT IT.....

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Is there Life After Franklin?

Franklin Shelter's doors were closed by Mayor adrian fenty on September 26th, 2008. The former residents were scattered throughout DC. Many have suffered great losses and inconveniences as a result of the closure. A few have even put up a fight so as to try to be compensated for their losses and to re-open Franklin Shelter. All of this begs the question,"What now, is there life after Franklin?"

I must say that there is indeed life after Franklin and there's probably more life than the mayor thought there would be. Let's bear in mind that the homeless often feel disenfranchised and marginalized. They, for the most part, don't stand up for themselves. When mis-treated, they often take it lying down. I'm inclined to believe that the mayor thought that would continue to be the case. Boy was he wrong!!!!!

Prior to the closing of Franklin Shelter, it was difficult to get even 5 homeless people to go to a meeting or hearing that was arranged for them. When asked to attend the meeting and voice their concerns, they'd often say of their local government,"They aren't going to do anything for us anyway", or, "They work for the business men and those with money, not for us". I as an individual have long maintained that knowing that your government doesn't have your best interest at heart is no reason to avoid speaking to them. It's all the more reason to get pissed and confront these people whose salaries you pay with your taxes. That spirit seems to be catching on like wildfire.

Recently I've seen the homeless attending various meetings and hearings by the dozens. To be sure, this is in part due to the recent crisis created by budget cuts to needed social programs and in part due to the aggressive outreach being done by members of Empower DC, a grassroots organizer/non-profit. DC Government has recently slashed, frozen or threatened the budgets of several programs that house the homeless, assist with rent payments or even help people to purchase houses. Furthermore, they are privatizing the mental health department, which might prove to be a good thing in some respects. Even so, the changes are occurring so quickly that progress is often difficult to track and the success of a program may be impossible to evaluate. (The refusal by the mayor to disclose information to the Council doesn't make it any easier to evaluate a new or recently altered program.)

Mayor fenty created the Permanent Supportive Housing program and used its creation to justify closing Franklin Shelter. Six weeks after the closure we received word that the Housing First program (Permanent Supportive Housing) may be in peril and that other programs were on the chopping block as well. The shelter is gone. The housing is going. I'd like to say that this amounts to a bait and switch, except that it was the mayor who created the PSH program and then closed Franklin Shelter and the Council who followed with the budget cuts. Make what you will of that one. Add to that the fact that winter is right around the corner and it is cold outside even now. The homeless are worried and rightly so. This is neoliberalism at its worst -- eliminating social programs when they're needed most. Making matters worse is the fact that seperate but equal branches of government are taking missteps which compliment each other so as to leave the needy high and dry.

It is important to note that the government will care for the homeless in one way or another -- either by sheltering them or by housing them. Even during an economic downturn they must do one or the other. They can't just hang people out to dry. Federal law won't allow it. This makes it senseless to slash the funding for social programs during hard times. they aren't eliminating costs, just shifting them.

Speaking of shifting, that is also what's being done to the homeless themselves. They've been shifted from the Franklin Shelter to other shelters. (Franklin had over 300 residents of which 87 were housed. The rest were moved to other shelters.) Many of them were moved to the 801 East Shelter on the other side of the Anacostia River (the equivalent of sending someone to the other side of the tracks in days of old). Being east of the river makes it difficult for these homeless men to get to the services that they use downtown. They feel their lives getting more difficult.

Sensing the urgency of the matters at hand, the homeless have begun to get involved in local politics and are working to solve their own problems. But they are not the only ones. Local non-profits and concerned citizens are also lending a hand. A certain lawyer is working pro bono to sue the mayor in court and make him re-open Franklin. Empower DC is using Franklin School as a model of how the government can gather community input on the proposed use of vacant public property. They are gathering ideas on the proposed usages of the now empty Franklin School. The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless is vying for downtown shelter. Various homeless people are filing complaints about shelter conditions. The poor and homeless as well as those advocating for them are contesting the elimination of various social programs. Various newspapers, radio shows and the news are covering the issue of homelessness in general and the Franklin issue and elimination of the safety net in particular. In spite of the fact that Franklin has been closed, there is still much energy revolving around the issue. As a matter of fact, the energy is increasing. I think that the mayor bit off more than he can chew.

As if that's not enough, Barack Obama sent 2 men from his senatorial office to visit Franklin Shelter on October 25th, 2006. This was prior to beginning his presidential campaign. I'm inclined to believe that it was just an exploratory mission for the purpose of designing the platform on which he would run his campaign. Let's hope that he remembers the poor and homeless after taking office. Let's take steps to make sure that happens.

Keep hope alive!!!!!
(She's a really sweet and pretty girl.)

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Friday, November 14, 2008

The Economy and Housing First

First of all, I would like to clarify my position on the Housing First program known as Permanent Supportive Housing. (For those who are just coming on board with the homeless/housing issue, "Housing First" doesn't refer to an actual program, but rather a philosophy and a way in which some Permanent Supportive Housing programs are run. It is the practice whereby people are housed first and their issues are dealt with later. Those issues can range from mental illness to drug addiction to a need for job training.)

I am not against the PSH program at all. However, I believe that DC government's plan is seriously flawed. There have been numerous reports of people who are still addicted receiving housing only to sell their furniture, appliances and housing vouchers. There have also been reports of inadequate casework. To make matters worse, the mayor is withholding information from the Council so that they can't properly evaluate the program. For all of its faults, I still don't want the program to be done away with. Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. Let's just smooth out the rough edges. I have heard housing recipients express their gratitude for the program. I believe that the PSH program can be shaped into something awesome.

As a quick aside I'll say that many people are shocked and appalled to hear that I haven't been housed in lieu of my pro bono homeless advocacy. I am too.

Unfortunately, the housing program has fallen prey to the economic downturn. The poor are always the first to feel the budget crunch during an economic downturn. The stories vary, due in part to people being misinformed and in part to the decision makers changing their minds. On Saturday, November 8th I read an e-mail that said $10 mil would be taken from the Permanent supportive Housing budget of $19.2 mil. By Monday the 10th it had risen to $12.4 mil, which would've left $6.8 mil. On that same day over 50 homeless persons and advocates visited the Wilson building (City Hall) to voice their concern.

Councilman Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who is also the chairperson for the Committee on Human services, gave his explanation: "Of the $19.2 mil budget for PSH, $8 mil is for one-time expenditures that include but are not limited to the purchase of buildings and furniture. The other $11.2 mil is for operating expenses. $6 mil is being cut from the $8 mil and $2 mil is being cut from the $11.2 mil. That leaves $2 mil for one-time purchases and $9.2 mil for operating expenses. We will continue to house homeless singles, but not families."

Friday (this morning) I received word from homeless service providers in 2 locations that the funds for PSH have been frozen. With both sources being reliable, I know that it must be true. The way news changes in just a few days!!!!! As a word of assurance, I will tell you what I know to be true, which is that the Council can't freeze or take funds that have already been committed. This is true for any and all departments of DC Government. For this reason, the Council is in a race with the rest of DC Government to cut funds before those departments rush to commit their funds in an effort to keep from having their budgets slashed.

I've heard the homeless express their feelings of hopelessness. Some were told that they were very close to being housed, then this. Those who were in despair prior to the economy going sour are sinking even further into despair now. When will it end? Be vigilant.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Housing First Won't Last

I've posted an urgent message from a non-profit that assists the homeless population (Pathways To Housing). I don't normally post on consecutive days. However, this matter is of such grave concern that I saw fit to post it immediately.

Mayor Fenty had more faith than he should've in the Housing First Program known as Permanent Supportive Housing than he should've. He used its creation to justify closing Franklin Shelter. Now, just 6 weeks after closing Franklin, the housing program is in peril.

Many homeless advocates tried to warn the mayor and his administration. We told him and his administration that they were moving way too quickly. They wouldn't heed our warnings. Now the "Housing First" program is fast becoming the "Housing Worst" program. It is about to become the Fenty administration's biggest embarrassment. (I'm helping to make that true.)

I'm not certain whether or not the program can be saved at this point. Nonetheless, let's try to save it. Read the message below and the attachment (which I've also posted) and follow the instructions. It would greatly help the homeless population. Whether or not we save the program, at the very least we'll be able to say to the mayor,"I told you so!!!!!" That's somewhat gratifying in and of itself.

Read it and weep.....

--- On Fri, 11/7/08, Linda M. Kaufman wrote:

From: Linda M. Kaufman
Subject: Cuts to Housing First
To: "Linda M. Kaufman"
Date: Friday, November 7, 2008, 3:58 PM

Friends:

I almost never send blast emails to everyone I know, but this is so important I am asking everyone to respond.

The City Council is considering defunding the Housing First program. This would mean no one else moves into housing and those now in housing would be evicted.

Please join with us to restore funds to Housing First. I have attached a document with contact information for City Council.

After you have made your calls, would you please send this on to as many people as you can think of.

Linda

Linda M. Kaufman

Chief Operating Officer

Pathways to Housing

101 Q St., NE

Washington, DC 20002


202-529-2972

202-529-2976 (fax)

lkaufman@pathwaysdc.org

www.pthdc.org


ATTACHMENT:

Support Housing First!

Stop the evictions!


The DC City Council has realized that they need to start a reserve fund to respond to the economic downturn. A proposal on the table right now is to take $10 million from the Housing First fund. This would stop the program and would mean that individuals now in the Housing First will be evicted. These individuals have moved into their own apartments in the past two months.

Please call and email members of the City Council and ask them to support Housing First.

Here are the two asks:

1. Restore the funding to the Housing First program
2. Don’t evict any individuals from the Housing First program.


Gray, Vincent C.
vgray@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8032

Schwartz, Carol
schwartzc@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8105

Catania, David
dcatania@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-7772

Mendelson, Phil
pmendelson@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8064

Brown, Kwame R.
kbrown@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8174

Graham, Jim
jgraham@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8181

Evans, Jack
jackevans@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8058

Cheh, Mary
mcheh@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8062

Bowser, Muriel
mbowser@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8052

Thomas Jr., Harry (Tommy)
hthomas@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8028

Wells, Tommy
twells@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8072

Alexander, Yvette M.
yalexander@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8068

Barry, Marion
mbarry@dccouncil.us
(202) 724-8045

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Friday, November 7, 2008

The First Thing that needs changin'

Below is a slightly modified message that I sent to a friend and sweetheart of mine who works for the U.S. Dept. of Labor. I figured that since parts of my message apply to the fight against poverty, homelessness and corporate greed, I would send this modified message to others. I therefore modified the message, removing the parts that only pertained to her and forwarded it to others. Below my message is her response. She has stated some very interesting and intelligent insights into "The First Thing That Needs Changin'"

Enjoy.....

From: Eric Sheptock
Date: Thursday, November 6, 2008, 3:38 PM

Many of the homeless have asked me to help them to get jobs. They don't just want a hand-out. They also want a hand up. As it turns out, DC has a terrible workforce development dilemma. There is supposedly a large job market in the city. However, most jobs require a high level of skill. There are not enough people in the city with those skills. Therefore, employers look elsewhere for employees. In the meantime, many DC residents remain unemployed.

As if this isn't enough, DC Government has tried without any measurable success to solve the problem. I've listened to the Council discuss the matter during legislative sessions. I've yet to see any action. In your infinite wisdom and your position in the seat of power at the Labor Dept., what would you suggest? Would YOUR (U.S.) government like to work with OUR (DC) government on this issue?

I have some good news too. I've learned from a DC Government employee as well as a shelter employee that I have both government employees and shelter employees running scared. As I attended the Halloween hearing I sensed that the several government employees present were a little uptight when they saw me.

On Monday evening I ran into the Homeless services coordinator for DHS. She explained to me how that my e-mails are forwarded to her and she is made to investigate all of my allegations, as I send complaints about any homeless services. As it turns out, when I met her she was on her way to the MLK Library to check out something that I'd e-mailed about the shuttle bus that takes homeless men from the library to the shelter.

Later that same day, a shelter employee told me about a recent staff meeting. He told me that his boss had said,"Whatever you do, don't upset that man (Eric Sheptock). If you do, he'll e-mail somebody and they'll be out here investigating us." He also told me that the homeless services coordinator had called the shelter to see if anyone was being denied shelter. This was in response to an e-mail of mine.

It is good to know that I can keep them on the go like that. They will have to take good care of the homeless from here on out. Better yet, they'll need to end homelessness in the District. I'll keep cracking the whip on the powers that be and possibly make them the powers that flee. Some people in DC Government don't like me; but, I don't care. I'm not in a popularity contest. I'm trying to make sure that people are treated properly.


******************************************

And here is her response.....
Hi Eric!

Thanks for the kind words--and you can keep my company an-ty-time :) at Xxxxx Xxxxxx! Its mutual!

I do remember that in the past, grants were given in support of employment and training projects to ease homelessness in the District. If my memory serves me correctly, that was during a democratic administration, for certainly those things have been more or less just that: a thing of the past for the past 8 years.

Now there's hope! we's got ourselves a new sheriff in town and I would say that is THE THING that can and will make all the difference in forging new initiatives and partnerships. and so I will say that I see no reason the two governments can't once again work together--and when I say that I mean in a way that they 'come together' in meaningful ways outside of the normal monies that now go to the city for unemployment insurance, training and retraining, counseling and other re-employment services... those of course are 'standard' under the Workforce Investment Act and administered through the D.C. Department of Employment Services.

The point you make about skills is a good one--we not only have seen, and will continue to see as it is now a global, resource issue--manufacturing jobs and jobs in other sectors disappear: we see workers and employers struggle with a new market that is on a 'world stage'... different skills are needed and the world is indeed flat. Innovation and new ways of doing businesses have all but paralyzed regional economies throughout the U.S.

Inasmuch as we are transitioning to the new government, I am hopeful that we can come together. It will take some time for 'the new kids on the block' (thank GOD they're back!) to settle down and craft and communicate to us their agenda for this agency. and now I can begin to ask questions about what we will do, right here, at home in D.C. and in our surrounding juridictions, although I do believe that our attention is best focused in the District, for starters. I will ask and promise to keep asking until 'somethin' shakes out!'... I know these folks will have a lot of work to do... and we can prevail upon them with one more thing 'on the list' that needs doin.'

I'm THRILLED that 'they' know you are keeping a watchful eye and that you won't hesitate to step up and speak out--that in and of itself is a blessing and most of all injects accountability where there was none; where folks could [did] get away with their dirty deeds 'cause they thought no one was looking. mayhaps no one was, until you. what a blessing and an impact--that's one of the special ways in which GOD puts you to work.

they don't like you because you make things uncomfortable for those who would otherwise come to work and punch their tickets--they don't like you because you stand for making a difference and for changin' what needs changin'...

HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
see you soon; blessings on your day, my dear!!!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Unsafe permanent Supportive Housing Units

Below are a couple of e-mail messages that I sent about a man that was feared dead shortly after receiving Permanent Supportive Housing. HE TURNED OUT TO HAVE SURVIVED A BRUTAL ATTACK AND REMAINS IN THE HOSPITAL. However, if something isn't done quickly, the next person might not be so lucky.

Read them and weep..........

****************************************

In the few minutes that I have I wanted to let you know that I received credible info from Pat Handy, the DHS Homeless Services Coordinator, that Tommy Overton was indeed badly beaten but is very much alive. He is in the hospital. DC Gov., take this as a warning. it could've been much worse. I will send a more detailed message later letting all who I told about Tommy Overton that he is still alive. Bear in mind that I received this news around 6:30 PM yesterday. It doesn't mean yet that he couldn't've taken a turn for the worse or that he won't die; but, as far as I know, he's alive.

********************************

You are free to forward, publish and post the following. Media personnel, I hope that you choose to do some investigative journalism, especially since DC Government is so secretive and opaque (as opposed to being transparent). I hope to embarrASS them -- with honesty.

Unsafe permanent Supportive Housing Units

I recently received an e-mail from a concerned homeless advocate who used to be homeless himself. he feared that a comrade of his might've been murdered right after moving into Permanent Supportive Housing. The good news is that, while the man had been badly beaten, he did live. The bad news is that he was beaten and that there were precursors that should've alerted DC Government to the imminent threat. (I don't know whether the attack was random or the result of an altercation.) However, many homeless people who have been offered housing have turned in their keys to DHS. Some have had rats and roaches, while others have been placed in violent, drug-ridden neighborhoods. I personally spoke to a man who returned his keys twice due to their having been murders and other serious crimes on his block while he lived there in his Permanent Supportive Housing. Many homeless advocates including myself have told DC government about the problems with PSH. Councilman Tommy Wells seems to be in denial. He stated on Halloween that he has heard many stories of people selling their furniture, appliances and vouchers but hasn't received proof-positive to that effect. Many of us have also complained about the unsafe neighborhoods and other problems. Let's bear in mind how opaque and secretive the Fenty administration is. That makes it impossible to prove much of anything. He is protecting the confidentiality of housing recipients to the extent that he won't even tell the total number of people that have lost or given up their housing (which wouldn't violate the rules of confidentiality). So much for the transparency that he promised during his campaign. I'm glad that the man who was beaten lived. However, it really could've been much worse. I plan to keep this beating in the face of DC Government in hopes of it beating certain ones down mentally (Fenty especially). Let's hope that he doesn't die. He is presently in the hospital. I'm not sure as to how bad off he is. Let's warrant against this happening anymore.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Severe Beating At A Permanent Supportive Housing Unit

The following is a message that I received from a formerly homeless man about a comrade who might've been murdered shortly after moving into a Permanent supportive Housing unit. (I've done some slight editing.) The PSH program is the program that Mayor Fenty used to justify closing Franklin Shelter. Many people who've been offered housing through this program have turned it down due to, among other reasons, being placed in unsafe, drug-ridden neighborhoods. Now we have a possible murder of a formerly homeless man. As if murder isn't appalling enough in and of itself, this man lived more than 10 years on the street and less than 1 week in his apartment after being. It seems to be safer to live on the streets than in an apartment. That's sad.


Mr. Barry, Ms. Alexander,

Good Morning. I am e-mailing you both this morning in the fear that a man that I was homeless in the streets of downtown D.C. with (who himself had been homeless for about 10-15 years) was beaten to death over the weekend in the hallway of the Permanent Supportive Housing unit assigned him on about the 4th of last month.

He is/was one of mine ("mine" meaning that since being delivered from my drug addiction and homelessness I've continually interacted and monitored the activities of my homeless friends in the areas downtown that I called home while homeless).

Not only is this a Heads up, I'm asking for your help. This is what I know: On Friday night, at 3333 10th Pl. S.E.( your Ward 8, Mr. Barry ) another one of my people who had been assigned a unit at that address three-four weeks earlier and knew the said victim was awaken by what he described as a bunch of noise. Being new to an area that he didn't feel safe in he chose to ignore the incident. After about 5 minutes or so as he got up, he recognized the screams to be those of the homeless guy and friend he had known for years on the streets. He then grabbed a hammer and opened his door to see two guys and a girl badly beating a man that we know by the name of, " Quick ". (His real name is/was, Tommy Overton. He was assigned apartment # 204 of the previously stated address.)

After chasing the three out of the building with the hammer and helping the badly beaten " Quick ", to his door he returned to his apartment and went back to sleep. He had been drinking and when I asked whether or not he called 911 he said no. He doesn't have a house phone and he was sure that with all the noise and the screams in the hallway that someone in the building surely had called 911.

On Saturday, after about 1:00 pm he went up to #204 to check on, " Quick ", and his door was opened slightly enough for him to see that, " Quick " was collapsed just inside the door blocking farther entrance, laying in a pool of blood with blood all over the walls. By this time having someone with him that had a cell phone, they called 911 and left the building, citing a rule of the streets -- to mind your own business.

Out of the entire building, someone had to have heard the screams of a neighbor being beaten and nobody ever opened their door or called 911. After calling 911 and leaving, they called me. They returned home to a Crime Scene taped building and were interviewed a couple of times by Homicide Detectives, which leads to be believe that Tommy died.

I called the police on Sunday from the scene and had a cruiser come by so as to learn of his status and after running my name for warrants they imformed me that no info could be given to me and that any info that I got would have to come from the victims mother, father, sister or brother. News in the Homeless community gets around fast. I've had over 15 calls as to whether he's dead or not. I do know that his mother and father are deceased.

On Friday while testifing, I was cut off by Mr. Wells. He said that I was to provide him proof of any statements that I made. In my previous testimonies and also during the broadcast of Housing First -- The Sequel, I've said over and over and over again that the placement of people with drug addiction issues would not be well-served being placed in an area of high drug traffic. This incident did not have to happen.

It's also not by chance that it happen in one of your two wards since the vast majority of the placements are in your wards. This could have been avoided. We, the formerly homeless and homeless, citing our unique qualifications in homelesssness could of helped to avoid this.

Mr. Well agreed to meet with us at STREATS along with the two of you to see if we can work something out. I'm asking for your Help, now more so than later. I need to know whether or not, Tommy Overton died as a result of the beating he took at the hands these two men and one woman. Tommy survived some 10-15 years on the streets of D.C. and it seems that after 3-4 days in a PSH program housing unit, he's beaten to death in the hallway. Please let me know if he did die. Contact me via e-mail or phone at 202/422-7729. What a shame that there had to be a, " sacrificial lamb ".

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