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Showing posts from October, 2009

The Cause Of The Homeless Is Moving Forward

Much has been happening lately to move the cause of the homeless forward. This, of course, is why I haven't been blogging as often as I'd like to. I'm glad to say that progress is being made and that the cries of the impoverished and homeless have reached even as far as the UNITED NATIONS.

On October 7th, the case of SHEPTOCK, et al v. FENTY, et al was back in federal court for a status hearing. This is the case that was begun as a result of Mayor Fenty closing the Franklin School Shelter on September 26th, 2008. Many people are surprised that the case has lasted this long and not been thrown out of court. We are due to return to court on December 11th. So long as the case remains in court, there is still a chance for justice to be served.

On October 22nd, my fellow homeless advocates "Better Believe Steve", Skip Watkins, Brenda Wilson and others pre-taped 2 shows for STREATS TV. In the first show we spoke to Tommy Wells who is the Ward 6 councilman as well as th…

DC Homeless Get A Reprieve From The Mayor And Realize Their Power

Reposted for Facebook viewers

I've made the rare move of doing 2 blog posts in 1 day. Please see the REVISED post below this one if you haven't already.

In a previous post I described the tenuous situation created by recent cuts to DC Government's Homeless Services budget. The loss of $12 million almost resulted in the closure of 6 homeless shelters which serve 900 men, 400 women and 600 children.

The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness (TCP) is contracted under DC Government to provide homeless services to the District. Catholic Charities is subcontracted under TCP to provide the majority of the homeless services. This enabled Catholic Charities to do a power play on DC Government. So, when they heard that the budgets for all DC homeless shelters would be cut by 30%, Catholic Charities said "All or nothing. If we can't provide a robust array of services that include substance abuse counseling, employment services and life skills training, th…

Women From John L. Young Women's Shelter Standing In The Rain

The following message was copied and pasted from an e-mail that I sent to people in DC Government's Dept. of Human services (DHS), Catholic Charities (which runs the John L. Young Women's shelter), the Washington Post and several lawyers for the homeless. I saw the women standing in the rain on the evening of Friday, October 16th and sent the e-mail the following afternoon.

As of 6 PM on the 17th (only 1 hour early) they were allowed to enter the shelter and get out of the rain. I'm inclined to believe that the women were allowed to enter the shelter and get out of the rain as soon as the right person read the e-mail. It's good to know that I was able to help (no matter how small the favor may have been). Nonetheless, it raises questions about why the shelter management seems to be so ignorant as to allow the women to stand in the rain for hours on end. Shelter is supposed to keep people safe, warm and dry. Standing in the rain for hours awaiting shelter defeats the p…

Homeless and shelterless -- Where Will DC's Homeless Sleep?????

Some time ago, I blogged about the news that DC Mayor Adrian Fenty might be planning to close all DC homeless shelters by 2011. (He leaves office in January of that year.) At the time, many people didn't believe that any mayor -- even Mayor Fenty -- would try something like that. Nonetheless, while I can't pin this one on him entirely, Washington, DC stands to lose over 1,300 shelter beds within a month if the budget crisis is not dealt with immediately. Homeless service providers are scrambling to save the shelters so as to avoid a repeat scenario of the 80's and 90's when many of the homeless were freezing to death in the capital of the wealthiest nation on Earth.

The deaths of homeless people in Franklin Park while a vacant government building sat across the road was the impetus for turning Franklin School into a shelter in 2002. It was abruptly closed by Mayor Fenty on September 26th, 2008. The Franklin School Shelter closure was predicated on the success of …

I Was A Victim Of Wage Theft

A hectic schedule has kept me from blogging on a regular basis lately. That is both good and bad. The bad part, of course, is that I'm not updating my "followers" as often as I'd like to. The good part is that it is because the cause of the homeless is moving forward, resulting in me spending much of my time in meetings. Therefore, I've decided to post an e-mail that I sent to DC Gov's Dept. of Employment Services (DOES) about the wage theft that I became a victim of at the job I recently lost. In about an hour, I'll be heading to a meeting about a show that will be taped on October 22nd. That show will air on DCTV and will be a panel discussion about the state of homelessness in the District. It will feature DC Government employees and homeless homeless advocates. In the meantime, here's the e-mail.....

A BETTER Desription of My Wage Theft Case

Below is a description of a situation in which I, Eric Jonathan Sheptock, was a victim of wage theft. I sen…