Showing posts from November, 2009

Catholic Charities Pimps DC Council Again, This Time Over Gay Marriage

What do a Catholic Charities homeless shelter and gay marriage have in common? Some would venture to guess that gay men want the right to identify as women and sleep in female shelters and that butch lesbians want the right to sleep in male shelters. That would be a very well-informed guess. I've witnessed gay men checking into female shelters, though I've yet to see a butch lesbian check into a male shelter. Such rights exist in DC homeless shelters already.

However, there is a new and strange twist (no pun intended) to the fight for gay rights. I received the news over dinner last night (before it even hit the airwaves) that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC is considering the possibility of not doing any more business with the city of Washington if the gay marriage bill is passed. Being that the news has hit the airwaves at this point and you can get the story by going on-line, I'll take some time to give you a little of the background on relations…

Is Mayor Fenty (and/or Catholic Charities) Closing ALL of DC's Homeless Shelters?????

I first posted this article on March 19th, 2009.

New information came out in the headlines this morning stating that Catholic charities might stop doing business with the city of Washington, DC if the gay marriage bill is passed.

This would lead to the loss of about 2,000 shelter beds in shelters that are run by Catholic Charities.

The homeless have become pawns and bargaining chips in the game of local (and "loco") politics.

As I type up my blog post pertaining to this latest development, you can read about why people thought that all DC homeless shelters were threatened in March. I believe that there may be a correlation between what happened in March and what is happening now. I'll explain in my next blog post later today. Read on.....

Several homeless people have told me that they read a newspaper article which stated that DC Mayor Adrian Fenty (a man) plans to close ALL DC homeless shelters by 2011. Unfortunately, I didn't read that article myself and haven'…

My Testimony to the UNITED NATIONS Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing

Below is my testimony to UNITED NATIONS Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Raquel Rolnik, which I delivered to her along with the testimonies of several of my colleagues.

Ms. Rolnik visited Washington, DC from November 5 to November 8th and heard many testimonies concerning the need for safe and affordable housing in DC.

She visited 6 other jurisdictions in the country. DC was her seventh and final stop in the country.

I'll write about the experience and what came out of it soon.


From: Mr. Eric Jonathan sheptock,
Homeless homeless advocate
Washington, DC

To: Ms. Raquel Rolnik,
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing

Re: The Need for Emergency Shelter and Affordable Housing In Washington, DC.

I, Eric Jonathan Sheptock, would like to impress upon the UNITED NATIONS and the special rapporteur on adequate housing the fact that the capital of the wealthiest nation in the world is in dire need of both emergency shelter and affordable housing. It stands to r…

Dealing With Certain Unruly Homeless People

The following is an article that a reader asked me to post.....

I have volunteered with homeless ministries and service providers in
many different contexts. I have served homeless guests in established
shelters and on the street and almost always find the experience
uplifting and powerful. That is not to say the work is easy.
Difficulties arise for a number of reasons, some obvious and others
not. As volunteer homeless service providers, each of these reasons
should be studied closely to successfully accommodate all of our
guests and fellow volunteers.

For me, one particular situation that causes more difficulty than most
-- the case of a frustrated, angry guest. This does not happen often,
but when it does there is a significant impact on the mission's
volunteers and guests. Suppose you serve in a mission that promotes
community and hope. Just one angry guest can sully the positive mood
and discourage guests from returning and new volunteers from ongoing
participation. In other…