Friday, January 29, 2016

M.U.W.W.A. F.O.C.K.A.: Meet Us Where We're At. Fostering Open Communication Kills Anger” -- KRISTY GREENWALT

Last updated on 2/5/16

Since I originally wrote the following blog post, DC Government has promised to meet with the homeless residents of the CCNV Shelter so as to discuss both its and their futures. See THIS ANNOUNCEMENT which I've begun to circulate at the shelter.
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Some time ago a certain DAVID who works for The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness (TCP) which oversees some of the city's shelters and homeless services gave a presentation about Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH). I Noticed that David only spoke of the money that the city would save and said nothing about caring for his homeless clients and I politely confronted David during public comments. Some time later I spoke to Inter-agency Council on Homelessness director KRISTY GREENWALT about it.

KRISTY GREENWALT said:
“Ya gotta meet people where they're at.....whatever brings them to the table”.

Let's hold her to HER STATED PRINCIPLE as it pertains to involving homeless people in discussions about issues that affect them. Many of the homeless have an aggressive or defensive street manner which they've acquired as a means of surviving on the streets. After all, even DC had an innocent homeless man to get his head bashed in as he slept outdoors -- sadly, being one of many homeless people who fall victim to unprovoked attacks (often at the hands of youth ages 15 to 23 yrs old).

She's the same one who, in October 2015, called my cell phone to ask me not to predict that MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER was going to close CCNV. I edited my blog post in accordance with her request. Changing phrases like “I know” to “I believe” or “I'm guessing”. She didn't refute the facts that informed my guess and she's failed thus far to give an update on the future of CCNV – only telling me what not to say as she tries to make the mayor look good. I'll continue to press her for answers.

On January 23rd and 24th, 2016 -- during Winter Storm Jonas -- I spent much time at Union Station and walking the streets as far as 14th and I nw – zig-zagging into the places where I know homeless people to bed down. Beginning around 10 AM on the 23rd, I called LAURA ZEILINGER who is the director of the Dept. of Human Services to inform her that there were about 50 people in different parts of Union Station – many of whom hadn't eaten since the previous day. Being as Laura is quite accessible and responsive, she probably passed the word about these homeless people onto Kristy in hopes that Kristy would help get them fed. Kristy then took it upon herself to call me and let me know that I was getting in the way with my phone calls. (I'd spoken with Laura twice for a total of about 8 min.) Kristy and I spoke for at least 5 min. Go figure. She's was so busy but had time to call and tell me that BS. (On the 23rd I also mentioned the tent city near the station; but, was told by these homeless people on the 24th that no one had gone by that particular spot to offer any food.)

On the night of the 23rd in a text (to which she didn't respond) and in an e-mail since then, I informed Kristy that I found two homeless men that night who had not been found by the well-paid government employees who were out there looking. Upon listening to all of 20 seconds of a 9-minute video I'd made about homeless people in the station during the storm, Kristy jumped to the conclusion that I was disparaging her staff who “risked life and limb” to go into a snowstorm [which rendered 5 mph winds and had no lightning or thunder] – the same storm I walked in to get from Union Station to 14th and I (about 1.5 miles, as the crow flies). Hmmm. When I informed her that I was actually walking in the storm (not riding a humvee) and found two people that her staff missed, all she could do was send me a condescending e-mail telling me that I shouldn't have been out there because the mayor had given orders to shelter in place. Not so much as a “Thank you for risking YOUR life and I'm glad you found people we missed”. That's when I was firmly convinced that she's problem. That's not to speak of how many people think she takes to long to get anything done and suffers (or actually causes the homeless to suffer) from the paralysis of ANALysis.

I was dead serious when I suggested holding her to her stated principle of "meeting people where they're at" and of doing "whatever brings them to the table" (which, in the case of the homeless, means providing food). On March 8th there will be an ICH meeting at the 801 East Shelter. I'll do what I can to get at least 50 homeless people to there. I have a month to make it happen and will make a speech to 200 homeless people on February 28th, during which I'll circulate info about it. She hasn't heard the last of me. I hope she hears you too.

To contact Kristy Greenwalt:

Call: 202-304-8318 or 202-957-6878 or her office at 202-727-2823 (ICH Info line: 202-724-1338)

Next full council meeting: 3/8/16 at 2 PM at 801 Men's East Shelter (St Elizabeth Hospital grounds)
I hope to see at least 50 homeless people there. I'll post another flier in addition to THIS 2-SIDED FLIER about my M.U.W.W.A.  F.O.C.K.A. initiative when we're closer to the date. Will print and post this one soon.

In an effort to better document various homeless advocacy efforts that I've been a part of, I am hyperlinking THIS SET OF PDF's into a number of blog posts.

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1 Comments:

Blogger BKy LeeWilson said...

There is an ol' saying - YOU can catch more flies with honey than vinegar." It is often hard to separate our anger over a situation, to not project it upon those whom CAN make a difference, so tis best to "KILL them (ie change) with kindness". Being rough is so often considered offensive, and is not welcomed. Please and thank you move mountains.

January 29, 2016 at 5:23 PM  

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