[Hpn] Fwd: Re: The Gates Swing Open

Sandy Andrews sandra@asu.edu
Wed, 13 Sep 2000 13:09:23 -0700 (MST)

Homes for the homeless, opportunities, these things are needed more than
social workers. But I don't think much money goes to individual staff 
members. They often qualify for help themselves. 


On Wed, 13 Sep 2000, Coalition on Homelessness, SF wrote:

> To: rchange@speakeasy.org
> From: "Coalition on Homelessness, SF" <coh@sfo.com>
> Subject: Re: The Gates Swing Open
> Cc:
> X-Attachments:
> Hey Adam and Tim -
> I could certainly imagine that Bill Gates would be anxious to throw 
> his money at any project that might serve to brighten his public 
> image, which has taken quite a beating in the courts and press 
> lately. Homeless families could certainly use some help. But who does 
> transitional housing really benefit?
> Let's spell this out. Transitional housing offers a safe, clean and 
> decent place to live - but only for a finite length of time: be it 
> for a year, eighteen months, even two years. At the end of that time 
> period the family must move on.
> Unless the plan to create $40 million in new transitional housing for 
> families is part of a continuum which includes permanent low-income 
> housing - unless there's a "there" where homeless families can 
> "transition" to - the net result is, at best, a temporary and 
> inadequate bandage applied to the hemorrhaging numbers of homeless 
> families. And unless the Seattle area's housing crunch is 
> miraculously alleviated within the window of time allotted to 
> homeless families in transitional housing, they will doubtlessly 
> become homeless again as they return to square one in the savage game 
> of urban displacement.
> The big winners are going to be all those "case managers" and 
> "soft-skills trainers" and the like who are part and parcel of 
> "transitional" housing - making the housing more expensive, and 
> perpetuating the myth of "housing readiness" for homeless families in 
> the bargain. And just exactly how many of those well-paying jobs such 
> a transitional housing program would create will represent an 
> opportunity for any of those families to exit homelessness? Just call 
> me Mr. Skeptic.
> Besides the homeless families, it looks like the biggest loser in 
> this scam is going to be your state's Housing Trust Fund. Somehow, 
> I'm really not very surprised that it won't actually be spent toward 
> bricks and mortar.
> That is why I am nominating Mr. Bill Gates for Poverty Pimp of the 
> Year 2000. He rakes in publicity for his humanitarian posturing by 
> offering a needlessly expensive non-solution - one that will be 
> ultimately more damaging to the development of those homeless 
> children - and helps promote the lie that there must be some flaw 
> with homeless parents that caused their situation.
> Speaking as a regular user of Microsoft Word '98 for Macintosh, I 
> would say Gates seems to be following the same strategy for his 
> "humanitarian" efforts as he does for marketing his software. Why 
> force people into something they don't need? Why can't Gates just 
> recognize and serve the basic need: permanent, low-income affordable 
> housing?
> peace,
> chance martin, Editor
> A Publication of the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
> ps- your url looks BEAUTIFUL. now, if you could just import the 
> articles from text-only files, you can get rid of those pesky 
> gremlins.
> pps- Protest Corporate Media!
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