[Hpn] Homeless advocates criticize Salvation Army Shelter fees

Bill blue-eyes@buddhist.com
Wed, 07 Jul 2004 11:42:06 +0200


On Sun, 27 Jun 2004 20:58:41 -0400, you wrote:

>Homeless advocates criticize shelter fees
>
>6/27/2004 7:39 PM
>
>By: Associated Press
>
>(GASTONIA)  North Carolina-- 
>
>Some officials are criticizing Gaston County's only emergency homeless
>shelter for charging fees to stay there.
>
>The Salvation Army charges $8 a day for individuals and families after they
>have stayed two weeks at the shelter.
>
>The money covers lodging, three meals and some clothes.
>
>The fees have been in place about a year.
>
>Shelter director Becky Fuller says they've caused controversy between the
>Salvation Army and some community service agencies and churches in Gastonia.
>
>The policy change caught some homeless advocates by surprise.
>
>Reverend Susan Heafner-Heun at First United Methodist Church, a member of
>the Downtown Faith Network, says when organizations change policies it
>affects them.
>
>Captain Brian Clark says the shelter still operates at a deficit.
>
>Copyright 2004 Associated Press, All rights reserved.
>
>Copyright 2004 TWEAN Newschannel of Raleigh, L.L.C. dba News 14 Carolina


Hi Bill,

your mail raised a number of questions which need to be clarified.

Has it occured to you that giving something for free often makes it
worthless = it has no worth?

Do you think that homeless people should be patronised to the extent
that all they receive from the aid organisations is free? Don't forget
that the "regular citizen" has to pay his or her own way in life,
without charity hand-outs. When you deny one group  in society their
obligation to pay their own way to whatever extent they can, you are
effectively stigmatising them! "You can't do it yourself, poor thing,
so we'll do it for you..."

How many Americans do you know who would be glad to get their
accomodation, three squares a day and clothes, for FREE, even if it
was only for 2 weeks? I know if it was offered to me, I wouldn't
refuse it! 

As you possibly remember, I worked 20 years for the Salvation Army
Social Services Dept. in Amsterdam, where we applied a similar policy.
While there are a lot of reasons for critising the Army (don't get me
started ;)), attempting client empowerment is not one of them.

regards,

Other Bill

Bill