Friday, August 6, 2010

No Shelter--Why Won't the Homeless Services Center Put this Down on Paper?

by Robert Norse

Yesterday a delegation of us (Ed Frey, Linda Lemaster, Orbit, and me) visited the Homeless Service Center to get a simple signed statement that they had no shelter for anyone walking in later that night (August 5-6). Just a piece of paper with a sentence or two.

Daniel is the fellow responsible for giving out the fill-in form given to folks who have already been rousted, interrogated, searched, ID-checked, and ticketed. He provides a form that fills in their name, citation number, date, etc. clarifying that the "shelter was full on this date, so dismiss the ticket",

Daniel readily agreed that there was no walk-in shelter available that night. He further advised us that there hadn't been any since the Armory closed in April. And there wouldn't be until it opened again (if it did) in November.

But he refused put what we all knew was true in writing. Instead he suggested we talk to Nancy, the shelter person. Nor would he give a piece of paper to Orbit--who was ill--documenting that Orbit had tried to get shelter and been told there was none--even for that one night. That paper would have been useful to show the SCPD or deputies if they attempted to wake him, interrogate him, ticket him, or arrest him. .

Ed Frey called Nancy later that day. Up to know, as far as I know, his call hasn't been returned.

In order to encourage some candor and homeless service from the Homeless Services Center, I wrote the following e-mail to City Councilmember, former Mayor, and Chair of the Task Force to Examine the Camping Ordinance Katherine Beiers (pronounced "buyers"). Katherine is also a long-time member of the HSC Board of Directors. I spoke with Beiers directly at her home a few minutes ago and asked that she answer the e-mail below before she left town on Tuesday.


While I'm hoping you'll be able to respond to the prior two e-mails I sent you today, please indulge me and forward a brief response, to the shelter situation:

Is it true that no walk-in shelter exists, has existed, or will exist at the Homeless Services Center (such as the Paul Lee loft) for the average homeless person trying to find a legal place to sleep for the night between April 15 (when the Armory closed) and November 15 (when the Armory usually opens)?

Specifically, will there be any walk-in shelter in August available through the Homeless Services Center for either the homeless community generally or PeaceCamp2010 residents specifically (assuming they meet the usual requirements)?

Is there any problem in getting the HSC to write a letter attesting to what everyone already seems to know--that there is no available shelter on a walk-in basis (i.e. only through waiting lists, and for a very small number of people)?

Please forward me your best understanding. If you find out differently (or get more accurate confirmation) from, say Nancy, Daniel, Monica, and/or any of the other service providers, will you let s know?

Thanks for the help. Speed may be important if authorities and media are to be accurately advised of the real situation.

Robert Norse

Beiers can be e-mailed at

1 comment:

  1. Riddle: What's the difference between a Roust and a Raid, around midnite? Dunno. Here's my GUESS: maybe something like the difference between one nite's sleep deprivation, and three nite's dep?


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