In today’s every Friday edition of online Key West the Newspaper (thebluepaper.com):
Warning this video contains some graphic content.
Note: At one point in the blue paper video, all three state attorney candidates say arresting and prosecuting homeless people is not a good way to try to deal with homelessness.
Moving laterally …
This morning in front of the Subway next to Tropic Cinema, I bumped into County Commissioner Danny Kohlage, and we greeted each other warmly. I asked if he knew if Southern Homeless Assistance League (SHAL) had ever asked Monroe County to pay for one-half the operating costs of the new KOTS, which SHAL had proposed to the Key West City Commission this past Tuesday night? Danny said he had heard about what went down at the commission meeting, but he knew nothing of SHAL proposing that to Monroe County, and for me to check with Roman Gastesi, the county administrator. So I pedaled my bicycle over to Roman’s office in the Gato Building on Simonton Street, to find he was out of town. But the two nice ladies, who I figured really were doing the heavy lifting in Roman’s office, said they knew nothing of SHAL asking Monroe County to pay one-half the operating costs of KOTS. I gave them my telephone number and asked them, when Roman checked in with them, to ask him, for Sloan, if he knew anything about SHAL asking the county to do that? They said they would ask him and call me back with what he told them.
Moving laterally …
At public meetings, County Commissioner David Rice, above, a clinical psychologist, who for many years had run the local Guidance & Care Clinics of the Florida Keys, through which many homeless people had streamed for detoxing, rehab and counseling, said there are 2 people in the Florida Keys he looks to about homeless issues: Sloan Bashinsky and Father Steve Braddock. David also said he agreed with me, that there is no cure for homelessness, and the question is, how much money does society and government want to spend trying to regulate it? And, he said he agreed with me that you don’t mix homeless people who are using booze and other drugs, with homeless people who are not using, if you are trying to turn around the homeless who are not using. But if turning around homeless people is not your goal, then … And, he agreed with me, to take pressure off the Sheriff’s jail and the nearby hospital, what was needed was for Key West to build its own drunk tank, where it put inebriated homeless people for a few hours, under the Marchman Act, then let them go as required by that Act. Although local newspaper reporters were at those public meetings, none of the newspapers reported any of that. It only was reported at goodmorningkeywest.com
Yesterday afternoon, Father Stephen Braddock, photo, aka Father Steve, replied to the housing first part of yesterday’s bubba and Jesus justice for Conchs and homeless people in Key West – plus, a feral raccoon’s and a life-long Republican’s views of the U.S. president debacle post at goodmorningkeywest.com, in which is described my report on Southern Homeless Assistance League (SHAL) telling the Key West City Commission about the housing first program it is pushing, and other nonsense SHAL is pushing. SHAL’s version of housing first is totally different from what HUD and just about everyone else views as housing first. To everyone else, housing first means free housing, regardless of a homeless person’s situation and condition.
From Steve yesterday:
Housing First is championed as the solution to end homelessness by many, including HUD. Yet, Housing First does not deal with the fundamental causes of homelessness or its prevention, nor does it adequately reach the diversity of people who experience homelessness.
Housing First targets long-term, chronically homeless individuals. Most of these individuals are men; many have addictions, often concurrent with mental health issues. They live on the street or in shelters. They are the “visible” homeless.
Housing First is based on the principle that people need a home, without conditions, before they can address addiction and other issues. This may be a step in the right direction, but Housing First as it is currently construed will not end homelessness, and it will never be affordable, effective, efficient, or practical in Key West and the Florida Keys!
The 100,000 Homes Campaign in the United States, based on a Housing First model, serves as a cautionary tale. The program housed 105,000 people. It was deemed a resounding success but here’s the problem: of the people housed, 80 per cent were men. No new affordable housing was built.
Instead, people who had been on waiting lists for many years — including families, women fleeing abuse, and many other “hidden homeless” — were bumped off to make way for the men. The campaign also relied extensively on the private housing market, often with scant attention paid to adequate housing.
And by narrowing homelessness to those living on the street, the campaign negatively impacted those who may be less visible, but who are just as profoundly bereft of a secure home.
So when you hear some advocates, service providers, and politicians, claim Housing First will end homelessness, think again.
The fact is, Housing First is not ending homelessness. It is helping to create and maintain it. It will inevitably prove to be yet another failed HUD strategy.
Thanks, Steve –
Will share your words and your wisdom, based in, gee whiz, actual real life experiences, with my readers.
I have said all along that the people who need to be helped first are the close to becoming homeless, because they cannot afford where they presently live. For once someone goes homeless, that’s much more difficult (usually) to turn around.
I did not know of the male-skewdness of housing first, not apparently due to a higher percentage of males being homeless, but due to sex-prejudice? As in, male-chauvinistic pig-ness? Misogyny?
I seriously doubt housing first is making much dent in chemical addiction, which I keep saying has to end for any real progress to occur for an addict; and that’s your and FKOC’s position. And AA and NA’s position. And rehab clinics’ position.
Likewise, I don’t see how treating mentally ill homeless addicts, or any mentally ill addicts, can proceed with any hope while the addict is using booze and other addictive chemicals.
I can’t imagine addicts still using look after their free, or subsidized, housing as well last people who are not using.
I can imagine addicts still using experience, create, plenty more problems for themselves, other people, property and society, than do people not using.
Plenty of examples of proof of that “theory” are seen every night at KOTS.
I do not expect you to comment on this next thing.
I think SHAL is a joke. The SHAL board members are way out of their depth. Social do-gooders, who would croak if they had to spend a few nights at KOTS, getting to know the population they claim is their mission to “save”. The rescue syndrome owns them. They are really trying to save themselves, unawares. That’s the good ones among them.
If the SHAL board had any sense, and if the board’s senses worked, they would know there is a terrible problem having Mike Tolbert managing KOTS, or even being there. But it’s not in the SHAL board, forget its executive director, to get real, and tough, and do what is needed.
There is no cure for homelessness. The question is, how much money does society wish to throw at it, trying to manage it? Homeless Jesus told his disciples, the poor (homeless people) will be with them always.
I better shut my mouth before I say something.
Such as, it looks to me the underlying common ailment in addicts, mentally ill, homeless people, and just about everyone else, is a mangled, or even absent, internal feminine – The Holy Spirit.
“The SHAL board members are way out of their depth.”
Took nap after reading your reply to mine.
Slew of dreams about SHAL, which means the angels want me to go there, but right now, I’m stumped as to details. So I will ruminate on some things I was mulling before the nap, some more directly than others off in the back corners of my noggin …
I was thinking before the nap that SHAL, using KOTS as its “bait”, is trying to compete with FKOC, especially, but in a very low grade way, since, as far as I know, SHAL does not require clean urine for anything it offers homeless people.
I was wondering if there is some way SHAL is milking, or trying to milk, the system, via grants, etc., to launder money to SHAL employees, directors? Perhaps far-fetched, but the way they go about presenting SHAL, KOTS and their outreach, and housing first, does not leave me feeling they are entirely on the up and up.
I think I recall John Miller saying at the commission meeting that those matching funds being provided in the housing first program to homeless people, to get them into some kind of inside living situation, are loans, which have to be repaid, if the assisted homeless person does not succeed. I found myself wondering if SHAL it taking, legal or not, assignments (collateral, chattel mortgage) of those clients’ source of income (Social Security, VA, retirement, etc.), as security for such loans, which I imagine have a good chance of defaulting, given the clients’ history, thus enriching SHAL in the “loan shark” sense.
I was wondering before the nap, if FKOC is interested in pitching to the city a plan to build and operate the new KOTS. The city is not putting the new KOTS out for bids. Single source bids are not looked kindly upon down here, since they tend to smack of a backroom deal not in the public or the taxpayers’ favor. SHAL is pitching running the new KOTS for even less than now, and for building the new facility on its own dime, or some lender’s dime. Where is SHAL getting the money? How is it getting it? As in, who would make the loan? Where’s the revenue stream to repay the mortgage? The whole thing smells wrong to me, unless there is something unseen in play, which might translate into somebody making money somebody is not supposed to make, which is not being disclosed.
The real puzzler for me in all of this is Teri Johnston lobbying for it. That just does not compute. Her presence should lend a great deal of credibility. But why don’t I see, hear, smell, feel credibility when john Miller speaks? When he speaks, when I read what he writes, when I see what he put down as a plan for the new KOTS, I want to call in a forensic audit team. Although a good polygraph technician might do well enough. But perhaps in this geographical location, waterboarding and keelhauling might get to the bottom of it.
I don’t expect you to reply to my personal ruminations, however I would feel hugely more comfortable with FKOC doing KOTS, even though I know you and FKOC probably would dread doing it.
FKOC certainly supports a low demand shelter but has absolutely no desire or intent to run it for the City again. I agree with you that it should be put out to bid through an RFP.
Facebook Chat starting yesterday with homeless lay minister Sharon Slay, who rotates between various geographic areas in America, including Key West.
I sent Kari $10 it is still listed as Sharon Tucker, I’m still progressing south. Believe have head gasket issue, gonna use some blue devil sealer & hopefully it will repair issue. I saw your post you have to leave on Monday… We’re in Lake Worth, FL John is visiting family & friends
Heard Kari out?
Kari was trying to call me, had my cell on buzz, finally I felt it, saw her name in display, figured it was someone using her phone, she had left it with, but it was her. She said guard told the charges were dropped, she was being released. She was at the hospital, a friend had surgery there today, not doing well. I suppose I’ll see her tomorrow in town.
Interesting her court was supposed to be tomorrow morning per computer. I guess you shook them up, well at least she’s free. See you all soon God willing?
Doubt I had anything to do with it. Kari said her public defender kept saying the state attorney was waiting to hear back from Wells Fargo, before deciding whether or not to press charges. Kari said Wells Fargo had nothing to do with her being arrested. They were never involved. Not that she knew, anyway. So there was nobody to press trespass charges against Kari? That’s why the state attorney dismissed the charges? What led up to her arrest behind Dunkin Donuts is mostly bizarre. How she told it to me was mostly backed up by Rick Roberts, who had heard it from a fellow who was hanging out back there with Kari the various nights leading back up to the arrest. The fellow was there for the arrest, too. I have not talked with him.
Kari called me later last night, freaked out. She had gone to where homeless people she knew, who trusted her, hid out at night, and soon people were walking in on them with flashlights, and she told her friends she had to get away from there and she hopped on her bicycle and took off. Not long before, I had gotten her to agree that the next time police find her at night, where she is going to sleep, is sleeping, she tells them right off, she is banned from KOTS and she would be there otherwise, and if they can get her into KOTS, she will go there.
Her friend Joe ______ is on a ventilator following the surgery. It was on his bowel and a large bubble or growth just under his skin. He is on disability. Long time alkie and heavy smoker. Had been living in the nursing home a good while, and was looking better than I’d ever seen him. But he has no future I can see. He applied for Housing Authority, got down to first out, but they then turned him down because of his record, he told me. I told Kari, it looked to me that Joe is better off dead. That freaked her out. I told her she is not looking at it from Joe’s side. This is not about her. She needs to stop being selfish. Hard to do, Joe is her only other close friend. But that guy really is suffering and down and out, and now on a ventilator. And they are doing all they can to keep him alive, for what?
Reminds me of what happened to my friend Patrick ____. I bet the Key West hospital, Mt. Sinai hospital at Miami Beach, and the nursing home after that ran up a $2,000,000 bill. Patrick had Magellan insurance coverage. I supposed due to his SS disability. Top shelf US Gov. medical coverage. They left him with a tube in his belly. He went right back to smoking and drinking after he finally got back to Key West. He became incontinent. Oh, he’d had a stroke in the nursing home. I felt all along they should let him pass over at Key West hospital, instead of send him to Mt. Sinai on the helicopter.
All of Patrick’s other friends were consumed by their own feelings, what was best for him didn’t seem to ever cross their thoughts.
Patrick’s brother may never recover. Patrick was his only living relative. He had assumed “guardianship” over Patrick and his affairs and effects. Well, that’s another story.
Kari was better off in jail than she was last night. She kept telling me in the jail, it was worse than living on the street. A lot worse. Last night, she told me living on the street was a lot worse than jail. I told her I knew that, when she was in jail, and she kept saying she could not wait to get out of there. Both are horrible. And I’m looking at both for myself, very soon. On top of that, I have made the police and the city officials so very happy with me, and the KOTS and the SHAL people, too. The very kind of double- edged razor the angels seem especially fond of cooking up for me. Maybe they have a Plan C. Nothing I can do for Kari, though. Everywhere she lays down her head at night, she is a criminal. Everywhere she sits down in public, outside, she is a criminal. Key West really don’t mean it, when it invites people to come here are they are. Unless, they have plenty of money.
You are determined to come back down here. I hope you don’t end up wishing you were dead, instead.
Kari said she will try to be at the Public Defender’s office this morning, to learn what actually happened with her case, which was set for arraignment this morning at the courthouse. If it really was dropped, then she will not have to be in court for the arraignment.
Maybe that will lead to her probation officer revoking the probation violation, contingent on the other trespass case, that only a citation issued to Kari, being dismissed. Lawyer Sam Kaufman represents Kari in that case.
If the police are determined to get Kari, they will. Sure is a lot of use of police time and effort for someone who is trying to lay low, be left alone. I learned the hard way that police don’t like to be asked of they don’t have something better to be doing than hassling a homeless person, me; don’t they have criminals to catch, citizens to protect?
Oh, I was the criminal. I had been in the library and was about to fall asleep, which is not allowed. So I went outside and into the little park beside the library and sat on one of the benches, then dozed off sitting straight up. Woke up to see the deputy who is stationed at the library looking down at me. You can’t sleep here, he said. I was about to fall asleep in the library, so I came out here, ot happens all the time, I said. You have a medical problem? No, a God problem. How so? I pass out right before something I am supposed to engage happens. In churches. In public meetings. Etc. It went downhill from there. It was only a few days after 9/11. That’s when I started learning how much 9/11 had affected the way local law enforcement treated local homeless people. We were now the foreign terrorists.
It’s much more difficult now, though. Back then, there still were places I found to sleep outside at night without being bothered. I’m too old now, probably, to be playing hide and seek with police at night.
Had interesting email yesterday with Father Steve Braddock, about housing first, and SHAL.
Saw photo jail of Kari’s friend Joe, recognize him sort of, the Patrick guy obviously didn’t go to jail, couldn’t find a photo. I agree about keeping people alive. Shameful to torture people & run up some kind of huge cost for somebody?? Kari might try camping over by airport where I was, I was out there for a bit & not bothered. Big Don continues to sleep _________ he’s been on sea wall for years, tells them God has him out there, but he doesn’t drink or drug… I guess if our car gets revived we will come down, if it gets bad we can God willing scoot back up to the “real world” as John would say that be on mainland. Everything is trespassing I know.
Patrick lived in Housing Authority apartment at Porter Place. Was paying about $120 a month, out of what Soc. Sec. was paying him.
Although Kari was released, she faces imminent arrest for probation violation, the judge on Plantation Key signed off on the probation violation and for warrant to be issued and her picked up and jailed, pending going before him and maybe then to prison. Kari also has the other trespass citation pending. Sam Kaufman may be able to get the state attorney to drop that, too. Then, arguably, there was no reason to violate Kari’s probation. If it goes that way, she’s still up shit creek, because she is living outside in Key West, which, by itself, is a crime, if she sleeps outside, which is all she can do, because she is banned from KOTS. I brought Kaufman up todate with voiicemails, and asked him, acting as a city commissioner, to get Kari into KOTS, by him talking with the city manager and/or the city attorney. One telephone call from either of them to KOTS, I said, would take care of it.
Kari got no sleep last night. She is haywire, facing all of that. She told me this morning that she should have loaded the gun and shot the fucker who was threatening her, her boyfriend and his home. I agreed. Then, maybe her public pretender would have used the stand your ground law and self- defense.
I would suggest finding somewhere to store some of her possessions & make an attempt to doll herself up to look less homeless. I know that isn’t the “answer” & you all can email her judges clerk & talk to her about situation. I have found letters to the judge to be very helpful in the past?
Kari’s probation officer told me she made a written request to the judge to revoke the probation he put Kari on, because there is no way she can comply with its terms, if she is living on the streets and banned from KOTS. I have hammered that judge in a number of posts, which you know, if you read those posts. Don’t think I’m the right person to write to that judge. The public defender office called me this morning to say for real the state attorney dropped the charges against Kari and she did not have to be at the courthouse. I got word to Kari of that in time to save her going to the court house. How does Kari doll herself up when she has little to no money. No place to bathe? No place to store her belongings. She has everything on her bicycle. Cops she does not even know are addressing her by her first name. Absent a miracle, she’s going back into the jail, soon. Her probation officer told me she will try to work it so Kari can turn herself in, thus give her time to stash her bicycle and belongings somewhere, instead of being found and snatched off the streets, like what happened behind Dunking Donuts.
Salvation army used to have free clothes on the one side run by Rick. If I was Kari I would do everything I could to change my persona. I have read extensively about how not to look homeless. No gear is a real starter. Having a bicycle full of belongings puts a bullseye on you. There are homeless in KW that carry nothing & walk. Carrying everything is a definite cop bust. Alot of the street people carry nothing. I would wear sunglasses, lose the ball cap wear a nice pair if capri’s or shorts, I would find someone to hold the rest of my stuff or get a trash bag & stash it. I’m telling you I had already decided if I came back to KW I wasn’t going to have a backpack or any gear on my bike. I know all of that is not addressing the problem, but it’s a way to get the visual homeless look gone. Dress cute & sexy if need be. I think she definitely needs to find another campsite. I would be willing to write her judge about situation if you all desired or talk to her probation officer
In my last dream this morning, i was in New York State. Mike Tolbert, who manages KOTS and keeps claiming Kari was banned for life, was in the dream, with lots of other people milling around. We all were friendly, like before Mike and I fell out over Kair being banned from KOTS. SHAL’s executive director was from New York State. Kari reported her to US. Postmaster for ordering KOTS staff to tamper homeless people’s uncollected mail, taking the money, shredding everything else. Then Kari saw KOTS staff doing it. Nothing about any of that in Kari’s KOTS files. Nor about her being banned or life. But I take the dream to mean Kari blowing the whistle on Brown is why Kari was banned for life from KOTS. Brown herself called me raising bloody hell about me writing about that at goodmorningkeywest.com. Brown said she had a file several inches thick on Kari Dangler. I published all of that, and next thing Brown was reported in the Key West Citizen as having resigned from SHAL and was going to new horizons. Then Tolbert called me and told me Randi Cohen Brown was an idiot. I filed with Tolbert a public records request to let me view Kari’s KOTS files, and after months of being jerked around about that by Tolbert, I busted him for it at goodmorningkeywest.com. Within an hour, he called me and said I could see Kari’s file. SHAL’s board of directors had been away all summer and had approved my public request the day before, which was Sunday, he said. I told him he was full of shit. What I posted that day was the reason he called me. When he handed me Kari’s file that night at KOTS, without the manila file folders, it was maybe 1/8 inch thick.
Sharon, being homeless on foot in Key West is a seriously hard road to walk. You should do it for a few years. Before you recommend it to anyone else. You should come down her without your car and live on the street a few years. Get your thinking straight.