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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Photo Opps Continue

Nothing like the holidays to bring out celebrities and politicians to get some photo opps feeding the homeless.  Council Members Dennis Zine, Jan Perry and Tom LeBong were ready for the cameras as the LA Mission served their annual Thanksgiving meal, as seen on the pages of the excellent blog, Downtown Los Angeles Central City East

Indeed, it's a wonderful thing to make the holiday as best as can be for those who are down on their luck.  All of us have got the call from a friend "We're going downtown to feed the homeless before we go over to Grandma's!" have been inspired to help.  The truth is however, as nice and as well intentioned as these acts are I believe they serve only to assuage a certain amount of guilt that we've yet to find real solutions to these social ills, let alone get past the fraud, waste and abuse of government that at least contributes to if is not the cause of these roadblocks to human welfare. 

I am certain by chanllenging these random acts of kindness it puts me in the "hater" category but I can't easily accept some of the inherent phoniness around it when on the days that are not Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. bad things are ignored and allowed.

Postscript: Two years ago Joel John Roberts, CEO of PATH Partners, wrote an excellent post on this topic.  It still is true.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

It would be more impressive if they did this once a month or took 1/10 less in salary to give to charity or reduce the City deficit.

November 29, 2008 5:25 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Excellent point.

November 29, 2008 5:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I agree with Poster Number anonymous. Every month would be better.

But to let you know it is not the huge donations that make the difference it is the small ones.

But just to let you know. Joel John Roberts is the biggest celebrity whore. GO to his website and you will see. You shoyuldn't be throwing stones if you live in a glass house.

Joeel John Roberts makes more money than the CEOS at the Downtown Charities

November 29, 2008 7:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Is that Antonio feeding Zine, or Ed McMahon? They both look similar from that shot, and with Ed about to lose his house but for the charity of the Donald, he should be down at the shelter getting his dinner, too. He should be glad he had such a long free ride as a sidekick to Johnny doing absolutely nothing but sitting there and sucking up. What'd he do with all that money? Then again, Zine is about the same.

I don't know if giving huge free dinners every month would be a great idea -- charities that give out free food on a regular basis are arguably enablers. I think it's good when these places make it a festive day for all including kids -- with clowns and maybe a special treat. Sure we need more regular care for the homeless -- but we don't want to attract them to L A from colder places. I like the places that provide shelter for those who are willing to work there and learn job skills, like PATH run by the Presbyterians. Teach them how to fish, not just throw bread and fish at them. For the addicts and mentally ill, they need shelters with programs, which are cheaper than jail. These are a national obligation, since we have many of the nation's mentally ill homeless coming here. Look at Zuma Dogg.

November 29, 2008 11:13 PM  

Blogger dgarzila said:

It is quite interesting that people living in skid row are being enabled while people who are homeless in Hollywood near PATH are well deserving of help.

Keep reading my blog and you will see that the residents in skid row have taken over and are now doing that which many of the non-profits should have been doing already.

PATH wants to send skid row to everybody elses backyard instead of fixing what the problems are in skid row and I fought them every step of the way when they kept going along with the neighbors of the gower project to make it transitional housing with services off site. Talk about creating another skid row. I was victorious and it was permanent supportive housing with onsite services.

For many years skid row housing Trust and SRO Housing Corporation claimed to have provided onsite supportive services which was outright fabrication. This caused many offsite services to erupt around them turning skid row into skid row. We in skid row are demanding onsite services . AND we were successful working with the business community on Main Street to demand that that happens and the New Genesis Hotel will provide all services onsite.

We are changing skid row. For those who are not informed, for your FYI , IN my Opinion Fred Jordan ran out of food because they have churches who bus people in from the east side. Do you know how difficult it was for me to take photos of African Americans in a predominantly african american neighborhood, at that event because of this. I think it is great that the Churches do this as long as Fred Jordan has press releases that state they are feeding everyone not just folks in skid row.

Another reason could have been because the MIdnight MIssion was having their feeding at the same time and folks decided to go to Fred Jordan Mission 3 blocks away to make sure they got the goodie bag that Fred Jordan Mission was also passing out..after getting the goodie bag from the MIdnight MIssion.

The analogous statements made by the person above that these are all a bunch of losers better take note. These were families that work hard. And it is going to get a lot worse.

No Higby , they are not enablers.

The photo on this post wasn't taken this Feeding Season. I live here and I watch the non-profits fight over funding. One stating that their services are better than another. If Joel John Robert's was so concerned about enabling folks etc, then he should keep his nose out of skid row and keep PATH in Hollywood. The problem is if he did that he would lose funding. Skid Row is the goose that laid the golden egg for the homeless industrial complex. So they have to have a hand in it somehow.

Joel John Roberts - salary in 2006 - 110,000 dollars

Joel JOhn Roberts is not one of the Highest paid So anonymous get your facts straight.

November 30, 2008 12:57 AM  

Anonymous Poster 1 said:

Poster 7:19PM, That's what the LA City leaders want you to believe.

Between 36 employees paid over $200K, they cost the City over $8.19 Million. Then, after the council approves huge salary increases for many department heads, they start talking about how many employee salaries have to be cut? If these 36 employees had a pay cut of 13%, the City would save $1.06M without even including any reductions from the Mayor or Council. Don't worry, they would still make a living wage wage!

Remember, the media is the industry that keeps some of the leaders & GMs honest and bring out the excessive salaries they continually pay themselves so there is no money for the employees or available for services. We ALL suffer from their excesses!

I believe the cuts should start at the top and then they can do their photo opps and continue with their posturing for higher office!

November 30, 2008 1:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The SEIU provides free food for all they seek to "organize". The longer they hold out, the better they eat.

Maybe they can "organize" the poor and charge them dues also. I wouldn't put it past them seeing as they already take so much from their poorest members and don't represent them.

Another ideal $$$ opportunity, right Julie? $$$ Sorry, didn't mean to get you excited.

November 30, 2008 3:15 AM  

Blogger Heather said:

Antonio pays $400 to go to Beverly HIlls and gets his hair dyed with all his security detail. He's a joke. How much does his over whitened teeth cost? These assholes have no clue about giving back and should be ashamed of themselves. They should all watch the CNN Heroes that will re air. Its about REAL people who don't have money but did something remarkable to help others. Its all about our purpose in life.
It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.

Albert Einstein: It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.

Winston Churchill:
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

John D. Rockefeller Jr.:
Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege.

November 30, 2008 8:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

"For the addicts and mentally ill, they need shelters with programs, which are cheaper than jail.These are a national obligation, since we have many of the nation's mentally ill homeless coming here. Look at Zuma Dogg.'

Lay off Zuma Dogg. he is living on the steets, without injuring anyone, stealing nothing and donating the turkey he got from CD14 Huizar to a needly family because Zuma is a vegetarian. He could have sold it.

Also, Zuma keeps people informed and tells people how to get help from the City, County and State.

Many of the "mentally ill" buy and sell drugs, attack others and steal.

Any person who is truly down and out and not mental or addicted, knows better than to go to the "shelters". A person can get robbed or killed in there.

November 30, 2008 9:37 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Buzz in town: The Moore campaign is scared to death Zuma could gain the media attention and traction to actually get more votes than Moore.

Neither will come anywhere close to the Mayor's vote total.

November 30, 2008 1:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I've been involved with PATH through my church and have seen what they do with people who come to them willing to make the effort to change their lives: their get trained in how to present for a job, from resume and dressing the part to actually being willing to do what it takes to get and keep a job.

Too many of them think they're too good for a job, too educated or had a better job in the past or whatever, and feel entitled to start at the top as some sort of management (see Zuma Dogg again, as an example). They have behavior problems and other issues.

One thing PATH demands as a pre-requisite is, if someone wants the help of a residential center (where they must help cook/ clean and follow a number of rules -- the same stuff wealthy people do in rehab, by the way -- learning to make their beds and do manual work and have responsibilities, maybe for the first time in their lives) they must EARN it by being responsible.

For example, they're told to call in at a certain time to check for availability of a slot, or for when to show up for pre-training.

Many can't or won't call on time, or even call to apologize -- just don't "remember" or find something better to do. If someone can't do this, they won't show for the job interview so why bother with them? There are plenty who are willing to do the work and can take advantage of the limited help. This does mean they practice "tough love," they're not enablers like some wishy-washy liberals when it comes to homeless or gangs.

That's just one example -- Dgarzilla putting down PATH is just ignorant. Maybe neighbors didn't want a live-in full-scale treatment center in that case, and PATH has to work with a community. (Can you blame people for not wanting a bunch of homeless who've been on the street, almost always with drug or alcohol problems, next to them? It's like how no one wants halfway houses. You can argue that they're being NIMBYs and cold, but an organization has to work within a community, not be its enemy.)

As for Joel being a "celebrity whore," it's celebs along with the rank and file church members who've put the project and others like Habitat on the map and generate matching funds and effort. Sounds like a lot of sour grapes.

November 30, 2008 3:03 PM  

Anonymous Poster 1 said:

Heather, does that include his entourage, LAPD escorts and the cost for the vehicles they all use?

While I don't encourage stalking (except by the media), ZD could follow him around and provide attention on himself & the Mayor. ZD may need to help people focus on Antonio, help people think about AV's actions, priorities and misdirected energy on anything but the City of LA! I DO think Mr Photo Opp looks great, in that short, Latino sort of way, but is that what we need for a Mayor?

November 30, 2008 4:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I won't even respond to the Zuma bashers (Moore's campaign should be scared)and the poster called "Heather" is too filled with hate about the mayor to take seriously.

The mayor's job is to bring notoriety and attention to our city. He does it and you whine and complain. Methinks you'll whine and complain no matter what the mayor does and no... I don't work for him.

The homeless problem is a serious one that I wish I knew how to fix. It's complicated and I'm not as informed on that issue.

December 01, 2008 12:56 AM  

Blogger dgarzila said:

What they in their ignorance wanted was another skid row... Many can't pull their own weight what about them?

Ah and for the so called undeserving poor who are sick and weak. Please... Not everything is black and white.

December 01, 2008 3:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Moore will definitely get more votes than the Fool.

Primarily, what Moore has to say is intelligent and meaningful, it just isn't heard by enough people because he lacks name recognition.

The Mayor's press machine will drown him out, but some will hear him and vote for him.

The Fool will be heard by more folks than Moore because of his self promotiing antics that make people laugh at him, not with him. He'll get a few votes from similar fools who think it might be funny to have a fool for a Mayor. But most who have seen him or seenhis awful videos will cast anti-Villaraigosa votes for other candidates, maybe Moore, but certainly not for The Fool.

December 01, 2008 6:00 AM  

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