Jan 24, 2014

Code Blue Warming Center

The Lehigh Valley Council of Churches has decided to open a code blue warming center in Alliance Hall, at 6th and Chew Streets. That's wonderful, but their email blast announcing the service is very disturbing
You have most likely seen press coverage concerning the plight of the homeless during this recent spell of dangerously cold weather. We have chosen not to participate in public debates about how "others" should solve this problem, particularly since the Conference has for the past decade been doing the heavy lifting when it comes to stabilizing the lives of "the least of these, my brothers and sisters" without the need for shining a media spotlight on that work. Instead of being divisive and derisive, we joined with partners who are problem solvers. Our initial plan is to open the Alliance Hall gym only when needed for emergency Code Blue weather conditions. Funding for this initiative is not guaranteed. Staffing details have not been determined.
 If they had been lifting as much as they think, such a center  would already exist. It's particularly offensive to refer to those who illuminated the problem as divisive and derisive. I keep thinking of Diane Teti's comment that nobody owns the homeless. Apparently, the established charitable institutions think that only they should be credited with good deeds.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad that the homeless will have a safe place to sleep. I just watched a video of a homeless man being stomped by a group in a reading laundrymat. I hope they spend time in state prison

Anonymous said...

It's a shame how a "Christian" organization had to take a jab, in their press release, at the very people who had to force their hand to take action in any type of way... Either way, KUDOS to Diane Teti and all of those involved! Those in need and the TRUE "movers and shakers" of Allentown, PA know how and why this feat was accomplished...

Alfonso Todd

Rich Fegley said...

Posted on my Facebook:

I'm the "bad guy" now? According to the Lehigh County Conference of Churches. Wow. I'm stunned.

Very Christian of them. I was raised Catholic and I understand Christ, but none of you have even spoken a word to me. How can this be?

Let me point out that LCCC fails to inform the public that emergency sheltering for the homeless is NOT part of what they do. The LCCC has told us this.

The First Lady's Commission to End Homelessness failed at preparing for emergency sheltering for Winter 2013/2014. They had one full year to prepare. Don't think that they are "saving the day" right now folks. No way. They had time to prepare.

The City of Allentown said this was a County responsibility. The City states that homeless sheltering is NOT their responsibility.

The County said they declare Code Blue and the City is responsible for their homeless. The County states that homeless sheltering is NOT their responsibility.

If you are reading this, please help me not be vilified. I have no idea what the hell is going on here. I'm helping homeless people and certain persons in this City are throwing shit on me.

monkey momma said...

That press release is the very definition of divisive and derisive. How utterly hypocritical. It really is a stunningly horrible statement from LCCC.

Mr. Fegley, don't you know that no good deed goes unpunished? As my 13 year old would say, "haters gonna hate." I think you can use this to your advantage - your detractors are shining a light on your message, which is a good thing. Accept the vilification as a gift for your cause. Thank you for your passion and good deeds. (And great beer - I mean, seriously. I'm such a big fan of the BrewWorks it's ridiculous.)

michael molovinsky said...

monkey momma@8:43, i question how thought out the email blast was. on the council's website they have a picture of reverend baumann, who has been supportive of the divisive advocates. i'm assuming that the council is not including baumann in the criticism. i have also rejected a comment about a. jennings, which assigned him some blame. i believe all assignments of blame are inappropriate, and the only issue is whether enough shelter is available.

Chris Casey said...

I'm sure all the homeless people got the email on their Ipads this AM about Alliance Hall.
Such Hypocrisy. I was educated to believe that we should not advertise the good that we do, that we should let our actions towards those in need speak for themselves.
That was some serious patting on their own back, while demeaning those actually doing good work for having the audacity to bring the problem to light.
This isn't about why they are homeless, this is about providing shelter to those who need it.
Jesus said: "Feed my Sheep." There was nothing in there saying ignore the sheep who is a muslim, or the sheep with mental failings.
He preached to his disciples to tend the flock, all of humanity, without regard to all the silly crap people use to divide one another. It is obvious to me that many of our so called leaders missed that day in catechism class.

Rich Fegley said...

monkey momma, you are RIGHT ON! Thank you Michael Molovinsky for continuing to post about this issue.

They crucified Christ, if we have to go that far I'll let the haters hate.

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Thanks so much for posting and spreading the word.

Anonymous said...

MMand Mr. Fegley there is no one person to blame?

As for them throwing shit on you, you aligning yourself with one that they want to act as if they did not act together in the first place? read my hyroglifics out here in siberspace because I am one of them? The only difference is somehow my family made some slight provisions for me so now I have become one of yous. Except now soon because of there actions or lack there of I will soon be one of them? This taking advantage of the disadvantage is a very very very profitable venture in Allentown pa? I am not the first to have such henous crimes commited against me and my family and surely will not be the last? As there are many many many facet to this locally based criminal activity?

Than there is the appointment to this very subject, I just sit in the corner laughing because human behavior and money do not mix with politics and Transgretional Transformation either one becomes the other or the other becomes ONE City Center like Allentown pa? This is why I have been always saying theft of services as most locally polotics are? "QUOTE ME"

Still the only one with a nutsack on counsil to speak out against is the honerable ms Eichanwalt!

MM I do not think you will post this because it is even twisted to me?

patent pending

Anonymous said...


Being vilified is part of the process in Allentown. Welcome aboard matey to the good ship "official trouble maker". You're in good company now.

Scott Armstrong

Rich Fegley said...

If I translated your post properly, it makes perfect sense and shows that all of us will end up homeless if the Government does not stop "profiting" from the "business" of public welfare.

The public housing around the corner from my home is a bunch of tiny 2-bedroom homes. Allentown Housing Authority spent over $200,000 per unit to renovate a 2-bedroom units in that housing project. I believe it was a $13-million project.

$200,000 could have built a new unit, easily. If Citizens did this, it would be next to nothing. Think about how the Amish do a barn raising.

This is $200,000 for a renovation of a 2-bedroom housing unit. This is a goddamn crime an we all know it.

When are we going to stop this criminal activity in Allentown?

The Arena is coming and I want to work, play and have fun in Downtown Allentown. The Brew Works is hopping this weekend with out-of-towners visiting for Parkettes gymnastics and concerts at Symphony Hall.

When I see the homeless at St. Paul's Safe Haven, I see myself and each and everyone of you readers looking back at me, thanking me for caring, simply caring.

Anonymous said...

They have "chosen not to participate" speaks volumes. Thanks for keeping the "spotlight" on this issue mike. There are alot of people in the area who are one paycheck away from the streets including myself. Thanks also to everyone who fought to help the less fortunate.

michael molovinsky said...

in an email in which i was copied, rich fegley and diane telli wondered where the morning call was, in regard to developments during and after the county commissioner meeting, in regard to the homeless and safe haven. they should know that you could raise the dead during courtesy of the floor, and s. marcus wouldn't report it. she only reports on items passed or failed, period. likewise, the other reporters don't report or intrude on her "county" beat.

Anonymous said...

I've worked in construction for years and to renovate a 900 sq foot unit should cost between 40-60k

BB said...

Wow. Where to start? Obviously this church commentary is riddled with sarcasm and passive aggressive jabs at caring activists. Who wrote this? From "plight of the homeless" "heavy lifting" referring to homeless people as "the least"? Choosing not to participate in public debates when cold temperatures dictate a life or death sentence is far less than honorable. Personally, I would be ashamed. Implying the media was involved for any reason other than to shine a spotlight on a dire situation is just plain asinine. This is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with our democracy in the year 2014. Caring citizens petition their government to help improve a situation, and they are stifled, insulted, and oppressed by the gatekeepers, people with the power to actually do something. Better yet, let's imply they are crackpots on the fringe, outsiders, not even part of our community. How is 'choosing not to participate in public debates' to solve a problem somehow a badge of glory? After ten-years of "heavy lifting" why don't you have more than an "initial plan" for a code blue? And why hasn't funding or staffing been addressed... yet? ~BB

michael molovinsky said...

bb@12:32, the letter from the council of churches is signed, but i chose not to use his name. likewise, i have chosen not to print some things from rich fegley, which although very "colorful", found him in a weak moment of exasperation. some people are defensive because they're embarrassed that the safety net was found broken on their watch. others are upset with the defensive tactics, but i believe that everyone wants the same thing, adequate shelter for the homeless.

Rich Fegley said...

The letter from the LCCC came from the new director, Jack Felch. This email was sent using an email service to a list of people.


Code Blue Warming Center

"Leap of faith" took on a whole new meaning for me yesterday when I committed the Conference of Churches to leading an effort to establish an emergency Code Blue warming center in the gymnasium of Alliance Hall.

You have most likely seen press coverage concerning the plight of the homeless during this recent spell of dangerously cold weather. We have chosen not to participate in public debates about how "others" should solve this problem, particularly since the Conference has for the past decade been doing the heavy lifting when it comes to stabilizing the lives of "the least of these, my brothers and sisters" without the need for shining a media spotlight on that work. Instead of being divisive and derisive, we joined with partners who are problem solvers. Our initial plan is to open the Alliance Hall gym only when needed for emergency Code Blue weather conditions. Funding for this initiative is not guaranteed. Staffing details have not been determined.

We turn to you as individuals of conscience and to our 140 member churches for help. We need volunteer chaperones to pull shifts or stay all night in the gym when a Code Blue is called. Training will be mandatory and at least initially professional supervision will be on site. To let us know of your willingness, please email Community Relations Coordinator Abby Goldfarb at agoldfarb@lehighchurches.org as soon as possible with your willingness to be of service. You may also respond with your financial support to the Conference by mailing your check to the Conference or by giving on line at www.lehighchurches.org.

The crisis is now - immediate - and we need your support.

[signed] Jack Felch

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fegley, In the unseen, unread-about world of Allentown, you are being seen in the light you truly wish. I've always enjoyed your restaurants and because of your stances will make sure to do so more. Let them hate you all you want.

michael molovinsky said...

@3:47 and all readers, blogging is often a fluid situation. although i chose to keep mr. Felch's name out of the post, i allowed mr. fegley to use it in his comment, rather than censor a principal in this story. however, i ask readers to omit reference to mr. fegley's business interests, and stay on the homeless topic.

michael molovinsky said...

bill villa has entered the fray and sent an email to mr. felch, describing this as a "hate blog" and repeating his distortion that i "threatened him with physical violence." villa took a small portion of a comment by someone else out of context, and attributes it to me, because it appeared on my blog, typical villa distortion. mr. felch may want to check bill and angie's villas blog to see what a real hate blog is. they have no less than four local clergy on their published enemy list.

Anonymous said...

Mr Fegley and Mr molovinsky we all have een praying that this venture rings allentown pa back to the glory that had once captured the nation attention as The All American City. In that time it was rated as one of the best places to raise children because of the ASD education system in place and the many social agencies that had helpped special needs families, now these same entities have joined forces with the powers to rebuild a economy that has been preditorized of all assets real and not real, failing the very people that federal subzadies were allocated for. I don't care what kind of commision, board or oversite were put in place to watch allocations were spet propoorly there has been higer-up that have been funneling monies from such for pet projects for years, and also to improve families bisinesses under the guise of grant monies that were specifficly not such for endevors?

Theft of services as appointed public servants is the only way it can be explained?

patent pending

Rich Fegley said...

Regarding my business, I had a homeless man come in the rear door of my business, plop down at the bar and demand a beer while there were 14 paying guests in my business.

This was just this past Thursday night. Safe Haven at St. Paul's behind my business was locked at 10pm and he was too late for the "shelter" there.

I just happened to be at my business at 10:30pm on Thursday, waiting with Diane Teti to visit the YMCA after 11pm to see who showed up there. That's another comment on another post on this site.

I asked the homeless man to come sit in a booth. He was drunk but insisted he was not. He was being goofy and he seemed harmless. He just kept asking for a beer. He said he was sleeping in his car and needed a beer. Someone recommended a non-alcoholic beer, perfect, he was satisfied.

I asked him to wait, walked away, called the non-emergency police number. Three police vehicles arrived within a few minutes. They talked with the man, he had ID and he was harmless.

They could not do anything. He was just free to go. He asked for another beer and we said no so he left and went to sleep in his car.

So, let's say that I am doing this to "help" my business. Do readers know how many people from outside of Allentown say they have not been to Allentown in years? How many say, "I would never go to Allentown!"? OMG, just read some old post comments on this blog. LOL Everyone loves to talk about crime, violence, drugs and prostitution in Allentown.

I had a couple tonight tell me that they moved from East Allentown to north of the Mall/Whitehall (?) He was raised here, he has a lot of kids and he felt the City had just become to dangerous. This came from a military man trained in self-defense. He is more worried about his children in the City.

So, I would like to see this City CLEANED UP once and for all. All types of trash are excepted for incineration! ;-)

Let's clean this up together. Please. Thank you.

michael molovinsky said...

edd@10:12, you made such general allegations before. generally speaking, this blog does not report on crime.

rich@1:52, i understand that your time, life and business are connected, but except for historical pieces, i prefer not to promote any one business, or monetize this blog. but, if you want to be the first and only advertisement on molovinsky on allentown, let me know, it's $ten thousand a month, otherwise, please don't mention the business.

Anonymous said...

mm Icompletey understand Mr Fegley's comment he's not looking for a plug if he were all he would have to do is be a yes to the mayor.Some business's especially family ones with integrity its all wrapped in one package.So cut him some slack!

michael molovinsky said...

@12:49, i realize that rich fegley is not looking for a "plug", and his business is far more successful than to need one from this blog, but one commenter already linked his community involvement with patronizing his business more often, and i simply want to avoid any appearance of promoting.

Anonymous said...

Yes - inept arrogance on the part of the LCCC. The organization that one day may get it's act together. Now they are being courted by Wild Willy Villa to earn the exaulted position of their acidic emissary of hate to save them for the likes of all those other people in Allentown. That is about 99.99% of the population. I would sign my name but I fear Wild Willy would sue me. Ohhh! All those in the trenches of living in Allentown, seeing it for what it is and trying to make a real difference - Thanks. Wonder if this Felch fellow will last as long as the guy at the mission did?

michael molovinsky said...

@7:11, the conference has many good missions and deeds, including the soup kitchen at st. pauls. the letter might have been a bad hair day for mr. felch. as for villa, i suspect the conference will have no trouble recognizing his sinister motives for what they are.