Jan 16, 2014

In a Town Without Pity

A few years ago Donald was living under the 8th Street Bridge, until he graduated to sleeping on the floor at St. Pauls Church. Last night he implored Allentown City Council to do something about the homeless crisis, so that he and others can survive, besides from the good will of a few angels. A couple of those angels were also at Council last evening. Donald thanked Diane Teti for her help in the last year. Councilwoman Eichenwald called her one the righteous, a compliment of biblical proportion. Speaker after speaker told council that the time and weather has come for the Administration to address the issue. Council President Guridy and City Administration Manager Dougherty suggested a Lehigh County committee, until Teti assured them that the committee was part of the problem, not the solution. Teti wants them to open City Hall on freezing nights, to provide shelter to those who can not find shelter elsewhere. Council, which was to meet about this problem on February 12th, did agree to meet sooner because of the cold weather. I have seen them in the past suspend the rules, and vote on a spontaneous resolution, but that didn't occur last night.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike can you please check ....i remember when the mayor was looking to score political points, his wife formed a committee to eradicate homelessness in Atown within 10 years I believe. A committee was formed, this got a big splash in the media. This was a number of years ago, and never heard anything about this initiative since.

michael molovinsky said...

@7:00a.m, you are correct, that did occur. also in the MSM yesterday, pawlowski gave another very bureaucratic and long term answer to this immediate problem. last night it again sent below freezing and and a dusting of wet snow. if you're homeless you need shelter, not more committee meetings.

Anonymous said...

A few questions:

Where are the numerous other churches in the city? You've reported on one, but are others chipping in?

Is this a problem that needs a government solution, or is it a group that is looking for government funding?

This is a city that has already thrown tens of millions at groups fighting poverty, so I don't think you can call it a city without pity. Perhaps the issue is that those millions continue to go to the same groups without any evaluation as to whether they are making the problem better. Maybe the better headline would be "A City Without Accountability".

michael molovinsky said...

@7:43, you raise some good points. by coincidence, yesterday the administration sent out their CDBG applications, where numerous non-profits line up for their annual allocation.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Anyone who is living on the streets in America very likely has issues that prevent them from finding adequate long term shelter on their own. Until the recent past, many of these people were cared for in our state hospital system because clearly they could not take care of themselves. Sadly that act of charity is now just a memory.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Regarding the 8:41 comment, in reality these individuals do have the ability to survive, just not to prosper. This is evidenced by the fact that other than the problem of finding warmth in extreme cold, the rest of the year, they manage to fly below the radar of most of the more prosperous population. The state mental hospital system when it existed was not designed to distribute "charity", but instead, rehabilitate. When that idea fell out of favor, "community support programs" became the politically correct banner. This design is more subject to budget cuts and political influence, so the homeless end up with less chance of supervised rehabilitation. As a person who worked at the now closed Allentown State Hospital long term, it was restoring functionality, not charity, which guided our service.

Anonymous said...

Diane is truly an angel. I agree that the churches CAN and SHOULD be doing more.

It is my understanding that the homeless committee that the mayors wife chaired she has now resigned from. The problem with homelessness is not better, nor is it going away.

The creation of a committee means nothing if that committee doesn't get results.

A small group of individuals have made more of an impact (Led by Diane Teti and Dale Smith) than any committee has.

These folks have moved 20 people into permanent housing - it's time the city sits down shuts up and follows THEIR lead - they clearly know what they are doing!

Gina Blevins

Anonymous said...

Mayor Ed Pawlowski said the city has ensured through the proper channels that shelter beds have been available to all the homeless who have needed them during the cold. He also said he does not believe temporary shelters in public buildings is the best solution.

"A better solution is transitional housing which, the idea is, will eventually lead to permanent housing and employment," Pawlowski said.

Unsure WHY, when it comes to OTHERS, it's ok for things to "eventually" happen.... SMH

Alfonso Todd
www.alfonsotodd.com

michael molovinsky said...

alfonso@10:12, i bet eventually seems like forever when it's 2 degrees out.

Anonymous said...

9:44,

Don't disagree with anything you wrote. My point is that the state hospital, if still functioning would very likely have been able to restore this person who is now sadly left to his won devises.

Scott Armstrong

michael molovinsky said...

scott, i'm very disgusted with the priorities in pennsylvania. both the holiday inn and the americus are applying to use state taxes under the NIZ for their improvement, but i don't see it improving the city, just their property value. although corbett says that he didn't raise taxes, what is that first of four 10 cent per gallon increase? it is obvious that those state taxes diverted to the NIZ will be made up in other ways. we are providing a $1 billion dollar backdrop for pawlowski's political advertisements.

Anonymous said...

Is the mayors wife involved? I thought this was her primary emphasis?

michael molovinsky said...

@12:07, diane teti commented on facebook, Unfortunately, the Mayor's wife had to leave the Commission she started for personal reasons. i don't know the story, nor do i need to. homelessness cannot be the responsibility of mrs. pawlowski, or any one person. diane teti and others have managed to put this issue on the radar on both the city and county level. furthermore, the issue has received good press today. let us hope that all these factors contribute to some success with the problem.

Anonymous said...


Mike,

Is it that the state isn’t spending enough or is it that the state is spending its money inefficiently? One might go further and question whether the government is truly the entity best suited to end poverty and/or care for those who can’t care for themselves. Experience tells us that with the best of intentions and bundles of money the government is often at best ineffective in its attempts to address the problems of the poor.
One might question if I have come full circle because my first post was to condemn the closing of the state hospital. Sadly it seems the state chose to close out the one system that provided a real remedy.
Regarding the NIZ's and other public/private commercial and business collaborations I have nothing but profound suspicion.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Allright mr Molovinsky, since the last post was not posted one of the best speakers was the man sitting next to me, Limy he was a very good public speaker and has been in the area some time now and is a freind. The main on that is not part of the good old boy that deal in realestate salemasthis man was sold a church at a over inflated price that is in disrepair and in dire need of just maintenece yet commercial agent seel this realestate proprty with no liability of putting this pastor in a position were he is stuck into being a propriator of church of worship that would only be in a third world country not the USA? To top that The postor would be a better representative of the latino populus in allentown pa because he is on a mission from god and not the green green kind the prez is as the baseball people were outside cursing holio in his native tongue and calling him a sellout to the whitey but they could build a hokey ring yet stop them from having weekend fun?

redd
patent pending

michael molovinsky said...

redd@9:32, this blog rejects many comments. yes, the brit was a good speaker. i'm opposed to the city inspections of houses at point of sale. there are many private inspectors available to assist buyers who need help evaluating the condition of a property, whether residential or commercial. i will look into the story concerning the softball league.

Anonymous said...

Yea I know I don'tread and write to well nor articulate? But we all have to step back and look at the Brown Hole thing as it has now become a seperate entity but not limitted too the Hole of ReNew the valley? Futhere more local entities under some sort of subcontractor colussion of all the players, Palumpa is just a propped-dummy in the Hole matter with people behind the seen blowing up his allready over inflated ego as his stature and billigerence show to local aristicrates that don't want this circus to go on any longer?

redd
patent pending