Jan 23, 2014

The Homeless Get Another Shelter

It's not too often that activists prevail in Allentown, I can attest to that. The community owes a debt of gratitude to Diane Teti, Dale Smith, Chris Cocca, Rich Fegley, Reverend Richard Baumann and others for making Pawlowski see the error of his ways. Only yesterday City Hall said that the shelter situation was under control, but by today we learn that the YMCA will be providing shelter on weekdays, during code blue weather. What changed Pawlowski's mind?

UPDATE: Rich Fegley gave an impassioned speech to the County Commmissioners about Safe Haven and the homeless Wednesday evening. He was rewarded later that evening when he learned that three of the commissioners, Ott, Scheller and Mazziotti went to the shelter themselves, after the meeting.


Rich Fegley said...

I just returned home from the YMCA. They had four men staying there tonight.

Two of the men were "regulars" at Safe Haven. One of these men has been of and on homeless for over 20 years. The police checked the woods behind and these two guys were sitting in their tent with a kerosene heater and they had had a few beers. They were ready to be there camped out all night. The police told them it was going to be TOO COLD and they drove them to 8th St. to St. Paul's.

I just happened to be there when the police were dropping them at St. Paul's Safe Haven. I had no clue what to do. The homeless at Safe Haven were telling me, "We can't take those guys, we have over 35 people here!" I told them I would take care of this. I found Diane as she has worked closely with one of these two guys.

The police came back and drove these two stragglers to the YMCA. At least we had a second option for these guys tonight.

Diane and I went to the YMCA at midinght. The sign on the front door directed us to the gym door on the left of the building. We were admitted by YMCA staff Michael and Dexter.

There were two other men there that arrived just before 10:30 and they were sleeping soundly.

Please remember the YMCA is not available Fri, Sat and Sun night. They have other later-night activities that go to after 10:30pm.

I told Michael that he should probably not expect much more than these four or so in the future.

I said there were probably no more than 50 homeless persons that were really in trouble in the cold right now. He was going to talk with the YMCA directors to see if they can find a smaller space in the YMCA to allow these men to remain warm for extended hours AND over the weekend. Four men in a huge gym is overkill. We could have 200 people in the gym if you compare it to how packed they are on the floor of Safe Haven which is just a basement of the church offices.

More hope...seems the Schools are talking with the City about other options for the homeless in the cold. Let's see what Friday brings.

Rich Fegley

Anonymous said...

"Four men in a huge gym is overkill."

Okay so Mayor Pawlowski was right, there already were adequate overnight housing accommodations for our 50 local homeless people.

This is all about Fegley/Teti bullying and personal publicity.

michael molovinsky said...

blog mentor@7:30, you wouldn't think it was overkill if you were one of the four who were out in the cold. as you well know, fegley was referring to the size of the room, not having an additional shelter. bullying and personal publicity is exactly what you're all about

Anonymous said...

To say Fegley/Teti are bullying ANYONE is the most ignorant statement anyone can make. If it wasn't for their and other individual's passion and work to actually MAKE SOMETHING happen in this community then NOTHING would have happened which is apparently what the status quo may have preferred. I hope the person who made this ridiculous statement isn't the same who says they champion anything because apparently they have no idea what championing is... SMH

Alfonso Todd