Oct 19, 2012

Soft Spots and Easy Marks

My mother was a tough cookie. My grandparents came over from Eastern Europe when she was little, and my grandfather worked at Bethlehem Steel, until a boiler blew up. Although he survived the explosion, he was badly injured, didn't speak much English, and it was the Depression to boot. Both my mother's parents died young, during the 1940's. My mother did have a few soft spots, one of them being that card sent every year by Father Flanagan. You wouldn't want to get in her way when she was headed to the mailbox with her contribution. I suppose the scandal broke in the late 1950's. Apparently,  my mother wasn't the only one with a soft spot for the boy carrying his brother. Turns out Father Flanagan received so many envelopes he couldn't even open them all. He had rooms full of money. Last year, the Allentown Rescue Mission had revenues of $3.5 million dollars. Their Father Flanagan, Gary Millspaugh, is searching for a COO, chief operating officer, to hire. Alan Jennings announced yesterday that Lehigh Valley Community Action will expand their operations into the Slate Belt. Soliciting to our soft spots has become big business.

UPDATE:The Rescue Mission has the city contract to sweep the sidewalk on Hamilton street, and refers to it as their work program. Yesterday, they announced that they would be discontinuing their drug addiction program. So in total, they seem to being doing less with more, and being subsidized by Allentown taxpayers to boot.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Use to think the Allentown Rescue Mission was the only one of its kind. That's until I visited another city and there too was a sister
entity with the same logo.

Anonymous said...

Remember the little envelopes in the mail too.

Anonymous said...

One thing I like about the Rescue Mission is that little to none of their funding comes from the government. So many organizations seem more concerned about lining up at the public trough than making their case to the community they (supposedly) serve.

In general, however, it's difficult to fathom how this country flourished without a non-profit on every corner. I guess back in the day they were called churches, and didn't have the highly-paid staff we see today.

Despite the changes, I'm not sure I see improvement.

Anonymous said...

Once and for all can someone please tell me how the rescue mission a non profit can bid on and be awarded government contracts? Which in turn has put stable taxpaying/wage earners on the unemployment roles.And without addictons or losing everything the former responsible taxpayer/wage earners are punished!Sounds about right for the city without limits!

michael molovinsky said...

in regard to @7:13, the Rescue Mission has the city contract to sweep the sidewalk on hamilton street and refers to it as their work program. yesterday they announced that they would be discontinuing their drug addiction program. So in total, they seem to being doing less with more, and being subsidized by Allentown taxpayers to boot.

Anonymous said...

It sounds cruel to be against those street sweeping projects that the Rescue Mission handles. However, I often think the opposite of a poster above. The city parks department jobs, fairly well paid and benefit-rich could easily be done by those 'down on their luck'. Allentown's 'parkies' pay packages are nothing compared to big city scams like in NYC where guys waling the parks with a needle at the end of a stick are sometimes making six figures with their union protection. Some retire with multi years' of 'vacation and sick leave' built up.....all at the expense of the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:52 what do you do for a living? Maybe one of those 'down on their luck' people could do your job then you can try to figure out how to pay the mortgage and support your family!