Today, 12/24/12, I joined other concerned citizens who gathered in civil discourse on the 9th floor of the Government Building in Clayton, to remind elected officials of the current crisis of homelessness, and to have a peaceful conversation about what to do about it. Read on to find out what happened.
After getting the typical runaround from various government entities in power, Rev. Larry Rice with New Life Evangelistic Center, and his allies decided to use their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble and confront government official, County Executive Charlie Dooley who has been promising but not following through with having a meeting with Rice to discuss real solutions to the homeless epidemic St. Louis has on its hands.
"When can I not be homeless anymore? When will you all help us?" A woman asked Mike Jones, senior policy adviser to St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley.
"I can't answer that right now. I can't answer that right now." Jones continued. "We have made a leadership commitment. We're going to address this issue. And we're going to address this much sooner than a lot later."
"Homelessness has become the new N-word in America."
"What if the police actually helped the homeless?"
"I don't know how you sleep at night."
"I saw two homeless men go to jail yesterday because they didn't have no place to go, they were sittin on the street. That's the only thing that I wanna say, because I don't think that it's right, just because we're homeless we have to be a statistic. We have to go to jail to stay warm. Nobody cares. Nobody cares, and it's not fair. That hurts my heart. It does, it just does."
"Housing is a human right."
"Our ancestors left no one behind."
(The following four images are from Fox2Now 12/24/12 article.)
In summary, the elected official Mike Jones again paid lip service to the broken promises both the city and county have given on how to solve the homeless problem.
This, of course, is the same rhetoric most of us probably were already expecting from today's meeting.
Shortly after Jones' promises about tentative dates, four individuals who demanded solutions for the homeless were arrested. Kind of shows the true irony of our current status quo, doesn't it?