Rocked but not Moved, Sad beyond Tears

battleIt was bound to happen, and I am still reeling on this day when I should be most rested and relaxed.

I have done all I can all weekend long to recover: I slept, napped, ate well, took time off alone…prayed…kept quiet and alone.

I figured my limitation at the shelter was 4-6 weeks and I would begin to fray. It has been about 5 weeks and I got rocked the other day when a man I thought was my friend confessed that he hated me. He hates me because I am white. It is simple racial hatred and I watched it burn in him like an unquenchable fire that made me irrelevant. He was overcome with it. I did not exist.

I stood up and walked away without a word. There was absolutely nothing to say to such rage. Not by me. Only Jesus know what to say to that and last time I checked I am not Him.

I have nothingagainst the man, and I sure as hellfire am not gonna ever be his mirror. No – you can keep every simgle ounce of that hate to yourself. I want no part of it. And I won;t sit down with you again and listen to you again.

I am not built for it. Listen to your pain? Sure; suffering? Sure. But take your rage? Go sell it to someone else. I have no time for you. or your self-justified abuse – ever.

*******

Since then I am more sensitzed to the mass amount of anger at the Shelter. I see how toxic it is and how unprotected the people really are.

And there is no help on the way. I asked local churches for shampoo and they made it an issue about ME. Typical.

And all the while, as they let their agendas be known for me (which are irrelevant as I have no life, no active addictions, no woman, no anything…) they have never once even invited me to their church. One of them even told me that he prefer it if I go to the other church (which has made me most unwelcome) and when I called him on his lack of logic in the most straight terms he accused me of being “sharp-tongued.”

No. If you have read me for any period of time you know what my being “strong-tongued” is. This was just asking a logical question.

*******

Today is the first day of my job at the plumbing company. I made sure to get 8 hours sleep/. I got on the early bus today to do a dry run for tomorrows earlier start time. I work M-F for a month. Then weekends in a month. It’s a good wage’ a living wage for a single guy in Santa Cruz who lives like Ghandi. I can think about Bay Area and a much better job after I do this one well for a good little while.

If I am blessed I might even have my own place in a month or so.

Establishing the Run

In football, if you are going to have a great passing game you have to establish the run.

I have been playing smash-mouth football and nothing but the run for a month now – ever since I got back. Not one pass – and I am known for just that – my arm.

Day after day I have simply run the football. But all of that would be meaningless without the grace of God. God has opened the holes and I have run through. And God has repaired me in the nightwatches so I jump up at 4 a.m. ready to hit it again.

I just got the call at the goal line. Touchdown.

I start the new job on Monday. I’ll work hard (running the ball – get a place in a month or so); but now I can start looking at developing the passing game with longer range goals most probably out of this area.

I have been, and will continue to be, extremely deliberate.

More later..on backup CPU and it sucks (keyboard is wacky).

….Sideways and Stupid Part II

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Many hours later I was laying out at Crissy Field in SF with Miss Z, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Charlize Theron –  a real stunner and she had eaten enough brie and fruit, and had enough Savingnon Blanc, and I had had the same (only vitamin water) and she lay back on my chest and we talked for awhile in the sun (she wearing my hat).

Perfect day with the Golden Gate Bridge off to the West and swift sail boats cutting back and forth in front of the yacht club. She uncoiled and arched her long body up and over, kissed me and smiled. Later we held hands walked through the City.

It was a nice day to get away from it all.

But by the time I got of the Caltrain, the sideways/stupid disease was creeping back into me!

I left my hat – my fedora right there at the bench. I was tired and as I have said before – you cannot afford a mental lapse – ever.

Now I just have to let it go  until I have an extra $36 laying around.

Was it worth it? The bus and train tickets etc…all the way to SF? Yes. You cannot allow “shelter” to get into your head. You can serve those who are there but never allow yourself to develop homeless mentality. That ‘s as good a reason as any for me to date attractive interesting women while I hve no home, car or money. It is not WHO I AM.

And it is also not boring.

********

4:30 a,m. at the Loft. Shaving kit by Scott Dodge.

4:30 a,m. at the Loft. Shaving kit by Scott Dodge.

You, dear reader have questions.

DO they know?

Of course they know. Don’tt be silly. They know all. And any woman who does a knee-jerk because I don’t have a car and temporarily no abode is not gonna work for me long-term anyway.

I had someone once who cut me lose (after over a decade of marriage) pretty much as soon as the Big Job went away – or in fairness, put impossible screws to me that I could never accept, then took half of my stuff – while it was a lot of stuff – and left me emotionally destitute at my post vulnerable point.

I’d rather be loved for who I am inside now, thank you. The other will surely come.

Do I accept help?

Not anymore. I have in the past and it was a mistake after a short time. So now I do not. I get help from God through whatever means God sees fit. I earn my own way.

*******

When I got back, the next morning the same guy who had wanted to fight me was sweeping again. With guys, and their is pride, there is a fine line – you need to communicate that you have definite boundaries  but also that you were wrong in not showing respect and care in a situation. Humility and strength need to be shown at the same time.

I grabbed my chair when it was close by.

“Let me get this outcha way,” I said

He swept past, and I put the chair down and sat. “and hey. I’m sorry about yesterday. Yer just trying to do your job.”

“I’m sorry too.” he said.

And that was that. No bigs.

The big girl with the stuffed animals was back from the hospital. J has calmed down and did not get permanently kicked and I think my friend M, who works graveyard at the desk, will not quit. And he Great Reynaldo and I had a great time of fellowship yesterday discussing Romans 1; our errant egos, and how to keep it pure (so far as it depends on us.

*******

My Ex-wife called me on the train and has asked I be more involved with Daughter’s life in Alameda. Couldn’t be more perfect timing. My old issues that might have hung things up on my end (self-pity, living in the past) have now been decimated). I am clear and want no part of them again. We simply move forward.

Will I consider a move to the Bay Area? Well if Santa Cruz jobs do not pan out (and they should bloody well pan out) then I will I suppose. I’d miss the ocean and a few friends. But the two churches  I looked to here have turned their backs on me for not “doing things their way”  (utter sobriety and service be damned! The want me to not drink their way…geeebus. Go help someone with real problems…) – and one even accused me of a “sharp-tongued letter” which was anything but (I believe I employed logic, which – I suppose – many a Santa Cruz pstor might find something akin to a blistering attack.).

So I leave it all in God’s hands. because I am still utterly available to do my own stupid things.

The other day I saw a guy on the laptop in the corner and thought “I’m okay with Reynaldo using it, but loaning it out?”

I went to Reynaldo’s office (The red Caddy) and started to say “Hey, I don’t mind you using the bakup laptop all the time, but maybe watch who you loan it too, and…’ and the further I got into it..the more he looked at me like an alien speak swahili, the more obvious it was that I had made a huge and serious (and stupid) mistake.

I tried backtracking…er…no go.

FInally, (Magnum head slump) I just said “I’m stupid…I got something in my tiny little brain and didn’t think it through…I’m sorry….what a moron.”

He laughedthat big garrulous laugh.

He could have rubbed it in for an hour about my thinking for a millisecond he would loan out the backup laptop to someone else. He had mercy on the Macman.

********

Today I get my photo ID so when the gate comes down I can come in and out. It is a bad idea and closer to total incarceration of the homeless.

There is a protest tomorrow at the police station about brutality, the beatings an how they confiscate people’s hard-won equipment.

Apparently there is one officer in particular who has it out for the homeless. I will report back tomorrow after the protest (with photos). I also was interviewed for a radio program yesterday (with my full name) on police brutality. I said I had experienced none, but also that I looked the east homeless of just about anyone – always clean-shaven, in nice clothes and educated and erudite. I said I had heard many reports working security at HSC and that I believed them.

Then I remembered the guy at Reynaldo’s church who asked me “Have the police hassled you much?”

“Why would they ever do that?”

Let my clothes get dirty, no money for a razor and wake me up after ten days sleeping in the park?  I might get an interview by the police..might get my stuff taken (this blog might fall silent – and I might get the skabula kicked out of me or simply having no where safe to sleep.

.Second interview will lead to a decision this week. I would start next week; get a check two weeks later…That is October and my time is up. If I get a two week extension then I come out with maybe enough for the chepest room in town ($600) if they don;t require much deposit). Otherwise I am on the street while working.

What kind of logic and foresight is this that provides homeless housing with no possibility of earning enough to transition out ubless you have optimum circumstances and even them, only with incredible luck, timing and if nothing goes wrong.

Are these people THAT stupid? Or is there a whoe other agenda entirely??

Is it possible Santa Cruz neds the Homeless to draw in Federal and State money, as well as large donations – for itself and it’s own well-being?

…then it all went Sideways and Stupid.

mary-ellen-mark-cast-of-one-flew-over-the-cuckoos-nest-posing-for-their-photograph-on-location-at-the-oregon-state-hospital-salem-oregon-mary-ellen-mark-1974

…not with me…though as a member of the community at the shelter I would be tested too, but it was one insane night. Ambulances were called, blood was shed, people kicked out, and there were yelling matches and others banned. It was a mess and one really good employee may quit today – which would be a real loss because the frontline staff here are the real workers who help; the front office folk? I have seen them do jack since I got here. They come in at 10-ish, and eave at 4 p.m. and I cannot surmise what in the hell they do for anyone. (I have a 2 p.m. appt. tomorrow. I’ll bet you money I don;t have she won’t be there.)

So many people here are traumatized – and deeply so. It can be a variety of issues. One woman – who just went OFF this a.m. at everyone  has a history of being abused by men (beaten) and she is going through menopause and quite possible has a small drug problem.

In the fray, not even I can always talk them down.

Prior to that two guys in wheel chairs had been clashing. Yes – the battle of the wheelchairs (which really only guys would do.)

Then one woman, who packs round the most gigantic pack (very organized) replete with a host of stuffed animals, and who never speaks to anyone (I always say hi in town)  started to bleed uncontrollably yesterday and through last night. Finally my friend and staff worker tried to intercede and was angrily rebuffed. She called the paramedics who came and fetched her out of a pool of blood.

(It turns out the woman used to be a school bus driver and there was an accident and a few of the children died). Some people who are here are just sort of terminally ruined.

Then there is my friend M, who I loaned my sleeping bag to – not only can he not follow simple instructions (“{place it on my bed so someone else can use it”) he then is the world’s loudest snorer – supplanting myself by at least 50 to 1 decibels).

Two hours later a tweaker rolls in smelling (from 15 feet away) like he has been bathing in diesel fuel. He gets into it at 2:30 a.m. with some of the other men. He is booted out into the nigbt. Tweakers are fairly universally hated because in their addiction they appear to be soulless nd the closest thing to an actual zombie apocalypse that you might see.

In the a.m. everyone is in a foul mood except for a few of us who simply detach. But one guys decides he wants to mix it up with me.

It’s deliberate and he actually wants to mix it up with a guy twice his size.

So after cussing at me and trying to move the chair I am still using, I say it is staying right where it is (thank you very much). He says “You have no idea who I am.”

“I know exactly who you are and who I am,” I say.

He utters some monosyllabic unconnected semi-threats.

“Try piecing the words together into a full sentence,” I say. “see how it work for you.”

I regret this the second after I utter it – not because it will escalate things (he is not bright enough to counter – but because I really needed to simply shut up and let it pass. You don’t need to use a grenade on a guy with a pen knife. It was uncalled for on my behalf. . To do so was …stupider.

I sat down to cool off a bit. I thought about the day. I am really blessed. I am going to SF today, I have great friends and God has gifted me with so much.

I knew I was going to have to apologize to that guy, for my part. I have no business showing anyone disrespect no matter what. It’s not why I am here. And part of how I stay sane is by acting sanely in an insane situation. I don’t go sideways and when I do stupid things I own them quickly and fully.

In that regard this has been a very fruitful year for me. I have grown in leaps and bound.

 

Family and friends

"Feeding the Spirit" at work at HSC.

“Feeding the Spirit” at work at HSC.

There are good days and bad.

Day before yesterday I packed poorly for the day. Forgot my sunglasses. Very bad. I have macular degeneration (bad eyes) and the sun is very harsh here. That meant staying indoors as much as much as possible, or in the shadows…looking away from the sun. I had also over-dressed in long jeans thinking it would be colder. It wasn’t.

The Great Reynaldo and I have not had hardly any face time. He defriended me last week on Facebook for no apparent reason – but then people  do that all the time for any number of reasons. I happen to be the sort of person who always gets a bkg reaction. I don’t take it personal.

But yesterday was spectacular. My stepmother Dee came into town and we had lunch a Zoccoli’s deli and talked and she brought along an old laptop that I can loan out to people (I had two, one of which is already on loan), and a sleeping bag (my other one is being used by Luther who is still n Watsonville), so the kid – let’s call him Manuel, now has something to sleep in outside beside my thin workout jacket.

It was a very good and upbeat discussion, and it was sweet of her float to me $40  because that will buy me a waterproof BIVY if I need it in 3 weeks.

Next, I got a callback from Bellows Plumbing and HVAC. I have had a real sense all along that they were the place I was going to work at. I really left it (or once maybe) in Gods hands emotionally. I met with them at 11:00 a.m. om on Monday for  second interview – which I assume will lead to a hire.

We just liked each other too much.

Then my sister Heather called and she and her fiance Ken were in town and wanted t go out for dinner!

We are not exactly a close family, but Heath is my closest family member. We hated each other growing up, but that changed when I came to faith. She told me in my 20’s “I knew it was real because you immediately quit pounding me.”

Quite the testimony, eh?

We had a great time. It is impossible not to enjoy her future husband – who – is actually bigger and taller than me (and more muscular  yikes). And sis is quite joyful.

I came “home” with new provisions for folk here.And the Great Reynaldo and I suddenly seemed back on track, joking and cutting up about his recent “banning” from a sports bar – and all was well.

*******

Today “Feeding the Spirit” folks will be  here, led by Daniel Burns – my friend – and I will help out where I can. Then it is a day of mundanity (laundry, packing and organizing…phone calls.)

Next month I could easily be camping and moving around a lot JUST to keep my job In tact. There will be no quick trips for light fun and romance to SF then. It will be gritty deliberate war that does not look like war to anyone else.

Do I hope to avoid it? You bet. By any means possible. I wish someone would give me access t protected property to just set up camp for a month – but no one wantS to “take a chance” these days.

I take a chance every day – not because I am better than anyone – but because i see through the fear. It’s an illusion to keep us from active love.

The fact is, if we love and risk nothing bad will happen to us – and, as Jesus said, we “lay up treasure in heaven where thief cannot steal and moth cannot destroy.” These things have lasting meaning because God recognizes them not as any type of earnings. but a acts done in love. And we were created in His image to love.

I have simply been somewhat “forced” to have a meaningful and joyful life.  You should be so lucky and blessed.

No the trick is, after I start work, how to keep doing it.

Freedom and Responsibility

royal_bengal_tiger-903585

When I was younger (in my teens) I was forced to go to adult “T-Group” encounter sessions weekly. Counselors later would wince when told this knowing how disreputable such “therapy” became and how much damage it did to many. In effect a person was placed on the “hot seat” in the middle of the room (of about 35 people or so) and then they would tear down your carefully constructed fictions and defenses until you were forced to see the “truth.”

The problem, in my case, was I was 13 and not old or shrewd enough to have constructed such defenses. I told the truth that first night when they seated me right away and tore into me like fresh veal.

I learned very quickly how to lie after that -and how to play their game – masterfully; and it would not be until my conversion 5 years later that the arduous task of deconstructing that thick fabric of defenses would begin.

Little did I know that religious leaders can be just as bad (and I heartily recommend Coleman Luck’s upcoming book, Day of the Wolf: Unmasking and Confronting Wolves in the Church.)

Not comfortable with leaving healing and change up to God and just “walking alongside,” (which I have always found to be ten times more effective); they just cannot keep their mitts off even if it defies reason, common sense and science.

And by all means do NOT tell the truth. They will slap you with a “You are in Denial!” so quick it could make your head spin. But only if you accept their utter lack of legs to stand on.

Majority does not rule. The masses used to think the world was flat. They were mistaken. So were the religious leaders.

*******

I could rag on AA, but to do so would be counter-productive. People who have the mental obsession need SOMEPLACE to go and talk about it. And an 18% success rate is better and a zero success rate.

Me? I do not share the obsession. I think about alcohol about as much as I do my ex-wife (just not fondly – I miss her laugh.)  If I do have a passing thought of alcohol (rare) it is reminiscent of someone who was once a very stupid and bad friend who often lost or lighted my stuff on fire. No thanks.

But the Church, having no idea at all how to handle emotional, psychological or interpersonal problems biblically (perhaps Larry Crabb has some clues) resorts to stuffing its members into 12-setp programs whether they work or not (is it because Jesus had 12 disciples -so one for every step?)

They wag their finger at me (but you drank!) Yeah, and to misquote Churchill “and you’re ugly, but I sobered up!)”

That’s it. Watch what people do, not what they say. I’m in a pressure cooker right now. Am I drinking? Then shut your cake-hole. Care to trade places and see how you’ll do?

It’s important to see the larger picture. God is about love and freedom (and this is not often talked about or known and if we let these Yahoos have the floor all the time it will never be known).

Jesus talks of those who have enslaved themselves to sin (“missing the mark of their true humanity”) and as not free, but that freedom was available for those who would follow His teaching and become disciples. This is not to be confused with religion. The closest equivalent we have might be something akin to become a “patowan” to a Jedi. It is taking responsibility and learning disciplines that result in great freedom.

The freedom to love.

God has given humanity a terrifying amount of freedom. Doubt me? Pick up a newspaper.

Prior to the proper diagnosis of my simple condition (which will be discussed tomorrow) and the proper medications, I was stuck in an intractable situation with no second choice – not really. Live in a state of utter inertia for a longer period of time; or die sooner with some passion and activity. Two guesses what I was gonna do.

But released of the burden of any need for the “substance” to “move,” I could clearly choose (in freedom) to embrace nothing but life. It as an adjustment, and I had to still deal with the PTSD from Portland (which is what is being dealt with now by being homeless again and being stress-tested.

Life is too good, rich and lovely to cloud it with any substance – yes, even sleeping on a pad with a bunch of smelly guys who swear at me in the morning (this a.m. guy walks up “Goddamn mutherfucker” he growls..then moves off. I call out “And a wonderful morning to you too!” Eh… what do I care?)

God would rather take me through the tougher fire of dealing with my PTSD in being homeless (so I will never fear it again) than leave me in constant danger of being triggered. God doesn’t want me to be obsessed with avoiding some substance in life when I can actively embrace all that is good, lively and holy.

Freedom, for me,  is for life and service – not fear and avoidance.

I also think he doesn’t want my future woman to live in fear either. Just a guess.

I am being stress tested at I figure 150% right now and all the welds are holding solid and I am supple and sweet. The real test comes in three weeks if I lose my bed and I am out in the cold roughing it, dodging police (against the law to sleep…what a country), keeping electronics dry,  and having to show up to work with food and also looking like I have had a great nights rest in my nice apartment.

I figure that raising the stress level up to 200-300%. See how those welds hold then.

If that is Gods will for me, so be it. I am doing all I can with my freedom – then I trust in His character and provision. I have not been disappointed yet and do not suspect I will be.

As for those who wanna shoe-horn my size 14 feet into a size 7 shoe?  I figure their argument is not with me really – it is with God. Have at it boys, I got stuff to do.

********

As for responsibility?

I can really understand -especially in September in Santa Cruz – why some people just decide on Homelessness as a lifestyle.

One guy, just 11 days older than me just lives the lifestyle. Smart, handsome, erudite – he meets women, scores weed, sleeps on the beach – sometimes alone, sometimes not. He works the system.

Me? I’m gonna be smart, especially about my Medi-Cal – but I want to get off any public assistance as soon as I can.

It is part of a social contract. I needed help and I got minimal help – but I did get some. When I can get enough scratch together for a place and to pay for my own food I need to get off food stamps. Other people need that money. Same with health care.

True, we all know I have more earning potential than many. Once established in Santa Cruz again, I can shoot at SF and a 100k a year job (it would take at least a year to get one) based on my resume and past successes. I know this because I know people making 150k and I could do their job with one hemisphere tied behind my back.

And a lot of people have already seen my work in the Bay Area whether they know it or not (Mavericks and Saving the Bay).

But first things first. And I just got my “Bengal Tiger” back – been a long time coming. Easy does it Big Guy. Don’t listen to the bullshit. And remember one of those cool sayings in AA: “One Day at a Time.”

Solutions? …and Corruption

Pic-09082014-001First let me say that a little pre-plannng on homelessness goes a long way. I ordered a backup solar re-charging battery when I saw that possibility on the far horizon and I am glad I did.

Earlier today the power supply on this laptop finally failed. The cord was cheaply made, got a kink, and that worked into a break. Dead. No way to recharge the unit. The backup computer is a huge ASUS that types whatever the hell it wants when you set to writing making me look like a bigger idiot than I already am – which, I know, is difficult to imagine.

It also has the battery life of a fruit fly.

So that rules out using it really before 10 a.m. at the library unless I want to ante up $2.50 for coffee and I am really just existing on fumes at this point. I need the last little bit for laundry and one last trip to the storage if someone ants to buy the chairs. Then I am done. Broke. Empty. No more Peets.

I won’t miss the drinks…I miss the power like Ironman would miss it.

But as I was walking I realized I had the battery backup and that you can also plug it in! I wndered if I could use it like a relay…plug it in, then route the output to the computer at the right rate and see if it would recharge it?

It works!

And I realized it would also recharge my iPod (which I found in storage, but with no charger) since the solar battery pack came with a kit that has like 87 adapters).

Which brings us, sort of,  to Gregor’s question on my Facebook:

Someone donated 1 million dollars to the shelter, where would you have them spend it? You and I have spent a good deal of time in shelters. Lay out 3 (three) areas where the money could be most efficiently spent; i.e. an IT lab to teach new skills to people for the new global economy? …. You’ve been around the block. Yes, a ridiculous hypothetical, but just for kicks, what would you do?

 

Well a million is not much given the bigness of the problem. First I would locate the top problems: joblessness and housing. It’s that simple. Food is fine..there are enough donations and groups in town to take care of that just fine as is. I give away food every day to others (all my breaded items, sweets and dairy – hey I’m a popular guy).

Yiu cannot give it to these agencies. They will burn through a million bucks in bureaucratic nonsense in three weeks and provide not a single service to a homeless person. They won’t even use their Costco card and go three blocks over and buy shampoo for The Loft. Forget that.

(Oh, and by the way, they are advertising for a new head of  “Page Smith” the nicest of the homeless centers on campus (up to 18 month stay in a nice mobile home). If I applied and got it I would be utterly nullified and hamstrung from actually doing anything – not that they would hire me…they already suspect how I shake out).

No, I would take the money and form a quick non-profit that was open to others both inside and outside the churches. I would still call it “Azotus House: Theology and Art” but it would be known for transitioning homeless people willing to work and be sober on premises for 6-8 months while they pay extremely low (sliding scale) rents to save for the real rents around here. Rents would be from $100 to $500 a month for a room. No attached moralisms – some basic ground rules because the agenda isn’t to have a great time – it’s a safe haven to build and transition to permanent housing as, say opposed, to the Homeless projects on the premises here (except the family homeless project in the big shiny building – they have done a good job by all accounts placing over 180 families in actual housing)..

Get one Azotus house going and make it self-sustaining. Get two more.You still have money left over. People in the house have responsibilities (to get food from food pantries and do other household things that make for self-esteem. There is wifi and dedicated (donated) computers available 24/7. Donated cellphones…we are about getting people the equipment they need.

Because if I did not have the equipment I have I’d be screwed.

Because I had an interview yesterday I wore slacks, had the interview then went to the Little Red Church (Episcopalian) yesterday. The phone slipped out of my pocket easily (which it never would out of my usual cargo pants..which are like a small set of file drawers.)

Got all the way over to The Abbey when I realized…no phone.

Don’t panic (Thank you Douglas Adams…who I bumped into literally at E3 by the way…same exact height as me…we laughed…face to face.). But no phone and no laptop…that would be bad.

I went back and found a guy who knew a girl…there it was pressed into the cushion and the pew, Whew..

******

The real problem (Gregor) is how to get leaders on board. Everyone wants to go by the established powers not understanding that the established powers exist to feed themselves.

I sent out a request for supplies (more shampoo (thanks to Scott Dodge and Daniel Burns for already responding) from some church leaders because we are already out again. Now I have some – plenty (a bottle) but THEY DO NOT.

Even though I made it clear it needs to come to me to get it to the Loft, the question still comes back “who (official) can we give it to?” (Magnum head slump).

I mean they can take it to the office but it has a …maybe…25% chance of getting to the Loft even if it say “To the LOFT” all over it. And the other programs have much more funding and far less people.

They are the fancy hospitals and we are the *MASH* unit. And the others are lon g stay and we are 30 days and you are out (my clock is ticking).

Worse – there is corruption. Most of the food is donated and a lot by Trader Joes. I have eye-witness reports of CASES of Filet Mignon steaks, lobster, shrimp – anything of any real value going right out the back door to be resold 20 cents on the dollar by kitchen staff or simply being skimmed off the top by employees. Meanwhile the Homeless who it is donated for eat macaroni salad heavily dosed with mayonaise and not much of it.

You can debate whether it is a good idea to be doing gourmet food at the shelter (though I have heard people grouse at “Feeding the Spirit quiche like it was something foreign when it is absolutely superb). The point is money is constantly being made OFF the poor here and they are not being advanced at all.

Despite the personal done me by City Team at the end in Portland,  I never saw any corruption. Nothing ever went out the back door and the best possible food was put forward every day for everyone.

So this factors in as well Gregor. Every dollar has to go to the cause. And if I run Azotus House someday. I have to pay full rent. No free ride. And all the rules apply to me.

Why theology and art? Because we need content and meaning in life and those are two open avenues if approached without the bullshit.

N one has to participate – but I am a good discussion leader and a good artist/leader. Better still I am one of them.

I’ve been having some wonderful theological discussions over breakfast with folk…and it’s open and fun and everyone has a good time with it. I don’t even start them..usually someone just asks me.

That is the best answer I got buddy-boy.

 

 

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