Friday, May 2, 2008

Tom's Story in Homelessness

Dear Mayor (and others who make decisions concerning Quality of Life in Ft. Worth and the spending of our tax dollars) -

Below is a perfect example of why I believe the priority of Extending Services with Accountability should be before Building Housing in the 10 yr. Homeless Plan:

Tom (homeless man) came up to my business door this morning asking if he could pick up the trash in front of the kennel, ie. work (like he has done many times before), I took this opportunity, (like I do many times) to engage him in conversation about why he is where he is and why his life isn't a healthier one. His reasons were:

1. My wife died of cancer and ......
2. I am an alcoholic.

I asked what could be done to help him get over his alcoholism, his reply:

3. Well, I tried to get in detox, but they told me there are no beds available (opportunity for CFW today)

I asked him about a job, his reply:

4. Well, I did some temp work the other day for JD Brown (a guy that picks up people for work everyday) and had a seizure, had to be taken by ambulance to JPS, they gave me 4 prescriptions but I can't get them filled because I'm not classified. (opportunity for CFW today).

5. Thought he could get classified at Day Resource Center. (opportunity for CFW today).

Things that CFW should be doing today, not tommorrow, which could all be included in a Central Resource Facility:

1. Get more detox & long term residential beds with counseling services available today. (sign up should be available at CRF)
2. Make it easy to get in a program for life change. (sign up should be available at CRF)
3. Make it easy to get classified (classification is needed in order for homeless/indigent to get meds free) - (sign up should be available at CRF)
4. Make it easier to get meds and more convenient. (should be available at existing JPS clinic on E. Lancaster)
5. Before you can get into program, you must have meds, this is a huge deterent for the homeless as it's a pain to go across town, get a bus ticket, blah blah blah - 9 times out of 10, they will have another beer and do this tommorrow -- as one homeless person told me, "Tommorrow never comes."
6. Involve the local business owners in the rehab of these individuals, like visitations while in rehab and such so that they know and see that someone cares.

If the CFW, County, and State of Texas would take the time to straighten out some of your beauracratic red tape road blocks for the homeless, do some minor and small rethinking of logistics of the system, you would find that you may not need as much of our taxdollars spent on housing as you say you do now, as once you get people's outlook on their life changed and get them working, they will be able to pay their own bills. Of course, not all, but many!

Your priorities are wrong in your 10 yr. Homeless Plan.

Feel free to contact me, Tom, or other homeless people.

Your consideration is expected.


Anonymous said...

I have read many of your posts this morning. Tomorrow is coming. I don't know how it will be there. But it will. I still have hope for the homeless.

Suzette said...

Anonymous - Thanks so much for reading and commenting.