Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gainesville Again

After traveling to Tampa, Clearwater and St Pete, we have come back to Gainesville, FL. In Tampa, I was able to get a cheep track phone and shoot a few pictures & videos.

This one is about a group of us homeless people in Clearwater, FL being told to stand in the rain while waiting for a church group to serve dinner.

And I even met a Clearwater officer that treats US Military Vets GOOD:

We came back to Gainesville to see the new shelter they have been working to open for almost 10 years. They polled a group of people and decided on a name that was picked out long ago. GRACE Marketplace is what they call it. Two problems with this name as many of you know about how words work with me (referring to servicing a meal versus feeding the homeless), GRACE implies a religious thing but as it turns out is an acronym for something to do with Gainesville. Then we have the word Marketplace meaning a place to sell something.

With in the first couple of weeks back in Gainesville, my team mate did an interview with someone that was put out into a lighting storm. I specially liked a comments made at a city council meeting following it. Animals have laws protecting them against this treatment and yet homeless people are fined money they can't afford for being in a public space? That implies that homeless people are less then a family pet.

 From what I've been told, this is the second time Gainesville Police Department has done this. They can spend $1.4M to redesign the Bo Diddly Plaza, millions to build a new police station, but they treat people like this? This did spend $1.2M on a new peace of land to build a new shelter but they get ONLY $300,000 a year to run it. That budget has been said that it puts the place at about $1M in the red before even opening the doors. The city has contractors that are doing the work but the remolding of the new shelter should have been started about a year ago. This place was a prison and it still looks like it. One gate to enter the complex and herd people into one building.
The people running it are doing great things but it still looks and feels like a prison. The city is determine to herd people like cattle into this nice little cage, cramming 22,000 homeless people into a space for only a max of 500 and they wont even have the full use of the complex.
I am finding that I can't speak openly because its bring a lot of trouble onto a friend so, I am censuring a lot here. The point is that homeless people are being treated like they are less then the family pet.
The lady interviewed above, goes to trail on July 29 so, I will add an update to this.

In the mean time, someone borrowed the cheep smart phone that was used to make these videos and other pictures I've had the fun of bringing to you. If just 10 people where to donate $10, we could get back to bringing you hot vids & pics. Please concider donating and sharing today.

The person in the above interview decided not to fight it. More often then not, that is the case. That is probably the biggest source of income every city has if the the homeless people could pay the fines., in her case $161. She had a chance to get off the streets by movie to another state but what she doesn't understand is that, the fines will follow her for the rest of her life or until she pays the court costs plus interest and penalties.

Quoted from Annette Gilley:
"Her case was especially frustrating. She was living in Bo Diddley Plaza downtown, at the time. GPD decided to start enforcing the ordinance that makes the "park" off limits after 11:30pm, including the stage area, which has been a traditional refuge for unhoused folks to get out of the rain. So for several evenings, many people sat up on the bus benches all night, getting soaked. One night and officer let her and some others stay on the stage during a bad storm. They were all awakened by officers on the next shift, who started writing citations. She originally pled not guilty and had planned to fight it. But, before the hearing came up, she got a tent and moved to an area outside GRACE Marketplace, where GPD had encouraged homeless folks to move. Security guards from Tacachale posted the woods they were in and they were forced to move again. She gave up and returned to a remote part of Alabama to live with relatives. That is why she changed her plea to 'no contest". There really is no contest. If you are poor enough, you lose, every damn time." Thank you Annette.