This town is truly a "great place to be homeless".... All the handouts do help a majority of the homeless in their efforts to get off our streets. Unfortunately, those freebies also enable a sizeable minority of the homeless who are jerks, bums, and derelicts to hang out in our community. We have lots of folks like this in our city but we do not actively support them in this way of life - why should we do so with homeless folks? Some agencies (not in our town) get to know their clientele and if they are not interested in changing their lifestyle, are OK with saying "Sorry, no more for now". This can be done with love and respect on both sides. I believe part of this problem is that "helping the homeless" has become an established industry here. We have a growing number of CEOs, vice-presidents, supervisors, and directors who have an interest in the status quo. The local industry has evolved into a grant-funded, slow moving Leviathan. Homelessness has a number of causes, and most of those causes have been place since the 1970s. It'll become interesting when sufficient citizens start saying "enough". I've been involved with several of the major providers since 1972 (helped start several of then, actually). I'd like to think we have learned a few tricks since those days. One thing I have learned is that endless handouts do not help everyone. I would hope we would examine other community's successes and try them here. Again, we are dealing with a Leviathan......
The laws are definitely tilted toward the employer in this community and state....I worked as a nurse at Penrose Hospital a few years ago. I became crippled as a result of botched surgery there (like a month in a coma!) and then was TERMINATED "because I could no longer do the work"!. My family and I lost the benefits, including health insurance, one month later? About the same time, a fellow RN came down with breast cancer and received the same charitable heave ho as well. We both consulted labor attorneys and got the same answer "Yup, they can do that". My big mistake was expecting my employer to adhere to a higher standard of ethics - (You know, those nice Catholic "values"....)
As an ex-employee of PPBHG, I can tell you those exorbatant executive
compensation pkages did NOT reach down to the line staff at the various services.
I took a serious cut in pay when I went to work there.
A couple of years ago, I was approched by a new Board Member of PPBHG right after his "new member orietation." His head was spinning from all the obscure financial data he'd been given. A year later, I re-approached him about if things looked any clearer. His reply: "It's Byzantine. I cannot understand this stuff." This from a gentleman who WORKS in the world of finance daily.
Maybe it is time for this city to take a serious look at how best to serve the population of seriously mentally people. PPBHG has HAD their shot at it. I am positive there are other organizations that are "client centered" and don feel the need to blow hundreds of thousands of dollars on executive salaries. Look at the other worthy charities in our city. NONE of them are paying even close to the huge sums Mr Roth and many others are enjoying. There are SEVERAL execs making over $150K a year. If they were doing a bang-up job of serving the mentally ill in our town, MAYBE a bonus is in order. But as Detox is closed down "due to short funding" and most of the uninsured people turned away, these salaries are totally inappropriate. If the Board had some decent cohones, they'ed replace those execs with some people who want to SERVE the mentally ill in our community. Hell, I'll work there for 1/3 of what Mr. Roth carries home and give the balance toward serving the uninsured!
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