Sections

Neighborhoods

Features

Follow Us

NHI Newsletter

Some Favorite Sites

Government/ Community Links

Homeless Man Knocks On Mayor’s Door

by Ike Swetlitz | Jun 20, 2014 12:04 pm

(45) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Housing, Social Services, Westville, Wooster Square

Ike Swetlitz Photos After a city homeless shelter evicted him Thursday night, Flor Rico Jones traveled to Westville to knock on Mayor Toni Harp’s front door. He had company.

The Grand Avenue shelter‘s staff evicted Jones (pictured at left), who is 51 and has been homeless for 10 years, earlier that evening after, he said, he took photos of the facilities. He said staff gave him no reason for the eviction. (A shelter staffer declined comment Thursday night.)

“They told me I can’t come back forever,” Jones said.

In their latest conflict with the city over homeless issues, members of the Amistad Catholic Worker House showed up outside the shelter to rally on Jones’ behalf and to call for improvements; then four of them accompanied Jones on the ride across town to Harp’s house.



The photos Jones took Thursday (above) show a toilet missing a lid, showers missing knobs and heads, and pipes rusting.

“The cleanliness of that place is atrocious,” Jones said. “There’d be mold and mildew on ceilings. Mold and mildew on steel. Mold and mildew on insulation. Spider webs all over the place. Tiles missing in the bathroom walls. Tiles missing on the bathroom floor.”

How do other shelters compare? “Taj Mahal,” he said.

A Continuing Campaign

Jones (pictured) and Catholic Worker House members previously met with Mayor Harp on May 22 about conditions at the shelter, which has has come under fire periodically over the years for mismanagement or lack of repairs. The May 22 meeting came about partially in response to the city’s dismantling of a camp on Rosette Street in May. Catholic Worker House organizer Greg Williams that the intention of the meeting was to find a legal place for the city’s homeless population to sleep now that the winter overflow shelter has closed for the season.

Jones, Williams and Catholic Worker House member Alan Elbaum said the May 22 meeting ended with three promises from Harp:

• To increase the capacity of the shelter on Grand Avenue to 90 beds.

• To have the shelter cleaned up.

• Eliminate the 90 days in/90 days out policy. This policy states that, after 90 days in a homeless shelter, a person must wait 90 days before re-entering.

Harp also agreed to try to find room at the shelter for Jones and another homeless man.

Harp said she did call the shelter, and the two men were provided beds.

The activists said that since then the other man was kicked out after one night, and Jones was evicted Thursday. They also said conditions haven’t improved. The Catholic Worker House started asking people to take photographs of the inside of the shelter for evidence of its conditions. Jones agreed.

After he took photos on Thursday, and then was evicted, Jones walked across the street and called Williams. Williams rushed to the spot across the street from the shelter and called the police to report the eviction. Ten officers in five cars drove up to the shelter, Jones said. A crowd formed; eventually most of the cops left. Officer Amando Vale remained on the scene. Neighborhood Alder Aaron Greenberg drove up, too, spoke with Vale, then declined to comment to a reporter before leaving the scene. Vale warned the activists—as well as a reporter—that they would be considered trespassing if they walked back across Grand Avenue to the shelter. Reached by phone Thursday night, a shelter staffer said no one would have a comment on the situation. (A message was left Friday with the shelter’s director, seeking comment.)

After Officer Vale returned to his vehicle, Williams asked the crowd of people to form a circle. Fourteen people, including some members of Catholic Worker House and other social justice organizations, gathered together to discuss their next steps.

“The person who got Rico in [to the shelter] was Toni Harp,” Williams said. “We know where she is. It is legal for a few of us to stop by and knock on her door.”

Rico and Williams, along with Elbaum, Catholic Worker House member Abigail Emerson, and Catholic Worker House founding member Mark Colville, piled into two cars and headed to Westville, the press in tow.

Williams laid out the game plan. They would walk up to the door and knock. If Toni Harp was there, they would explain the situation and ask her to remedy it. If she refused, Williams said, the group would engage her in dialogue until they got what they wanted or she called the police.

The group parked their cars down the road from Mayor Harp’s Upper Westville home. Williams said that it was better to park father away so that the activists could visibly walk away if they needed to.

The quiet Westville neighborhood couldn’t have been more different from Grand Avenue. Sounds of the city had been replaced by chirping crickets. People spoke more softly and sounded more reserved.

The group stopped at the base of Harp’s driveway, and Williams gathered everyone into a circle again to check in. The group designated Jones and Williams as their spokespeople, agreeing to keep it short and simple, using lowered voices and not interrupting.

“[We’re trying to] register a complaint, not trying to start an argument,” Colville said.

To that end, the activists agreed that in the case that someone answered the door but did not want to talk, they would not leave a note.

They also agreed to ring the doorbell instead of knocking.

But when they walked up the driveway and to the door, they couldn’t follow through with that part of the plan, because they could not locate a doorbell.

So Williams banged on the door. After a minute or so of no response, Williams tried again. Jones stepped up and knocked. Still nothing.

Since nobody answered the door, the group decided to leave a note after all. Williams took a piece of paper and, using Mayor Harp’s door as a flat surface, wrote the following: “Amistad Catholic Worker request that you reverse the eviction of Flor Jones from the Grand Avenue Shelter, which was carried out as a retaliation for taking a picture of a moldy bathroom.” He left his name and contact information.

Jones then took the note, rolled it up, and slid it through the door handle.

Harp: We’re Looking At Changes

 

The activists walked back to their cars and headed home. Jones and Williams declined to comment about Jones’s plans for the night.

Williams did comment on Catholic Worker House’s plans for the summer, however. He said that if homeless people don’t have a legal place to go by July 24, Catholic Worker House will stage another direct action. They will seize a city property, nonviolently, and hold it and offer hospitality just like they did last month on Rosette Street.

It turned out Mayor Harp was in Dallas for a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting.

Reached Friday morning, she said that the city is currently negotiating a new contract with the shelter, which is run by a private not-for-profit organization called Emergency Shelter Management Services Inc. She said the issues raised by the Catholic Worker House group are very much on the table. She said the contract expires at the end of the month.

The broader questions raised by the 90-day policy are more complex, Harp said. The city’s winter overflow shelter does not require guests to collaborate with social workers on plans to get on their feet; but the year-round shelters do.

“What I basically said [on May 22] was that we would take a look, as we restructure the contract, at the 90-day policy and find ways in which to waive it,” Harp said Friday. “People can stay beyond the 90 days now if they’re in some form of case management, trying to dealing with the things that stand in the way of their being hosted and working with a case manager. If they’ve developed a plan and are working with a case manager, then currently you can stay beyond the 90 days. If you’re not, you can’t.”

“A lot of the homeless providers feel that having the kind of structure is really important, because you want people who can be hosted and can be doing productive things in their lives to not be incented” to avoid dealing with underlying challenges, Harp said.

Harp said she has directed her new community services chief, Martha Okafor, “to look at all the policies” as part of current contract negotiations with homeless providers. She also wants to look at whether enough money is going into the shelters “to keep the facilities going,” Harp said.

Paul Bass contributed reporting.

Share this story with others.

Share |

Post a Comment

Comments

posted by: Theodora on June 20, 2014  12:33pm

This is atrocious behavior from the Catholic workers. Embarrassing. If you are compelled to help people who have lived in homelessness for 10 years, feel free. You have the world headquarters of your religion’s charity right here in New Haven. They sit on billions. Go knock on their door. They sit right on State Street. Figure it out.

posted by: webblog on June 20, 2014  1:03pm

“Harp said she has directed her new community services chief, Martha Okafor, “to look at all the policies” as part of current contract negotiations with homeless providers. She also wants to look at whether enough money is going into the shelters “to keep the facilities going,” Harp said”.

I disagree this group had a right to approach the Mayor’s personal home with their grievances; such an act could have resulted in trespassing arrest. The community Services department was the department to seek redress for their grievance.

Within the current 13/14 budget the emergency shelter management receives zero HUD funds via the city’s special funds budget.

For fiscal year 14/15 which starts July 1, 2014, the shelter requested $41,800 in special funds and received zero. These HUD funds are appropriated by the Board of Aldermen’s Community Services committee and administered by the city’s Community Service Administration.

The fact that the center received zero HUD funds may well be part of the reason for the current center policy and the conditions of the facility.

The group should have complained to LCI, however, from the pictures it does not appear to be serious housing code violations giving rise purpose to this group to storm the Mayor’s house.

The upcoming investigation ordered by Harp should verify the deficiencies within all homeless shelters.

If this group attempts another unwanted visit to the Mayor’s house, they should be arrested.

posted by: Walt on June 20, 2014  1:09pm

Mr.  Williams

The photos show facilities much cleaner than would be expected in a homeless facility,  with minor , easy to fix,  problems,—- no mold,  no dirt

Better shape than paying-  customers use at places like Home Depot and Lowe"s


about what seem to be quite good facilities you get for free,

posted by: robn on June 20, 2014  2:15pm

Not cool. Don’t harass the mayor at her house.

posted by: cedarhillresident! on June 20, 2014  2:24pm

I am one for making noise but I have to say I am not so sure about the whole going to her house thing.  I think that she has an office for a reason….because now others will think it is ok to go to her house….and that to me is a scary situation. ( and most know I am no fan of Harps ).
It is not that I do not understand that it was late and a person was in an urgent situation.  But then again if we all started going to all these M’n F’n Politian’s houses maybe we can get some change.  Ya’s may have started something.

With that said Theodora has a very good point. But not just the knights…..but what about all the other churches in this city that do not pay taxes so they can provide these services….Christian, Jehovah, Baptists ect??? Is that not the reason they were all given tax exemptions??? Because they were the ones that helped the poor and homless?  I would be knocking on EVERY PASTORS door asking them….what will the do?? Who can the house??  Just a suggestion.  Because if the can drive giant SUV and BMW’s then they should be able to house some folks and help the get on there feet.
Still crossing my fingers for Wendy’s plan to pan out some how.

posted by: BenBerkowitz on June 20, 2014  2:58pm

Acts like this guarantee that anyone with children at home would not run for Mayor of New Haven.

The photos seem like a good action. They should be posted on SeeClickfix.

posted by: neimanMarcus203 on June 20, 2014  3:20pm

Funny, I’ve never heard of anyone knocking on the previous mayor’s door. How disrespectful. The photos dont show much, but im sure there are rules that keep places like this private, such as it would be say in a hospital.  To protect the identity of the clients there.

posted by: Brutus2011 on June 20, 2014  3:59pm

I disagree with the condemnation of knocking on an elected official’s personal home door.

These are very serious times we live in.

Our political institutions are possibly now in the control of the wealthy few and not subject to the vast majority of New Haveners, Connecticutians, and the people of the USA.

I don’t know about you but I see dark times ahead for all of us except for those who decide to sell out our republican roots and get what they can for themselves.

Sorry, but I say that it is time to start knocking on some doors.

posted by: Noteworthy on June 20, 2014  4:07pm

They knocked on her door and left a note. I’ve done the same thing. It is not trespassing. It’s respectful. Like anybody if Harp had been home she could answer the door or not. In that monster house the person at the door would know if you’re home or not.

By the way, does the body guard travel with Harp too?

P.S. Love the optics. Hate the censorship.

By the way

posted by: Razzie on June 20, 2014  4:11pm

Outrageous!!!!

It does not take much of a leap from these theatrics and emboldened disregard for the concepts of personal space and privacy to begin to truly appreciate the mayor’s need for heightened security measures which are now in place.

Some may call the mayor’s security detail personal drivers ... I call it an abundance of caution!

posted by: Atticus Shrugged on June 20, 2014  4:19pm

Wow.  I am in agreement with all those who think driving a “mob” or “gang” to the Mayor’s house is a bad idea.  Especially to do so “after hours.”  And everyone was wondering why the Mayor wanted security.  Perhaps this is a reason.  I’m not certain, but did Mayor DeStefano get night time visits from groups of citizens of this nature?  And with the media in tow?

To be fair, I enjoy the New Haven Independent but I think it an invasion of privacy to publish this article as it lends some sort of ill gotten legitimacy to the group’s actions.  This was a severely after hours event that the Mayor could not have resolved at what appears from the lighting in the picture to be at least 8:30 p.m.  And certainly while the story could have been covered, one need not post the picture of the group at the door.  There is editorial discretion but even that, I think, goes to far.

posted by: Scot on June 20, 2014  5:46pm

Perhaps regular maintenance is something the shelters could engage the residents to participate in (if they are not already). Obviously some repairs require licensed contractors, but most of the issues mentioned in this article (missing toilet lid, shower knobs, mold/mildew, spider webs, tile) aren’t that difficult to repair. They could even learn some skills that could be useful for employment (such as painting, repairing sheetrock, tiling, etc). Perhaps residents who help with maintenance could be allowed to stay longer than 90 days or receive other benefits. If the shelter has major issues such as plumbing, electrical, bed bugs, etc, they should absolutely be corrected but most of what’s mentioned in the article is basic maintenance. 

I think it was really inappropriate to go to the mayor’s house. If everyone did that when they had a disagreement with the city, she wouldn’t be able to enter or exit her house. Agree something like see click fix would work much better.

posted by: Pantagruel on June 20, 2014  6:23pm

OK for candidates to knock on my door from dawn to dusk but we can’t knock on theirs?

There is also the symbolic optics of homeless people knocking on a million dollar house.

As political theater, one thumb up.

posted by: bailee on June 20, 2014  7:05pm

I think this was an awesome thing to do.  I like this tactic.

posted by: ohnonotagain on June 20, 2014  7:36pm

I have been very critical at times of this administration.  However, to go to a house where Mayor Harp lives is over the top and just dead wrong!

posted by: Xavier on June 20, 2014  10:21pm

Not Cool.

Give the Lady (and she is a lady) a break you bullies.

She is a sincere person, her words and her actions verify this.

The people we are all concerned about are the homeless- acute and chronic - this type of behavior- does not serve them and at the worse, is manipulation.

I hope Catholic Worker gave hospitality to Mr. Jones.

posted by: Jones Gore on June 21, 2014  1:39am

Great way to burn your last bridge Mr. Jones.

posted by: Threefifths on June 21, 2014  6:41am

Dr.King would have march to the mayors house.

All too many of those who live in affluent America ignore those who exist in poor America; in doing so, the affluent Americans will eventually have to face themselves with the question that (Adolph) Eichman chose to ignore: How responsible am I for the well-being of my fellows

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people

Martin Luther King, Jr.

posted by: wendy1 on June 21, 2014  8:55am

I wish I had been there just to see what became of that neverending eyesore put up next to Yale’s golf course (for years it was under construction).  I’m not surprised it’s missing a doorbell.

I totally support Greg and Mark and any real assistance to homeless folks.  I am shocked by the heartlessness of some of these comments.

Now is the time for the city to get involved.  When private companies run shelters and prisons, expect the worst.

posted by: connecticutcontrarian on June 21, 2014  3:19pm

This is totally inappropriate and potentially dangerous.  The Catholic Workers have done a grave disservice to the very people it claims to care about. Stop using homeless people as pawns in your political game.  You instructed this man to take pictures and he was evicted for doing so. Seems that you not Harp are to blame. How about you give him a space to live in your home rather than bringing a media circus to hers.

posted by: Razzie on June 21, 2014  4:13pm

—3/5th’s

I don’t recall Dr King marching on any mayor’s personal and private residence. Do you?

I doubt that Dr. King would chose to engage in crass theatrics to try and get a point across. My memory is that he always first moved thru established channels of redress before resorting to civil disobedience. In this instance, the Mayor was fully engaged in meeting with the group, and had kept every commitment she made in her earlier meeting. In my opinion, she was far more gracious and accommodating than they had reason to expect.

posted by: Threefifths on June 21, 2014  5:20pm

My Bad. For those who say they should not march to the mayor’s house.
What is the difference when people march on the white house where the President lives?

posted by: Threefifths on June 21, 2014  10:07pm

posted by: Razzie on June 21, 2014 4:13pm

—3/5th’s

I don’t recall Dr King marching on any mayor’s personal and private residence. Do you?

Look it up.Also are you saying that no groups have every march on a mayor or other politicians homes?

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on June 22, 2014  7:03am

3/5, you ask “What is the difference when people march on the White House where the President lives?”

The President lives at public expense in an official mansion that includes a public space, a large office space, a thoroughly guarded residence upstairs, and a security perimeter.  It is operated by a large, highly trained staff 24/7.  It hosts official functions; parts of it are open to tourists, and it is in every way managed as a public space. Demonstrators are free to show up but are restricted to a sidewalk quite distant from the building itself.

Mayor Harp lives in a private home in a residential neighborhood, with ordinary neighbors.  As far as I know, she has no domestic staff.  It appears that in her absence her home was unguarded.

That’s a very, very different situation.

Also, I agree with the commenter who pointed out that the photos don’t show anything terrible.  There’s no mold or rust in the photos, just minor, easily fixable problems such as you find in almost any heavily used building at any given time.  Everything looks extremely clean.  It may well be that mold and rust are a problem, but Jones didn’t document it in those photos.

Also, what is so terrible about the lidless toilet?  It looks like any other toilet in a stall in a multi-stall bathroom.  The photo seems to how that it has an institutional-type high-powered flushing mechanism.  Such toilets NORMALLY have no lids!  The one in the next stall, with a lid, is the one that looks out of place to me.

I have a great deal of respect for the Amistad Catholic Workers, but this particular piece of political theatre strikes me as naive and arrogant, and far more likely to hurt their cause than to help it.

posted by: Threefifths on June 22, 2014  11:03am

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on June 22, 2014 7:03am

3/5, you ask “What is the difference when people march on the White House where the President lives?”

The President lives at public expense in an official mansion that includes a public space, a large office space, a thoroughly guarded residence upstairs, and a security perimeter.  It is operated by a large, highly trained staff 24/7.  It hosts official functions; parts of it are open to tourists, and it is in every way managed as a public space. Demonstrators are free to show up but are restricted to a sidewalk quite distant from the building itself.

Mayor Harp lives in a private home in a residential neighborhood, with ordinary neighbors.  As far as I know, she has no domestic staff.  It appears that in her absence her home was unguarded.

That’s a very, very different situation.

Are you saying that no groups have every march on a mayor or other politicians homes?It is call Civil Disobedience.In fact People march on King Bloomberg Home .Your Point.


Thousands Hold Silent March to Mayor Bloomberg’s Home.


http://youtu.be/OGdUgnmI3eA

posted by: robn on June 22, 2014  10:04pm

The door that protestors should be knocking on is the door of City Hall, not the door of a private residence. Homeowners are entitled to peaceable enjoyment of their property. This stunt becomes illegal the second the mayor posts a No Trespassing sign at the foot of her walk.

posted by: Obrero on June 23, 2014  7:26am

It’s interesting how the idea of four conscientious citizens visiting the mayor’s residence in the immediate aftermath of one of those citizens being illegally and arbitrarily forced to fend for himself in the street by a city worker, is somehow deemed a potentially dangerous situation for the mayor!  Wow… just wow.

posted by: Walt on June 23, 2014  8:18am

Nothing illegal about enforcing the rules re a guy who still refuses to seek independent lodging after 10 years on the public teat, when the rules limit access to 90 days

Time to follow the rules,  get psychiatric help or leave.

posted by: Threefifths on June 23, 2014  8:24am

posted by: robn on June 22, 2014 10:04pm

The door that protestors should be knocking on is the door of City Hall, not the door of a private residence. Homeowners are entitled to peaceable enjoyment of their property. This stunt becomes illegal the second the mayor posts a No Trespassing sign at the foot of her walk.

The person who got Rico in [to the shelter] was Toni Harp,” Williams said. “We know where she is. It is legal for a few of us to stop by and knock on her door.”

Show me where it is illegal for someone to come on your property and knock on the door.Jehovah’s Witnesses Do.As one person said.OK for candidates to knock on my door from dawn to dusk but we can’t knock on theirs?

posted by: disconnect on June 23, 2014  9:10am

Let’s say there are spiderwebs, mold, and mildew in the bathrooms. Why are none of the shelter residents taking any initiative to clean it up? Are there no able-bodied people staying there who could maybe take some sponges and soap and water to the problem?

posted by: Theodora on June 23, 2014  9:37am

Like I said in the initial post, where is Catholic charitable support in this? Knights of Columbus are headquartered here in New Haven and I’d love to know exactly what they have done for the city? And why are Catholic workers not asking them for a slight sliver of their incredible wealth? Why are taxpayers burdened with the costs of a guy who clearly isn’t trying to change his situation? 10 years of homelessness? That seems to be a choice on his part.

posted by: Noteworthy on June 23, 2014  9:59am

Clarification Notes:

1. This is a corporately owned home - it is where Toni Harp stays. It is not her home if we are to believe the estate planning of her husband and son.

2. Those seeking a meeting with her did not violate her personal space. They knocked on the door and left a note. It happens at my house five times a week - from a sales person to politicians to those seeking petition signers for various political organizations and interest groups.

3. Where were all these hand-wringers when protesters went to Leiberman’s home? And chanted and caused a scene? Or where there were busloads of angry people touring the Fairfield homes of the nation’s bankers and hedge funders? Those were real mobs.

4. Those who think there is something inherently wrong with knocking on her door or that there is something unsafe about it, really need to think before posting some of these rather silly comments about “mobs” and safety.

posted by: Babz Rawls Ivy on June 23, 2014  10:56am

No one would’ve dared go to John DeStefano’s door.  But now that we have a Black Woman in office the level of disrespect seems to somehow fall by the wayside. We see it with the President, and now we are seeing it here.  I get the shock value of things…but seriously there were way more channels to cross before going to someone’s home and that certainly can’t be the way to move forward. Nor should it be an opened door for other folks with a gripe/beef/issue/concern to show up at the Mayor’s house… or any elected official. 

They pulled this stunt…and it is a stunt to get attention and because they wanted to be intimidating and put her on the defense. If that is not the case why do it? What was the point? 

Homeless for 10 years speaks to something other than unavailable housing. Perhaps he can now benefit from the newly launched mental health wrap around services.  Clearly there is more at play here than the conditions of the shelter…which the photos do not depict a house of horrors.

posted by: Walt on June 23, 2014  11:12am

Theodora

You seem hung up on the Knights of Columbus,  blaming this Catholic Men’s association   for the plight caused by this guy not seeking to   find his own housing for at least the last   ten years and apparently refusing to obey the rules   designed to allow homes for those really in trouble for reasons other than their own laziness

Unless your folks stuck you with a weird name ,  you are ineligible for membership in this organization of Catholic men, formed many years ago in New Haven by Father McGivney of St Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Ave, to aid Catholic men,  then heavily discriminated   against ,  to get needed insurance and jobs

Their charitable donations,  heavily to Catholic   programs of course.,  totaled $167 million last year,  with 70 million hours of labor donated by KofC members

(This is not a complete figure I assume, because, as an example I worked hundreds of hours myself organizing and directing our   small local KofC   Council   in raising a thousand of so dollars for
services to area handicapped kids,  but never of course   reported   to anyone on my hours of effort, so the Supreme Council would have no source for record of my donated hours)

State Kof C Councils are a major (if not the major)  financer of Special Olympics in CT and other worthwhile area charities

You,  ineligible for KofC   membership, have no say in how it contributes it monies,  especially to a guy whom you ,  yourself , apparently describe as a malingerer,.

posted by: FacChec on June 23, 2014  11:31am

There are those posters who wish to rewrite this story in their image, attempting to relate passages of the story to experiences in their own life, or lives of others, such as Joe Lieberman, Dr. MLK, or the President of the USA.

Nonsense.

The fundamental issue here is that a disgruntled homeless person was removed from the shelter in accordance with shelters rules. The person’s response was to record pictures he determined to be code violations, they are not. He then meets with a group of similar dispondent persons to plan a protest, protesting on private property without a permit, and leaving a protest note without the owner’s permission, that’s littering.

The property located on Conrad Dr in New Haven is not commercially owned; it remains listed in the previous owner’s name, the late Mr. Wendell Harp. The Mayor resides there in accordance with his wishes and is entitled to all the privacy the law provides.

This group of malcontents should have taken their grievance to any number of city departments, Community service Administration, LCI, Building dept. Fair rent, Disability Dept. Community Action Agency, or HANH. The group did make contact with the police and the aldermen, they were summarily dismissed.
They did neither; instead, they opted for sensationalism and fifteen minutes of fame, by bum-rushing the Mayor’s residence with the press-in-tow. This action brings no sympathy to the undeserving.

“Officer Amando Vale remained on the scene. Neighborhood Alder Aaron Greenberg drove up, too, spoke with Vale, then declined to comment to a reporter before leaving the scene. Vale warned the activists—as well as a reporter—that they would be considered trespassing if they walked back across Grand Avenue to the shelter”.

There is a RX’s for this type of civil disobedience.


They should have received the same warning at the Conrad RD. residence and been immediately arrested, jailed with bond posted.

posted by: Razzie on June 23, 2014  12:07pm

—CLARIFICATION NOTED—

“If she refused, Williams said, the group would engage her in dialogue until they got what they wanted or she called the police.”

Clearly, the original plan of the group was to not just plead their case and leave. The late night unannounced visit was intended to forcibly argue with the Mayor until a physical confrontation resulted. Again, that kind of thinking, including the context and setting of the confrontation, is easily a recipe for disaster. Few homeowners will take kindly to being accosted in their own space by people hell bent upon blaming them for 10 years of hard times and misfortune.

I agree that 10 years of homelessness can hardly be blamed upon the Mayor. If Williams truly believes in his organization’s mission, why not have Knights of Columbus increase his budget to allow the Shelter to hire Jones on a full time basis to provide the maintenance services needed. That type of constructive partnership would surely be welcomed by all parties involved – and would go far towards making Jones a self-sustaining member of society.
upon blaming them for 10 years of hard times and misfortune.

I agree with others that 10 years of homelessness can hardly be blamed upon the Mayor. But if Williams truly believes in his organization’s mission, why not have Knights of Columbus increase his budget to allow the Shelter to hire Jones on a full time basis to provide the maintenance services needed. That type of constructive partnership would surely be welcomed by all parties involved – and would go far towards making Jones a self-sustaining member of society.

posted by: Threefifths on June 23, 2014  12:24pm

posted by: FacChec on June 23, 2014 11:31am

There is a RX’s for this type of civil disobedience.


They should have received the same warning at the Conrad RD. residence and been immediately arrested, jailed with bond posted.

And when they get out.They will no longer be homeless when they hit them with there lawsuits.


My Bad Fac Chec This.

A Connecticut statute that was passed 40 years ago forbade picketing people at home, unless their homes were adjacent to their offices. It was held unconstitutional by the Connecticut Supreme Court in 1987.

posted by: Obrero on June 23, 2014  1:44pm

These comments are taking a deeper voyage into fantasyland by the minute… Some of you speak of homelessness like it’s some kind of medicine that, when taken in proper dosage, should cure a person of being homeless, and if it doesn’t, well then that’s just proof that the person was a lazy malingerer from the beginning.  Rico’s situation, typical of many who are chronically homeless, involves progressive physical disability in combination with a lack of family support and dwindling services for people who are unable to work, not to mention the systematic withdrawal of low income housing units in our community…  Rico did not break any rule of the shelter; he was trying to document the living conditions there in the hope that city officials might be moved to remedy them.  Even if the shelter staff believed he was breaking a rule, they could’ve simply told him to stop and disciplined him the next day.  It’s not like he was putting anyone in immediate danger which would make it necessary to throw him out to fend for himself on the street all night.  This was an abuse of power and harassment… The subsequent visit to the mayor’s home was actually a sincere effort to seek immediate redress for Rico’s plight from someone who had the power to do so.  Ms. Harp knows Rico, because she had previously personally saw to it that his bed at the Grand Ave. Shelter was restored… The Amistad Catholic Worker is not affilated with any church, nor with the Knights of Columbus.  It is a low-income cooperative of people who practice the Works of Mercy and Justice daily, in the Hill neighborhood, at a personal expense. Currently we are simply persisting in our quest for an answer to the question that homeless people have been asking at our table for many months now: Where, Then, Shall We Go?  Anyone who wishes to join us should plan to come help us take over another city property on July 24th and claim it as refuge for those whose lives are now rendered illegal by city policy.

posted by: robn on June 23, 2014  1:51pm

3/5,

Consider it facchecked. The 1987 decision was rendered toothless a year later by the US Supreme Court. If you read the article you quoted from you would know that. Or maybe you didn’t want readers to know that?


http://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/28/us/court-upholds-ban-on-picketing-a-home.html

posted by: truth talker on June 23, 2014  3:09pm

I agree with everyone - going to the mayors personal home in the evening is not cool. The shelter on Grand Ave is by no means a 5 star shelter, but it does provide men a warm bed, a good meal,hot shower, cable and case management services that can help the motivated progress. These pictures are not over the top when if you consider 50-60 men a night 365 a year living there and not all are respectful to property. However, there is no justificaion for throwing this man out for taking pictures. This whole thing seems complety blown out of proportion. The city as a funder should be on top of the conditions of every shelter they provide $$$. Not just act like they care and want to make immediate changes to look good for media when shit hits the fan.

posted by: Walt on June 23, 2014  3:36pm

As the editors   have apparently decided not to print my comments re the Catholic Workers House,  not being   a program of the Roman Catholic Church or   the Knights   of Columbus   please take a look at Obrero’s comment above

An “anarchist”  group,  says my computer search.

posted by: Jones Gore on June 23, 2014  3:58pm

The Shelter had every right to kick this man out. This man was not concerned about the condition of the shelter, he was working with the Catholic Organization to discredit the shelter over a 90 days policy. Mr. Jones feels like he should be allowed to stay in the shelter indefinitely.

Mr. Jones had every opportunity to bring the condition of the showers to the director, but instead he wanted to bring it to the media.

posted by: Threefifths on June 23, 2014  5:34pm

posted by: robn on June 23, 2014 1:51pm

3/5,

Consider it facchecked. The 1987 decision was rendered toothless a year later by the US Supreme Court. If you read the article you quoted from you would know that. Or maybe you didn’t want readers to know that?


http://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/28/us/court-upholds-ban-on-posted by: robn on June 23, 2014 1:51pm

I did not see that.But my question to you is who said they were picketing her home? All they did was show up and knock on her door.Show me where it is illegal for someone to come on your property and knock on the door.Jehovah’s Witnesses Do.As one person said.OK for candidates to knock on my door from dawn to dusk but we can’t knock on theirs?

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on June 23, 2014  9:58pm

The whole Knights of Columbus issue is a complete red herring.  The Catholic Worker movement and the Knights of Columbus have very little in common other than both having been founded by Catholics.  In any case, the Catholic Worker movement has, as far as I know, no official connection with the Catholic Church as an institution.  To say that the Catholic Worker house should tap into the resources of the KofC is like saying your local inner-city basketball program should tap into the resources of the NBA just because the NBA’s national headquarters is in your town.

posted by: Walt on June 24, 2014  11:55am

Although I have griped about some of their methods,  and especially about Theodora"s and Razzie’s efforts to pin blame and financial responsibility for their actions falsely on the Knights of Columbus and Catholic Charities   who are truly not related to this “anarchist”  group,  I must admire some of the beliefs of the Amistad Catholic House folks re helping others

They are truly good folk at   heart for the most part it would appear, but I won’t join

Events Calendar

loading…

SeeClickFix »

Illegal Dumping
Aug 1, 2014 7:33 pm
Address: 341 St John Street New Haven, Connecticut
Rating: 2

Observed a young college-age couple in a red SUV deposit this couch at the corner of...

more »
Traffic/Road Safety
Aug 1, 2014 6:12 pm
Address: 1-41 Cold Spring Street New Haven, Connecticut
Rating: 11

CARS RUN THE RED LIGHT HERE ALL THE TIME! There are always tons of pedestrians...

more »

PosterWallAdd your Poster

Sponsors

N.H.I. Site Design & Development

smartpill design