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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

San Francisco puts it's best foot forward to heal, feed, and succor those in need.

It was raining hard,February 13, 2012 in San Francisco - and even though many may like to think San Francisco is  a rich city - with a population of some 816,000 - we have our poor and that population is growing.


When it rains hard - those that have no shelter must find one. In past years that was possible but not any more. Joining the ranks of the poor - many families - the City does not want to talk much about it - but that is fine, let us proceed.


In fact for years - the City knew about the homeless situation but thought the issue would fade away.


We have housing, we have tons of housing that is boarded up - we have Public Housing - what is known in some places as State Housing.


We have regular homes some 33,000 that are vacant according to the Real Estate counts.


Now, the authorities that be - who are busy pussy footing - bluffing and pretending to do something - know about this - but as I said - the time is a coming.


We had a Homeless Task Force who created a large document. There is no one to implement it. Some think they accomplished something - but, the reality is the poor are growing and now many families have joined their ranks.


You can ponder all you may - but, what are you going to do about it.


" It is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a fat cat to enter the kingdom of heaven " So, when that day comes - do not say you knew nothing, especially when you could help - but chose to turn away and say that is some else's - problem.


Thank God for Saint Anthony's who feed 2500 people a day and many times more.


Joined by smaller and larger institutions that share, give, and console - Glade Memorial is the larger institution and they feed thousands daily,


Smaller institutions like Martin de Pores on 16th and Potrero less - but they do all the same. Mother Brown's in the Bayview does all it can and with pride.


And all this help is much appreciated - especially on a rainy day. There is a God that see it all - and the filthy rich can play and look away and think all is fine - but it is not.


From time to time I will go in cognito and make small talk with the poor. I see the sadness in the eyes - and when I see the children - tears roll from my eyes - it is not a good feeling to feel and see innocent children made to suffer - through no fault of their own.


The City and County is working on something - they have been for years - Care not Cash is a JOKE. They give you a roof and some $58 and think they can make that work.


When you see families under bridges, some poor men and women willing to take you - as a last resort to get some help - to show you where they live in despicable conditions. You truly know that they have reached a saturation point - and can take it no more.


How they preserve their dignity on the streets is a miracle. Our SF Board of Supervisors the like of Malia Cohen are busy pussyfooting around - and Scott Wiener - creating ordinances on silly and mundane things - and many think that these so called representatives must be left alone. Well, left alone of some lonely island but not where we need - sound representation.


Some, see me on the local government television and cannot figure really what I do, others feel I can do anything  for them.


Some, think that I work for the City and so they think - I can ease their pain a little - I do some and the reward is great. There is nothing like seeing someone in sorrow and then all of a sudden light up - and smile. These miracles are private and very, very difficult to describe.


I have some good connection and do what I can. One think I know among the down and out - I have good friends. They may be poor but they feel good when I am around them.


The San Francisco Police Department - know me, so they help me - the many good officers who never, ever let me down. For this I am grateful.


The Police Chief, Gregory Suhr - the other Deputy Chiefs Cashman, Taback, others do not know this - but now they know. Please help our poor and especially our poor - and God will bless you.


It helps that in San Francisco Tom Ammiano and others fought for Healthy San Francisco. Today, they say over 60,000 poor patients are helped. There are many locations as many as 35 all over the City and County of San Francisco. 


Now, most of the poor and those in need of a doctor can go see a doctor and have a primary doctor at best - where once they had no one.


It cost over $177 million to pay for this vital program. The City, our City named after San Francisco Assisi pays $100 million. That is a lot for compassion - well spent - Mr. Controller Ben Rosenfield and Mr. Treasurer Jose Cisneroes - City Administrator Naomi Kelly. Tell the Mayor Edwin Lee I said that. That will make his moustache switch. 


The rest comes from the patients and Employer Contribution. When we spoke about this program way back in 2006 and earlier - some doubted we could make it happen. Since 2007 and more in 2008 this Healthy San Francisco Program has taken off and for good.


We must not forget Tom Ammiano the man who thought of and put together the Rainy Day Fund for our SF Unified School District and of course Healthy San Francisco Program together.


Today, Tom tries his best in Sacramento - but at City Hall is where - he performed - his best.


It was raining yesterday and the Chinese where lined up waiting for their food, fruit, and vegetable packages and other donations. They were all passing by my office on Third Street by Palou - saying hello to me - and I to them - happy that they could put some bread and butter on the table. Good for them.


The tenacity of these Chinese immigrants to survive and feed their families is to be admired.


In the Bayview or a normal day when such distributions are made - the Chinese are in line - and you are lucky if you see more than two African Americans is line - " hey man I cannot stand in line for anything " when I heard that from a Brother - I said - "Amen" -checked myself - stopped and pondered and then I said " what " .


What can I say -  San Francisco even on a very raining day puts its best foot forward. Aho.


Saint Anthony's Foundation:


http://www.stanthonysf.org/

Glide Memorial Church:


https://www.glide.org/sslpage.aspx