Monday, November 6, 2006

In the News: San Francisco Chronicle

Redeeming homeless

Editor -- In the Oct. 29 article by Kevin Fagan, "The city's cost of a life redeemed," the author wrote that the "rejection of help is a key reason there are so many homeless people on the nation's streets." They believe that it is the homeless who reject to receive help.

However, as a minister who listens to the stories of the homeless every day, lives on the streets regularly to see what it is really like for the homeless and has served the homeless for more than four years as the director of the Welcome Ministry in the Polk Gulch, I have seen that it is more often hospitals, social service agencies and the government that refuse services to the homeless.

In fact, if Project Homeless Connect would release their numbers, they would have to admit that of the more than 1,500 people that come to project connect begging for help, only three individuals are given the chance to work with the Homeless Outreach Team that doles out the housing services. Despite these low odds, the homeless camp out in front of the doors of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for more than three days for the opportunity to get into the SROs leased by the city (that according to federal standards still makes them considered homeless).

Vicar MEGAN ROHRER, director
The Welcome Ministry
San Francisco

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