Oct 09

Hollywood Food Coalition Volunteers Get Gifts From WordCamp

Word Camp Sends T-Shirts to Charity Volunteers and Homeless

Los Angeles Word Camp 2018 send a gift of brand new Word Press T-Shirts in various sizes to the great folks at the West Hollywood Food Coalition, which operates out of the Salvation Army kitchen on Hollywood Boulevard.  The volunteers and homeless folks were thrilled to get new colorful shirts.  The Coalition feeds 100 to 200 folks each week night.

How did this come about?  Uncle Paulie, webmaster of GypsyCool.com and his partner Julie Webster went to Word Camp 2018 to learn some of the latest improvements in the world of Word Press.  This took place on the campus of Cal State College in East L.A. on September 22-23,  2018.  When the event was over Julie spotted a box of brand new T-Shirts that weren’t given out to the attendees, so she asked the organizers of the event tor the shirts to give to our friends at the West Hollywood Food Coalition and the Salvation Army in Hollywood.  Uncle Paulie collects food from local markets and delivers to the Coalition to help feed those in need of a good hot meal.  “We can’t do enough to help the great folks there,” he said.  “They are working every day of the week to prepare good meals for those who need it, it’s on the scale of feeding an Army Company.”

The good people of Word Camp where more than happy to oblige Julie’s request and you can see by some of the smiling folks in the photo, it was a happy moment.

May 25

Feeding 100-200 Folks Every Night at Salvation Army Food Kitchen

Getting Trader Joe’s Food Donation to the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition in Hollywood – Uncle Paulie Has Been Delivering Truck Loads for 5 Years

Joe, Head Chef, and Uncle Paulie at the Salvation Army Kitchen

For the last 5 years Gypsy Cool’s Uncle Paulie has been taking van loads of food to the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition operating out of the Salvation Army Kitchen in Hollywood.  They feed up to 200 people every night Monday through Friday.  On weekends they are back at the corner of Romain and Sycamore in Hollywood around 5pm serving dinner.. Paulie makes the long trek from the West Valley at least once a week to deliver much-needed food to Hollywood’s Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition at the Salvation Army.  “Being retired I love helping to feed people who are hungry and need food.  We also distribute food directly almost every night of the week, and help many other groups grappling with the suffering of seniors, homeless folks, students, and other poor folks who need some extra help and love,” said Paulie.  The volunteer delivery crew, including Uncle Paulie, Bob, Wendy, Chuck, Chris, Julie, Judith,  John, Judy, Kathleen and others, are all from the charity Earth Harmony Foundation.

Boxes of food donation from Trader Joe’s in Sherman Oaks.

Volunteers sort through the donations from Trader Joe’s Market in Sherman Oaks.  Chef Joe will use this food with other donations and some purchased food to make enough meals to feed 100 to 200 folks per night.  A great crew of volunteers help to sort, prepare, cook, and serve the meals.  Help is always needed, show up in the afternoon to the Salvation Army on Hollywood Blvd. (near Gower).  For more information, call Sheri at 213-703-9513.

Sep 14

Music Madness: Gun-toting Diva Shoots Destitute Derelict

Singer Shoots Homeless Guitarist After Waking Him at 3am

Nashville:  Evidently Partying in her White SUV at 3am, blasting loud music, and spewing fumes from her Porsche, Katie Quackenbush woke up a poor homeless man who was trying to sleep on the sidewalk.  The 54 year old man, Gerald “Doug” Melton yelled at the woman in the Porsche to be quiet, which led to a shouting match, and then Quackenbush jumped out of her SUV and allegedly shot Melton twice. She then fled the scene, leaving Melton bleeding on the sidewalk.  He is in critical condition in hospital.  The Diva Quackenbush is in jail for attempted murder.  Here’s the official press release from the City of Nashville about the incident, which is dated 9-11-2017.

Official Press Release

Woman Charged with Attempted Murder in Shooting of Homeless Man

September 11, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Midtown Hills Precinct detectives tonight charged Katie Quackenbush, 26, with attempted murder for the August 26th shooting of a homeless man outside 901 19th Avenue South near Music Row.

The victim, Gerald Melton, 54, was critically wounded and remains hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The investigation, which is being led by Detective Anthony Chandler, shows that Melton was trying to sleep on the sidewalk at 3 a.m. when he became disturbed by exhaust fumes and loud music coming from a Porsche SUV.  Melton said he asked the driver of the Porsche, alleged to have been Quackenbush, to move the vehicle.  An argument ensued, with both parties yelling at each other.  Melton said he walked back to where he was attempting to sleep.  Quackenbush is alleged to have gotten out of the Porsche armed and, as the argument continued, fired two shots at Melton.  He suffered a critical abdominal wound.  He said the shooter got back into the Porsche and fled.

Bond for Quackenbush, of 45th Avenue North, is set at $25,000.

The Clash of Rich and Poor in Nashville

What is interesting is that Crooner Quackenbush and her friend drove away and did not report the incident or call an ambulance for Melton, who she shot in the stomach.  The incident took place at 3am on Saturday August 26, and it was not until Monday September 4th that an attorney for Quackenbush called the police to fess up to who it was that shot the homeless man. Maybe it took her a week to line up an attorney.

The homeless man can be seen in a youtube video, playing a love song on his guitar and singing.  He evidently has been down on his luck in his musical career, and forced into homelessness and sleeping on cardboard on a famous Music Row street in Nashville, where he dreamed of making it as a singer.

 

Meanwhile, Quackenbush comes from a well-to-do family.  Her father is a big attorney in Amarillo, Texas, and is giving interviews about his daughter’s innocence, painting her as a victim.  Click here to read the story in the Washington Post..

 

 

Aug 29

Study Found Over One Million Homeless Students in America

Shocking 2009 Statistics Found Over 1 Million Homeless Students in U.S.  How Many Are Homeless in 2017?  Three Million?

Photo of homeless man in front of Salvation Army Youth Center by Uncle Paulie

Peter Miller of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, issued a study that found at least one million students were homeless in the year 2009 in the U.S  Here is part of his opening statement:

A Critical Analysis of the Research on Student Homelessness

by

Peter M. Miller

Since the onset of the economic recession, rates of student homelessness have increased rapidly in urban, suburban, and rural school districts throughout the United States. Despite the widespread urgency of the issue, there is a lack of general coherence in the research about how diverse conditions of home lessness affect students and how schools and communities can best serve them. This literature review attempts to deepen scholars’ understandings of such matters by examining (a) homeless students ‘school experience in comparison to that of other students, (b) federal policy’s shaping of homeless students’ rights and opportunities, and (c) homeless students’ key support mechanisms. The author suggests that these three focus areas provide foundational insights into the nature and extent of students’ opportunities to succeed in school. Although homeless students’ experiences are noted to be similar to those of residentially stable low-income students, they appeared to be distinguishable based on their high rates of isolation and school mobility. The McKinney- Vento Homeless Assistance Act was found to have profound formative influences on the wider field of practice, but its full implementation is limited by the disonnected nature of students’ diverse support mechanisms. Based on the findings, the author suggests that researchers and practitioners consider the people, places, and policies that affect students in more holistic manners—as networks of practice.

Approximately one million students were identified as homelesss in U.S. Schools during the 2009-2010 school year. Although this number represented only a fraction of the students who actually expeeriennced homelessness that year (many more went unidentified), it was startling because it was 41% greater than just 2 years earlier (National Center for Homeless Education, 2010). Given that 70% of school districts throughout the United States reported local increases in student homelessness during this period (National Associationn for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth {NAEHCY} First Focus, 2010), it is apparent that the crisis of student homelessness is escalating in widespread contexts. For example, large inncreases in homeless student identification were evident not only in New York (73%), California (62%), Texas (139%), and other states with large cities, but also in Iowa (136%), South Dakota (73%), New Mexico (91%), and a number of other states with smaller, less densely constituted populations (NAECY/First Focus, 2010). All told , at least 1 our of every 38 children living at or below the poverty level in the United States experienced sheltered or street homelessness in 2009.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE REPORT. (You can download the .pdf file)

 

Jul 02

Homeless Crises Hits California Students Hard

Adding to the Student Loan Crises are Savage New Figures on Student Homeless and Students Facing Hunger and Food Shortages.

by Uncle Paulie

 

The above chart, for the year 2013 (at least 4 years ago) shows the number of homeless kids in Public Schools state wide.  This would include presumably all grades up through 12.  The total of 64,218 would be at least a few percentage points higher today if current trends are applied.

The situation with the California State University system is not much better.  Their current report says that out of 470,000 students in the system, around 12% are in “unstable housing”, the politically correct term that is generally thought of as “homeless”. So by their own very rough count, 56,400 students in the system are homeless.

Even more shocking, if possible, is that about 112,800 students suffer from “food insecurity”, meaning in plain English that they are not getting enough to eat and some are actually starving at times.

What Needs To Be Done

Waiting for some future minor student housing is out of the question.  Action needs to be taken now.

Student Housing

  1.  Let students at CSU park and sleep in their vehicles overnight in the parking lots.
  2.  Remove “no parking at night” signs from the surrounding area.
  3.  Look into buying used RVs, vans and Motor-homes to use as temporary student housing.
  4.  Offer courses for credit for students to creatively “fix up” and make the vehicles look cool and  artistic.
  5.  Beef up shower and bathroom facilities.  Keep these open late at night.
  6.  Increase security on campus to protect kids sleeping in their vehicles at night.
  7.  If on campus parking is not enough then off-campus parking lots should be considered.  There’s  plenty of office buildings with empty parking spaces at night.
  8. . If not enough bathing and shower facilities are available then coupons or “chits” should be .issued to students to use local health club facilities.

Food

  1.  This is a very serious problem.  A long term solution is that the CSU system is going to have to  get into the food production business.  Property has to be acquired and students can volunteer  for credit to plant food gardens.  The schools should be able to grow a large part of their own  food needs. Fruit trees should be planted all over the campus areas.
  2.  Short term students and faculty need to form “Food Drives” to collect food from anywhere you  can, markets, bins placed in Starbucks and Post Offices and of course setting up outside the big  markets and have a canned food drive.
  3.  Farmer’s markets can be contacted to supply excess food from the day’s sales.
  4.  Some public schools are already putting in gardens to grow food as a credit.  This should be  expanded until the system can be self-sufficient.
  5.  Local residents should be encouraged to plant, with student help, gardens in their front yards.  Tax credits can be given to the residents who cooperate.  It might be possible to draw a 2 mile  circle around each school and give the tax credits in that special district to residents who enlist in  the program.
  6.  Many other ideas will come forth to give the schools housing and food security.  The next step  will be to cancel all student debt, jail crooked loan companies, and lower the costs of college for  all.