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.

Nov 09

Free Dinner in Hollywood

Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition

Salvation Army

 

Dinner is Served Monday –  Friday

at 6:30 -7:30pm at 5941 Hollywood Blvd.  This is a nice indoor facility, a sit down dinner.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saturday and Sunday

Dinner served on the corner of Sycamore & Romaine, 6:30-7:30

1 Block South of Santa Monica Blvd and 1 Block East of La Brea

Instructions

Get in the line that forms.  It gets dark early so bring a flashlight.  There are no tables or chairs allowed, per the City of Los Angeles, who always has plenty of cops around to watch your every move.  You will have to sit on a curb or sidewalk to eat.  Clean up after yourself and pick up your trash.  Bring some wet wipes with you in your back pack.  If you ride your bike, watch it closely.  You can park on La Brea I think after 7pm,  but watch all the parking signs, many of the side streets have no parking after 6pm without a permit.

 

 

 

Nov 09

Remembering New York’s Hero Squatter, Creator of the Garden of Eden, Adam Purple

Adam Purple Created Magnificent Garden in the Rubble of a Decayed City.  Despite a Court Order, NY Tore it Up for Greedy Developers.  It  was Providing Free Food for Thousands

Adam Purple’s Garden of Eden

In the crazy history of New York City, this story is one that stands out:  it proves that politicians have no class and are only interested in their own greed.  It started in 1975, with Adam and his wife Eve were living in a run down Lower East Side apartment.  Purple was the Superintendent of the old buildinng he was in, and the owner soon disappeared, leaving Adam and others as “squatters”.  Purple saw that a space had been created behind his building when another building was demolished, and he decided to create a garden to grow food for the neighborhood.

Adam Purple

Purple planted the garden as concentric circles, with a yin/yang in the center.  This configuration allowed the garden to grow as more buildings were razed in a frenzy of so-called Urban Renewal.  The garden grew and grew, with over 40 trees and many kinds of vegatables.  It soon became famous as thousands of folks visited the garden, many getting much needed food.

From Wikipedia:  The process of clearing the lot took some time since the couple would only use hand tools. Modern machinery was considered “counter-revolutionary.” He would haul manure from the horse-drawn carriages around Central Park and created a highly fertile topsoil. The garden was ready to be planted in the spring of 1975. The garden was designed around concentric circles with a yin-yang symbol in the center. As buildings were torn down on either side, Purple would add new rings to the garden, allowing it to grow.[4] By the end, it was 15,000 square feet featuring a wide range of produce, including corn, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, black raspberries, strawberries, and 45 trees including eight black walnuts. He regularly bicycled to Central Park to collect horse manure to use as fertilizer.

For about 10 years the garden was a tourist spot and also attracted volunteers to help grow food for poor folks,  The City had other ideas, however, and wanted the land for development.  They refused to include the garden in their plans, and on January 6, 1985 tore it down.

Things have actually gotten worse since then.  Although there has been a huge increase in the homeless population, the various States, Counties, and Cities across the land have tried to criminalize folks for being homeless.  We have seen the brutality of this all around us.  A barber in Ohio arrested for giving haircuts to homeless folks for free in a park, Food Banks and church groups being threatened with arrest for feeding the poor, the gestapo-like raids in San Diego recently, called “Encampment Sweeps”, where police seal off the streets where homeless folks are sleeping and then bring in garbage trucks and take all the belongings, tents, food and bicycles from the poor souls and throw them into the waiting refuse trucks to be hauled to the dump.  They take the backpacks and personal items containing ID and medications, anything they can get their hands on, to throw away.  We’ve seen this before in old film footage from the 1930s and 1940s of the Nazi Stormtroopers descending on Jewish areas in Germany.  I guess San Diego is a time-traveled sister city to the Berlin, or Warsaw of the last century. Maybe the final solution will be coming for the homeless, just like the Jews, forced Labor Camps and then extermination.  Don’t think it can’t happen.  In Columbia, as reported here earlier, homeless were rounded up and sent out of town into a concentration camp to live, with police guarding the road so they couldn’t sneak back into town.  We are only a few steps away from the activities in the Third Reich.

Purple died on September 14, 2015, from a heart attack, aged 84, while bicycling across the Williamsburg Bridge.  His Garden of Eden had died some thirty years before. But he showed us that big things can be accomplished, a little at time.  Getting land in or near big cities is not easy these days, so we have to look for alternative situations.

There’s a lot of really great stuff about Adam Purple, a world-travelling philosopher, trying to stop nuclear war, seeking truth, trying to get his book published, and starting the Garden of Eden in New York.  Check out the links and video about him:

Check out this wonderful story, Adam Purple and his Guerilla Garden of Eden by Derick Dirmaier at the website Narritive.ly

Wonderful illustration of Adam Purple by artist Sam von Mayrhauser on the same website.

Adam Purple by Sam von Mayrhauser

 

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..

 

 

Sep 03

Hepatitis Outbreak in S.D. Homeless Community Leaves 15 Dead, Over 250 Hospitalized

Michael McConnell Leading Fight For Bathrooms and Medical Aid

From CBC Radio Program As It Happens with Carol Off and Jeff Douglas

San Diego is experiencing the worst outbreak in decades of hepatitis A, and the homeless population has been hit the hardest.

This is in part because the city hasn’t equipped homeless people with the necessary tools to fight the disease, says the former Vice Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless in San Diego.

“The city does a poor job of providing basic need sanitation, rest rooms, hand washing, places to throw garbage. So I’m not overly surprised that this is continuing to be a huge outbreak,” Michael McConnell told As It Happens guest host Susan Bonner.

Since November of last year, 15 people have died from the disease and 263 people have been hospitalised.

Local health officials are reporting that around 70 per cent of the people affected are homeless.

McConnell spoke with Bonner about why homeless people in San Diego are vulnerable to hepatitis A. Here is part of their conversation.

‘We can’t just cycle people through our emergency rooms and our jails and just send them right back into the horror that is the streets of San Diego.’   – Michael McConnell

Mr. McConnell, local health officials are saying that as many as 70% of the people who’ve been hospitalised with hep A are homeless. Can you tell us about the homeless population and what living conditions they face in the city?

“We have a large unsheltered population of people experiencing homelessness in San Diego county.

“The city does a poor job of providing basic need sanitation, rest rooms, hand washing, places to throw garbage. So I’m not overly surprised that this is continuing to be a huge outbreak.”

Click Here to listen to radio interview and read the rest of the article.

Health conditions in other cities are similar to those in San Diego.  The authorities have continued to ignore basic health concerns for decades.  The shortage of public bathrooms in Los Angeles is at a critical stage.  Because of the huge surge of homeless folks, most restaurants and even fast food locations have installed code locks on their bathrooms to keep out non-customers.  It is a challenge to find a bathroom if you are homeless.

TIP To folks living in vehicles:  An old guy living in his van offered this tip to Gypsy Cool many years ago.  Get a used orange juice size bottle and fill it with a mix of liquid soap and water.  You can use this on the road to wash your hands.  Another similar sized bottle with just pure water can be used to wash off the soapy water.

Solutions Ignored by Cities in America

The City of Los Angeles has a lot of unused properties they could turn into homeless centers. An old Library could be set up with washers and dryers, showers and bathrooms to service homeless folks. This is low-cost compared to the billions they say they are going to use to build housing.  In England, pensioners work at the public bathrooms and collect tips.  They keep the bathroom clean and stocked up.  Why not hire some homeless folks and do the same in Los Angeles?  The City of Burbank has a Temporary Aid building where local homeless folks can get an appointment to shower or do their laundry.  It is mainly run by volunteers, with a small professional paid staff.  Los Angeles and San Diego could easily open many of these operations at a very low cost.  The question is:  Why aren’t they doing it?  Maybe the billions of dollars raised for the homeless are going to be funneled to the Mayor’s cronies in the building trades to build “housing”..  Building ten houses a year does nothing to solve the problem.  Opening 50 bathrooms would save lives.

Jammed Emergency Rooms

Think of the cost to treat homeless folks for hepatitis in emergency rooms and hospitals.  This can be prevented and the millions of dollars can be used for bathrooms, a much more cost effective way to deal with the problem.

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)