Monday, January 21, 2008

Found dead on his sword

One advocate who disregarded the value of diplomacy.

I can't say that he and his comrades weren't warned. Over and over and over again. By me.

He even told me I was "one fine mediator" (yes, I did mentally start singing, "doot, doot, doot...Meet Virginia, yea-y-yeah..." when he said that, but I digress...) after a series of e-mails we exchanged. But honestly, a lot of fucking good that's done, me knowing how to be eloquent and sensitive to all parties involved. A lot of damned good it did just to be fucking ignored.

Instead, today, when some of the homeless were being complete assholes to one of my coworkers in Facilities, whilst she was trying to show the dining hall the City rents out to a potential customer, this gentleman who has a heart full of GREAT intentions, convictions, and determination channeled these traits of his into the direction of a narrow-minded, stubborn, bleeding heart; a turn for the worse which not only did nothing for him, it did nothing for the homeless for whom he was fighting so relentlessly.

Seriously...after the whole dog fiasco last week, this was the nail in the coffin for the makeshift shelter. Today at 5:00 pm I got an e-mail from the City Mgr saying that he was going to check the political will among City Council re: giving the shelter operators the required 5 days notice prior to terminating the lease, due to the continued violations.

And honestly? I don't blame him. Not one bit.

The shelter proponents will be quick to say that the City officials were merely looking for an out, or something to that effect, and for some of us, sure that might be true enough.

But me? Ms. 2006 Homeless Count Coordinator?

I gave this project my all - well, all that I could given power limitations - and wanted desperately to see it succeed, flourish and grow into something bigger and more transformational to the community (hey, a girl can dream, especially today, right?), but the truth of the matter is that the organizers, the champions for the homeless didn't play with the big picture in mind - and have wound up cutting their noses off to spite their faces.

I'm sad. I'm disappointed. I'm kind of scared about the upset this will cause in the community.

I'm frustrated that the failure associated with this project points to me, despite having been a voice of caution against the City operating a shelter like this - i.e. we did not have the control that I would have preferred, and hmm, now look.

I hate that the folks involved today acted as they did - entitled. I hate entitlement, whether it is fostered by privilege, institutionalism, or by learned helplessness. Entitlement, real or perceived, will cause the "pressure cooker" of any social issue to explode into a premature death, failing to fully "ripen" and be resolved. Yes I did just apply my coursework to real life, thank you.

I suppose I'll keep you informed. Onward and upward, right?

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