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Thursday, May 25, 2006


I actually wrote a letter to the CEO of the P.A.T.H. organization, Mr Joel John Roberts. I thought I would share it with the public:

May 22nd, 2006:

Hi, Mr Joel John Roberts. My name is Ricardo. I have read your blog and I'm a little bit familiar with P.A.T.H. I've stayed at a Beverly and Vermont (I think) location and a location in Hollywood. While the organization may be a noble cause, I didn't think it would help me because the program is intensified. There is an imposed curfew at both of these locations, which means these are detoxification centers for the homeless. I don't feel I need a curfew, there's so much I can miss! This is Los Angeles, the land of opportunity. While I might be homeless, I should be able to stay out as long as I want to, knowing fully well my schedule the next morning. Your organization has an out-reach team, handing out out-dated food and drink. I received a bagged lunch one Monday, with a carton of juice three weeks old!

There is only one place I choose to get help from. The Department of Public Social Services. It is run by Los Angeles county. The only problem that I've experienced with them is their lack of support for housing the homeless while training them to get back into the workforce. When I applied last year (2005), I told them I was homeless. I was given a two-week voucher for a room downtown in Central City (Skid Row). It was wonderful, I could come and go as pleased. I attended the G.R.O.W. orientation but could not follow through with the rest of the program. Why? I did not have housing. They told me to stay in a shelter. Why would I stay in a shelter(P.A.T.H.) that has the same intensified vocational program as G.R.O.W., when I can stay in a hotel in Central City with a General Relief voucher? It turns out, the Department of Public Social Services does not advocate that particular form of housing but it is available.

One year later, I learned of the "General Relief" voucher but it was too late. I'm going back this week to the D.P.S.S. center in the Rancho Mirage District to reapply. $2,000 was wasted, that I have to pay back (Recipient-single male adult- receives the maximum of $221 per month, for a period of nine or twelve months). These experiences have forced me to start a blog entitled "Homelessmansdiary".

Homeless services need to centralized into one organization, in my opinion. Even if a person saved money from their income for six months, how does that guarantee they are going to sustain themselves? The city and state officials need to buy up property and start building affordable housing. They also need to stop stifling creativity. There is a lack of support for creative artists. There's plenty of mentally ill people out there that need that curfew more so than I do. Why fund non-profit agencies to do the job (especially those which are "faith-based)? Common sense should prevail, not the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Focus on supportive housing. It's that simple. Why make it complicated? Why complicate people's lives? In New York City, rent control laws no longer exist. The place I was staying in went for $500 a month. As soon as the building was sold and the new owners took over, the rent jumped by $200 in one single month, going from $500 to $700 per month! I flew the coup. I'm not going to slave myself. I'm not going to slave myself here in Los Angeles either. Why give up my dreams for some stinky little apartment? Why slave myself to pay that mortgage or that credit card debt?


Would do you, the reader, think? I've gotten more comments via email from people reading the blog, they are very nice comments and supportive comments. The reason why I haven't posted an entry for two days is because I was arrested by the Beverly Hills Police Department Tuesday morning, while walking down Burton Way towards the Beverly Hills Public Library. The case was rejected this morning by a judge in Beverly Hills Court. Why? I did not do what they (the police) were accusing me of doing, their evidence was inconclusive (no fingerprint match). The police accused me of grand theft auto (stealing a $3500 bicycle), possession of narcotics (in a duffel bag thrown in the bushes I presume, were needles and cocaine) and resisting arrest.

They approached me as I was walking down the street I mentioned earlier and told me to sit down on the curb. They then said, "Why are you running from the police?". Running from what? I had just come from a Peet's Coffee Shop and walked down Robertson Boulevard to get to Burton Way. "We have fingerprints and video of you stealing the bicycle and running away from the police.", they said.

They then handcuffed me and put me in a patrol car, driving me just a few blocks away to the Civic Center, where the Police Department, Fire Department, Public Library and City Hall are located. Whew! I was then booked and kept in a locked cell for three days, Tuesday, Wednesday and today, Thursday. Whew! They fed me like a king, giving me three super-hot meals a day, double portion. It was not enough to lift my spirits. I was frightened and wondered to myself, why would I be falsely charged? Have I gone completely nuts and blacked out when this occurred? Do they actually have evidence against me? No. They didn't. I guess they just needed a suspect. Martydom. It sucks. The case was thrown out of court and I was returned back into civilization, released in Beverly Hills, right where I started Tuesday morning. Yikes!

"Crazy Thing To Do Today" Thought: Ask a celebrity for $100.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Rickie,
That sucks, glad you got out though. I like your letter and agree with what you wrote, I hope that they (P.A.T.H) give it the attention due to it.