NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

DVRPC Awards $1.2 Million for Revitalization Projects in

Philadelphia Homeless Looking for a Home

Statement submitted by Dina Herrington

Today we face two closely-related crises. The first very immediate
need is that of the 20 or so individuals that trusted the Occupy
Movement and Interfaith Community to rescue them from the consequences
of the Occupation of City Hall and impending renovation there.

The second crisis, an ongoing one, no less immediate because of the
season, is the people of Philadelphia's, and America's, willingness to
allow armed men and women to prevent the poor from working together to
increase their fortune.
With a nail gun, even a butane-powered one, and some battery-powered
tools, I and the skilled carpenters in the camp could create, from
recycled materials and donated fasteners, structures like those at
Christmas Village, easily disassembled and transported, to see us
through the winter.
What's more difficulty to create is a sharing, loving community with
those who the System has habitually fractured and fragmented. We've
come a long way in a short time and formed the core of such a
community of shared involvement and responsibility. We've been
conditioned by being forced to exist alone, to grab all we can before
someone else does, this alienation suiting the purposes of a status
quo which would keep us invisible and blame us for our own
If we find a place to move from here, we need to immediately structure
the receiving and distribution of donations in an equitable fashion
and create, with guidance from the Interfaith Community, a minimal
list of expectations and obligations agreed to by those who would join
our community and work toward building solutions, not only for our
group, but at least as an example, for all the needy.
It's been suggested that the churches of the Interfaith Community
might provide temporary sanctuary for our small tent community,
providing a launching pad for other, longer-term solutions such as
acquiring abandoned indoor or outdoor space through legal channels,
disappearing into safer spaces ofr bouncing from church yard to church
yard, doing clean up and repairs in the community, inviting community
involvement and integrating the homeless within these communities. But
by tomorrow, Monday, we need a place to regroup or just crawl back
under the rocks we crawled out from, disappointed that the hot air
generated by Occupy was insufficient to keep us warm through the
coming snows.

by Paul Klemmer

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