Tuesday, June 18, 2013

From Ohio to how it works


I’ve just come into the church. RL asks if I’ve got a moment. Poet Tim’s parents are here for a visit and he’d like me to give a tour. I happily agree.  So his parents are from Akron, Ohio. I mention that I went to school at Wooster, just 30 miles away. And Tim’s father said he actually lived in Wooster a few years. So we share Ohio stories. Akron’s part of the rust belt, it’s long time rubber industry down to only Goodyear, but somehow they’re making the transition into tech. 

A conversation about our Austin organ leads to a discussion of the Schantz Organ Company, the largest organ company still under the original family ownership in Orrville, Ohio, also the home of Smucker’s Jams and Jellies. And the late lamented Rubbermaid lived most of its life in Wooster before absconding to Atlanta. With 900 jobs. 

I give them my full tour guide rap. And when he talks about coming to Merion, Pennsylvania, for the US Open, we can talk about that, too. Takes me back to Tulsa. It’s good to know more about Tim and his roots. His folks connected me back to a part of my past. 

I leave for a meet and greet with Mayoral Candidate Bill Di Blasio, our current Public Advocate. He’ll make a classic progressive speech. Main issues are stop and frisk and education. He sees them as connected. In 2011, there were 700,000 stop and frisks. Only 9% resulted in arrests. And of those, over half were for small amounts of marijuana.  What’s going on here?

I take my opportunity to press for what his housing policy will be. I’m still looking  for ore creative answer.  

I swing by late to finish some work.  Noise on the other side of the door. So I gather my thoughts and go back outside. To confront the current group. 

Let me tell you how this works. We provide temporary shelter, OK, temporary. A haven. Sanctuary. Not a permanent home. Not a play house. We expect you to work with Project Reachout. To find real housing. Most people here wind up with real housing. You have to be working to move on. Or you’ll have to go. I am going to open these doors at 8:30 am tomorrow morning. You need to not be here. Thay’s how it works. 

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