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Review for Pacific Garden Mission, Chicago, IL, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

How are homeless charities faring in Chicago as the World Series draws to a close and as Obama fixes to come home? Are the charities for the homeless or they ill grounded and should be without homes themselves? Ask yourselves that question as you read this review.

I stayed from Friday, September 23, 2016 through about six fifteen a.m. Monday, October 31, 2016 at the Pacific Garden Mission as a homeless "guest[.]" When I phoned in to inquire about the Pacific Garden Mission in September 2016 before I got there, I was told that 'reservations' were for thirty days and that if I worked full time, went to school full time or was on housing lists that I would be given a thirty day renewal. That was the story at the beginning of my stay for about ten days. Then for some reason shelter reservations started being extended capriciously and not at all for an additional days but just for about seven to eight days if that.

I actually sent by certified mail twice and also hand delivered to a women's program staffer at the Pacific Garden Mission a bunch of housing applications that I made to the Cook County Housing Authority by both certified mail and by facsimile. Guess what? It is too much for these fake Christians--strange revivalists that they are--to take someone who does what they are supposed to do--in my case, to make housing applications in a timely fashion before one's first thirty day 'reservation' had elapsed to be eligible for an additional thirty days at the Pacific Garden Mission --and to not get into brawls on the premises of the shelter; not to smoke, drink or do any street drugs or wrongfully take prescription drugs et al.. The fake Christians who run and staff this place would rather celebrate the felon any day of the week who does these things and who will also break into one's backpack when it is under lock and key, as was mine at this mission shelter, and steal Cook County Housing applications from the backpack even as it is supposed to be under lock and key. Such a thief will be greeted every day of the week at the altar during chapel service with open arms and a sort of "come to Jesus" rally while those of us who are honest and homeless and not the sort of "Once I was blind, but now I see...hopeless wretch like me" types that this place houses again and again and spends money on even while they thieve, lie, steal and commit armed robbery or break into area cars as I heard was done by some participants of some of the programs at this shelter during my most recent stay from September 23, 2016 to the early morning Central Time of October 31, 2016.

This place advertises to those that it "serves" in its shelter that it receives no public funding at all from government entities like Cook County or H.U.D.

Why, then, were my Cook County Housing Authority applications--at least some of them--stolen on this place's premises while they were under my lock and key in what is supposed to be a room for one's backpacks, purses and luggage that has a security camera in it? Does this shelter, in fact, get any money from Cook County or the City of Chicago or H.U.D.? After all, Cook County Housing Authority certainly gets H.U.D. funds. I would like to know if it is true that the Pacific Garden Mission does, in fact, received H.U.D. funds.

Stay and/or donate elsewhere. Don't let what happened to me happened to you.

Guess what else?: Philip/Phillip Kwiatowski of the Pacific Garden Mission has openly opined that he doesn't think that the place has adequate enough structures to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (1990 et al.) Rather, as Mr. Kwiatowski noted to a colleague as I was coming into the same hall where they were standing at the beginning of my stay recently, it didn't appear to him that a paramedic or a fireman could get into the building at 1458 S. Canal St., Chicago, IL 60607 to get someone out on a stretcher if that person had seizure disorder and started to seize.

Guess what? I have seizure disorder. And my seizure disorder medications were stolen with some other prescription medications of mine during my stay.

To top it all off, on my last day there, my already broken into backpack was moved in the room where I had secured it by tying it to its shelf from one shelf location to another. When I couldn't at first find it and went to the pay phone on the first floor just off of the main 1458 S. Canal St. , Chicago, IL 60607 reception area for women, I discovered that this place had actually dismantled its 911 function from the payphone.

I had to go up to the Amtrak Station that morning and call 911's first responders to let them know that the Pacific Garden Mission had illegally dismantled its 911 function on at least one of its pay phones. When Mr. Kwiatowski admits openly that he doesn't think that the structure in which Pacific Garden Mission's shelter now finds itself can accommodate entrance, egress and ingress for medical purposes when someone seizes on the mission's subject premises, how and why can it be that any payphone at and on the premises doesn't completely work in good order? You tell me!

I am on the street now since I couldn't get housed at the Franciscan House of Mary and Joseph today, November 1, 2016 or at any of the ten or so other shelters that I called today from the list of shelters that the Franciscan House of Mary and Joseph caseworker that I spoke with today gave me.

Maybe it is the World Series that is driving the homeless into shelters in good weather at the beginning of the month (wink...)-)

After all, usually when shelter guests' S.S.I. "checks" come in on the first of the month, which is today, people are out partying for a night or two or three. And then they come back to the shelter. Especially if there is good weather as there is today and tonight in Chicago.

In any case, I never do that. Party out my S.S.D.I. check, that is. There isn't enough of it as it turns out anyway to even get a proper breakfast. Rather, I have had to have breakfasts of potato chips or bagged popcorn owing to their low coast.

And I won't have a roof over my head, it appears, until I leave Chicago by bus or train and can count the bus roof or the train roof to serve that function--serve as the roof over my head, that is.

Caveat emptor. Buyer beware.

Chicago is supposed to have good public services and charitable institutions. But that hasn't been the case for me.

Role:  Client Served

Review for Episcopal Community Services Of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

Next Door Shelter at 1001 Polk Street in San Francisco, CA is part of Episcopal Community Services in San Francisco, CA and is not a model shelter except as a model of illegality. Do not stay here. Lots of illegalities. So many, in fact, that one wonders why board members want their names mentioned here on[.] After all, I have pierced the corporate veil here in this review and all board members and others associated with not just the board, but also with the Episcopal Church and the Church of England, have personal liability for what I report here and for other illegalities at the Next Door shelter.

This shelter lets men stay on women's floors and they also let animals, specifically dogs, that are not service dogs into shelter sleeping areas.

The staff at Next Door also don't follow their own protocols for not having food on the floor--the fourth floor of Next Door has a lot of shelter guests eating and drinking things like sandwiches, candy bars and soda pop.

They should follow their no food policy because they have a serious bug infestation problem in the 1001 Polk Street building and are supposed to be spraying for bugs at least once per week. They also have an illegal hate speech rule that boots people out on the street if they say "n__ger" one time. However, if you call someone a "be_ner" if they are Latina or Latino or if you call someone "white trash" or "white b_tch" if they are white or are perceived to be white, then nothing happens.

Also, they allow black women to scream and to threaten each other on a nightly basis without calling the Department of Mental Health or the police.

What they do if you are not black and are not having any medical problems, however, is call 911 and then the San Francisco Fire Department paramedics will come and evaluate you. They will take you to the hospital, but when they pass a transgender prostitute who solicits them--firemen--right on the corner of Polk while they are on their way for an emergency call, they won't have the transgender prostitute taken away for anything.

Late in the afternoon of Monday, March 15, 2016, which was the last day for the Winter Emergency Shelters to be open, guess what? The "HOT" team had outreach staff interviewing people outside this shelter who were actually staying there. Where should they have been? There were plenty of people who stayed in the subway that night as long as they could and who were clogging up the nearby Civic Center/United Nations BART Station. There were plenty of people in the Winter Shelter program who were not on the 311 waiting list for a ninety day bed. So why have public resources been wasted in this manner?

The Next Door shelter is part of Episcopal Services approximately twenty million dollar budget. The firemen and the HOT team personnel are part of San Francisco City and County budget funding. The Next Door shelter also has Medi-Cal intake staff on its second floor, so it is also probably getting public funding. Why do the taxpayers allow all of this to go on?

Last night, the evening of Easter Sunday, i.e. March 27, 2016, a woman in bed 51 on the fourth floor threatened multiple times to smother the woman in bed 50 on the fourth floor and called the woman "white trash." The staff did nothing. Would the San Francisco police show up if the woman in 51, who arguably has some psychotic tendencies, actually did follow through on her threat to smother the woman in the bed right next to her?

Does Episcopal Community Service/s of San Francisco have any real guidelines for who stays at its homeless shelters and how long they stay there?

Apparently not.

At Next Door homeless shelter run by Episcopal Community Service/s of San Francisco, clients are apparently allowed to miss four nights in either a ninety day period of per month, i.e. a thirty day period, and still have a bed. Most clients who miss coming back to the Next Door shelter for four nights in a row know that they are forsaking their bed. However, the rules and protocols are so lax, that certain clients get away with being away for four nights and still get a bed, while others--even, as was recently the case--who have missed only one night and how have missed curfew on another night--each of which owing to a hospitalization--will be booted from the shelter at 1001 Polk St.

The current 'inhabitant' of bed 51 on the fourth floor was not only allowed to threaten numerous times the inhabitant of bed 50 and to batter the occupant of bed 50, but also was allowed to come back after missing four consecutive nights and to retain her bed. She did this even though the Next Door shelter staff installed a one night occupant in her bed during one of these nights.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, guess what? The occupant of bed 38 on the same floor and right in the vicinity of bed 51 was kicked out right after she only had two infractions--missing one night and being late on another because of a hospitalization. She was literally made to appeal the decision to have her leave with a hospital wrist band still on her wrist from the hospitalization; and was also made to do the instant appeal after five p.m. Pacific Time, i.e. after any arguably responsible staff were present who had made the decision to terminate her stay.

How is it that a batterer who continually harasses those on the fourth floor like the current occupant of bed 51 is allowed to stay even when she misses four consecutive nights and comes back after curfew routinely, but a recently hospitalized occupant gets booted out even though she demonstrably only had minor 'infractions' owing to her hospitalization?

You will have to ask Episcopal Community Service/s of San Francisco and the taxpayers who pay into the San Francisco shelter program, as well as the Episcopal Diocese of San Francisco and any of Episcopal Community Service's donors and board members. There appears to be no good reason, except for being slopping and the continual toleration of things that are illegal.

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Role:  Client Served