Saturday, February 6, 2010

Homeless---1, Bad Guys---0 !!!


It's true! Sometimes the butt-heads of the world do manage to lose one!

For some strange reason, one of the bad guys in Houston gave up his lawsuit against a homeless shelter! Just goes to show, even the homeless folks can catch a break once in a while...and it's about damn time!

It's called KARMA, folks, and if you aren't careful...it will come back and bite you in the ass!

HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Feb. 5, 2010, 8:26PM

In a legal U-turn, Houston lawyer Harry Arthur late Friday dropped his lawsuit against Christ Church Cathedral and its Beacon Homeless Center, an outreach effort he contended attracted panhandlers and drug users to his downtown office's neighborhood.

Arthur's decision to drop the legal case, filed in November, came just two days after he had filed an amended lawsuit that made additional claims against the Episcopal church's program, headquartered at 1212 Prairie.

Arthur had sought an injunction to close the program and $250,000 in damages.

Arthur did not return telephone calls, but the church's lawyer, Arnold Vickery, said a neighborhood advisory board consisting of property owners, church representatives and Beacon clients will be formed to “regularly share insights and mutual concerns and ... explore ways in which the operation of the Beacon can coexist in harmony.”

In a prepared statement, Vickery said Arthur's wife would be a member of the panel.

“My prayer — and expectation — is that a neighborhood advisory council will find ways for the Beacon to be a part of the solution that are ever more caring, efficient and attentive to all of God's children,” the Rev. Joe Reynolds, dean of the cathedral, said in the statement.

Reynolds declined to comment beyond his remarks in the statement, which was prepared by a public relations firm.

Vickery called the agreement a “win-win-win” resolution.

The outreach effort, which is cater-corner from Arthur's law office, serves as many as 8,100 homeless people four days a week. It offers hot meals, clothing, showers, laundry services and case management.

In his lawsuit, Arthur argued that what had “started as a good and noble idea” had grown into a danger to the health and safety of the community.

Not allowed to sleep on church property, he contended, Beacon clients slept on neighboring sites, where they urinated and defecated. The homeless played music and danced, fought and shared drugs, the lawyer said in the lawsuit.

Arthur's petition contended that the defendants ignored pleas from neighbors to take action to alleviate the problems and allowed them to grow worse. In the updated lawsuit filed this week, Arthur said an apparent client of the homeless program cursed his secretary when she told him the lawyer had left the office for the day.

Vickery described Arthur and his wife as “good Christian people.”

“I hope that once our clients at The Beacon have heard them out and vice versa our outreach mission at Christ Church can continue with renewed sensitivity to the concerns of all our neighbors,” Vickery said.

allan.turner@chron.com


Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen...we can make a toast to the Good Guys!

12 comments:

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Yes lets make a toast to the Good Guys!
Great story!
Have a great day now!
Christer.

JoJo said...

Good Morning My Special One, You sure picked a hard subject for people to comment on. While none of us want to see anyone homeless and the church is trying to do the right thing, these homeless people are not doing the right thing. Urenating and deficating is nasty and I sure wouldn't want that done on my property. Human feases are very dangerous it is full of nasty bacteria that can cause ecoli. Playing loud music and dancing around if at late hours is not exceptable. We have large numbers of homeless here also but I have not heard of this kind of behavior (Yet)I have friends who work soup kitchens and they say the folks are always respectful.
Maybe this lawyer filed this lawsuit to achieve this very outcome. Hope they are able to rectify the problem.
I am ready for the next cup of coffee around the kitchen. More rain heading our way.

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
Sound like the bad guy in this case realized just what a butt head he was seeming to be, in this case!

Guess things are slow in the lawyer business as well!

Thanks for the visit today!


Hey JoJo...
One thing you need to remember here. First of all, if the homeless were doing all of these things that the lawyer said they were...don't think for a minute that the police wouldn't have been there in a heartbeat! Yet there is no collaboration from police reports of this happening!

Second, the man is a LAWYER, who is trained in school to twist and bend the facts in order to win his point!

Third, the lawyer was NOT concerned about the public safety...I know , because he was asking for $250,000 in damages!

Ask yourself, where are the other business owners on the lawsuit? Where are the other complaints about the "alledged" bad behavior? Where are the outcries of angry citizens in the area?

What we have is a lawyer seeking a lot of money, hoping to make the news (which he did) and wanting the lines of homeless people to go away!

Given the choice of believing the church group or the lawyer...I go with the church group! My past experience with lawyers does NOT instill a lot of faith in them!

Sorry, but in this case I have to side with the homeless. To hell with the greedy, cold hearted, non-caring, profit seeking lawyer and all of his kind!

This, of course, is only my opinion!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!

Gene in the Green said...

Hi Jim. Yes there are always two sides, or more, on these things. It is tough on both sides of the homeless situation and one that does not seem to be going away anytime soon. Hard to imagine anyone being in that dilemma but many of us seem to be one step away when things turn down for them.

Cheers,

Gene

HermitJim said...

Hey Gene...
I have really never been homeless...and it is very hard to put myself in their situation all the way! However, I can understand that the lawyer doesn't want them panhandling around his lace of business. I do not feel that all of the wrongs supposedly commited by them are true...but we will never know!

I don't understand why the Advisory board thing wasn't suggested before the law suit was filed, but then...only the people involved will ever know the whole story!

I don't think that many of these people really want to be homeless or causing trouble...but it just seems to me that unless something is done in an adult manner, things will continue to get worse.

Guess we all have that old"just not in my backyard" outlook about it. I wish I had some answers, but I don't.

Thanks so muchfor coming by today!

Rae said...

Great post. Maybe Mr. Rich Lawyer should volunteer his services at the mission. It might give him a new perspective. We need to see the other side of life before making judgments.

HermitJim said...

Hey Rae...
I think that's an excellent idea. Sometimes walking in the other person's shoes helps, and it would certainly be the christian thing to do if he were to volunteer.

Too many times we just want to look the other way, and some of the problems might be caused by the more aggresive of the homeless.

Sad situation all around, I think.

Thanks for coming by!

Beth said...

There is a battle raging here, well, in a town 8 miles from here between the homeless and the city. The city doesn't want the homeless sleeping on the streets?????
With our weather being so bad lately all shelters are filled to capacity and beyond and some churches and organizations have opened doors to help. Part of the trouble is that the homeless can't be reached at known "hangouts" because they are chased away from those very spots. They are not arrested because the city would have to deal with them then (shelter,etc.) I agree with JoJo partly but where else can the homeless do their private toilet? The city hasn't provided any port-a-potties that I have heard of.
Respect is a two way street.Maybe we should all volunteer at least one day out of our lives.

HermitJim said...

Hey Beth...
There is no easy answer, I guess. I'm only surprised that the lawyer would sue the church for $250,000 for the problem!

Glad it doesn't get as cold here as up north, otherwise the problem would get a lot worse!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!

Ginger said...

Hi Jim. I must comment... when I worked in Midtown Houston, I was often surprised by the difference in opinion regarding the homeless. I recall a guy who hung out around my office building, sometimes picking up trash, sometimes offering to wash a windshield for some change. I frequently gave this guy a little bit of pocket money. A coworker, a man who I respected in a lot of ways, frequently physically attacked this same guy, pushing the homeless guy in the chest when he asked for assistance. A few coworkers criticized me for giving this guy money saying that I was just helping feed his drug habit (not sure he had one). But I felt like once I released the money to him, it was not mine anymore and it was his to do as he chose. I guess because I was homeless for a period of time (I wasn't an addict and I worked a full time job) when I was a single parent to three little girls (many years ago - my girls are all grown up and we are fine and have been for many years), I have a special place in my heart for homeless folks. I can't help thinking that there but for the grace of God go I. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

HermitJim said...

Hey Ginger...
I don't understand sometimes why folks just can't treat their fellow men with some bit of respect. You don't have to agree with their lifestyle to show them a little common courtesy and treat them with some humanity!

Guess I am just getting too old to understand these things anymore!

Hey, thanks for coming by!

Anonymous said...

You do know how to pick topics! I agree with the lawyer. I have personally lived in the same neighborhood as the Houston homeless. I'd walk down the side walk with my baby and pass them pushing their buggie. They were always asking me for stuff and when I refused they were mean. We had to be careful with our trash can b/c they went through our stuff. One night we left a dry cleaning bag in our car and they broke through the window to get the clothes.

I became friends with one homeless man - Mike. He had a cell phone, dog and some money. He liked the carefree lifestyle. My neighbor tried to assist and get another lady off the street and she refused. After living amongst them, I have very little sympathy. Those who come down on the lawyer need them on their front steps for a month or so.

This view is not politically correct these days. I have much more compassion for American Joe who lost his house b/c of unemployment, but is still willing to work. From my experience, our downtown Houston homeless is not a pool of Mr. Joe.

Kris