Here's a little quandary for the homeless. Most entry level jobs in Kalamazoo are second or third shift-- but the homeless shelters don't let anyone sleep during the day. and local police are instructed to roust anyone trying to sleep in the parks. And try showing up clean for an interview or leaving a contact number with a prospective employer.
The Michigan Organizing Project is a consortium of community organizations, NGOs and churches in West Michigan that come together in a non-denominational, non-partisan fashion to choose three legislative projects every six months. There is a conscious effort to limit the scope of these proposals and then invite local politicians to either support or reject the action. This keeps MOP away from the scattershot politics of the left and keeps the politics concrete and local.
Commissioner Jack Urban, State Representative Lorence Wenke, our new police chief (12 days old!) Jeffrey Hadley and others attended the rally Thursday night at St. Joseph's Community Center. They were asked in front of an SRO crowd to answer yea or nay on the following:
-- A "Housing First" policy for the homeless in Kalamazoo County. As it stands now, homeless people are required to participate in dozens of well-intentioned intervention programs before they have a stable home base to operate from.
-- A commitment from Kalamazoo Public Safety to use "probable cause" instead of profiling when detaining citizens, and assurance that local police will not be used to check immigrant status.
Aristotle calls humans "a political animal", which I break down for my students as meaning we live in groups, like lions, baboons or meerkats, not as solitaries like tigers or grizzlies, and we might as well get good at it.