According to a recent New York Times Magazine article, a person in New York City who worked on reducing numbers of homelessness by some figure in the thousands. Kudos to that person, for sure.
What the article attempted to do remains disturbing for me. Once again, with the help of a society tailored to number-crunching, due to lawyers and accountants which make lots of money while we teachers in Florida made very little, the guy was questioned on “whether the numbers demonstrated whether he had succeeded enough.” WOW! Number crunching.
First of all, in my job in a college in South Florida, my colleagues and I faced a number of homeless people, battered women in homes which took care of them, and young people in various other stages of life. Should we have ticked off every one who we helped? Should we have done number crunching?
For instance, I had one young man who had grown up upstate New York along the Hudson River. He was living without a home in the park across the street from the college. There were many homeless folks who were around that college and we knew it. We attempted to go out of our way to help them out, whether that be extra tutoring so as to help such people gain confidence and get set back on their feet in life. The guy from New York had served, under George H.W. Bush, in Iraq with the U.S. Army. He had fallen on bad times, so I was asked by one of my fellow professors and colleagues whether I could tutor the guy. After all, he had been through several attempts to try to write a college research paper and that was the one thing holding him back. Since I worked with students, tutoring them and also teaching them in some classes, I worked with this guy. He learned quite a bit, but I was not able to assess him a grade (number crunching again). However, he ended up submitting a research paper in which he was able to earn an A on the paper!
Years later, this man came back to my office area at the college and began to tell everyone, students, faculty, and others, how much I had done for him in getting through a tough time in his life and he being able to get an A on his paper. Let’s get one thing clear. Never once did I speak with my colleague who was doing the grading. I only gave him time for tutoring him on what was necessary to do. In his return trip, he indicated he had graduated from the college, gone on to another college to complete his Bachelor’s degree, and was now working in another location, teaching students some of the same skills he had learned from me! it could have brought tears to my eyes, but I withheld the tears. I was just so happy that a fellow New Yorker (I taught in Florida for some 40 years) had accomplished his goals and was no longer homeless, but doing quite well!
Number crunch me and that is the only one, I guess. But knowing full well that I taught many students who were homeless, as well as many of my colleagues, one has to wonder how many we did impact? Likely, the number would not be 100% of the homeless. But how many did we help out? Once more. Should we be ticking every person?
As for the battered wife, how many others did we all impact, too? With her, too, I had spent time tutoring her in her research skills. The day she walked the stage at the college commencement and picked up her diploma, I stood up and cheered as loudly and joyously as I could, in celebration of her accomplishment. No numbers. A human being who I had witnessed gaining confidence in a disturbing life and had succeeded.
Secondly, rather than identifying how many this guy in New York City helped out of homelessness, when are we going to come to grips with the factors which, in the 1980s, brought an increase in homelessness. We did as Ayn Rand wanted, reducing public services (mental institutions) and public welfare, speaking out against healthcare for all, Medicare, Social Security. Then, when Ayn Rand contracted cancer, where did SHE go to find the resources and services? She went to the government which she was attempting to knock apart, with the help of her friend, Alan Greenspan who had Reagan’s ear. Reaganomics, deregulation, supply side economics. All those things were favorable to Ayn Rand. But when the chips were down, Rand took advantage of the very things she barked about being “socialism.” A screwy bitch called Ayn Rand, an atheist out of Communist Soviet Union which was once KGB land with an agent named Putin.
Then there was DEMOCRATIC PARTY Governor Lawton Chiles and his lawsuit against big tobacco for the purposes of PAYING FOR state government expenses for lung cancer resulting from smoking cigarettes. Chiles finished his term as governor and was hoping to run for president, but died on Dec. 12, 1998, just before Jeb Bush took power in Jan. 1999. Mysterious, for sure. As Gov. Ann Richards of Texas said about brother George: “poor George, born with a silver spoon in his mouth.” Same thing could be said about Jeb Bush who was one of the many number crunching wealthy ones born with silver spoons who thought “what’s good for business is good for America,” so naturally lawsuits against a BIG BUSINESS were NOT good for America, according to the standards of AWOL man during Vietnam (at a time I knew others who DIED in Vietnam or saw very brutal fighting in Vietnam), George W. Bush. At least John Kerry, the Democrat in 2004, never went AWOL. Or the guy in Georgia who lost LIMBS during war but was chastised by Republicans because he was a Democrat, did far better than Mr. AWOL Man.
In other words, rather than trying to hold a man in New York City and his feet to the fire with number crunching, how about make changes to rid us of the shit of Reagan, atheist Ayn Rand, and other Republicans which helped cause homelessness in America, overall.
What ever I accomplished, I am very proud. I am just as proud as the healthcare workers in America should be in handling this pandemic. I am proud of the work I did to help train nurses, nurse aides, radiologists, and others at that same college. When going to a hospital, that was the one time I could hear, “oh, I remember you; you were my professor at the college.” I likely would not remember them, as I sat and waited in a room for an anesthesiologist to sedate me. Somehow, though, I must have made some kind of impression on these people. And that sure does make a professor happy!
I am happy that this guy in New York City succeeded with helping humans numbering in the thousands. Kudos to the guy and stop the bullshit with counting by using lawyers and accountants. How many TRUE accident victims (auto or workplace), not FAKES, did lawyers help? Does anyone keep numbers of those? If we want number crunching, is it not better to keep tabs on the fakes and liars than a person who needs to be measured with regard to ending homelessness. Furthermore, such lawyers and accountants and how many did THEY help in reducing numbers of homeless? Anybody know?
Once again. Kudos to those who play a role in reducing homelessness in New York, Florida, and across the USA.