Racism in libraries...
First, Ken, that's kinda funny when other are convinced you are not racist..., it is like the immigrant that was the paternal to my maternal, back in 1409 Stugart, I found records that (all was in German) this immigrant had a bitof a shot-gun wedding then was MADE to leave the country - he had gotten a prostitue pregnant!!! All my ancestry are devoted....!!
Homeless gravitate toward public buildings By Sarah Arnquist
FAIRFIELD - They read at the library, drink coffee at the senior center and on hot days they seek air-conditioned relief at the mall just like everybody else.
Except they are homeless.
Public facilities such as libraries have always been "safe and neutral" places for the homeless to go, said Ann Cousineau, director of Solano County Libraries.
"It's kind of the nature of working in a public building," she said.
In the last few years some public building directors have noticed an increase in homeless people using their facilities.
The Continuum of Care - a Solano County task force designated to house the homeless - estimates that between 4,800 and 5,000 people are homeless on any given night in Solano County, and 12,000 people experience a period of homelessness each year.
Fairfield used to have a day shelter for the homeless on West Texas Street where the Park Crossing Apartment complex is now located. People lounged all day at the shelter, and it created problems with surrounding businesses until it closed in October 2001.
The Homeless Day Center provided basic services that included showers, mail, telephone, transportation, case management and shelter during the day.
Mission Solano, the county's largest homeless shelter located in Fairfield, works closely with public offices to provide services to the homeless, but it does not offer a day shelter, said spokesman Kevin Miller.
The Mission provides a bed, breakfast, dinner and a sack lunch but not a place to lounge for the day, because "if you're jobless and homeless, your task is really to look for a job and a home," Miller said.
Those not inclined to search for a job spend their days in public parks and buildings.
The Fairfield Senior Center is a public building where many homeless seek refuge. Facility Director Ted Stine said more homeless people are using the facility now than a few years ago. Six months ago some people were living around the center, but that has ended and for the most part there are no problems, Stine said.
John Young, 74, spends most of his days playing pool and socializing at the senior center. Young raised his concerns at the last Senior Advocacy Committee meeting that more homeless people are using the facility. Committee president Jo-Ann Fenton reminded him that the senior center is open to all, including the homeless.
"This is a public building and if they are seniors they are to have access to this building, but they are to abide by the same rules," Fenton said.
Young said he paid taxes all his adult life and also pays for many of the services at the senior center. It irks him to see homeless people abusing services at the senior center, he said. For the most part, Young said, though, they do not create many problems.
The community should understand that homeless people do read, and there are homeless seniors, Miller said. As long as they do not bother people, they have the right to access those community services available to them, he said.
"You kind of have an issue of people's personal comfort zones," Miller said. "If it is a loitering problem then you have a police issue."
Mission Solano wants the community to send people who need services to the shelter, Miller said. Mission Solano has a full mail service and a phone available to the homeless for outgoing calls and takes incoming calls as messages.
Libraries are open to the whole community - for those with and without homes, Cousineau said. On any given day, four to five homeless people might be in the Fairfield library, and as long as they abide by the same rules that apply to the general public they are welcome, she said.
"We don't turn them away," Cousineau said.
I, then many others have used libraries to whittle away days in homeless situations, yet, they are publlic - homeless is public?! We like to to read, use the computers, a less than .002 percentile that always makes a something look bad ~ always mars 'it' for the 'rest'. Bad cops, mar, good cops! Bad postmen mar good postman... I bet a whole bunch of us didn't even look "like" homeless...