You remember Tommy Finneran? He was forever complaining about the “aadvo-cats two step” that started off by lobbying to create new public programs that helped our poor elderly and disabled “clients”  get health care, affordable safe housing, job training and placement, nutritious food and warm clothing for their families, and then — and THEN — taking the second step of actually going around telling “clients” how to apply for and get the health care, the safe housing, the nutritious food and warm clothes.

For years, we kept up the aadvo-cats two step and he kept up trying to stop the music but only succeeded in slowing us down a little.

But that was ourTommy Finneran, a proud protector of the public purse who worried regularly about the cost of our advocacy to reform and repair the public infrastructure of programs that supported families during hard economic times. On the other hand, Tom was always willing to fix broken sections if we were able to document a compelling and sympathetic problem and present an effective and affordable solution.

So here we are — almost 20 years later — with another public official, an this one a former advocate himself, worrying about our advocacy to reform and repair the 50 yer old public infrastructure of programs that provide  families a path to safe and affordable housing.  


This quote is from the Globe’s Yvonne Abraham article on the shelter crisis.  ”   


Obviously we want to maintain a strong safety net,” said Aaron Gornstein, undersecretary for Housing and Community Development. “But we also want to make sure we’re spending taxpayer dollars wisely, investing in prevention and permanent housing, and that emergency shelter is a last resort” …… State officials seem entirely wedded to the notion that almost everybody has somewhere to stay, even when they say they don’t. They say this is based on experience – that their past investigations have shown people can almost always find someone to take them in.”   


So strong is the belief that homeless women and children can find another person to take them in that the Administration is resisting modifying the current regulations to allow people to get into a shelter if they are imminent risk of living in space that is unfit for human habitation.


Surely, surely they can find somebody to take them in for a few more days —  after weeks or months of bouncing around from couch to couch with friends, if they have any with spare space, with relatives if they have any with spare space, in emergency rooms of hospitals, train or bus stations, if they don’t get kicked out, on the beach in a tent if its warm enough, in a shelter if it’s in the middle of  hurricane. Oh wait! Train and bus stations, tents on the beach and hurricane shelters are already unfit for human habitation.


Ready to dance the Aad-vo-cats two step again with the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless?