Tuesday, June 1, 2010



Two days from now, on Thursday, June 3 at 6 p.m. at City Hall, Pat Fitzpatrick is asking doctors, nurses, physicians assistants and other knowledgeable people to testify during Citizens' Comment, on the effects of the 130-person meal limit on pregnant women who are turned away, and on their unborn children. Medical professionals who want to testify on the dangers of turning away hungry people with diabetes are also asked to give this testimony. A substantial number of people in the homeless community do have diabetes. Each speaker is allowed 3 minutes.

Pat is also asking people who are willing to fast in front of City Hall for one day, on behalf of those people who are being turned away from lunch at St. Francis House, to contact him at 352-642-6465. He is organizing a project in which one person will fast in front of City Hall every day until all meal limits at St. Francis House are lifted. In other words, if 30 people volunteer for this project, each person will fast in front of City Hall for one day a month, until the limit is lfted.

When the City Commission voted to impose a 130-person limit on meals at St. Francis House, a soup kitchen which had been feeding up to 200-250 people a day, they not only stole food from hungry people, they stole from us our humanity. The only way we can reclaim our humanity, as a community, is to continue to push the City Commission to lift the limit. This effort cannot be accomplished by calling them names and telling them how horrible we think they are. We as a society have all been dancing around the Golden Calf for decades, pressuring our elected officials to do more and more to enhance and protect a bloated sense of entitlement that has spread across our country like a Biblical plague. There are now many of us who feel we have a right to never see a very poor person and never have to hear their sometimes drunken cries of anguish. Through love, through education and through personal committment, putting our stomachs on the line (so to speak), we can heal our human community. We are the only ones who can do this.


It has been several weeks since I've written a Home Van Newsletter. Like many, if not all of you, I have been overwhelmed by sadness and snowed under by catastrophes. One realization holds true: the cure for this condition will never be found inside a bottle of Prozac or Paxil. The only way to continue walking in the Light is to live each moment, doing the very best you can. It's that simple. The Talmud tells us that each person's job to get up every morning and repair the world. The New Testament tells us that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Our beloved Buddhist community reminds us that Buddha is still standing outside the gates of Pardise, waiting for all souls to be lifted up from suffering and delusion. In living this truth we heal ourselves, retain our sanity, and bring light and healing to those around us, whether homeless or housed. We are all in this together.

Love and blessings to all of you,

The Home Van needs tents, tarps, Vienna sausages, creamy peanut butter, jelly, candles, white tube socks, bugspray, books and games. Call 352-372-4825 to arrange for drop off. Financial donations to the Home Van should be in the form of checks made out to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, earmarked for the Home Van, and mailed to 307 SE 6th Street, Gainesville, FL 32601, or can be made online at