Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Home Van Newsletter 5.29.11


I was sad to read in the New York Times this morning that Gil Scott Heron – poet, musician, visionary, lifelong champion of the poor and the oppressed - died this week in a New York City hospital, another victim of the crack epidemic. Drugs are no respecters of persons, places, money, fame, talent or anything else. I look forward to the day (if I should live so long!) that our country redefines drug addiction as an illness rather than a crime. Ever since I can remember this country has been fighting a ‘war on drugs’ and drugs always win. I imagine that the money fighting this endless war would build a lot of rehabilitation clinics and hospitals.

I wanted to post a poem by Mr. Heron, but his poems are very long and excerpts do not do them justice. In his honor I am posting one of my own poems, a poem I suspect he would like:

The Least of These


you got the shakes
picking up butts
on 13th Street,
some of them are long,
God is good.

Tennessee splits a
6-pack with you along
the banks of
Sweetwater Branch,
it’s all good.

Except Keesha’s on a rampage
wants your butt hanging from
a rusty tent pole
you head up stream,
fill a water bottle at the bus depot
for JC so he can boil his
colostomy bag,
out here
where You live.

-arupa/May 2011

The Meal Limits

It appears that the City now has some willingness to change from a 130-person limit to a three-hour serving period. I will update you on any information about that. Unfortunately, those person who support the meal limit have requested a rather Draconian tradeoff – an end to all meal services to the hungry and homeless in the downtown Gainesville area. So, if this comes to pass we will be trading one battle for another. I will keep you updated about this also, as information comes my way. It is still in the discussion stage at this point.

In the meantime, we keep on keeping on. Recent guests to our evening meal included five children, an elderly woman in a nightgown who had just been discharged from Shands, a former AGH employee....


These are most needed now. The need for water donations will be ongoing through out the summer. To arrange to drop off donations, call Home Van Central at 352-372-4825

Peace and blessings,