Samuel's House is a women's shelter located in the city. It's address is not supposed to be public (even though they publish it on their fliers!) because women who have been battered by their partners take refuge there. It is a vital service in a city that sees way too much economic stress combined with enormous quantities of dutch courage induced by a constant diet of alcohol. It's director is a well respected woman with a long history of active devotion to the cause, someone who you'd think would get a hearing when she pipes up and says "I've got a barrow-load of cash and need somewhere to build a shelter." Her requests for land were rejected by the Catholic Diocese which owns an eyesore open space on Flagler Avenue next to it's soup kitchen. That rejection didn't surprise me, I have no doubt the princes of the church are going to hold out for absolute top dollar, as is their wont.
The city of Key West shrugged and said, "Sorry, we don't have enough time to get it together, bad luck!" which isn't surprising considering the city's recent decision not to put the trash contract out to bid as they couldn't find the time for that clearly anticipated contract. So when Samuel's House turned to the Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL) and got the bum's rush there too I was stunned. Apparently not just me either as the state is now reportedly royally pissed off and is intervening to get things moving. The Executive Director of the State Office on Homelessness (There is such a thing amazingly enough! In Florida!!) is getting involved and is looking for results. This embarrassing turn of events has pushed the sleepers at SHAL into gear and guess what? They are going to take a second vote on Tuesday according to the Citizen and I have no doubt they will support the state's grant with fervor and enthusiasm this time around. What a crowd! And this is a grant to actually help people who desperately need help and have no political voice of their own. Just when one is ready to despair of our leadership someone sticks a red hot poker up a few backsides and one feels hope once again.
Of course this is all just piddly local stuff down here at the sunny toe of the national sock that is Florida. In Copenhagen big issues are being mooted about how to stop climate change and in Afghanistan Danish soldiers are joining US soldiers in making a determined push against the Taliban in some godforsaken mountain range. I woke up this morning, my back burning horribly from some recent pain I inflicted on myself and had a vision of growing old in a country with no middle calls, no health care and no unemployment insurance and I said I wanted to emigrate. I want to emigrate to a country where someone in charge gives a shit about the little people. Perhaps then, I just need to stay in Florida where the Office on Homelessness may be able to come to my rescue when my weary middle class body gives out, I lose my job, my insurance, my home and I need help. It's not exactly socialism but it will have to do.