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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, August 07, 2015

WFMZ-TV69 Casts Spotlight on Allentown's Homeless

As homeless advocates Amy Cocca and Diane Teti so eloquently stated at Allentown City Council on Wednesday night, many of us are just one or two paychecks away from being homeless ourselves. Around 600 of the school district's children are estimated to be homeless. It's a harsh reality in the Land of NIZ, where the governing body of Allentown had no clue what to do when confronted face-to-face with the problem. It's a distressing sign of a government that has failed on so many levels. News accounts of the meeting reflect a failure in the mainstream media, too. They pretended it didn't happen.

To its credit, WFMZ-TV69 has followed up with a story describing the problem, noting the 58-family waiting list at the 6th Street Shelter and the bedbugs at the Abandon All Hope Center.

Once upon a time, Chris Cocca  [check out his blog, Rad Infinitum] was the Director of Mission at First Presbyterian Church of Allentown. But he sinned. He stood with CUNA in their unsuccessful attempt to get a true Community Benefits Agreement from Fed Ed from the Neighborhood Millionaire Improvement Zone. That's when Alan Jennings, another member of that congregation, pulled him aside one day before Sunday school for a "get on the same page" lecture.

"I party with JB [Reilly] and the Mayor," Jennings told Cocca. "I play poker with them every week." Cocca felt he was being told that the poor and homeless will get by, like they always do.

Chris continues.

"You know who else is a member there? Jack Felch. And Scott Fainor. I begged then-pastor Tony Sundermeier to bring these people together and get something done. Tony Sundermeier, by the way, was the Boy Pastor so fond of pointing out what a good friend Ed Pawlowski was. Ed actually called Tony to complain about my public criticisms of the administration, according to Tony (who now pastors an even richer church in Atlanta).

"My Jesus is the homeless, marginalized Jesus. Like I said, I don't work there anymore."

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Let them eat steak."

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget Tony Graham, who was crushed to death, having spent the night in a dumpster near the arena. He was there because "shelters aren't safe".

It is critically important for Housing First to be adopted by the homeless services agencies here in Allentown.

@DWSLV

Anonymous said...

"The poor and homeless will get by, like they always do."

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Obama's world, 7 years in, many Americans are suffering. Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I am a little confused. Was the call out of Jack Felch trying to imply he does not do anything for the homeless? Out of all the men mentioned in this post I highly disagree that Felch falls in this category.

I know him on a personal and political level. He always tries to put the people and their rights first. Trust me I have sat in front of Jack in Coopersburg and his main goal is for the residents and for the historic preservation of the Borough.

On a personal level he tries for the betterment of the community and the homeless but constantly deals with lack of resources and unwillingness of so called community leaders (i.e. the MIZ Boys) to help.

Last I spoke with Jack the biggest hurdle that he faces is the rise of rental rates and lack of affordable housing in the City. Maybe Jennings who is always exulted as a hero should really mention it to Grampa Munster and Ichabod Crane next time they play cards.

Anonymous said...

Jennings has been and remains part of the problem. The reason he can't find donors for his Easton's program is that private business has been suckered enough by them over the years and have caught on and enough's enough. Everything CACLV does is just to perpetuate themselves.

That board needs to be bleached too. It's infected with the same cronyism and resume padders who haven't done real hard work in years.

Anonymous said...

I don't know the specifics of this women's circumstance. Doesn't matter. Whenever a Mom and her kids become so desperate, they flee a situation and cry for help, you STOP everything, set aside your own needs, and fix something, NOW!

This kind of matter transcends ALL politics!

Fred Windish

THE observer said...

This was a publicity STUNT done to make city council lok bad. The person was supposedly from betlehem........why drag her in front of ALLENTOWN council........shameful

Anonymous said...

^ Liar.
Apologist.

Anonymous said...

Make this City Council look bad?
No way.
Impossible,

Anonymous said...

THIS CITY COUNCIL KNOWS NO SHAME!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

9:21 uses the Pawlowski tactic of attacking his critics. What kind of person would think that the plight of this woman and her two children is a publicity stunt? You should be ashamed for even suggesting this. And no, it was Malinda, the Good Samaritan, who is from Bethlehem. Learn how to listen.

Anonymous said...

8:11
You conveniently forget where the economy was right before Obama was elected. EVERYONE was scared and freaked out by what was happening to the economy. It looked like another full-on depression was going to happen. Remember?

THE observer said...

The rules state council WILL NOT respond to public comments why did the grand standers yell and shout when they KNEW no response would be forth coming............. I apologize if i misunderstood where the person was from i was under the impression she was from bethlehem.........and finally please DO NOT even remotely equate me with pawloserski I have been on the anti ferret face for a loooong time......A PERSON IS RESPOSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN LOT IN LIFE.......We can give you a hand when you are down BUT in the endit on you.....as MM has stated Allentown is a poverty magnet,why dont the good samaritans go in front of the councils in hanover,upper mac,n whitehall??? That is a publicity stunt they knew they would have an audience........

Anonymous said...

11:32 AM -

I find the concept "The rules state council WILL NOT respond to public comments." disturbing. That needs to change.

Would you happen to know if council persons answer their phones, respond to emails, open envelopes, or talk to their spouse and children?

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

This isn't democracy.
This is bullshit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Observer, That is a perversion of the rules, the same mistake as is made in Bethlehem. There is time at evdery Councl meeting for members to sound forth on various issues. In Allentown, it is during the "good and welfare" part of the meeting. When 60 people come and address them, they have an obligation to respond. Your interpretation makes a mockery of the Sunshine Act and transparency in government, which is the way you like it.

Anonymous said...

CUNA tried their best to do it the honest,democratic,decent way.
For their effort they were smacked down,rejected and sent packing.
Telling.
Despicable,but telling.

Anonymous said...

CACLV doesn't like competing with the little people.

THE observer said...

Bern
i am for decorum at public meetings pure and simple. The yelling and screaming is a JOKE and it is extremely hard to take these jokers seriously. The derisive comments that come from the peanut gallery do not help the cause
The people that are elected to the council KNOW DAMN well the populus is upset. Why continue the show with blowback from them??? Makes for good TV i guess!!!

Anonymous said...

How many on council were elected and how many of those clowns were appointed, at least once?
The whole thing is a farce, that includes you,
"observer".

Bernie O'Hare said...

The Observer is an advocate for unresponsive and disfunctional government. He thinks the unwashed masses should know their place, and believes the people's representatives have no obligation to respond to citizen concerns. It's in the rules, he says. He should try reading the Sinshine Act and First Amendment.

Anonymous said...

The "Observer" should feel right at home in Allentown.

THE observer said...

Just sayin you play by the rules if you dont like the rule then change them........not in the middle of the game cause YOU dont like them. I have read the laws / amendment the people ARE at the meeting watching the proceedings.......dont you dare hang me for executive sessions.........i realize that many on council were NOT elected..but again those are the rules. Not abiding by said rules leads to anarchy.....THINGS ARE NOT THAT bad .

Bernie O'Hare said...

The rules permit Council members to respond to commentary at the end of meetings, but they never do. And you need to read the First Amendment and Sunshine Act. Those are rules, too.

Benjamin Long said...

Bernie, as you know I was at that city council meeting. My heart broke for that young woman and her children. I went home that night greatly discouraged and broken for the people of Allentown. They deserve better. Those kids deserve a pool to swim in and a playground to play on. We have a responsibility to care for one another, no matter the cost. I ask, are the priorities of city and state officials elected in Allentown in the right place? They all talk a good talk but in reality, do they even care? I left after the women received help from the audience, but those few moments greatly impacted me. Residents, rich AND poor deserve better.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ben, I saw you and several high-ranking county Rs sitting in the back, soaking it up. I appreciate that none of you tried to make political hay. I'd love to see leaders from both parties combine to do something to help the homeless and even start a mentoring program to help kids stay in school. Exposure to kids turned Joyce Marin's life around. Perhaps Dems and Rs can come together.

Anonymous said...

No you are a stunt and also a circus worker too¿ This all put to print makes you cognazant/complicit of allentowns current free show playing out in cityhall¿ There must also be ties to other governmental agencies and entities that the public has not been made privy too¿! ($

Have a nice day¿! ($


redd
patent pending

Benjamin Long said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Benjamin Long said...

I do help at one of the local Allentown elementary schools. That meeting inspired me to do more. It's not about Ds or Rs, it's doing what's right.

alfonso todd said...

Amen, Benjanon Long, amen....

alfonso todd said...

Amen, Benjanon Long, amen....

Anonymous said...

"Exposure to kids turned Joyce Marin's life around."
Now that is funny!!!