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Comment Archives: Stories

Re: “Meet the guy who's giving away thousands of dollars in cash to the homeless in Spokane

There are people who volunteer their time and money every day all over Spokane to feed, clothe, and shelter homeless people in need. They help provide the essentials of survival for people who have next to nothing. This man's comments make me question if he is doing this out of compassion, or to make himself feel better. A year and a half ago, I was one of those people you see downtown with a cardboard sign asking for money. I did not take what I got for granted, I appreciated each and every person's generosity. On the rare occasion someone would give me a five, a ten, even a twenty, it would absolutely make my day. It meant I could stop standing there and go buy some alcohol, food, and tobacco. Alcohol was not what I needed to survive physically, but I am an addict. Psychologically, I needed it and I would have done anything I could to get it. The idea that by not giving these people money, you are somehow stopping them from using is ridiculous. That being said, the donations I received did not "save me" or improve my chances of getting off the street. What did was the shelters, the free meal sites, the clothing banks, and eventually Spokane detox and treatment facilities. What someone wants to do with their own money is totally up to them. Giving a stranger cash will surely make them happy in the short term, and it does make you feel good to give that kind of immediate relief to someone in need. They may not even use it for alcohol or drugs, you can't know that for sure. But don't have any illusions about it, more than likely you are not saving someone's life. The people doing that are busy making dinner for 200 people back at the shelter with food donated by other generous people. There are so many ways to help people who need it, giving an individual cash is just the easiest and most self gratifying way. Now that I have over a year of sobriety and am no longer homeless, when I think of the people who helped me get where I am today it's not the ones that gave me a dollar out their car window. Those memories fade fast.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alex Mabe on 11/20/2014 at 8:49 AM

Re: “Meet the guy who's giving away thousands of dollars in cash to the homeless in Spokane

Mark Richards really needs to hire a PR consultant before he continues on this unfortunate path and the public demonizes him beyond what he may or may not already deserve. Maybe his money can at least solve his escalating popularity problem.

Sure, giving cash on the street may not be the most effective way to create lasting change. But taken with DSP/GSI/Visit Spokane's class campaign against the dignity and rights of low income people in this city, people are going to rebel against his standpoint. Even if it is "logical" - when posed as part of a larger agenda that flies in the face of basic human decency and respect people are going to chew it up and spit it out like cheap gum.

Maybe one positive side effect of all this needless conflict will be that the vast differences in experience of the richer class in Spokane from the average income class will be better exposed and someone will actually seriously pose the question of what can be done to reduce these disparities. Hey, it could happen...

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by FedUpAndOverIt on 11/19/2014 at 5:42 PM

Re: “Meet the guy who's giving away thousands of dollars in cash to the homeless in Spokane

This gentlemen has every right to give away money any way he likes. But the underlying assumption is he is doing something and others are not. Hogwash.

I think it's also cruel and unwarranted to identify him and his past record, too.

That said, I would challenge this gentleman, who says he understands finances, to compare the benefit of handing cash out to folks on the street vs. giving the same amount of money to meals on wheels, the House of Charity or any charities that feed, clothe and provide beds to the homeless of Spokane.

The House of Charity housed over 70,000 people last year. Second Harvest has fed hundreds of thousands of people year round. It goes on. Simply, randomly, handing out cash should certainly be this man's prerogative and also go without condemnation. But to suggest it is more or even as helpful as other ways of donating to help the poor, does not stand any reasonable test.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jerry Mcginn on 11/19/2014 at 4:54 PM

Re: “Meet the guy who's giving away thousands of dollars in cash to the homeless in Spokane

It's this fellow's money. I don't think exposing his name and even his record & questioning his motives serves any purpose.

If there is something in need of discussion, it might be comparing the value of handing out cash randomly vs, giving the same amount of money to help a larger number of charities that help homeless folks year round. House of Charity houses something like 70k people throughout the year. The Salvation Army & Second Harvest feed and house and clothed hundreds of thousands of folks. There are many, many more whose organizations try diligently to stretch every nickel the get to help the down and out.

So if this fellow is looking to make a real impact, there is no question his money would stretch further and help more vis a vis a charity that specializes in homeless services, than simply dishing it out randomly.

BUT.

In the end, it's his choice & I applaud his generosity & effort.

g.a. McGinn
.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jerry Mcginn on 11/19/2014 at 4:25 PM

Re: “Meet the guy who's giving away thousands of dollars in cash to the homeless in Spokane

Seriously the man is just giving to the Homeless. He has given everything to the least of these. And you have someone like mark Richard saying it's a bad thing? Well Mr Richard, you can go suck a lemon sir. Your campaign is flawed. All your posters that discourage people from giving from their hearts, paint the whole population as addicts, bums, and alcoholics. It is obvious an education did not impart to you common sense. Quit trying to tell the people to withold any giving from their hearts. If we were all judged based on the status we hold in life, well politicians such as yourself would be in prison. I think the only law broken here is your human rights violation, painting every Homeless person as a bad guy.

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Jesse Quintana on 11/19/2014 at 4:14 PM

Re: “Meet the guy who's giving away thousands of dollars in cash to the homeless in Spokane

there is no wrong in giving people some money if they need it. mark above is a asshole. Who obviously doesnt know any homeless people in real life or has a grasp on the reality of it.

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Harold Staam on 11/19/2014 at 2:43 PM

Re: “Meet the guy who's giving away thousands of dollars in cash to the homeless in Spokane

The problems with this approach are many. First, giving money to someone who is panhandling is not the same as giving to someone in need. Local and national studies prove that most people who need help are in our shelters and they are willing to make the changes in their lives to receive help and get to a better place. And contrary to this gentleman's impression, we have dozens and dozens of service providers and the most amazing giving community on the planet! For instance, there are meals served at several locations downtown every single day, 365 days a year.
Second, when handing out wads of cash at Carlisle ( a housing facility for those suffering from mental illness) Mr. Jarzebek was confronted by staff who said it was a bad idea. These people are on medications, they have health issues-just giving them cash to go buy donuts or booze could kill them!
I give a good deal of money to charity, as you do.. I say this in anticipation of what will be said about this post if i don't. My point being, giving to charity treats and serves the person in genuine need where they can be best served (with caring professionals) and not at our entry points to our city and on the street. What kind of dignity does that show?
Why are there so many panhandlers in Spokane? Because it works! Because well-intended people think they are doing good by giving panhandlers free money; expecting them to do good things with it. Guess what, they keep coming back. Oh, and they tell their friends; "come to Spokane, its great! You don't have to work and you get free money on every street corner".. and, statistically, the majority of them have housing and have addictions they are feeding. If you want to be sure the panhandler has help, give to your favorite charity and then direct the person on the street to that charity!
Giving to charities that hire professionals is the ultimate giving (with love, a belief they are worth more, and a desire to help those in need to a better path, not to another bottle, and with an immeasurably higher likelihood the money will indeed help that person) while not detracting from our great city and giving the next person who moves here like Mr. Jarzebek the false impression there are so many homeless people that no one cares about so I better go give them a bunch of cash.

11 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Mark on 11/19/2014 at 2:16 PM

Re: “The Lives on the Bus

Bandannas! One of Mark Richard's and the *legitimate business* community's concerns! That is so hilarious as to be a show stopper. Bandannas! My neighbor, graduate student and Master's candidate at a major university just left his house wearing a...bandanna! It's cold Mr. Richard -- maybe you haven't noticed that from your well-heated DSP office. Oh. And by the way, Spokane is a city. A municipality. Not a shopping mall. Yeesh.

Posted by urbandweller on 11/19/2014 at 2:11 PM

Re: “Money Men

"When you step off the edge of a cliff it is kinda hard to just walk away..." Should have refused the $7,000 increase in pay, me thinks?

Posted by schmidty on 11/18/2014 at 4:18 PM

Re: “Challengers to the Throne

Are you serious? There is no team in the WCC that can beat Gonzaga this year.

Posted by john_5023 on 11/18/2014 at 4:02 PM

Re: “Heating Up

For sake of discussion here I am going to state my race; negro/black(originally from Caribbean isle). I agree with the Abe's comment especially the first lines. For starters the quality of education in Spokane schools is far from the best in the country . This is coming from somebody who was exposed to schools with high standards, schools that challenged and stretched student's minds. A person cannot give you what he/ does not have. I must disappoint many by saying we do not have a racial issue in society. We have a human issue as someone told me some time back. I will go further by saying we have a spiritual issue, a sin issue(whether you are believer or not). I cannot legislate a person's heart. The law cannot make a person unafraid of another. I say this because much of "racism" and what we call "hate" is based on fear/insecurity. The law cannot force and direct our feelings. So prejudice, bias, subtle discrimination, profiling will always be with us. The only thing we can ask of government is to prosecute when we can prove access to opportunity in society was denied due to bias. Also enough mention of police and government. What about parenting-the white elephant in the room? Who is having babies, how prepared are they financially, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually? Easy to shift blame. Not fair.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by chickenteeth43 on 11/18/2014 at 12:49 PM

Re: “Business groups call for a smaller, cheaper STA Plaza

Usually the Inlander is painfully meticulous on providing equal air time to each side of an issue - regardless of the legitimacy of either sides claims in a futile effort to not offend anyone. Here the writer simply copies and pastes quotes from the corporate coalition report with NO analysis or counterpoint from the actual transit experts.

This lazy journalism gives false legitimacy to the corporate club that started this "controversy" in the first place and is now posing their own "solutions" for a "problem" that largely exists in their own fear-oriented imaginations. The REAL problems of poverty are being attributed to wrongful causes (plaza design), and so the corporate club steps in to suggest their own package of reforms that serve their own narrow interests against the long term interests of the public. This all while simultaneously undermining the public planning process that already took place.

This is nothing less than an infuriating and inappropriate attack on the public sphere and public institutions. The fact that the corporate club is so blinded by their own hubris to not see the public relations disaster they are creating for themselves is alarming and unfortunate. Spokane needs strong and impartial private sector leadership that understands its role in the larger community. Not a trifecta of largely Republican run organizations teaming up to scratch each others backs, squeeze out other voices around the table, and act like they are the ultimate authority that ought to be catered to in public affairs.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by FedUpAndOverIt on 11/18/2014 at 11:38 AM

Re: “Business groups call for a smaller, cheaper STA Plaza

This should be taken for what it is, the "thoughts" of a special interest group that claims to represent "business." Their comments over the last few months (like, people waiting in line to get on a bus should be cited for pedestrian interference) strongly suggest that they don't really care about transit or those that utilize it.

DSP, GSI, and Visit Spokane are all organizations that are funded using YOUR tax dollars - with the only interest of lining THEIR pockets with more cash. These comments come from the crew that has pulled the strings in Spokane for a long time, too long. They miss the days when they could meet behind closed doors and call all the shots - sorry fellas, those days are over.

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by EdZuck on 11/18/2014 at 8:11 AM

Re: “Fault Lines

It looks like the Stewarts and their minions were right.

Posted by Sir Knight on 11/17/2014 at 10:43 PM

Re: “Business groups call for a smaller, cheaper STA Plaza

This whole thing is ridiculous. Public transit is very important. How about all these "business" bigwigs actually do something constructive and work on creating more jobs in Spokane, so there are less people just standing around doing nothing downtown.

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Josh Meckel on 11/17/2014 at 9:59 PM

Re: “Business groups call for a smaller, cheaper STA Plaza

Sounds suspiciously like a cynical ploy to board the place up and slowly shut it down. What a pathetic excuse for downtown leadership!

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Tom Keefe on 11/17/2014 at 8:01 PM

Re: “Jesus' Food Truck

Yay Jesus! Good job. God Bless.

Posted by Amanda Ruiz on 11/17/2014 at 11:54 AM

Re: “The Lives on the Bus

As a bus rider, I wouldn't want The Plaza to move. I love the central location. It does need to be cleaned up though. Not just the people who loiter, but in design as well. I try not to go inside because it's too dark and crowded. Certain areas outside don't smell that great, especially during the summer. Having said all of that, however, I think the STA does a good job keeping things secure. I've never felt unsafe at the Plaza.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael on 11/16/2014 at 11:17 AM

Re: “Complete Picture

Actually, Zelda, the spelling we use is the original spelling that dates back to the days of David Thompson and Finan McDonald. Pend d'Oreille or Pendant d'Oreille was the name given to the native peoples who adorned their ears with ear rings or as David Thompson's French crew called them - Pendant d'Oreille - pendant of the ear. It's really a great story and we are proud to honor that history.

Posted by Steve Meyer on 11/15/2014 at 10:57 AM

Re: “Money Men

Pleas help the homeless. Look at the mental illness, the racial slurs, the crimes against homeless, the bullying, the slurs and negative assumptions, their growing numbers, their dwindling resources as service organizations run out of money and facilities. Please look at our laws against the homeless that inmply the old saying, "out of site out of mind
".
This week(November 13-23rd is National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week. Resolve to fight hunger, poverty, homelessness. Many people do not realize or know the facts. Twenty percent of the panhandlers do not use their money wisely. Eighty use it for food and clothes. Construction takes away many homeless dwellings. Some have lived there ofer twenty years. Look at Mr. Kohen's interview of Bruce Nunn on KHQ. Let's make a difference. Let the people of Spokane know and look for options. Organize a speaker's bureau if possible. There are many ways to fight hunger ad homelessness. I would like to see our city set a model for achieving the following goals: homes, medicines, physical and emotional/mental care for all poor and homelsess where they can be helped and in turn help others. Walk a mile with the homeless.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mary Ann Ashlock on 11/15/2014 at 10:44 AM

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