Wednesday, March 18, 2015

News You Can't Use: San Francisco Saint Mary’s Cathedral Drenches Homeless With Water To Keep Them Away

Today's story has a lot going for it, clearly. Plenty of excellent chances to display outrage, which is always a very positive and cathartic thing to do. A sensationalist headline followed by the sort of reporting we've come to know and love from an ad-riddled CBS news site. Water delivery systems. And, at the heart of it, the battle for separation between church and human derelict, with water that never quite achieves the level of a "real rain" trying to solve a problem that just screams "Healthy Democracy."

KCBS has learned that Saint Mary’s Cathedral, the principal church of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, has installed a watering system to keep the homeless from sleeping in the cathedral’s doorways.

Don't bother asking how we found out, it's not important. All that matters is we know. We have our ways.

The cathedral, at Geary and Gough, is the home church of the Archbishop. There are four tall side doors, with sheltered alcoves, that attract homeless people at night.

Like moths to a flame. Put up some giant doors and alcoves and you'll get this. There's no human agency involved.

“They actually have signs in there that say, ‘No Trespassing,’” said a homeless man named Robert.

I ignored those signs because I'm a criminal.

But there are no signs warning the homeless about what happens in these doorways, at various times, all through the night. Water pours from a hole in the ceiling, about 30 feet above, drenching the alcove and anyone in it.

Please submit your best ideas for "drug addled drifter getting soaked" signage. The winner will get their work put up in a dark alcove!

The shower ran for about 75 seconds, every 30 to 60 minutes while we were there, starting before sunset, simultaneously in all four doorways. KCBS witnessed it soak homeless people, and their belongings.

Yeah, we hung around their for hours watching this sad spectacle and didn't warn anyone. Let's focus on how wrong the church is instead, shall we?

“We’re going to be wet there all night, so hypothermia, cold, all that other stuff could set in. Keeping the church clean, but it could make people sick,” Robert said.

Maybe not sleep there? Just an idea off the top of my head, I don't know if it's any good.

The water doesn’t really clean the area. There are syringes, cigarette butts, soggy clothing and cardboard. There is no drainage system. The water pools on the steps and sidewalks.

Consider this a preemptive strike on the "It's for cleaning purposes!" argument that we've anticipated. The water's barely doing anything. It's all a lie.

A neighbor who witnessed the drenching told KCBS, “I was just shocked, one because it’s inhumane to treat people that way. The second thing is that we are in this terrible drought.

These two statements are contradictory.

With many significant alterations it could be used to clear your doorstep.

“We refer them, mostly to Catholic Charities, for example for housing,” Lyford said. “To Saint Anthony’s soup kitchen for food, if they want food on that day. Saint Vincent de Paul if they need clothes.”

Please stop this, we're trying to demonize you because you "drenched" some needle drug enthusiasts.

Some of the homeless bring waterproof gear, even an umbrella, to try to stay dry. Frustrated cathedral employees tell us they don’t have the staff to police the doorways, which are used by churchgoers during services.

Yes, we know how a door generally functions, CBS. Also "waterproof gear?" Well, I can either eat, satisfy my drug habit or purchase this wet suit...easy choice.

Then, suggests this church neighbor, turn it off. “I would hope that they would stop doing this, both for environmental reasons and for common decency.”

Think of the environment! What is this doing to nature's concrete and tar? Since this person is all about Common Decency maybe he should invite the homeless into his or her own house, or at least let them sleep on the porch. It is, after all, the right thing to do.

The statement goes on to say, “Catholic organizations in San Francisco serve thousands of homeless people every year, providing shelter, food, and critical services.  That is the true picture of compassionate Catholic care.”

Don't expect any stories about that.

Don't visit the ad-infested source.

Komment Korner  

San Francisco is the closest thing to Sodom this side of Gomorrah.

Let’s send positive and uplifting thoughts their way.

i installed a shower for you to cleanse your soul.

i only pounce on your mom, she loves it

Did you read past the headline or is that too much to expect from John Q Public

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here. 

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