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January 27, 1984 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-01-27
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w -


from Page 1
have joined the ranks of aged winos and the
mentally ill in shelters for the homeless
nationwide. Their reasons for living on the
streets are as varied as the individuals
themselves. Few have chosen their
way of life.
In Ann Arbor, two shelters keep an
average of 50 people safe from the
freezing temperatures every night. But
volunteers say those shelters are
operating at capacity and that the need
may soon outgrow the current
Their goal - to open a permanent
shelter for the homeless in Ann Arbor -
has created a storm of public
discussion, which shelter advocates say
has been clouded by misunderstandings
over who the homeless are, what their
lives are like, and how they can best be!
According to a "quick study" conduc-
ted by University Social Work Prof.
Lawrence Root in 1982, the homeless
include a cross-section of the Ann Arbor
community that is difficult to
"What we found was that the!
homeless are an extremely
heterogeneous group," Root says.
"They are not only the people that we
tend to think of - the sort of traditional
hobo figure. They can be sufferers of
mental illness refusing further treat-
ment. They can be people just passing
through who have run out of money.
They can be people who are out of a job
and in need of a place to live. . . we are
talking about many kinds of people."
Root says it is as difficult to count the
area's homeless as it is to categorize

them. Government statistics don't in-
clude people who have given up looking
for work and are no longer eligible for
unemployment benefits. Because of the
transient lifestyle many of the
homeless lead, some are never counted.
"We really should just stop talking
about street people because that
presents an image that we just can't
seem to get over," says the Rev. James
Lewis, pastor of St. Andrew's Episcopal
Church. "The reality of who is actually
on the street today is a lot more com-
Lewis, whose church has provided
shelter for the area's homeless for over
a year, says he has noticed an in-
creasing number of homeless women
and young, unemployed black men.
"It's changed radically, the make-up
of who's in trouble and who's on the
street," Lewis says. "A lot more people
are coming into soup kitchens and
shelters who normally never would=
have set foot inside one."
THE SHELTER at St. Andrew's
Church on North Division Street
provides the bare minimum for a safe
night's rest. As many as 40 "guests"
sleep on foam mattresses scattered
around the church's basement
recreation area. Women sleep on a
small wooden stage at one end of the
room; men camp out on the floor.
Guests bring their own blankets.
Many of the guests are regulars and
long-time friends. The hour before bed-
time is devoted to friendly socializing;
the cigarette smoke from that hour
leaves a pale fog hanging in the lobby
area for the rest of the night.
Although newcomers are eyed
suspiciously at first, they are accepted
into . the little community within an
evening or two. Many of the more
established guests help the newer,
younger ones adjust to life on the
streets after getting to know them at

the shelter.
"This program here is decent," says
Bill "Dad" Mumford, 39, a regular at
St. Andrew's for the past four months.
"It ain't no Holiday Inn. There's no
television, no phone, no champagne or
stuff like that, but it's decent."
Mumford, a native of Ann Arbor, has
been looking for an affordable home
here since he first arrived from
Westland, Michigan, in October. He
says he wanted to come back to Ann
Arbor because "everybody knows me
here. This is my place."
But after four months of frustration,
he says it's time to give up and start
hunting in Ypsilanti.
"If you're going to put your money
down, you at least want a place that's
decent," he says. "This town is for
college kids and rent is way over what it
should be. Ann Arbor's a good town but
... this is a money town and if you ain't
got no paper, there ain't nothing you
can do."
AFTER TWO YEARS as St. Andrew's
pastor, Rev. Lewis says he, too, has
decided to leave Ann Arbor.
Although Lewis says his decision to
move on has little to do with the stiff
opposition he has encountered since fir-
st proposing a church-operated shelter
for the homeless, he says his experien-
ces with the politics of poverty in Ann
Arbor have helped him realize that he
would prefer to live in less affluent
"There have been times when I've
asked deep questions about the total
community here," he says. "Can this
community house people who don't
have anything? I just don't know. The
jury's still out."
When Lewis arrived in Ann Arbor in
late 1982, the only shelter available for
the homeless was Arbor Haven, an 18-
bed facility operated by the Salvation
Army. Acting on a recommendation
made by the City's Poverty Committee,
Lewis convinced his parish to rent a
house to provide temporary shelter for
the homeless until the city could set up
a permanent facility.
St. Andrew's program, dubbed "The
House Across The Street" because of
the new shelter's proximity to the chur-
ch, was forced to shut down a few mon-
ths later when neighbors complained
that the large number of people staying
there each night violated city zoning
Unwilling to force the homeless back
onto the streets, Lewis moved the
program into the basement of the chur-
ch itself - over the indignant protests
of many of his parishioners.
Much of the anger and fear Lewis en-
countered during the early stages of the
St. Andrew's program has since died
down, he says, and he calls the current
protest over a proposal to open a per-
manent shelter at 415 N. Fourth Ave.
"deja vu."
The proposed shelter, scheduled for
City Council consideration on Monday,
is located immediately behind St.
Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.
Although church members have served
a weekly free lunch to the city's poor for
almost a year, they say locating the
shelter in the eight-bedroom house
directly behind their bilding would
create unnecessary danger for
parishioners, including women and
school children, who use the church at
"You don't put bars within 200 feet of
schools or churches," says C. Nicholas
Raphael, president of St. Nicholas'
parish council. "Why would you put a
shelter so close? . . . They're telling us,
'We'll send the cops up the back alley
once in a while,' but I don't think that's

"We went through it all last year
when we started our program," Lewis
says. "All the things they are saying
are the things that they were saying
here at our church. They got
frightened. They were saying, 'The
people off the street will hurt us.' . . . A
year's experience has shown us that
those fears can be overcome."
Jack Wilson, director of social ser-
vices for Ann Arbor's Salvation Army,
says Arbor Haven residents frequently
share dining and meeting facilities with
senior citizens and children par-
ticipating in other programs.
"The very people that St. Nicholas
(parishioners) seem to be frightened of
are the ones that we have been dealing
with and we have had no problems,"
Wilson says, adding that neighborhood
opposition is the main roadblock to
creating another permanent shelter.
Although Arbor Haven runs a more
structured program than the St. An-
drew's shelter does - including man-
datory prayer meetings, group
discussion sessions, and daily meetings
with a case worker - Wilson thinks
both programs are essential to meet the
needs of Ann Arbor's homeless.
For the shelter currently under con-
sideration, Wilson favors creating an
open-ended program similar to the one
at St. Andrew's rather than duplicating
Arbor Haven's more rigid "self-help"
"There are people in the community
who. ... say, 'Hey, if we're going to give
somebody something, then we've got a
right to demand something of them,
and if people aren't willing to cooperate
with that, don't give them anything,"
Wilson says. "But we already know
from experience that there is a
segment, a group of people, who just
don't work well in a structured setting.
They would rather not have any shelter
at all than have to go through the
program.. . but we need to make sure
they don't freeze to death out there
because of that."
ST. ANDREW'S houses its share of
such free spirits. Several have tried
the Arbor Haven program and found it
too structured for their purposes.
j"I am violently opposed to the
system," bellows Charles Harris, one of
the more philosophical regulars at St.
Andrew's. This particular evening he is
not exceptionally drunk, just talkative.
Arbor Haven "is a shrink tank for a
bunch of dummies. It is an animalistic
atmosphere. The rules are set up as
prison rules," he says.
The few guests who remain awake af-
ter lights-out to smoke one more
cigarette quietly remind Harris how
much his voice is echoing through the
sleeping area. He obligingly tones down
to a theatrical whisper.
"Here we're treated like human
beings (but) sometimes I get rebellious
and refuse to even stay here, if it's
warm enough," he says. "The average
member of the so-called status quo ...
is afraid to acknowledge the fact that
they would like some of this freedom."
Harris, whb says he plays the drums
for a reggae band, was born in Ann Ar-
bor and has made the city his home
ever since. A self-proclaimed free
spirit, he is angered by the city's shor-
tage of low-income housing and dreams
of one day having a place of his own.
But he won't leave town to find it.
"I've lived here 40 years and they're
trying to move me out of town," he
says. "I was born and raised here. Why
should I be run out of town?"
Although boisterous and animated for
the first half-hour at the shelter, Harris
eventually quiets down and becomes
pensive. He waves a hand toward his
fellow shelter guests.

....................... ... ... .. ...
.................. ...........
. . ....... .. X IX:
.............................. . ..... .. ....
... ..... .............. ........ ..
. ... ....

Bill Nelson
CBS Records
By Jim Boyd
T HE SYNTHESIZED noises of rock
and funk and jazz have come from
machines whose circuitry alters, divor-
ces the emotion of the creator from the
created. Music and its bond to lifeare
threatened. The sounds come from
machines as distantly separated from
their creators as the music is from the
musician. Electrons travel tangled
highways where once sound existed on
strings or in air. Life, as we know it, is
lost to the ravages of particle decay.
But where life is lost it is elsewhere
born. The machine between man and
his music has developed a being of its
own. The robot achieves a birth, not of
body, but of soul. Nelson has pushed his
machine from the nest and it now must
fly or fall. In its struggle it has to know,
who pushed it and from where?
This is music conceived and brought
to fruition by the mechanism. It does
Rodney Dangerfield
Rockin' Rodney
By Ben Yomtoomb
I'm scared. Receiving an assignment
to review one of the finest albums of the
year is something which would cause
any reporter to cringe in fear. I did not
recieve an assignment to review one of
the finest albums of the year, but I'm
scared anyway. Basically, I'm scared
ninety percent of the time. I just think
that its important for people to know.
The album I did recieve was Rodney
Dangerfield's Rappin' Rodney. What
did I think of it? I don't know that that's
important. But then, who knows what's
important and what's not important.
Do you? If you do, please contact me in
care of the Daily. Seriously.
I actually kind of liked this album. It
contains the recordings of one of Mr.
Dangerfield's night club acts with one
startling exception - namely the title
cut, which, by now, most of us have
either heard of seen on MTV. Rod is
aging, but is still able to pull off the "I
don't get no respect at all" schtick with
a tolerable level of acceptance.
Particularly impressive is his ability
to deal with idiotic hecklers from the
audience. For instance, when an ob-
noxious jerk asks the master o self-

not copy but instead searches for the
answers only hinted at within the miles
of wire and flashes of diode. The ties to
the old are forgotten except for these.
There is lifeless yearning, a striving
from darkness into light. The metal
sheen acquiring what little warmth it
can find. No easy sounds are these for
conflict arises out of a mystery of
origin. Alone in the world it has very lit-
tle to work with. Fools desire the
things forbidden us... / of this rule
we are all prisoners. The machine is
the prisoner of its lost beginnings. The
knowledge man possesses is the jewel
toward which it strains.
The voice shifts octaves with facility
and yet the ease is deceiving. It
struggles within a cage against
limitations unrecognized. Time to
work it out/ chasing my tail! I'm
seeing double! time to make a
Desires are recognized but couched
in naive terms. Love is lust and passion
but adventure. The child doesn't know
the right things to say but says them
The birth and struggle, though
coming from such barren circumstan-
ces, yield the fruit toward which
creation plods. Adolescence creeps in
and there is a rebel thought in my
state of mind. The questioning has
arrived at some answers and starts to
state them forcefully.
The growth continues until in
maturity the panic, the questions, the
deprecation how big his rod is, Rodney
replies: "What, don't you remem-
ber?". Most of the better gags,
however, are on the second side.
One thing that begins to wear on the
listner is Rodney's lead-ins such as "I
tell ya" and "you kiddin"' which he
repeats constantly until they become

Bill Nelson: Robot rock
discovery, the assertion, the reflection
find another day, another ray of
hope/ another way to say hello.
Life in flux, alien to us and yet not
unlike its creator. The processes of
growth remain uniform and constant,
only the births now are of the truly
Now for the title cut (the musical
rap). In all honesty I have to say that I
generally don't like this kind of stuff
because it is boring and repetitive; in
some of his rap, Rodney seems to in-
dicate that he shares similar concerns.
(For example he beseeches the band to
keep their day jobs.) Since the rap is so
skillfully constructed and has

there mus
cerely as
his own we
a world c
for itself,
From this

that the so'
In conclu
that, altho
this album
and would
a gift for
Rodney ge

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Shelter: A place to rest and a bite to eat

I p

10 Weekend/January 27, 1984

3 V

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