Pod 1

By Brian Flagg,

Contrary to what the media promotes, the issue ain’t John McLane.

Yes, he was stupid and he got busted for pot. And he has some big skeletons in his closet.

The real issue is that all those dream pods in the downtown streets have raised the issue of the sin of massive poverty, homelessness and human suffering to the front burner of people’s consciousness.

It has forced our Bishop to try to deal with it.

It has forced Peggy Hutchison, Director of Primavera Foundation to come to a meeting and inform the community that in spite of reports of the homeless “refusing services”, Primavera has 17,000 people a year coming to them begging for housing assistance. They can only accommodate a fraction of them. She also likened this extreme poverty to a low intensity war against the poor.

It has forced those reveling in the new revitalized, gentrified downtown to deal with the reality of those left behind, the marginalized and the excluded, the ones whom Pope Francis speaks up for.

And it has forced me and all of us here at Casa Maria to evaluate if we are doing as much as we can and being as effective as we can possibly be in the struggle for the dignity of those we serve every day.


  1. I’ve been called gullible more than once in my life, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. But, what I appreciate about Jon McLane’s Safe Park project is what you say, Brian; it kept the media focused on the plight of the human beings living on the streets in our and in other communities, causing all of us to pay at least a bit more attention to our individual connections with their humanity, our individual and collective responsibility for their well-being. I, myself, being an elementary school teacher, continually reflect upon how my work, day after day, year after year impacts either positively or negatively the lives of my kids, long beyond the year or two I have a direct influence on what they can and can’t learn which I realize ultimately effects the opportunities they may or may not be able to take seek out or take advantage of during their lifetimes. Sad turn of events but, this story’s not over!

  2. There are not enough services for people without homes, and there are not enough kinds of services. I am hoping and praying the issue will remain visible until some action is taken to remedy at least some of this. For all of it to be remedied would be preferable.

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