Torres Shelter closing may be reason to celebrate

27 Jan

I’ve been hearing a lot over the last couple of days about Torres Shelter losing funding and threatening to close.  In one report, shelter director Brad Montgomery said he had to let three staffers go because he can’t afford to pay them anymore.

The first thing that came to my mind is, what’s Montgomery’s salary? He’s admitted that salary is the biggest expense at the shelter, while claiming to serve some 100 people or more per night. But only 750 a year? He also claims to be finding permanent housing for another person every “29 hours.” 

Visualize that – a regular conga line of “homeless” people moving into our area by way of the Torres Shelter.

And let’s not forget the bed bugs.

I don’t think the shelter is managed properly, I’m sorry. I think it facilitates a salary for Montgomery and it facilitates more creeps coming here, knowing they can have a place to get out of the weather.  Looking online, I find many local services that cater to the homeless, even their dogs. This is why we have so many homeless, we invite them here.

I know we have local homeless, I believe there is a need for some sort of overnight shelter.  But I think Torres Shelter needs to close until they find better management. I wonder how this would affect our “homeless” population. 



10 Responses to “Torres Shelter closing may be reason to celebrate”

  1. bob January 27, 2016 at 9:51 am #

    Heard today that this country will be taking in a large number of refugees from the Middle East. Also, there are a large number of Cuban refugees now entering the country. And there is no process for the Cuban refugees. Apparently, the law states that any Cuban person who makes it here becomes a citizen automatically.

    If this country can’t deal with the indigenous homeless how is it going to handle millions of refugees? (Just look at what is happening in Europe now.)

    One thing for certain is that the government will stick it to the taxpayers one way or another. We will all look like this guy.

    • Juanita Sumner January 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

      That’s exactly what I looked like when I wrote this blog today.

      • bob January 27, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

        You know, Ann has a huge house up in the hills. What’s she need that for when if she (allegedly) lives in Chico? If she’s truly a resident of Chico why does she need a huge house 20 miles away? I’d like to see her house some of these homeless in her mansion. How about she and the rest of the limousine liberals do this kind of thing instead of lecturing us?

      • Juanita Sumner January 28, 2016 at 6:35 am #

        I would have thought Patrick Newman would have opened his home by now, but I have not heard anything yet.

        Charity begins at home – my husband and I have allowed homeless friends to stay with us. A couple have been guys kicked out by their wives, most have simply had a hard time finding affordable housing for some short stint. We let one friend use a vacant rental to stay with his kids because he was living on a bus and his wife wouldn’t let the kids stay in it. We let another friend spend the summer in our backyard in a travel trailer when his roommate left town and he couldn’t afford to keep his apartment. We hosted a friend’s gramma in our driveway when her family realized she was no longer able to drive her vehicle herself. She stayed with us for about a month while they made arrangements for a permanent space for her RV. Having her was really cool, she was a musician, the kids loved it. She insisted on paying us for PG&E, wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. When we bought the house I’m sitting in now, we let the tenant who lived in it stay free of rent for at least two months. He was buying an old crapper of his own, and waiting for escrow to go through. Nice guy, a professional painter – he helped my husband paint the house later, did a bunch of special stuff free of charge.

        Everybody has short-term hard times. Friends help friends, and we’ve even helped people we didn’t like very much, they just deserved some human decency. But they were held up to a standard – none of them would have shit in my yard, destroyed my property or stolen from me, done drugs in front of my kids, or come to my place intoxicated. They weren’t criminals, but hardworking people who were just suffering a temporary hardship. Most of them brought their own problems on themselves and knew it. None of them laid there in their mess, they all went about fixing their situation and are in position to help us if we need help. Now some of them even have adult children who are good people and would help us if we needed it.

        Yes, I’d like to see the bleeding hearts do something themselves.

      • bob January 28, 2016 at 11:47 am #

        Good ol’, Patrick. In his efforts to “save” Mother Gaia I’m surprised he isn’t living in a cardboard box. Or is he like Ann, just another liberal hypocrite?

  2. Brad Montgomery March 8, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

    Hello again, This is Brad from the Shelter. I encourage this writer to come to the Shelter. People are not coming from all around the country to stay at the Torres Shelter and I can prove it. People do come from all around the country to California, but we are not the draw. There seems to be suspicion about the stats we report and I think the reason is because you have missed a fundamental reason for our success. people stay with us multiple nights. We encourage them to stay with us until they don’t need us anymore. We never wanted or intend to become a “warehouse where those people are kept” and stay for a day or two but leave in the same situation as when they came to us. That approach has much more limited success and becomes dangerous. That’s why the Salvation Army abandoned that model almost 80 years ago. Our average stay is 54 days currently. Our average rate of success for people moving into housing right now is every 33 hours. Our average success rate for helping people find employment is 21%. (Considering the number of children and adults we serve who are not in the workforce – this is pretty fantastic). We served more than 35,000 nights of stay last year. 47% of our guests moved from the Shelter into housing. Most of the ones that didn’t, come back and stay with us again and become part of our next round of successes. And some individuals do prove to be very hard to help for a myriad of reasons and that’s why we don’t believe we should be the only approach. But as the agency that has helped more people escape homelessness then any other in our community, we do believe we have gotten more right then wrong. This work is often not a straight line. And Juanita’s reply regarding how difficult and sometimes even dangerous it can be when people don’t set standards or have expectations of the people they are helping rings very true to me and consistent with how we have chosen to run the Shelter. We are compassionate. And we believe in accountability at the same time and I don’t understand why some people see a contradiction between the two. Thanks, Brad

    • Juanita Sumner March 9, 2016 at 6:37 am #

      Thanks for commenting. I have been to the Torres, I described what I saw, and I don’t like it. I feel sorry for the businesses located nearby.

      One morning running errands near the shelter I watched one of your “clients” pan handle his way across the Target parking lot. Sure, you set standards – as far as the eye can see. But as soon as they’re out of eyeshot of the shelter, they do what they want. You can’t control these people all day, and you know it.

      • Brad Montgomery March 13, 2016 at 11:29 am #

        Hello Juanita, Can I ask why you “know” the person you saw panhandling was a guest of the Shelter? Was it because you saw the person leaving the Shelter? If so, is it possible you saw that person leaving because we just told them that we are not a relocation service or a hostel and if they are traveling we encourage them to keep traveling and not stay in our area? Or is it because you saw them leave a vehicle parked on the street in front of us? If so, do you know how frequently we ask our local understaffed police force to discourage people from abandoning or living in cars on that street from people who are not staying at the Shelter and do not want to stay at the Shelter. They are parking there against our wishes and we don’t have the authority to get them to leave a public street. They are not our guests. If the person you saw panhandling was indeed one of our guests, are you certain that we didn’t find out that they were panhandling and talk to the guest and explain to them that our community is already doing quite enough to help them and that they should stop doing that? Of course we can’t control people all day, no one can. But if you don’t believe we get a pretty good idea from our neighbors, from our other guests, from our staff, volunteers and supporters about the activities of our guests daily then you are underestimating the sense of community in Chico and the next time you see someone you think is a guest of ours “panhandling” in Chico, I’d ask you to contact me and let me know. I’ll be honest that I won’t drop everything to deal with it immediately. I won’t run out to a person panhandling and be confrontational with them. I also won’t confirm or deny whether or not you are right that it’s a guest or not because that would break our confidentiality policy and potentially HIPPA laws, but I will ensure that the behavior is addressed in the way that has been quite effective when we’ve encountered this in the past because it’s part of our daily routine to redirect guest actions when needed. I think it’s kind of like the neighborhood I grew up in. My parents certainly couldn’t control what I did every day, but I certainly understood over time that the whole neighborhood would tell my folks what I was up to whether they liked my parents or not. And then my parents would handle it from there. I think they did pretty well taking that information and using it to raise me properly and I’ve turned out well. I think most of my friends from that neighborhood have also turned out well and I think all of us have the entire neighborhood to thank for it. Please be part of the neighborhood that helps us address issues that we encounter dealing with grown adults from our area that we did not raise, but we have a shared interest in helping become independent.

      • Juanita Sumner March 14, 2016 at 5:26 am #

        You are right – I shouldn’t have referred to him as a “client” – he might have been one of the people who is attracted here by your facilities. Whether or not you served him I don’t know, but within half an hour after I saw him milling around with some folks outside the Torres, I watched him make his way across a commercial parking lot, contacting shoppers, most of whom handed him something, which he put in his pocket and thanked them for.

        Again, if you want to have a conversation you should reply to a current post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: