Walkin’ Tall…Or Just Talkin’?


For those of you who have seen this week’s Park Ridge Herald-Advocate, you already know that this was “pro-PADS” week: The H-A published 3 pro-PADS letters to only 1 anti-PADS one. 

For those of you keeping score…stop keeping score.  Measuring the value of competing positions on any issue by the relative number of letters, pro or con, that are published in the local papers – or by the number of comments on this site, for that matter – is idiotic.  When dealing with public policy issues like this, it’s not the quantity of the opinions but the quality of the thinking behind them that’s important. 

That being said, one of those letters did grab our attention.  Michael O’Grady, writing in support of the PADS shelter, shares his fond memory of how his grandmother talked about feeding “the occasional homeless or down and out individual right in her own kitchen” during the Depression.  He suggests that behavior such as that might explain why people of that era have been labeled “the greatest generation.”

We agree.  That’s why we encourage Mr. O’Grady and all the other PADS supporters to dare to be great: Instead of just talking the talk, start walking the walk.  Instead of warehousing the homeless in St. Mary’s’ basement, volunteer to put the occasional “guest” up for the night in your spare bedroom, on the couch in your basement, or even on a futon in your family room.  And if your Christian spirit so moves you, feel free to add the extra touch of sending them off in the morning with a nice hot breakfast.  Then you will have your own inspiring story to tell the grandkids.

We also think that the members of the Ministerial Association should lead the way in this regard by becoming the very first Park Ridge residents to welcome a “guest” into their own homes – which in most cases belong to their respective congregations.  Granted, that might not totally solve the problem they created by their bungling of this issue, but it would make them look a lot more like community leaders and less like neo-Pharisees. 

And by dispersing the homeless throughout the community, it should reduce the nasty NIMBY-bashing of the St. Mary’s neighbors that some of our self-styled “Christians” seem to really be enjoying. 

                  *                           *                          *
From time to time the folks at Park Ridge Underground have given PublicWatchdog a plug by directing their readers to our site, so we figure it’s time to return the favor: Check out the PRU Crew’s recent discussion of some possible – and heretofore overlooked – consequences of locating the PADS shelter in Park Ridge (“The HUDdled Masses and More!” April 3).  

4 comments so far

Excellent point about individuals taking these people into their own homes, especially the “neo-Pharisees” clergy. But you forgot about Nan Parsons and Sue Bell – they should also take the lead in sheltering a few “guests.”

Despite the churches and other PADS supporters trying to make this a religious or moral issue, it’s not – it’s a social/public policy/political issue. Which explains how holiness can seemingly coexist with stupidity and ignorance – in the same person.

Welcome to all things Howard Frimark, his supporters, and his hand picked council…

If I didn’t live here, I’d be laughing my ass off…

The church folk in town must finally be realizing they screwed this thing up. I was in church today at St. Paul’s and they made an announcement about tomorrow night’s City Council meeting to discuss the PADS shelter, and they also announced that St. Paul will be supporting the shelter with money and volunteers. I’m betting if it wasn’t for the St. Mary’s neighbors, PublicWatchdog and Park Ridge Underground, we wouldn’t have heard “boo” from Fr. Carl until the shelter was opening.

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


(optional and not displayed)