Tuesday, February 26, 2013

 
DOES BROWNSVILLE FAIL HOMELESS WOMEN AND THEIR  CHILDREN

I am working on a story of a woman, in school - 2 weeks short of completing her training before her internship - she is homeless - no transportation  - and now has been told she must move out of her homeless shelter because stays are limited to 30 days - WIC is about to take away the formula for the 4 month old baby because she has no transportation to get to the WIC class - there is also the question of her day spent walking and being in class.

This story in part begins with domestic abuse.  Brownsville gets an "F" on this issue.  To protect Jane Doe's ID I need to limited what I say.  Unlike the other domestic abuse story I did, I cannot vouch for anything this woman is telling me beyond she has a baby, lives in a homeless center, has no transportation, is in school, and has a friend who watchers her baby while she is at school.

Part of this story is the person watching this woman's baby.  She herself lives with her baby and sleeps on the floor, no bed.  She is part of her mother's housing voucher.  Even though she has nothing (her job training starts in June) and sleeps on a hardwood floor, she cares for this woman's baby for free.  There is no money to pay her, so she simply cares for the baby - why?  she is human.

The woman I am trying to help gets enough free bus passes for about 5 days.  She uses one to get her baby and herself from the shelter to the babysitter over near St. Lukes on Price.  The woman then walks to her school near Price and Central.  She does this so as to not use up the bus pass in 5 days.  She then walks back to the babysitters after school.  Yesterday she had no ride to get back to the shelter before 6, so I got the call.  It was no challenge for me - I was out doing my recycling and some banking so it was not out of my way - especially since the homeless center is only down the block from my home.

This woman claims she did not file domestic abuse charges on her husband because the police told her that since she hit him with a pillow she too was guilty of assault so they would have to arrest both of them.  This would have meant her 1 month old baby going into foster care.  I think she made the right decision by telling the police to forget it.

I was not there - I cannot vouch for her story.  I have asked DA Saenz to pull the police report to verify her story and to take the necessary action.  But if the story is true, and I say IF, we then have another example of our police not knowing how to handle domestic abuse.  If we are at a point you can be arrested for hitting someone with a pillow - then it is time we all just commit mass suicide.

In Texas, the woman does not have to agree to prosecution in order for the police to arrest the man and bring charges.  When will our police learn this.  If the DA goes forward with the domestic abuse charge the state will help set this woman up in an apartment with a deposit and three months rent.  If this is done in conjunction with getting her job upon completing her training she should be set - still poor - but at least with a home and a job.

For now she needs about 3-4 months of a stable place to stay while she finishes school, do her internship, and gets her first job and a paycheck or three.

WIC is going to take the formula away from her baby because her lack of transportation and time constraints has made it impossible for her to attend a WIC class.  This is nuts.  I told her to find out if she can take the class on Wednesday after school and that I would take her to the class, then take her to pick up the baby and then take her back to the homeless shelter.

MY QUESTION

Where the HELL are the churches?  Where is this town's compassion.  Where are the female lawyers organizing to make the fight against Domestic Abuse a number one issue?  Female lawyers and doctors should be leading this battle. 

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a sad and tragic story. God bless you for helping out. All of us who have so much should be ashamed for not doing more for those in need; I certainly am. Thank you for posting this article; hopefully others will see it and step up to the plate.

BobbyWC said...

I emailed every city commissioner and the mayor - only Melissa Zamora expressed a concern - she indicated she had made some phone calls.

I am not saying the other commissioners are not trying to act - but a simple response would at least give me hope - see this mornings post in a bit - it only gets worse

Bobby WC