Friday, November 30, 2007

My first class

7:30 PM

I am back in Skid Row. I went to my first class. I had to go. I wanted to go, sick and all.

Genero met me at the door. He took my application when I first arrived there. I will post his picture soon however it will be before this one. The way the program is set up, posts are displayed in order of the first time you started drafting,not when you actually publish it.

I would publish it now, but I can not get to the draft. I am at the computer lab. That page is blocked. Oh, the challenges.

I actually enjoyed the class. It was comforting. I looked around the room and you can see that the people were divided into three groups. Those who did wrong and just had to get through the class, those who had wrong done to them and those who had experienced a tremendous injustice.

Those who experienced "injustice" had this deep in their whole being, not just their eyes. I noticed it immediately. I am intimately familiar with it. I have worn that feeling every day for months.

People in Progress on 8th st.., in downtown Los Angeles, is a place where I felt immediate gratitude to be there. It became clear to me that I needed to be there. I needed to see that people have experienced some horrible things- that I was not the only one going through hell. I could have stayed there for the whole evening.

I contrast that with all of the meetings for which I had to sign for most of this past year. Sure it is a business but the difference between being there and in the different places on Skid Row is that you feel that they care about you. There is this family feeling that permeates the whole room.

One man told me a while ago that Skid Row had really changed and that a certain organization had really changed. I did not know any different because I was only experiencing the organization after it had changed. " Walter, it is not like it useed to be. It is all about the money now. They used to care about you. Now they care about the dollar, only. I had to learn NOT to expect people to care anymore.
That is the hardest thing. People down here don't care. They insist that you do everything but they NEVER follow through."

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When these organizations make promises to help someone, and they do not, they put another bullet into the spirit of the person they are suppose to help. The person has one more reason not to believe. They take away their hope, their faith.

They want one hundred percent commitment. However, they do not give you one hundred percent of truth. The truth is, the needs of the person that needs the help is subordinate to that of the organization. I am learning that everyday.
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I talked with someone today. He tried to do something two months ago to help the people of Skid Row. Jose puts his heart into his work. Jose Egurbide has this special quality that I can not describe. He assembled these lawyers a few months ago. They agreed to do pro bono work to help the people of Skid Row.

They have another follow up clinic next week. Jose received information from the lady who is coordinating the event. He asked her how many people have been helped. How many people had the law firms agreed to represent. "That is a good question", she responded. She did not know.

If organizations or firms are going to shuffle people around like they shuffe papers, then do not bother to start. When firms do not follow through on their unsolicited declarations to be benefactors to those who need their hope, they put that bullet into the soul and spirit of the person who needs help. The faith of the person bleeds more than it did before they even met their so called saviors.

The stereotype of Skid Row people is that they do not follow up. No one can say that about me. Well, they have but they lied. It was only the people of the missions.

So it felt good to sit and listen to stories tonight. It was a change. I heard months of drug stories. I hated each minute. They did nothing for me. As I told you, I signed the sheets, they get paid. That is the new labor camp.
I told Jose once that Skid Row was a big plantation. At first he could not understand what I was saying. Now he does. You see, You dont need the labor. You only need the signature. That is the labor.

People in Progress was a place where you felt you were around people who cared

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Central Division--History




I took this picture of this police officer on the day I spoke to the students of DePaul University. I have been in many police stations and each one has wall that is dedicated to the remembrance of those who served and were killed in the line of duty,

I took this picture because this police officer reminded me of the all black fire station that was in operation. This is the only police station that has a picture of an officer that far back in time.

Depaul University Students visit Central Division




We have good students in this country. They ask alot of questions.
That was the case Thursday when students from Depaul University visited the Central Division Police headquarters on Skid Row.

The asked alot of questions of Captain Wakefield and Sergeant Royce of the Central Division.

I was asked to speak to the students. They did not ask me any questions. I shall have to examine the content of my information. I must not have said anything that was worth probing about.

You know it was pretty funny. I thought I would have a tape of me speaking that I could put on Youtube or on my blog. But a close friend of mine dropped the ball and did not operate the camera properly. I was at my best. At least I thought I was.
I just knew I would have footage of me. Well, my debut will have to come at a later date.

If we had people who probe for answers like the DePaul students, we could probably get alot of things done on Skid Row. It was the second time I spoke to a group of people at the Central Division. I like it.

I believe the best thing the Safe City Initiative can do is make a video of a presentation of their goals and objectives, open a youtube account and post put the video in youtube. the public can hear for themselves what the goals are from those who are in the trenches everyday.

G ENERO- "Don't trip"






Profiles Of Courage
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This is Genero. He accepted my application for the classes. He works for People in Progress. Genero was released from prison two months ago and is working already.
He is a good man. He could tell that I was experiencing a wide range of emotions being there. He kept looking at me when he asked me questions. At first it was hard for him to believe that none of the questions applied to me. He eventually said,
"Walter, I have seen guys like you who should not be in places that they did not deserve to be. They made it th orugh the place and so will you."

It felt good to here that. It feels good each time when people can look at me and see the truth. Genero is 28. I learn as much from him and others his age, these days, than I do from those 28 years older than I.

I often wonder when I look at men like Genero how they did it ? How did they get through it? What hell did they have to endure?

As you know, people have said to me may times during this experience"dont trip".

The last thing Genero said was "don't trip, Walter. We will get through this together."

Triforium-Jan Perry-Mrs Young






This is Jan Perry and Mrs Joseph Young at the Triforium on Tuesday night.


I am sick today. I guess I was under so much stress that when I finally registered for the classes it all hit me. I have been worried about those classes all year because the people at the previous residence, where I was court ordered did not do what they were suppose to do.

However, They get paid and I must start all over again. I do not know from where the money will come.

IT is depressing to know that Skid Row is like this. You can be court ordered to do what an organization tells you to do but still no luck. Still you get held back.

I thought an attorney is supposed to help me with the restraining order but he is not commiting. Yet there is a legal clinic of which he runs that is putting on a big event on DEC 6. Alot of lip service from people. That is what the Homeless care provider industry is about. Lots of Promises, no deliveries.

Jan Perry, Jose Egurbide and Kevin Royce and their respective staffs can not do it alone.
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Mrs.Young, the wife of Joseph Young, sort of looks like my mother. I was very astonished when I saw her.

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It has taken 4 days to publish this. Computer accessibility was limited and the reliability of the residence computer was not good. It is Saturday. I started this on Tuesday. I was determined to finish. There will be in incompletes at this stage in life.

Angelique Cafe and future sizzling delights



This is the first of several postings that will take place tonight. I have been busy all day and it took some time to digest, appreciate and enjoy the progress in my life that the day brought. It came in a variety of flavors.

For now, I just want to say good evening.

This is a photo of Angelique Cafe on 9th and Main. I think it is one of the nicest places in downtown Los Angeles. I plan to write a book and use it as a backdrop for many juicy rendevouzes. Yes, sizzling, ilicit rendevouzes. Plus, it is in the fashion district and there is nothing more sizzling than the world of high fashion.

Look for more delights coming from the fashion world as I expand my range of coverage.

This photo was taken on my way to register for the court required classes. Yes, finally I did it. I finally broke through the being aggravated about wasting time at a facility that did not do the job they were suppose to do. Now I am confident of what is taking place. I control the information now. Feels good to control my own destiny versus "hoping" that the powers that be, have everything under control and know what they are doing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I sure want to be great at doing something

an emotional day. I just looked at bob baker's newsthinking.com and also kevin Roderick's
laobserved..


They are so good. I wonder if I can ever develop my blog to be that good. just like bob baker said, I have so much I want to say. I have so many things about which I want to share. I want to have a blogsite that is entertaining as well as informative. I wonder. I just left a meeting that is a weekly requirement to live where I live. IT was ok actually but I am overwhelmed. I want to study. I want to produce things. I want to be a vital part of downtown and I feel insignificant.

I wish these great writers of all of these blogs can write about skid row.
I am not good enough to capture the essence of this place. They are.

Los Angeles needs its best writers, not some fledling novice, to convey to its citizens the horrors of what is down here. It needs to write every week on Skid Row to compel the efforts of change to begin.

there are so many talented writers and producers. I do not mean that they should come down here and film people. There is enough file footage of Skid row, I am sure, to fill libraries. they need to interview problem solvers and push their contacts to engage in productive action. I have no clout. I do not have that range of impact. I have a handful of readers.

I love communicating. I could sit here all day and type. I wish I had a newswire machine here so I could update the public on my blog on breaking news. I would sit here all day and put together packages.

Sounds crazy? well, I wrote every day for the last 5 plus years. Not only that, except for the time I swam at USC, I wrote every waking moment of each day.
I would read this huge dictionary and write about what I discovered in it.
I would analysis it. therefore sitting all day long and producing, creating articles of interest would be a labor of love.

putting together photos and videos. My god, how long will it take for me to be good?

I do not know. I ache to be good. I ache to carve out my niche.
My niche is writing about revelations of self as I live a life with new eyes given to me by a new way of life. IT is for me but I would like it to be of benefit to others. How long will it take for me to be able to find something in my life that connects with the lives of others and let them know we are the same and we share the same memories.

I write about people that I have known and with whom I shared great moments and stretches in time. Many of them were in the public eye, their families were in the public eye or they eventually became under the spotlight of the public in time.
I want people to see that see shared the same moon and can talk about these things.

dam, I want my blog to not only be valuable to me but to others. Yes, this is an emotional day. I also have to call some offices that concern my legal stuff. Maybe that is taking the wind out of my sails right now. let me get things done. I wish I had a talk show. I would have my show for 8 hours. I would love it.walter melton,
formerly scribeskidrow, talks for 8 hours about any and everything that impacts the lives of people in the city of angels. A dream but I guess I can dream...

Google Analytics--Econometrics, and self analysis

12:52PM
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I love Google Analytics. It is just floors me. It is just like taking Wharton School, University of Pennsylania classes all over again. Only this time, I am totally focused. I will master this. I know it.

I started back to my room and then I suddenly stopped an turned around and headed for Main St. I stopped at the Banguette. It was my desired destination. Monica was there. Monica is the very nice lady that owns the quaint, cozy and very much the gathering spot where people eat cakes, drink wine, eat cheese and play on their wireless computers. It reminds me of La Terrasse restaurant, on Sansom St, on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Anyone who was at Penn, especially in the 70's and 80's, remembers the family atmosphere that was created by the owners, Elliot Cook and Judy Wicks. Both were graduates of Penn.

Every body was at that bar/restaurant-students, professors, lawyers, judges, business people, law professors(Penn LAw school was across the street), doctors
artists and construction people. Judy and Elliot encouraged entrepreneurship their.

Elliot lived upstairs as he spear headed the renovation of Samson st into a beautiful townhouse development. Judy's brother had a music studio on the third floor, above elliot. Patti Labelle, Grover Washington and many of the Philadelphia International artists would try out new stuff on the 8 track studio.

The restaurant was my office and I would study at the bar there. Each day I would come in and there would be calls for me, pinned to the board below the chalk scripted menu. Banguette has the same chalk type menu on the wall. My mother would call there, at the restaurant and bar because that was the only place she could find me. The women bartenders would not serve me before I called my mother out here. she knew that and knew the women would activate the "women fellowship" card and make me call. I would act as if it was an aggravation but I loved the fact that the women banded together and also made me call. I was family.

I get the same feeling at Banguette. It is entrepreneurial and struggler friendly.

Anyway, I love the fact that I can study the quantative results from analytics.
There are varying ratios just like the ratios in Brigham and Weston's
Corporate Finance textbook or Van Horne's textbook from Stanford that was used at Penn before Brigham and Weston. I made flash cards of those ratios.
Any finance student would know what I am talking about.

I envision myself there working and developing my entrepreneurial endeavors. At least one of them is going to be internet site related. I love those analytic tapes
of google stored at Youtube.

Yes, folks. Google Analytics is educating a Skid Row resident and he aims to understand it all. It is a chance to become the expert student that I was before all of this happen and to revisit the discipline and art of reviewing the quantitative methods of analysis that I first learned at the Wharton School.

It was not until I came home when some one said to me.
"Walter, numbers at like books. Read them and they tell you a story. They tell you more than words." Those words were told to me by Baron Jones. Baron is a legend in Los Angeles REal estate circles. He graduated from Dorsey High School and went to Princeton. He went to the University of Pennsylvania to capture his MBA. He was at Princeton at the same time Brian Taylor was there. Brian was a Princeton Basketball great and played under the legendary Pete Carril.

He played there when I was a freshman at Penn. At that Time, Chuck Daly was the varsity coach who later went on to coach the championship teams of the Detroit Pistons. Rolly Massimino, of Villanova, was the assistant coach.

Brian ended up coming out here to San Diego to play professional basketball. I was with him when he used to talk to Charlie Grantham, who was the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association.
Brian did not meet me. He was one of the only ones. My father used to talk to me about him all of the time, I mentioned all of that because Brian became the Director of Admissions to my prep school Harvard/Westlake School. It was when I was playing basketball at that school that my father talked about this great player from Princeton. Small world.

Yes, I talk about these schools in my past because I feel them today in my present.
Of course I feel my parents today, deeply. I feel what they stand for, deeply and more than ever because I am living by the standards now, 100%. I am not a phony,
a fake person.

I am at the Transition house in the computer lab, where the STRIVE PROGRAM IS LOCATED. It is the best program in all of skid row. Just like Hillary Clinton said at the last Democratic Convention when she introduced her husband, Bill clinton"I know a little bit about picking winners". I know a little bit about education. My father was the best educator I know. He taught me how to teach myself. He taught many in the Crenshaw community to do the same. He was revered in that community.

His teachings and that confidence of teaching oneself, coupled with the incremental educational training at different institutions and corporations, let alone life, will be be the tools used to master google analytics. I love it. I love looking one graph and saying, that is a leading indicator. That one is a lagging indicator.

I did not expect to write this. However, it is a day of many things. I am sharing this day, my parents wedding day in its kaleidoscopic forms and manifestations with you. I hope you benefit from this.

My intent is to use google analytics to help me design a website that will help the
people of skid row. It helps that I was exposed to econometrics. Econometrics was an economics forcasting method founded by Dr. Lawrence Klein, economics professor at Penn. He was Jimmy Carter's Chief Economic advisor during the presidential campaign.
He is considered the father of Econometrics. I used to hangout with him and a friend of mine who Klein mentored. It is funny when they were talking 200 weighted variables on a Wikipedia lecture about SEO's and search engines that experience kicked in.

Econometrics and understanding weighted variables helped me understand what variables interplayed and how much at each stage of my decreased consumption of drugs. Can you believe that? Econometrics, a forecasting tool, is what I used to help me monitor and predict my behavior while I was attacking my drug use.

And you know what? I just realized that the weighted variables I used when I was doing it, came from econometrics. That is why this flow of conscious, as my father calls it is so good. It is a RESEARCH TOOL.

more on that later. more on a beautiful Christmas season night spent at Dr Klein's house with him, his son and my friend. It was one of those memorable "hallmark moments in time"

Keep the Faith

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

BEAUTIFUL LIGHTS AND LIGHTS COME ON INSIDE OF ME




This is the Triforium. It is the controversial piece of public art of which I wrote a couple of days ago. About 50 people gathered at the base of the structure to honor the birthday of the man, Joseph Young, who created this piece. Family members were there and were presented a City Proclamation from City Councilwoman
Jan Perry. Personally, I love the colorful lights. I plan to use the beautiful piece of art as a permanent part of my blogsite. (As soon as I figure out how to do it.)
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I started to delete my piece on "black on black killings" this morning. I believe that it was too angry. After much consideration, I have decided to leave it up. I do not want the message to be lost but the writing was a signal of something.

First, it was a snapshot of where I was mentally and emotionally, a sum total of a mixture of events that have occurred and effected me. Secondly, I was angry at myself. Yes, people, I was angry. I was angry and happy at myself.
I was angry because no matter how unfair I believed the court system was to me, I had to take responsibility to how I contributed to my situation. I gave everyone the reason to look at only the surface. "Oh, he did drugs. We do not have to look any further than that." I gave people that easy out. Therefore, I am mad at that. I am glad because I have the honesty with self, as I have alwasy have had, to admit it to myself and to my readers.

Furthermore I have not registered for those classes yet because some new information came my way. The information allowed me to wallow in vascillation, something that I had grown comfortable with over the years, though I hated it. It was a known quantity. Moving forward is still, largely a unknown quantity. I have to push myself to feel it, to embrace it and accept it and stay at the center of that continuum.

I will register this morning and begin a new step of moving forward. I am glad I
had that tantrum. IT was a tantrum with self.

Plus I discovered something. I had not talked to my new circle of friends in a few days. I had not talked to Kevin, Jose and Garza. It was the first time in a while.
I was standing on my own, I guess. I increased my strength to do that. I did not recognize that until someone told me they were moving out of here. The person was with me at the Transition House. I did not immediately think to myself that someone else is leaving,"Oh God, what will I do?" That was the first sign of what was going on underneath my skin.
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I did wake up and began to study more about google analytics and websites in general. I am beginning to see that this blogsite is a learning ground for many things. It is not the end all, be all of my life. It is a stepping stone.

Oh yes, the lady was not there at 5 o'clock yesterday. I was going to speak to her about a potential job. I guess that played a part in my frustration. It is important that I recognize everything.

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Setbacks are a part of things. Being put on hold is a part of things. Putting oneself on hold is a BIG part of things.

I said it was important that I learn and study while garza has been gone. I did not realize how important that was. I have grown alot since he left. I grew alot within. I am more secure in my new whatever. It is a process and I chose to share that process--the good, bad and ugly with people It will begin to show in several ways.
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10 pushups
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Good Morning world, I love you

Blacks killing Blacks





I was a little down earlier but I got through it. thanks.
I just read an article about the football player that was murdered.
Apparently their is an uproar about him being disrespected by the media.

I agree with the writer of the article. He is a Fox sports writer. I do not know the name and I am too lazy to find it out or to link it.

I am sick of this garbage about blaming the white man about every dam thing. There are things that the white and black man do not know about the legacy of bigotry. It hurts the white man as much as the black. I am not here now to discuss that topic.

Furthermore it would take to long. Let it be known that the bigotry would not exclude the black bigotry that exists in the black community. It always has.
Shhhhh. Walter you are not suppose to talk about that. Well, to hell with that.
I am talking about it. Blacks have been just as prejudice against each other and in many cases more prejudice than the worst bigot of any color. It has been that way for years. Shhhhhh Walter. Do not air dirty laundry in public. To hell with that.

We do not air dirty laundry when we are not in public so I am putting it on the public table for cleansing. I do not care if it started 400 years ago. It has to stop now. IT has to stop within the black race. Every race has its own bigotries.
Whites at Harvard School for Boys would come and whisper in my ear about someone who they thought was not of their ilk. I learned at the age of 12 years old that at one point Perceived class trumps race.

So we all have that issue. Anybody that says that is not true is either naive or been smoking cocaine.

It is terrible within the black community. You are too black. You black son of a bitch. You have big lips. You have nappy hair. It is enough to make you sick to hear the talk that runs rampant. Kids talk like that because they get it from their parents. They talk about how big lips are with disdain while whites are injecting themselves to get thicker lips.

We kill eachother. Blacks kill eachother more in the city of Los Angeles, one year, than it would take a nation of police to kill an equal amount in God knows how many years. Yet we bitch and moan about the police force.

Fucking makes me sick to my stomach. We sell drugs to eachother and poison eachother and are willing to poison ourselves and then we bitch and moan about the white man bringing in drugs. Does not make any difference who brings in the drugs.
We do not have to use them. Can you blame the white man for making the movie
Superfly. Black actors made the film

We murder and rob eachother everyday and we bitch and moan about the white man this and the white man that. For every black man that is selling drugs on the streets of Skid Row,I can show you a white man that will help a black man. For every black man who kills a black man, I can show a white man who will bandage the wounds of a black man to save that life.

Where is the uproar when we kill ourselves? Where is the uproar when we let our own kids stand on street corners and smoke dope and hold their pants up by holding their penises? Can you blame the white man for OUR KIDS wearing their pants at their knees.

I was at a Job class and heard this twenty something man tell the teacher that he was not going to pull his pants up to get a job. That was not ignorance. That was
stupidity. Clear cut stupidity.

We blame the white judges for making us pay child support. We are mad at them. That white judge did not tell you to have 6 kids that you can not support. You find out that it does not support your ego to have six kids that you cant pay for. You might be able to keep your penis in your pants if you pull your pants up to begin with.

We blame the media for disrespecting this football player but we do not blame ourselves for contributing to his death. Dont get me wrong, what the media focuses on leaves alot to be desired. However, let's get real. Our side of the street is far from clean. IT is as dirty and filthy as the streets of Skid Row and we have the power to, at least, keep the streets clean.

I have to sit here and hear, even as I speak, these men and women, outside, acting like all is well. They will bitch and moan about the white man wanting to kick themselves out of downtown. Hell, they are kicking themselves out of downtown.
I am not talking about the mentally ill or physically challenged. I am talking about the men and women that stand outside and their main occupation is to look cool.
They did the same thing when they should have been in school. They are doing the same thing now. I have to see this and hear this. I am disgusted. They are the same ones talking about the white man. Talk about yourself.

That does not exclude the black middle class or elite. If my father was alive, he would rip into the black middle class, and the elite--Dubois so called talented tenth. He would be appalled at the racism that is practiced by the elite upon the less fortunate. It is practiced an it is flourishing. Any black person that says that is not so is a bold face liar. Color prejudice and class prejudice is the status quo. Yes, the black world has a CASTE SOCIETY. There were times I would see traces of it, small, but there, in me and I hated myself for it. I had to work hard to make sure I did not let that malignancy grow. I had to cut it out. So do not tell me it is not there.

Stop protesting what the white man does. Protest what we do to ourselves. Sorry if I do not subsribe to the group think doctrine. So what.

You see those men in that picture. They protected lives. Teach black kids not to take black lives and then complain to the white man how they are disrespected.

coca cola




The last day my father and I hung out we drove all around the West Adams area. I went to Nursery School at Miss Manual's Nursery School on Arlington Ave. My father drove all around. We stopped by to see the old Rochester mansion. Rochester was Jack Benny's butler, of "Hello,Boss" fame. We drove by Dorothy Dandridge's old house. As my mother was in show business my parents knew all of the entertainers. They hung out together. My mother was great friends of Rachel Robinson, the wife of Jackie Robinson. My mother has a coat hanging in her closet that was purchased by the Heavy Weight Champion Joe Louis. You see, it was a small click. There were not that many black in Los Angeles anyway.

My father and I drove to the Coca-cola bottling plant and the Black Fireman's Museum. He manipulated his self made camera for one hour to get the right shot.
My father was a perfectionist. He wanted a picture of this building. That is the Coca-cola building. It was designed as a battleship. He stood there and taught me more of photography. Actually, he followed me into it. I started at Penn, my senior year. I received my first camera on Christmas, 1975. CanonFTB.

The person who inspired me to take learn photography was a student at Harvard School. His family owned the house that the Graduate was filmed in. You remember that movie with dustin hoffman and Ann Bancroft. It was filmed at that house and at the houses of many of my friends. The names of the characters were the real names of people who were connected with the school. For Instance, Mr. McCleery, who was the landlord in Berkeley, in the movie, was the Latin Teacher at Harvard School and before that he was the TRack Coach at USC. I will go into details later about that movie and its significance to me.

Anyway the battleship was the last picture my father took, I think. His camera was one of those that you had to put the hood over your head and put in these large plates. He made it. he learned how to do it himself. He made wireless radios before that.

REVIEW OF YESTERDAY AND WHAT IT MEANT. (THE GROWTH REFLECTED IN BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDE)




Yesterday was an amazing day. I wanted to make sure that I took pictures of the fire engine station. As I said it was the last time my father and I went some place together. He wanted to visit the places of his childhood. He was born and raised in Los Angeles. He and I also visited the Dunbar Hotel. That was some time in January 2004. He saw the picture of my mother on the wall. I asked him if he and I could do something later in the year. His response was "If I am still around".

He knew, I guess, that he did not have much more time. I enjoyed spending the time with him. His purpose was not to go to the fire engine station. His purpose was to take a picture of the Coca-cola bottling company battleship. It is catacorner to
the Black Fire Engine station on Central Ave.

I rode my bike there. I took pictures and then rode back quickly to the Transition House. I talked to Jose Egurbide, the City Attorney who runs the Safe City Initiative for the city before I went to the museum. He always calls to make sure I am ok. He is so dedicated. He quizzed me on the facts of Adam Clayton Powell's life. A part of our friendship is the fun of exchanging historical facts.

I tried to upload the pictures but the memory card reader did not work. I was frustrated because I really wanted to diversify my blog. I want to present wide ranging information to the Los Angeles Downtown public about Los Angeles. I thought everyone should know about this fire station and I wanted to share the experience of the last time my father and I hung out together with the world. Their wedding day is today so I thought I could fill the day with history.

I ended the day with the Triforium Celebration. It was the birthday of the designer, Joseph Young. The art was controversial, though, beautiful.

Anyway, the card reader did not work. I was not sure where the malfunction was so I rushed back to my room and grabbed another memory card, went back to the Transition house, had the computer instructor take a few pictures of me, and we tried again.
No luck. IT was the reader. I did not want to spend anymore money on things. I just spent 100 dollars on a new phone after the previous one was stolen. I made a commitment to maintaining my communication lines and developing the opportunities that come with it.

I am just as committed to developing my presentation skills. I have done business proposals for years but this different. I am packaging stories one day, time sensitive data the next day, and a running account of my emotions and growth as I go through this time of never ending change.

Wanting to maintain the growth of my blog content, I was not willing to settle with merely text. I love the photos and the knowledge of explaining them as my experience grows. As my father's wideo said to me after he died, "Walter, you are becoming more like your father every day. If he decides he is going to get something done, and he did not know how to do it, no matter what, he found a way or learned how to get it done."

I remembered that as I headed back to the museum yesterday. I had only a short period of time to get there before the Triforium celebration. I went there and I retook the picture of the museum and of the Coke battleship. I did not have time to go to Office Depot in Little Tokyo to get a new "reader" so I headed to the celebration. Jan Perry, our council woman was there and others that I knew.
Eric Richardson, of Blogdowntown, was there as well as Ed Fuentes of Viewfromaloft.

Celia and Jim were there. All have embraced me into the blogging community and have taught me so much.(that is why I have to show how much they have taught me with different linking and make sure I do not miss out any of them). I have followed all tips but I am still have not figured out a way to shortened all of my blogs. I have figured out that I will do the read more link as well as post multiblogs on the page so it several topics will be seen at once.
However that will take time. I would not have come up with that new design had I not posted so many blogs.

I strolled through Little Tokyo on my way to the Office Depot. I loved and saw a woman in traditional Japanese garb as I was walking into the store. Another good experience.

I purchased a reader. Dam, it costs 39 dollars. So what. I am enjoying it and I am getting better. I also saw where jobs for bloggers were growing so I wanted to keep growing as well. I was committed.

I went back to the Transition House and slipped back to the computer room while a meeting was going on. It has become increasingly difficult to gain computer time there so I can upload photos and maintain my quality of content. The SRIVE program is taking hold and students flock to the computers.

The dam reader did not work. It was an upgrade to the previous one, requiring the downloading of a disk to a computer. I did not want that. I could not use that as I do not have my own computer and I need administrative clearance to download anything in the downtown area that is not my own.

I rushed back to my room and called office depot. Prior to that I found the product number of the previous reader. They did not have that one in stock. IT was no longer a part of their inventory at the warehouse. Dam. The sales person told me that that was the only one they had.

They told me to come in and get my money. I took off my shirt and put on a sweattop.
I had been wearing gray slacks and a silk shirt, receiving compliments on my new
"winning attitude" apparel.

I rode back and, with disappointment, accepted my money. However, my instincts told me to not give up. A lady told me to go back to the aisle and she would help me.
I found some others but they required a disc download as well.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, but she showed me one that I thought was a flash drive when I was in the store earlier. It had the same design. It did not require a download and it only cost 10 dollars instead of the 39 dollars I just spend and was now returned to me. I was so happy. Never give up.

I walked out of the store elated but I forgot one thing. I sustained a flat tire while returning to the Office Depot. I cursed the future expenditure. I could not have fun with the savings obtained by purchasing a cheaper and smaller device.

I returned to the Transition House and with some work found out how to make the device work. At first I thought it was going to be another disappointment. I stuck with it. That was something I wrote about in jail. A lady, when I was a kid, saw that I did not move for 3 hours when her son and I worked to untangle of rope filled with knots. Some of the knots were extremely tight. I used various tools to untangle them-to pry them ,to gain leverage from a different angle, if necessary.
I did not move. I had my tools laid next to me as a surgeon or dentist has their tools spread out. My friends gave up hours hours before I finished. It took me at least 4 hours to finish the task.


The lady, Mrs Collier, said she sat in her window and looked at me the whole time.
They lived across the street from me. She loved my fierce determination. I think of her every time I see the Collier International real estate signs when I walk through downtown as well as that event. She shared her feelings about that time when I returned home from Philadelphia to train with Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Group in 1979. She was amazed that I remembered the rope with the knots.

I uploaded about 12 pictures for successive postings and returned to my room.
Before I left I looked up 5 more job offerings. If you recall I told you that I would focus more and more on discovering new opportunities.

Yesterday I saw an opportunity with Curbed.com..
I found it while looking at websites for jobs. IT was based in New York, the job, but they will consider the person being based in Los Angeles. I mention it because curbedla was responsible for my largest number of visitors. They came from referrals from their sight. Apparently they liked a blog I posted and linked me.

I would be perfect for the job. I have marketing, sales and real estate experience to spare.

It goes to show you that the more you dig, the more"cans" you find.

It would seem like I am not focusing on getting a job but I am. I have made copies of postings while here at Chrysalis.
I have found found numbers of the places to where I sent resumes last week with the intention of following up now that the holiday weekend is over. I have found more postings. I have done all of this while thinking of new things to do, new places to hunt for jobs, creating ideas for my new venture, planning to enroll in the court required courses just to get started.

Yes, I broke through the barrier of being on hold in that one. I hated that feeling for months. I would rather spend the money that I do not have and get through it.
I hope I find a job. I believe I will. I will discuss the breakthrough later.

And yes I am wearing "dress for success" attire. I got out of the Skid Row wardrobe of torn sweats. I am tired of feeling trapped. That is the same feeling I had with not progressing in the court classes. You see, that is what I learned while
training for the triathlon. I had to monitor what I was feeling. I had to notice that I was, without knowing, doing the same behavior as one does when one is stuck. One stays stuck because one is used to it. However, now I recognize it and I am experiencing more time in being unstuck and I know from my experience from the triathlon training which lead to the removal of drugs in my life that I had to get used to having nice clothes on. It feels more me. I am used to feeling more things that reflect me. I feel it in me deeper. And that is what you see.

How do you see it? You see it in the higher level of detail I am giving you about what has been transpiring. You see the results in my choice of words. I am pushing myself not to be lazy. I am pushing myself to engrain THE DICIPLINE AND BEHAVIOR OF ACHIEVING PERFECTION into my daily being. That discipline was engrained in both my mother and father. It is becoming a part of me in plethora of ways.

I hope you see the different variety of linkage used. It is a cumulative result
from the absorption of knowledge from the people to whom I have linked and to others that are not linked, like Garza. However, when he returns, I will be able to contribute more now that I have done more studying about the internet. It is one thing to use it. It is quite another to apply the internet in a multiplicity of applications and accomplishments in one's every day life.

I must go. I have calls to make. I have appointments to make.
I will touch base later. I am going to design a detailed resume for Curbed.com.

Good morning world. I love you

ps. I came back because I forgot to tell you I learned about the ping service for bloggers. I pinged after I said I love you. smile.

My parents Wedding Day





This is a very, very special day for me. On November 28th, the, late Congressman from New York City, Adam Clayton Powell,Jr., performed the ceremonies that resulted in my mother and father becoming man and why. My parents, though from Los Angeles, California, were married in New York City. My mother was a dancer and was dancing at the Apollo Theatre and the Cotton Club. Shortly before all of this happened,
while cleaning out her bedroom, I found a book of matches that were given out to patrons of the Cotton Club. The match book had her picture on the back.

She danced for all of the Jazz greats--Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, Cab Calloway to name a few. She was a member of the Rockettes, dancing group and my mother's picture is on the wall of the Dunbar Hotel, on Central Ave. in Los Angeles.
My mother's uncle, Bill Taylor, operated the Club Alabam which was inside of the hotel. Central Ave was the hot spot in Los Angeles in the 40's like Harlem was.
Blacks and whites would socialize at night, comfortably, New York's Harlem and
Los Angeles's Central Avenue. However, during the day, they could not be seen together. My parents talked to me about Harlem all of the time.

"Walter, Central Ave. was fun. Blacks and whites got along. There was no prejudice at night. The prejudice was during the day when people had to hide that they knew each other. There were consequences, in some circles, if it was known that blacks and whites were close friends. The funny thing was, your father and I went to Manual Arts High School. There were only a handful of blacks at the school. There were not that many blacks in Los Angeles. Everybody we knew were white. "

Indeed, a great many of my parents friends who came to the house when I was a child were their white friends from Manual Arts High School, and Chapman College where my father played basketball.

These pictures are at the all Black Firehouse station on 14th and Central avenue. It was the first All Black Fire House Station in the City of Los Angeles.

This was the last place I was with my father. He took pictures of it and the Coca cola bottling company. My father built a wide angle camera himself. He studied photography after he retired from teaching for the LAUSD system for over 50 years.

My mother received her initial training at the Club Alabam being a book keeper.
She was an Auditor for the County of Los Angeles for over 40 years.

I will devote and dedicate the next few blogs to my parents and the history of those times. IT is funny that the curator of the Museum graduated from Manual arts in 1936. He started as a fireman at that location 67 years ago. I will be talking to him next week.
I do not know if my mother is thinking of this date. I think she probably is.
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr had a famous saying, "Keep the faith, baby".

Mom, "keep the faith". "We shall overcome this nonsense."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Skid Row--Arbitrager's Dream



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I often wonder what it takes to be successful downtown. I believe that it takes information. I wondered if I could survive downtown if I was lucky enough to get a job. I wondered if I wanted to stay downtown if I were able to return to my mother's house. All of these things are questions that return on a daily basis.

One thing that is always on the mind is housing. Until this morning, I believed that the only place to stay was a $2,000 to $5,000 dollar loft or a SRO room in Skid Row. Feast or Famine. I found out I was wrong.

I was lucky enough to talk to a man that stayed in the T House when I first landed on Skid Row. In fact, he and I arrived at about the same time. He is a security guard. He worked and saved his money, enabling a departure from the T House. He lives on 7th and Broadway in a place that cost less than $700 dollars a month. It provides hope for someone like me who is without funds or employment.

Percentage leases are quite common in retail leases. The landlord picks his tenants on the basis of future growth. The landlord is a de facto underwriter of the fixed cost of real estate space from which the business operates. He takes on a measure of risk in that if the receipts are low, his income is low. If the receipts are high, his income is high.

I am quite sure the public is not aware that the housing companies in Skid Row largely operate on a percentage lease basis. I wonder if the Los Angeles Times knows that. I wonder if the television stations know that. It is not a matter of blowing the whistle. It is a matter of knowing what the parameters of operations, the custom in the area is. If you are going to report on an area, know the area.
It takes more to know about Skid Row than Homeless Statistics.

I am not indicting the way housing companies run their business. However, it is tough for someone who is trying to get ahead. If you are on General Relief (welfare), you can usually get a room with no bath or toilet for $55 a month. Many people have rooms on streets adjacent to loft apartments and pay little. They do not work. They have no intentions of working.

If you get a job in the Skid Row area, and your income increases, your rent increases. the housing companies will take a third of your rent. A man was on public assistance. He received $220/month. His rent was $135.oo. He paid that every month. He evemtually was able to get a job. His income went up to $2100/month. His rent went up $650/month. If he gets a raise, the rent will go up accordingly. Most housing organizations will have you pay 30% of your income for rent. So, in effect, the man has to pay 5 times as much for rent than he did before and receives no corresponding increase in benefits. Let us not lose sight of the fact that these housing companies are getting funding each time a person moves into a room.

Unless the man knows about a building like the one I found out about this morning, he is stuck paying that high rent in a drug infested building and street. I was lucky to find out about the information. I can not use it but at least I know about it. Most case managers in Skid Row do not know about it or they will not direct you to it.

quite often information is given out to people if you have gang affiliations. Two people could be living in the same shelter. They both have to move. One person has been in Skid Row for some time. He has friends on Skid Row. He has friends from his former gang ties that work on Skid Row. The other person knows nothing about Skid Row. The person with the "relationships" has been to every program and rotates to each one on a "need to" basis. The other person has never been to a program prior to landing in the same shelter as the other. The "relationship" person is told he can move into one of two buildings where he can get 3 months of free rent. There is more than one room available, however, the other person is directed to a housing corporation that will charge him rent. The "relationship" person has a history of bouncing around from place to place and has never had a job. He is now trying to increase his income by trying to convince Social Security that he is mentally ill. That, in effect, is a raise for him. The other person is looking for jobs constantly. He asks about the 3 month free rent place but is told that that alternative is not available for him. He asks why but is not given an answer. "it jus isnt" is the only answer that comes.

The housing market information on Skid Row is a matter of breaking through the
"Information Discrimination" barrier that is rampant on Skid Row. IT is not only rampant in the area of Housing, it is rampant in every area of need that you can imagine a person would have on Skid Row. If you are lucky enough to get the information about a service then you must be lucky again. You must find a way to break through the "Price Discrimination" barrier that has infected the "people helping" business on Skid Row.

I have seen people who desperately asked for help in some places. The very first thing they were asked was how much income did they have? What type of Income did they have? Alot of people on Skid row do have income. The question to service providers is the quality and certainty of that income stream. Social Socurity Income is higher than general relief and provides a constant income stream. Those on general relief are limited to 9 months of 200 dollars versus 900 dollars and above for Social Security.

I was under the belief that these shelters were there to help people that have no money and he want to change their lives. I have personally seen people turned away who had no money- told that no beds were available but the person with income were taken right in. That kind of thing is common on Skid Row. The ones who get in are generally the friends of those doing the intake. They come from the same neighborhoods or have become a part of the "Skid Row In Crowd". If you are not in the Skid Row Clique you are out of luck. It is no different than in the real estate business, in general, where a real estate broker may have a "pocket" listing. However, this is life and Potentially death. Many times, people are hanging on the edge when it comes to housing and the protections it offers from the many factors on the streets that can cause harm. In Skid Row, the use of drugs is not the only thing that is risky. Disease from rats, contagious infections, theft, robbery and murder are very much a part of the numerous variables in the risk matrix. I have named only a few.

This kind of issue does not include the missions. I am not aware if they get involved with locating housing for those in the Skid Row area. It is my understanding that they house those within their respective buildings if they are enrolled in their programs. The quality and comfort of housing escalates as one progress in the programs.

Keep in mind that this article is very limited in scope as there is so much to learn about the Skid Row area and the customs and procedures of in obtaining a certain level of security.

I have only mentioned a few of the practices that are common in the housing market on Skid Row. I will not call it the housing market as much as I call it the
"success market" or the "survival market". It is a function of the quality of information to which one has access. As you know, that is the most valuable commodity there is. In finance, arbitrage was a very profitable specialty for those who spotted the disparity in financial information. On Skid Row it determines whether you are inside a building or out on the street.

If there were arbirtragers on Skid Row, they would be very successful.

3 0n 3 Basketball league expands into entrepreneurship



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This is on the corner of 5th and San Pedro. These are members of the Skid Row Street Basketball league engaging in a new phase of the program created by OGman-entrepreneurship.

"Why look for a job when you can create your job, walter." OGman said to me.

Below are his comments transcribed from a recording.

"Walter, you know as well as I do that these guys are not going to get meaningful jobs out here. They have a past history of felonies. IT does not matter that they have changed their lives and changed their lives against all odds. They are offered opportunitites to sell drugs every day. They are offered opportunities to commit fraud every day. They refuse. However, no one will give them a second chance.
The Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, DLANC,
has been very supportive. We have the bid to clean the streets on Main and Broadway.

The guys developed confidence to do their own thing. In stead of selling drugs, they are selling hot dogs on the corner. It is only the beginning. We plan to have tables and chairs on this corner just like they have in the loft district. That is what the league is about. It is about helping yourself. I see you are doing the same thing. I am proud of you, Walter. You can not find a job but you are still searching and you are developing a new skill, writing and reporting, as well.

There is a new attitude down here and it is good that we have people, like yourself, that, have positive energy. Stay with what you are doing like we are, and everything will work out for you. Entrepreneurship is the thing down here. Remember that. I am teaching people to do the right kind of entrepreneurship, things that can help the community and the people, not harm the community and its citizens."

OGMan is right about that. He is helping the community and those who are making a commitment to better themselves. "The New Skid Row", he calls it. Keep it coming, OGman

Senator Flynt



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These pictures show part of the water monument on the eastern lawn of City Hall that was built in tribute to Senator Frank Putnam Flynt. He served from 1905 -1911.
In 1906, Mr Flynt initiated a bill to construct the Los Angeles Aqueduct on Federal Land. It passed in the senate but was stalled in the House of Representatives. He was able to get President Theodore Rossevelt to help him get the bill passed. It insured that Los Angeles would have a reliable supply of water from the Owens Valley and facilitated the development of the Los Angeles region. Mr Flynt helped secure federal monies for the expansion of the Los Angeles Harbor as well.

7th and Figueroa (its power and energy)



























The time is exactly 2:34. I am excited. I owe it to L.A. women. She left a comment for me in response to a question I asked about the favorite areas of downtowners. She happens to like 7th and Figueroa. I had to go pass there this morning. I figure I would take care of two things at once; the inquiry concerning the


required classes and a photo shoot of the 7th and Figueroa intersection. I could take a step further in finding out what I need to do to put more of this legal nightmare behind me and also begin to please my readers. I do not have many but I want them to be happy.

I took the pictures and I think they are upbeat. I like happy things. Sometimes talking about Skid Row can get one so down. Furthermore, there is a wave of "pointing the finger" in Skid Row establishments. The computers are malfunctioning and, for some reason, they are pointing the finger at me because I am on them the most. I blog and I look for opportunities. It is much easier to look for opportunities on a computer than walking on the street.

I just finished talking to Brian, the restaurant management instructor at the STRIVE Program. He looked at my Google Analytics results from last night. He thought the numbers looked good. Brian is one of the people of courage in Skid Row. I have not written about him yet but it will happen soon.

Brian left the computer lab but something told me to keep going. I wanted to find out more about google analytics. As you know, I have been studying google analytics as much as I can. I have made copies of

everything so I can bring myself up to speed. It is suits my quantitative background very well. The Wharton School courses are very quantitative as opposed to using the qualitative case method form of teaching business. I feel very much at home looking at ratios. It is a matter of learning which ratios count more than others and which ones to look at to confirm good or bad suspicions about one's website. I also did alot of small business consulting for the Wharton School Small business Development Center while taking a consulting course in the Entrepreneurial Management Department.


I was digging away at something w hen I wanted to learn more about google analytics and marketing. I punched in some key words and I found something that caught my eye. Actual Metrics . It looked interesting. I hit the link. I read about them. I was frozen for about five minutes. I looked again at their job position that was available. They wanted somebody that could grow with the company and teach themselves new stuff.


In short, I felt I was perfect for the job, bad teeth and all. I feel that internet companies are more open minded and are willing to take a chance on someone. I feel I am the perfect person on whom to take a chance.

The candidate must have command of the english language, have good interpersonal skills, be able to teach and be able to sale. They want the person to be able to teach himself and be able to handle a wide range of skills. Wow. I felt great. l I really did. I felt I could be an asset to this company.


I looked at the address of the company and it sa id Fourth/figueroa. downtown Los Angeles.
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update
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something told me to call the number on the website. I did. I talked to the Mike. The website is outdated. They are not hiring anyone in the los angeles office. Oh well. Excitement is over. I just have to keep plugging away. Apparently this is the quantiative standard for understanding the numbers of your website.

I am a natural at it. Anyway, I am doing what the man suggested. I am reading the blogs and everything else.


I thought I had a chance to get a job. It would have been 3 blocks from where I took these photos.

There is something about the spirit of "LA woman" to spur me on.


I even ran to Chrysalis and talked to the office manager who is going to help me tweak my resume for a position at an internet company. but I am back at square one. Well, I am still going to follow up on tweaking my resume for the lady at Chrysalis so I will be prepared in case I have a chance in the future.


What made it perfect was they wanted someone to speak portuguese and I was a foreign exchange student

in Brazil.

I am trying to keep a stiff upper lip but it is a bit deflating to fing out so soon t hat there is no potential opportunity. I did not even mention that the court required class inquiry went t erribly.

I am t ired of sharing only negative experiences. Even in this one I had the chance to learn more about what is out there. I had a chance to take a picture of 7th and Figueroa. I hope the lady that inspired that picture
sees my blog today. she has been very encouraging.
She inspired me to stretch my boundaries today. I went for it. I shall follow through with creating another resume that accentuates other aspects of my background besides real estate.
I am utilizing the best thing that Skid Row had to offer, the people. Neidy, from Chrysalis is making herself available for me tomorrow. I would be remiss if I did not mention that she let me interrupt her today with my excitement. Eric, the computer instructor and Brian the restaurant management instructor stopped what they were doing to help me in whatever way they could.
Of course, without people knowing it, I used today what I use everyday from the internet. I used its best asset--its people. People created this communication and information marvel and one person this morning brought a smile to my face when i needed one and spurred some growth. Sure, I wish I could go further in that pursuit of employment but it was not to be. What is important was that I seized the moment and utilized every resource, human and otherwise to do so.
Everything builds on everything else. My father used to tell me that. I keep that in the forefront of my mind each and every day. Last week, I dreaded the Thanksgiving Holidays. However, I pushed myself to experience something new. What did I do? I walked to the Little Tokyo library to use their computers.
I am in that library now. I came here because I wanted to build on the fresh attitude that was created that night I came here for the first time.
the next day I had another new experience and had a most enjoyable and healing e xperience as a guest of a fine family. That gracious gesture and fellowship carried me through a rough weekend that I thought, before then, I was not going to be able to get through it.
I continued with utilizing all of the resources available and the new resources that I found that are available for a fresh outlook. Even the concierge, so to speak at Chrysalis, said to me that I am plugging away and that I was a good person. That meant so much.
Those comments from people mean so much. People are the cures of many things. When we have catastrophies, the best in people come out. I do not know have to access effectively the organizations in the Skid Row community. Ido know how to access the human resources that are in Skid Row separate and apart from the duties that they hold within those organizations. It is the people that are nimble and quick. The o rganizations are cumbersome and sluggish.
A woman told me that she likes to get things done. I know that she does. She is a Vice President of one of the missions on Skid Row. She dropped what she was doing immedicately to find out who dropped the ball on something pertaining to me. Her organization needs to be as responsive as s he is. They probably do what they know how to do. Perhaps they need to learn from her. She is quick.
People are quick in Skid Row. People must be quick in Skid Row. We must come to the aid of each other quickly because if we are not timely, a person may give up hope and turn to a self destructive behavior.
It happened yesterday. I did not know the person was hurting and now the person is self destructing .
People are the strength of the survival community of Skid Row as they are the strength of this country.
People aggravate you on skid row as well. The are not happy. They blame you. They want you as irritated as they. They do not mean it. They do not know any different. It is our job to teach ourselves a different way. I am beginning to believe it is our job to teach the organizations a different way to help the people of Skid Row.
People of Skid Row must teach themselves as well. People of Skid Row must not ask of others to do for them what they will not do for themselves. That must be said. I see people, a growing number of people, each day find within themselves the power to be honest and the power to grow. It is not easy. I see a growing movement. I see a NEW SKID ROW emerging. Will the people of Skid Row who are challenging themselves be able to approach the organizations in open forum? I believe we all need to sit at a table and dialogue.
Will they listen? Will they evolve as the needs of the people they serve evolve? Will the organizations of Skid Row evolve as their employees, who see the demanding needs of their clients ,as those needs reveal themselves, evolve? Will they be open as a collective as they demand their clients to be open minded?
There is beautiful energy on skid Row and Downtown in general. I love it. I love downtown. I am from this city and I want to experience the ressurection of the historical area. I am glad I am experiencing the energy of the people of downtown who accept you as you are. I, again , thank LA Woman for her inspiration this morning. I showed my appreciation as best I could with the photos and with my actions today.
She motivated me to experience the hustle and bustle of 7th and Figueroa, with all of its vitality and energy.
It propelled me to learn new things. That is the power of people. Let us harnass that and bring miracles to the area known as Skid Row. It will make all of downtown a better place. Every person of downtown Los Angeles will be able to feel that they are a part of a team a t eam that formed an amazing partnership to end something that has been growing in horror for years. Let this city, the City of Angels show the world how it is done.
I must go. On Thanksgiving weekend I healed some pain. I told you that. I drove on the same roads on which I traveled in chains. The love and spirit of the family that accepted me healed many wounds. I can now look at that stretch of road differently.
I am going to go now to the Christmas tree lighting. was in chains last December when I had to come downtown for no reason only to be told I had to come back. Each time I came down, I saw that Christmas tree outside of City Hall.
I am going there to heal myself and I am going there to feel the love of the people of our great city. I will feel the love of community that will carry me some more distance. People, and the love we carry within, is what heals people.
Good night world. I love you.

back to work

9:00AM
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I gave Jose Egurbide a call. He is one of the people in the Skid Row Community that really tries to help people. He helped this morning by letting me rant and rave about the rediculous state of condition the services are down here. Of course he is frustrated as well.

I am on my way to find about these classes that should have been finished, or at least on the way to be finished. Even though it was not my fault, if I do not go to court with something then I will be categorized as one of the people that will not do anything to help themselves.
AT least I am moving forward. I found out that I did have a right to see my arrest report.

My first public defender, who told me nothing but "you have 60 seconds to make this deal" also said I could not see anything. Another one told me the same thing. I was stonewalled by the people that were suppose to help me. Thank god for Natasha Brown. She helped me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

People in Skid Row Help eachother.






This is the Midnight Mission
All Volunteer Band. they played
on thanksgiving day outside of the mission.

You know, it is difficult at times to maintain one's equilibrium around skid row. There are very few things that make one smile. Smiling and laughing are vital in having a healthy outlook on life. You hear laughing in the streets but mostly, it is evil. It is wicked. Some times the people know that it is wicked and , I have grown to understand that some people do not see the wicked and maliciousness that is within them. I have to say that I sometimes believe my sister truly does not want to see what she is doing. I have evidence of that from our lives.



However, that is not the point now. I received an email from someone and she said they are glad they helped me in some way after I thanked them. She was referring to her husband and her. I received a comment from a lady that I discovered at three this morning. It is 4 now and I have been hoping this computer will stay on long enough for me to finish this. The lady wrote me in the past and said my blog was interesting. Another comment from someone today in an email was somewhat the same type of comment. I see a comment responding to my request from people about their likes or opinions.



Those little comments and words of encouragement are the vitamins that nourish my soul.


Those are the miracles that keep me going.




I get confused about Skid Row. I hear so much. I see so much. There are big organizations and most people feel they move so slow in responding to their needs to the point of discouragement. Some people feel they are designed for discouragement.



I have no vast amount of experience with the missions. My experience with the missions, for one reason or another, have been such that I would prefer not to deal with them. And Yet, I know that if a few things were changed, they could make life so much easier for me and I just one one or two services, at most.




I think, at best, the missions are too cumbersome and, even if they want to respond to the needs of the people, as they are TODAY, not years ago, they would have to examine how they operate.








People are more nimble. "Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. Jack jumps over the candle stick."




People respond to people. People adjust to people. People feel the needs of another and respond to those needs in a timely and effective manner.




People help people on Skid Row. People are what help people in life. Skid Row changes by the hour. People come. People go. People return. I was at the Transition House yesterday. I use it to upload photos. IT is the only place where I can upload photos. I SAW THREE PEOPLE THERE WHO WERE THERE THE DAY I ARRIVED THERE IN FEBRUARY. THEY LEFT. THEY RETURNED. They returned from other programs.



THEY RETURNED TO THE T HOUSE FROM OTHER PROGRAMS. One of them is a man who was in an article about by Skid Row about three years ago in the Los Angeles Times. His picture was in this three page article.



Something is wrong when people go from one program to another and back to another. Something is wrong. They subconscious of these programs is such that they WANT you to come back, not for the person's sake but for the organizations sake.



People are the source of strength for each other on Skid Row. People comfort people. People guide people. I have not received one bit of guidance that has led to any productive result from anyone that has worked at these organizations. I have received guidance from people on the street. The only time I received guidance that resulted in something postive was when it was time for me to leave and funding ran out. Then I was damn near pushed out of where I was.



Now, I can go back if I had no place to go. They can start the clock again. I have seen it many times. People leave. People return. "Keep coming back, it works" is the slogan.



IT WORKS FOR WHOM is my question.




I think if a person from somewhere else or a family from somewhere else adopted a person on Skid Row alot more progress can be made. I mean the person must adopt a person who is serious about getting their life together. That is very important because the sad fact is that alot of people on the streets of Skid Row do not want to get their life straight. I am not talking about the mentally ill. I am talking about the ones who think it is a big party out here. They think everything is fine. They sell drugs or smoke drugs during the day in the streets and they go in the missions at night and sleep and eat.




For the most part, the people who are serious about their lives are the people that no one sees if they were to linger around Skid Row during the day. They are the most frustrated because they can not get answers.




I have wanted one answer for months. Where can I find an anger management class? I must take the class. I was sent down here by the courts to a program to take the class> However, the program to which I was sent did not have the class. Of course, I was not made aware until a week before I had to return to court that I had to take anger management. I did what I was told to do. That is unacceptable.




DO YOU REALIZE THAT IN ALL OF SKID ROW, NO ONE COULD TELL ME WHERE THERE IS AN ANGER MANAGEMENT CLASS. DRUG MEETINGS, SURE. YOU SIGN YOUR NAME AND EVERYONE GETS PAID. BUT NOT ANGER MANAGEMENT.




You would think that on Skid Row, many people would need to take the class either because they need it or because the court says to take it. Either way it should be known where to enroll in a program. I found out from a MISSION employee where one was only after he ducked and dodged me for 4 weeks and told me that I could not get my teeth fixed. Also he told me 4 weeks prior to that that the mission offered those classes. However, he was wrong. So he told me he would get my teeth fixed and he told me I could start anger management classes. He did not return calls or emails and then after four weeks of doing that he lied to his boss and told his boss I did not want to make a commitment. A bold face lie.


It takes discipline to write everyday. It takes discipline to write every day when you do not know where there are computers available. Certain sites are blocked. Most places you can not use flash drives so you can't send resumes. If I can commit myself to writing everyday, I can commit to improving my life like I did when I trained for the triathlon and studied everyday and was preparing to return to the work world until my mom's "dementia moment" kicked in and all of a sudden life changed. The same type of dementia moment that happens everywhere and no one seems to recognize it because it is in their interests not to recognize it until after they accomplish their agenda, if at all.




Do you know what? I was sitting at Chrysalis last week and on the wall was a flyer regarding

an Anger management program. Chrysalis is the employment specialist on Main ST., on the boundary of Skid Row. Many people from Skid Row use their services.


I have not seen that flyer anywhere else. I would think that every case manager on Skid Row should have that flyer. You know what case managers give felons if they need a job. They give you the same COPY OF A LIST OF EMPLOYMENT PLACES THAT ARE THIRTY MILES AWAY. THIRTY MILES AWAY. Only one person, that I know on Skid Row, has a couple of Human Recource recruiter names that they can call. Some of these case managers have been doing this type of work for at least a decade and they do not have one person they can call to send a person for an interview. That is unacceptable.


In fact, these places do not even tell you about Chrysalis. You have to find that out on the street.


Here is another bombshell. An employment specialist saw an ad in my hand that a fellow colleague of hers gave to me. The advertisement was a help wanted advertisement. They needed a real estate manager. She grabbed it from me and tore it up and threw it in the trash.

"I do not know what he is trying to do, but he is not the employment specialist. " That is what she said. She was able to get a job for some people at a company but the company FIRED 99

percent of the people they hired. It was designed that way. She looks good. She was able to get people jobs. They moved out and were housed in housing owned by the same company that she, the employment specialist worked for. So they were given a job and the company had a tenant.

The person was fired and had to leave the housing and then had to wait another two weeks before he could return to the place where he left, before he had the job in order to get back in the shelter. The lady knew damn well that every one who was going to work for that company was getting fired. It was rediculous. Some of the people fired were fired a week before their company benefits would start. IT was a racquet.
People in Skid Row help eachother. I asked 20 people yesterday this question-
"If 100 families adopted one person each and gave them the love and guidance the person needed to succeed and if each mission or organization down here had 100 equally committed people assigned to them, who would have the higher success rate, the organizations or the families with their respective charges? It was unanimous. All 20 said the families or individuals who helped a person one on one would win. They said it would be no contest.
These are not my words. These are the words and thoughts of the people with whom I discuss these issues.
Keep this in mind as well. This is just not the organizations in Skid Row. IT is indicative of the Drug Rehab/Homeless industrial complex.
"Walter. This homeless and drug rehab industry down here and in the whole city of Los Angeles is the biggest racket going. They do not care. They want the money. There is so much money available but NONE OF IT GETS TO THE PEOPLE THAT NEED IT." CATHERINE SAID TO ME.







More Comments about Skid Row Organizations

it is 2:15PM. Some one called me over to see how I was doing. " IT is hard to believe that your sister would want you in this type of environment, melton. You do not belong here. It is not you. I do not know how you make it", Jay said.

He said some other things. Everyon thinks she is using this situation to get me out of the way. What can I do about it? I wasted 7 months sitting in that place when I could have been in a place that would have had me do what the court wanted me to do.

That is my point, I guess. The more I hear followed with the more I see, it is clear that nothing will change down here unless alot changes. Everybody talks about the police. The people of Skid Row do not talk of the police. Few have contact with them. The ones that do, sell drugs or do drugs. People come up to me every day and they believe that homelessenss is big business No one wants to put themselves out of business. When they discuss the Safe City Initiative, I never hear anything about the missions involvement in it. Are they involved in it? What is their opinion of it? I did not see anything in the Heather Mas Donald writings about them. I did not hear anything about them in the press conference. Those organizations are stakeholders in Skid Row. It is rather ominous, now that I think about it, that they have been omitted from any discussion concerning Safer City Initiative.

More on the missions. Today three people walked up to me and started talking about the missions. They feel the drug users just go to one mission after another. The person who told me this used to do drugs. He finally was tired of drugs and went to a program. He works for SRO Housing now.
"Man, first of all, most of these people are not serious about walking away from drugs. They walk around here like it is fun and the party will never end. They are so blind. I saw that in me and I became disgusted with myself. People live for drugs down here. It is set up for drugs to be done down here. They do not want to change this down here. IT is crooked. EVerything about Skid Row is crooked. Look, no program is going to help you quit drugs. You have to want it. You have to want a different life. Being in a program, if you are lucky, can give you time to think about what you want to do. That is it. However, if you are not focused, you will do drugs or get swallowed up in the BS down here. You see it everywhere. Everybody is for themselves.
It is too competitive. The missions compete for money. State, Federal and donations. They do not compete to see who serves the public the best. They do not have to do that. they know that people here are hostages,in one form or another. It is sad. I was lucky. I just lucked up and got a job. It is hard. They say they care but their success rate is terribly low. How can they keep getting funding if their success rates are so low? It beats me. You have to depend on yourself to get better down here walt. The organizations have a low success rate. That is just how it is. With all of those millions how can they have such a low success rate?"

Drugs everywhere

On the first day I moved in this building I met a man who lives on my floor. I was anxious to talk to anyone that could ease my transition from one place in hell, to another place in hell.



I have watched this man change over a period of time. He has lost weight and his features have been changing. I had not seen him for a couple of days until this morning. He looks 20 times worse than he did two days ago. His face is sunk in and he lacks steadiness in his bearing.



The man is obviously increasing the amount of drugs he has been consuming. I believe he is the one who stole my phone. He is always in the room where I was when it was stolen. Many other people are smoking in this building. I know that management is going to do something about it. I was told that something was going to be done. I wish it would happen soon.



Each drug user is different. However when one lives in an environment where drugs are done alot and no one has money to do drugs, you have to worry about theft. We are not in Beverly Hills. Drugs are consumed there as well. The general profile is different. I hate profiles but the one thing that is true about drugs is that you need money to do them. Having money means certain types of behavior is not done. If money is lacking in the environment in which one is and the people are doing drugs in the environment, it is a safe bet that theft is going to happen.



It is happening in this building. Furthermore, a person knocked on my door, who is not a resident in my building. He asked me if I had drugs and if I did could he smoke with me.

Dam, I have to be around this activity?



This kind of activity occurs in every building in Skid Row. This building will clean out the drug users. It is a sober living facility. Therefore, people that live in here agreed to certain things. No drugs or alcohol is part of the agreement to be able to live here. They will test you randomly if you appear to be breaking the rules.



If there are drugs in this building, then you can bet that drug usage is rampant in buildings that are not sober living facilities. The $4 dollar guest fee that one must pay to visit or to have a visitor only hurts those that abide by the rules and do not do drugs. The drug users do not follow the rules. They have visitors all of the time in SRO type buildings and ignore the sign in rules. Some managers are great. Our manager is great. That is why I know the violators

of the rules, in this building, will be out of here. Our manager is so good that he does not allow loitering outside of the building.Why? He told me that,for some people, a crowd of people can act as a trigger and therefore he makes sure that everyone in his building can be as potentialy trigger free as can be. A trigger is something that can spark the usage of drugs.



The $4 dollar fee in Skid Row, designed to keep drug users out of buildings and separated from other users at night hurts innocent people. For instance, Garza is coming back in a few days.

We are trying to get a project off of the ground. Hopefully, this project will end up be a profitable venture. However, after 5 o'clock we can not meet at either his place or mine unless we pay 5 dollars. We do not have that kind of money to spend.



The housing rules in Skid Row are not "friendship" friendly. At first, I thought the 5 dollar fee was, maybe, effective. I thought it kept drugs out. But it is not. Drugs are everywhere. If you are not living in a sober living building there is really nothing that a person can do about it.

Those are the buildings where you can live much cheaper than this one, but you have no chance of keeping the drugs out.



The drugs are in the missions as well. Some of the employees even sell drugs. I am sure the executives do not know about this. But the executives are not in touch with the people on the street. The lower level employees are the ones who have contact. Drugs are everywhere.



One man told me this,"Walter, why should I purchase drugs on the street. That is stupid.

I can go into any of these missions as of one month ago and purchase any drug I want. I know because I have been doing it for years. I stopped doing drugs last month. I hope I stay off drugs. But the fact is only the stupid ones purchase drugs in the streets. The ones that are smart purchase drugs in the hotel buildings or the missions. The missions never run out of drugs because it is a safe place to store drugs if no one is keeping an eye on the seller. "



Low level employees will work through one person, many times. That person is able to come back and forth without notice. The seller would otherwise develop too much traffic in the facility. It is quiet and safe. He does not have to hold the drugs on his person and has much deniability. People who relapse, who want to keep it quiet, purchase drugs inside the missions.

If they have been around a long time they know that counselors and program directors drive around the outdoor drug hotspots to see if anyone from their program is out there.
There was a long time employee of a program who had been suspected of using drugs. One day she was spotted purchasing heroin outside out a park. She no longer is employed.

"walter, it is a scandalous world out here on Skid Row. For some one who is not naive, you sure are naive. I guress you really are a nerd. I remember the first time you found out people were doing drugs when we were at the T House. You were hurt. You see, walter, you quit drugs before you came down here. You did not have the drug perspective when you came down here.
You were funny. You thought every one wanted to improve their lives. But it is not true, walter. You have to realize that the veterans know that the best place to purchase drugs are the missions. All they need is one or two of the employees who work with the shelter clients. Just one. IF they find that one, then they will find the drugs. Even if no one starts out selling drugs, the money is too tempting for most. They fall prey to temptation. What better place to sell drugs than a place full of drug addicts who can sleep and wake up and have drugs there.
They do not have to go anywhere to buy drugs. The sellers do not have to risk being outside."

That was Gabrielle who said that. She is a veteran of these programs. She is clean and she was able to land a job in the Mid Wilshire area.

"The drugs are no longer in the streets. The drugs are sold in the big buildings down here. The Hotels, they are like being in the streets. Everyone knows to stay away from those places. You might as well buy drugs on the street. Buying inside, in a protected environment is the thing now. It is sick. No one nows what is going on down here. IT is just scandalous and you know I know. I saw a dealer the other day. He just got kicked out of one place. He is going back to a place where he was kicked out a month ago. The dealers are returning to places like the drug smokers used to do. Does that make any since to you? They get kicked out for selling drugs. They are able to return a month later, just like the drug users. They kick somebody down a few dollars and that is that. What they say is happening is not really happening down here.
IT is all a smoke screen. They want to keep in business. that is why they do not look too hard for the drugs. They need the business."