Articles of Interest: More money? What for?

Not much detail about how the massive increase of the City’s street people budget is going to be spent. A little more information hereThis article mentions a closing date for NGO applications: 29 May and there is also mention of Winter Readiness here.

This recent spate of articles raises a number of flags. It seems to be cut-and-paste from a press release suggesting a concerted effort on the part of CoCT to get as much mileage as possible from the budget increase. There is nothing wrong with making the most of one’s good intentions and hopefully the public at large will take the City’s lead in a more compassionate direction. But there is little (no?) acknowledgement of the complexity of the problems people face on the ground nor an attempt to demonstrate that the CoCT is aware that all programmes are contingent and imperfect. An example of the CoCT’s hubris is the way their media releases are very quick to say that street-based people sometimes refuse the offer of help. It would be refreshing if the CoCT could acknowledge that, while they are doing their best, they are aware that there are no one-size-fits all solutions nor is their understanding of the problem omniscient. Such humility would go a long way to educating the broader public, some of whom are very quick to provide “simple solutions” from their own armchairs. A genuinely compassionate response has to be predicated on not making assumptions about what I think is good for you, otherwise it is not compassionate, it is paternalistic.

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