Volunteers of America shelter statement
January 6, 1993
Religious, therapeutic, criminal or other groups who originate either from groups inside or outside the Shelter or from the Shelter itself are engaged in a campaign of primarily psychological influence and persecution against me both inside and outside the Shelter for the possible purposes of recruitment, revenge, manipulation, control, extortion, cover-up, as a cautionary example to others, for reasons of general perversity or other reasons.
Though there are possible non-conspiratorial explanations such as the usual frictions from living in a Shelter, race and class differences and my not talking to them much (though I would still hold the Shelter responsible for my security in any event), I feel that what has happened to me goes beyond this because this has been happening to me before I came to live in Shelters, because it happens outside the Shelter and because of the nature of the occurences (sic) within the Shelter itself. I have provided examples of these occurences (sic) from roughly the past month, but have many more that stretch back to my arrival at the Shelter back in Feb 1991 and which I may or may not bring forth depending on the outcome of this initial investigation.
11/27 - Cross footbridge in evening for first time since was stacked over a year ago. In Dorm 4, a Client Care brings a tray of food to bed 333. Victor Robinson (bed 330), tells the Client Care that it's all right for him to eat in here. I had not eaten at the Shelter since I was poisoned here in Feb '92 and I feel that the Shelter was trying to get me to eat there again in order for it to look like everything was normal (or perhaps to have the opportunity to put things in my food again.)
11/28 - Another attempt to get me to eat at the Shelter. A client asks if I'm going to eat. I say no. Shortly, someone comes to bed 331 and plays his radio very, very loudly. Retaliation.
11/29 - Clients in 320's talk of blacks being tribes of Israel.
- Black, female Client Care comes into the dorm and someone gets into an argument with her and begins taunting her with sexist remarks "sweetie, honey, etc". (sic) She says she's going to report it to her supervisor. Perhaps this was a set-up to show me that I was not the only victim of insulting language like I had suffered from some of the Metal Detector guards and a client Care in mid-November, since I would be going to the Coalition for the Homeless the next day.
11/30 - Go to Coalition about my problems about welfare benefits.
- Coming back to the Shelter, an EMS flashes passed me on Ward's (sic) Island. This had not happened to me for awhile, but I feel that in the past a conspiracy has existed between the Shelter and the EMS to intimidate me with the sight of an emergency medical situation.
12/1 - Waiting for a meeting with my case worker, I see a person carrying a GAP bag and a blind person, 2 symbols I frequently see on the outside of the Shelter from the groups persecuting me, but rarely inside. I wait 2 hours, until 10 am for my meeting. I've never had to wait nearly that long. The woman from Faith Sharing announces a meeting in the meantime and since I'm supposed to call back the Coalition at 10:30, the later time gives my case worker the opportunity to request that I call the Coalition in his presence.
- I see a CSS client who resembles "George Carlin" who used to say strange yet pointed things and who I hadn't seen for awhile.
- Flashing EMS passes me again around 7:45 pm.
- A gay sounding client says that they never had any trouble here until someone arrived.
- Victor Robinson says someone's doing the right thing.
12/2 - In Linen Room, a male, Latin supervisor says that someone was kept in the Shelter for 3 1/2 years to make an example of him. A black, female supervisor says that someone can complain, but she'll tell her side and win. That someone thinks he can get out of here just by saying so, but we can stop him.
12/4 - Ask Linen Room if the Shelter received any of the DDT laced blankets that the Pentagon distributed to the homeless.
12/5 - Client Care Supervisor Ms. Castillo (not my ex-case worker Evelyn Castillo) and Mr. Wittenberg bring in a ragged, old guy as I enter and Ms. Castillo says "get him out of here". There is a nervous looking black male Client Care doing the time cards. The line is very long, which is unusual for a Saturday. He keeps yelling at clients. A client behind me says the Client Care has a point because people should follow rules. Another client says that it's not the Client Care's job to do that. I feel this particular Client Care, who wears glasses similar to mine, was put there as a kind of message telling me I'm getting involved in areas I shouldn't.
- When I return in the evening, one of the metal detector guards tells a "drunk" client to leave his cans outside.
12/8 - Ask Mr. Maher at IM32 (welfare center) if I can see my file for my upcoming welfare case. He is very argumentative. Have a feeling they don't want me to see it.
- EMS with flashing lights passes me on Wards Island.
- O'Kelly Christmas walks with crutches.
- Victor Robinson says someone's going to be here for 15 years.
12/9 - 8:30 am, as I stand in line to exit, a Fire Truck pulls up. Client Care supervisor Ms. Castillo says it's a false alarm to the fireman.
- CAB meeting.
12/10 - At around 6 am, as I'm getting dressed, O'Kelly Christmas is complaining loudly about someone coughing in the 320's and nobody complaining since he might have TB or something. I feel this was a reference to my not complaining about anything at the CAB meeting last night.
- While waiting for van, black client makes kung fu noises and moves. Says his grandfather started "Born To Kill" gang.
- Inside the van, a black client yells that somebody stole his jacket. He orders me to open my bag and perfunctorily asks others to do same.
- At IM32, they are 5 minutes late opening the doors. They keep people from going upstairs for a few moments because of no security. When I sit down, 2 black females say threateningly that if someone wants to be nasty, she'll show them nasty. Mr. Maher comes out with file. Cooperative.
- Pass St. Agnes Church on the 101 bus as the church is burning around 7:15 pm.
- O'Kelly Christmas yells at me to push my bed against the wall so he could bring his locker over. I say that if 336 could turn his locker sideways he might have enough room and if not, I would be willing to push my bed over. I don't know what brought this on. CAB meeting, Mr. Maher, St. Agnes?
- Lexington and 125 bus stop - White, older man says to black woman as I approach, "Don't call us, we'll call you." (Reference to fire?). On the 35 bus they talk about buying something for $150 and to be sure and buy it at a place where you can take it back if you need to get it fixed. then he repeats the "Don't call us" line again as they get off.
12/11 - Waiting for case worker, there's false fire alarm. Legless guy in wheelchair comes out.
- Case worker makes big push for me to see psychologist again. Is this in reference to St. Agnes or the 180 day penalty I wanted him to mention in his letter for my welfare Fair Hearing?
- He and my former case worker talk outside about not pressuring some client who had already spent 3 weeks in the PBT program (like me).
12/14 - Legless Latin guy in wheelchair exits shelter as I enter. He talks of pizza. I had eaten pizza earlier.
12/15 - Visit John Jay College planning to enroll in their Legal Studies program.
- At bed sign-in, a bald Latin Client Care is reading a book on Basic Chess Moves. Chess seems to be a recurring theme of one of the possible groups. When I was staying at the shelter on E 77th St back in Feb '91, a group of people who took an interest in me avidly played chess. A person at the TAP center I recently went to also asked if I played chess.
- Something smells bad near my bed.
- Victor Robinson tells someone to get out of here. He also talks about chess and losing a queen.
12/16 - Magazine on my wall with Malcolm X on the cover.
- At IM32 a black guy talks about Malcolm X.
12/17 - When I drop by to pick up my tokens to go to my Fair Hearing, my (previous shelter case worker) Dexter Fauntleroy says in a gruff voice as I pass that he hopes someone doesn't lose his 9 1/2 weeks.
- At 125 and Lex(ington) bus stop, a Latin guy who says his name is "Luke", but everyone calls him Louie is staying in the shelter annex, just arrived a few days ago. Says that he's in a 12-step program at Gracie Hospital and that they told him that he should try and talk to non-drink and drug people like me. He stays with me throughout the bus trip and tells me about losing his apartment because of drinking and drugging. This seems to be code for when I do things that are controversial. I had insisted at my Fair Hearing that I'd like to complain about the way my case was handled even though they dropped the charges and had phoned a legal service to speak with them about it. He also said his landlady was mad at him at first, but said he could pay back what he owed her in installments when he got back on his feet. This owing money theme seems to pop up every once in awhile. Going back to the E. 77th Shelter, some of the people there had said threateningly and under their breath that it cost $500/ mo to stay there. Even though I read since that they were HRA funded. It could also be from a Christian mission that I stayed at in California where when I left there I believe they stole my wallet or (the reason could be) some other shelter or perhaps this is just a general extortion scheme.
- At the E. 16th welfare office, 2 black guys stand behind me an one says to the other that he owes him money because he did him a favor.
12/19 - Bed 332, Horace Jordan (?) does an imitation of a Chinese person. Talks about Asian women in a crude, sexual manner. When O'Kelly Christmas comes in, he asks him about his SSI and Christmas gets very mad. Christmas starts making crude sexual remarks about Asian women, calls me Bruce Lee and says he wants to have sex with Mickey (a client in the 340's).
12/20 - When I get up, Jordan refers to me as "kung fu"
- I report this to Client Care Norman Blackshear, but say I don't feel it's a random racist remark, but from groups who have been harassing me. He tells me to report it to his supervisor, Frederick Wittenberg, which I do and Mr. Wittenberg fills out a report and says that I'll probably hear something on Monday.
12/21 - Exiting dorm, I pass a black guy with a cane (Montgomery?) who had said racist things to me in past, but who I hadn't seen for awhile. It's like he knows I am reporting these things and wants to be reported also. He says hello to me.
12/22 - On the day I am going to the Legal Services, there is a long line. Client Care Julio (who I've had problems with in the past) pulls my elbow as he is positioning the line and says "This way." That client who looks like George Carlin passes by, supposedly wanting to be reported also or maybe he wants me to speak with him.
- When return, have appointment slip to see Katherine McKinney in OCM. The therapy theme again.
- Jordan asks me to watch his radio. When he returns he gives me a candy with the word "BINGO" on it. Did he say those racist remarks because he knew I was going to the Legal Services and wanted me to bring up the Shelter?
- The Intake guards talk of how peaceful and helpful Atlanta, Georgia is.
12/23 - exiting shelter, a Latin guy makes cartoonish Asian sounds as I exit.
- Christmas says that some "slant-eyed" person should have stayed in his country, etc.
- Sign-In - One client or Client Care tells a Client Care that owes somebody $550.
12/24 - When return to shelter at 5 pm, EMS 151 is out front. Inside, 2 white EMT's are wheeling out a small black client. One of the EMT's says "shut up" as I pass. I feel like this is another occasion of people going out of their way for me to report them since I have an appointment with my case worker in 1 hour.
- Walking back to dorm after meeting, there are several mentions of death. Christmas says he hopes something doesn't fall down. Is he setting this whole thing up?
12/30 - Tell case worker, David Jacobs, to delay formal complaint of goings on until I can organize my thoughts better. The way the complaint had read so far was mainly against O'Kelly Christmas. (Is that his real name?)
- When come back to shelter at night, black guys playing chess on top of Christmas' locker. Christmas comes over to my bed and says some racist remarks, then goes away. Feel this is in response to my impending complaint against him since he'd been pretty docile passed (sic) couple of days. I complain to a Client Care who comes back to quiet him down, but Christmas not there. Says he'll be back. Christmas comes back makes more racist remarks. I go out and complain. Another Client Care comes back and asks him to stop. Christmas sort of agrees. Client Care leaves. Christmas makes more remarks and a threat. The first Client Care comes by and I report it again. Victor or someone says later that someone won 2 chess games. Feel like this whole thing (is) a set-up or something.
12/31 - Move my bed against wall so Christmas will have enough room for his locker and will take away his main excuse.
1/1 - Christmas comes into bathroom and yells at me for "snitching" on him 2 days ago. I say that I moved locker for him. He says that he'll "bust my ass" and doesn't care if I report him. I'm not sure if I take him seriously. Everything seems phony. I report him to Mr. Lewis.
1/2 - When exit shelter in morning, guard says he verbally abused someone. A "drunk" Latin guy i(s) brought in. Client Care doing time cards gives client in front of me message to call his mother.
- When return at night, Christmas and a longhaired blond guy who I've seen lately are playing chess on top of Christmas ' locker.
1/3 - Fire Truck 35 pulls up and is told that it's false alarm as I exit.
1/1 (?) - EMS 116 and a Lenox Hills ambulance are parked in front of shelter. When I arrive around 7:20 pm.
1/12/92 - Felt very weak with a bad headache after eating breakfast. Before, in the dorm, somebody mentioned something about the peanut butter. When standing in line, a Client Care said that somebody was a "snitch." 2 days before, they had shown a video on Camp LaGuardia. It was attended by 2 clients who used to harass me and who I hadn't seen for awhile. The day after I got sick, I was scheduled to receive a job training stipend from BEGIN which I received after complaining in a letter to HRA that hinted that cults might be involved in the delay of my stipend.
1) Religious or other cult-like groups out of the shelter - Separation of church and state.
2) Study of the number of workers in Shelter with strong religious affiliations. Do they get preferential treatment? Is there any job-networking apparatus involved? Do they have undue influence in the Shelter?
3) Similar study of workers with criminal or drug records.
4) Investigation into the use of clients as agents of harassment and manipulation and the sorts of pay-offs they might receive.
5) Clients should be seen by a case worker on day of arrival to insure proper ID. Perhaps a special worker could be assigned this task.
6) Check clients Social Security numbers against those of deceased persons.
7) Fingerprint clients to discourage use of stolen ID or entering under assumed names.
8) Client Cares in Schwartz dorms during open hours to control noise and other problems in a vigilant, yet professional manner.
9) Encourage clients to report any malfeasance and respond to such reports in an open and effective manner that does not make the client feel the fear of retaliation or that a cover-up is being engineered.
10) Have a similar reporting mechanism for staff so they won't feel overworked or that they are being made the scapegoats for ineffective Shelter policy or lack of leadership.
11) On-site City Representative whose main function would be as an advocate for client grievances.
12) Make clear that this is a public shelter.
13) Stronger enforcement of rules.
14) Continued support and development of CAB.
15) Investigation into the existence and influence of these groups within the shelter.
16) Separation of Shelter and Social Work.
posted: december 12, 2004
web page update: january 1, 2005