Friday, January 2, 2009

It's all in the family

If you looked closely at today's Tracy Press, you noticed that there was more than one Mendelson in its pages.

That's because my father, Bill, was quoted extensively in a story about Tracy participating (finally) in the countywide homeless count. He's the executive director of CVLIHC, which runs several programs that help homeless folks find housing.

I've written about the need for Tracy to join in the count in the past, and the connection is no mistake. Bill has been involved in running homeless shelters and homeless help programs since I was in grade school. I've been around this kind of work most of my life, and I admire the hell outta my dad and the other people who do it.

You could say I come by my own advocacy honestly.

For full clarification, Bill's never once asked me to write about his operation, the homeless counts
or any other topic. The reason homelessness so frequently flows from my pen — er, keyboard — is because I truly believe the rest of us have an ethical mandate to help. Call it a benefit (or burden) of my upbringing.

So I'm glad to see Tracy getting on board with this year's count.

A big round of applause to the local officials who decided the nonparticipation of the past was not the way of the future. Because admitting there is a problem is the first step to fixing it.

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