Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Homeless in Oshkosh

Peter Thomas Gruenberg is his name. He asked me to use it. He said: "Use my entire name, 1st, middle, and last". "I want everybody to know what is going on." Mr Gruenberg is not happy. He became homeless and a few days later was kicked out of Father Carr's Shelter. He asked me to put his story out where everyone could see it. Here goes...

Pete is a long time Oshkosh resident somewhere around age 50. He is tall with black hair, glasses, and a mustache. He told me many times as I talked with him that he has no criminal record. He doesn't. I checked. He has fallen upon hard times. He went to Father Carr's and things began to look up. He came in with a full beard and looked pretty scruffy. Carr found him some disposable razors and told him to get rid of the beard. He also told him that he would pay for a much needed haircut. That was good news for Pete. Pete knew that he needed to look decent to get a job anywhere. He spent half an afternoon getting rid of that beard and also trimmed his mustache. He felt good. He was looking forward to getting a haircut the following morning. He felt good that someone would foot the bill for razors and a haircut.

He never got that haircut. Instead he was booted out of the homeless shelter. It seems the culprit was his mustache! Yes. He was booted out of Father Carr's Place 2B because he didn't shave his mustache, something that has been part of 'him' for over 30 years.

Suffering a foot problem, which had been partially addressed at Carr's Medical Clinic, Pete had hobbled downtown and went to the Salvation Army to see if there was any way that they could help him. Pete told me that Captain Johnny of the Salvation Army thought that there was a possibility that he could find something for him, possibly in Milwaukee.

Then Pete disappeared. No one has seen him. I would like to assume he is OK. I am not going to pry and ask Captain Johnny what happened to him...that's personal and none of my business.

Peter Thomas Gruenberg was a familiar face in downtown Oshkosh, someone you might see coming into the American Family Table in the morning for coffee. He doesn't deserve the jolt of being forced to cope with unfamiliar surroundings.

Pete does not agree with what some of the people in town say about Father Carr's. Pete says: "I would rather be on the street than at Father Carr's" ---a reference to the fact he has no criminal record.

Pete's other comment: "Carr will rot in Hell!"


Anonymous said...

Gary, I tried to find a way to email this to you rather than putting it out here in such a public way, but I was unsuccessful in my efforts.

For about two years now I have heard things like this about Father Carr and his "charity." While some of it has been read about in different places, I have also heard from social workers and staff at other charitable organizations that they have pitched in to help however they could when Father Carr booted people out.

I don't know first-hand whether these things are true or not, but usually where there's smoke there's fire. I think it is time that the concerns at least be looked into.

If you have access to anyone with first-hand experience, not hearsay, I would encourage you or them to get in contact with me. After making sure their complaints are accurate, I would be willing to either do a story on it for one of the publications I write for or put this on our Eye on Oshkosh program.

I can be reached through the show's web site at www.eyeonoshkosh.com) or by email at hosts@eyeonoshkosh.com.

Again, I don't know that these things are actually happening, but if they are, then people need to know about it. After all, being charitable and benevolent doesn't give someone a right to try to own and control the very people they claim to be helping.

- Cheryl Hentz
"Eye on Oshkosh"

AngelAiken AKA Thee U.M.O.G said...

my mom didnt like him and I never figured out why. I know it's got something to do with that...I know he kicked my dad out once...so I know that something is up.

Anonymous said...

I too have heard many stories of the Unjust activities of Father Carr. Word is Father Carr moved out to the highway to better accomodate his theory on life: "MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY".

With someone as isolated and well-off as Father Carr, he no longer understands the very people he pretends to serve. Since he has driven the needy away, his shelter sits mostly empty and his pockets have grown quite deep.

For many years he has been also been receiving willed donations that have included houses, vehicles and hundreds of thousands in property intended for those in need. Father Carr turns around and sells them, leaving those in need empty-handed and Father Carr's Place 2 B with an excess of money and nobody to serve.

The way he exploits those in need, he must be Republican.

Anonymous said...

iagree,with everybody we need to shut,him down,or let the state run it the right way.iam homeless too.

angel said...

well either the state or someone else we can keep in some sort of check so that this doesnt keep happening, this is just plain sick!

Anonymous said...

Father Carr provides his services WITHOUT any Taxpayer money WITHOUT any united way funding. His operation must adhere to the laws, and he has a board of directors.

You're not seriously suggesting that he is a bad person because, even if true he told Pete he couldn't stay with a mustache?

The place has rules. The place is also a voluntary place for people to go.

I think the real fear here is that the "entitlement left" as they are called on another blog, are concerned that if there was a father marty carr in every city in this country, the "social services" departments would have no work to do.

He's a VOLUNTEER. His services are AVAILABLE not required. He has RULES!

To find anything wrong with that is simply trying to discredit something that has worked for YEARS without Government support or funding. Man, that really pisses off the left. How can it work so well without the government! We must find a way to discredit it!

Give it a rest. Go Volunteer there and see for yourself!

Anonymous said...

To the last commenter.

It has nothing to do with political ideology.

If the homeless people feel upset and emotionally violated then those feelings are the issue. If Pete was upset, Pete should be listened to. People's feelings are not to be shoved aside.
Fr. Carr's work load, financial skills or political beliefs are not the issue.

If you were homelss, and someone offerd you a roof, a meal and a bed, you would respond with releif and gratitude, correct?
If the homeless at Fr. Carr's shelter are responding with ANGER then that would seem to indicate a problem that needs looking into.

The solution will be reached after getting the people to talk more, not by telling them to shut-up.