It Takes A Special Kind Of Success To Use The Poverello Spring-Board To Higher Titles

by Travis Mateer

I want to congratulate the Executive Director of the Poverello Center, Amy Allison-Thompson, on a job well done as she announces her plans to leave her position at the homeless shelter. Despite a few bumps in the road, Allison-Thompson successfully protected the important people in our community from the harsh realities of socio-economic misery and psychological anguish that permeates the clientele of the shelter.

It will be interesting to see where Allison-Thompson lands after retiring her position. Her predecessor, Eran Pehan, now runs the Office of Everything, and Ellie Boldman (no longer) Smith is a State Senator rolling around in Covid cash. The post-Pov job is a great measure of how successful a Pov ED was at protecting the right people from critical scrutiny.

Keeping the PR lid on tight was not an easy job, but Amy Allison-Thompson hung in there through expensive plumbing problems, a sexual assault, a murder self-defense killing, and a pandemic. I’m sure this loyalty to city leaders who control funding and dictate policy will be rewarded in some way.

One final success was recently announced as Allison-Thompson prepares to leave her job. The homeless warehouse on Johnson street, which was supposed to close down at the end of this month, will stay open through April. This is great news for people with PR concerns and accountability exposure. Not so much for neighbors, though, who deal with that pesky reality thing that persists, despite the best PR conjuring tricks. From the link:

Council member Sandra Vasecka thanked Jaeger and Armstrong for their hard work, but said many neighbors around the Johnson Street shelter have concerns.

“There have been property crimes, defecation on property, public drug use and alcohol use,” she said. “I know it’s a small population who uses these facilities, and it’s unfortunate that the actions of a few does impact the many. I am really concerned about that and I did promise my constituents that this would end at the end of March. They did see March as the light at the end of the tunnel.”

My buddy can confirm this shift in neighborhood dynamics. He lives between the temporary shelter and Trempers shopping center and never had his truck broken into in the years previous to the Johnson street facility opening. That has now changed.

When people’s lived experiences don’t jive with the PR narrative, it’s best they learn to just shut-up. They need to understand that they are not the important people with important titles doing the important work of massaging reality into a more attractive form.

To be one of those people you need to develop an ability to fail upward. Defying gravity like this is not an easy skill-set to develop, but I’m sure Amy Allison-Thompson has been mentored by the right people and is ready to move on to the next stage of her development.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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