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This is the 24th in a series of programs entitled seeds of discontent presenting the program tonight is hard bread Smith Jr. assistant professor in the School of Social Work Wayne State University Professor Smith. Our basic format on seeds of discontent prior to last week involve seeking out the voices concerns and causes of discontent of persons living in the problem failed and conflict ridden world of the urban society. Last week we began a phase in our series of programs that will involve taking a look at what contemporary organizations agencies and programs are doing to confront and resolve the conflict around us. What is or is not done by those whom society has assigned this responsibility can itself be a cause of discontent. Our country decided a long time ago and theory at lease that at a given point in time when problems mount beyond the capacities of individuals to control our SOL collective
plans and actions on the part of institutions agencies and programs must be the order of the day. If the current programs and agencies are not equal to the task for various reasons or other then they must be supplemented replaced or new designs for Social Action created or otherwise needs and frustrations will continue to mount. Last week our spotlight was on a United Community Services a metropolitan Detroit which allocates well over 20 million dollars and United Foundation drive fund for over 100 community health and welfare agencies and metropolitan Detroit. Based on standards evolved from interviews of Endor city residents regarding causation and available research data we concluded that radical changes were going to have to be made by U.S. if it was ever going to be relevant to the real issues and problems of urban society and the trouble years ahead.
Tonight we turn to the programs and services currently being rendered by the mayor's Committee for Human Resources Development and the city of Detroit. This program was formerly known as the city's total action against poverty program a byproduct of the nation's declared war on poverty. Our guest will be Mr. Richard salmon director of the newly named agency. Much has been said about urban problems in recent years and it seems clear that housing housing conditions meaningful jobs racism police community relations and the development of structures and community organization models that will allow more meaningful participation by those locked in ghettos are key areas that must be given attention. These factors should be kept in mind. As we began our interview with Mr. Simmons at this particular time. From the national level the threat is in the area of manpower.
You may remember Hartford that the legislation for the Economic Opportunity Act as far back as fiscal year nineteen sixty six was to say that jobs and training were far ML's and that also other services were supported efforts. I tend to somewhat agree with this myself. I have always said and let me point out that. My background is in social work that I have always felt as foolish to counsel a hungry man. You know the man the job and the floor barely bring in the other support or services and then you can make. Help him become their first class citizen that we are always talking about. Now to get right straight to the mark. Then let us say that the manpower programs that we have operational. We're attempting to turn them into a systems approach rather than a loose
federation that we have had over the past few years. Now the loose federation comes about because of the way our programs are funded we have programs funded and funded from of a rather sources office of economic opportunity health education and welfare the department of labor agriculture commerce you name it. It is the putting together of these programs to bring as many services to bear for the good of the community that makes the whole. And this is where we're going this year. One of the problems that has always beset us as we've tried to explain the program even to our board that is a powerfully avez a committee. It's sort of staggering because the program has 52 different components and delegate agencies around the whole gamut of the headstart neighborhood Legal Service foster
grandparents homemaker. Emergency loans and all of these. The Office of Economic Opportunity is now looking at all of these things as necessary to break the scent of poverty that first and foremost is jobs. That's as I mentioned jobs let me point out the most important programs that have come on the horizon in the last year is a concentrated Employment Project we have one in the city of Detroit which is fantastic to the tune of six million federal dollars. This program. Is a natural evolution in employment. It has many parts made of operation main stream that's bringing persons in for urban beautification purposes. Training them to do the tree trimming and shrubbery and all of this this come from. Senator Guevara Nelson's program where he said
supporting. Mrs. Johnson and others said we need to beautiful. That's also part of overcoming the sense of poverty. It was a program that we certainly know our inner city needs a sort of thing. The new careers program which is a very important entity which is certainly going to grow larger and that's building a career ladder that has an outlet and climate. Career Ladder steps taking the subtle fashion of person giving him work experience and education so that he evolves from that's professional to a professional. If he wishes to do so. The. Other part of a special impact having person's work right in their community. Hopefully we can get to the part that they'll actually be working on houses and other things working with agents and others right in the community community to see can you make that difference.
And it goes on and on and on. Now the jobs program. Which has been getting quite a bit of press now stem from. I guess taking a look at what has been done by everybody over the past few years and we all know that the inappropriate testing procedures and other things that have blocked the poor whether they be rural or urban incidentally from jobs this needed to be modified. This is not to say that employers. Needed to drop their standards. It was an assessment. Of what the standards were doing or whether standards appropriate or appropriate for the job to be done. And we well know that they weren't. So therefore. This changing and modification of the intake procedure the screening procedures for jobs is very important and the involvement of private industry in this effort.
Really was the key point because in spite of all of the efforts of the federal government to set up training programs. And other things unless there was a job at the end of the road and then being a thing so involving private industry making private industry a prime contractor for. A job to bring people in and give them a job. With support of services and other things is the moving toward the ultimate. The involvement of the public and the private sector in this effort is critical. One of the other certainly frightening problems are many many urban scene today is that dealing with housing and housing conditions or what. If anything is possible for for your programs or your organization to accomplish in this area. By this I mean the.
Stimulation of tenant councils or are looking into assisting people to get information about low down payments on houses rehabilitation of housing. Or does this spill over into another area. The other part of the complex cities of the Office of Economic Opportunity Program spills into many areas certainly is what you just mentioned hard for is Housing and Urban Development Department. This is their business. But at the same time. Does allow room. To. Give educational programs in the area of how you go about farming cooperatives and other things to see can you get programs for low cost housing now frankly. The housing problem is such a phenomena so staggering. In
my opinion it is a priority because the defacto segregation and all the other things that stem from it that a monumental effort will have to be put into it in the city of Detroit. I would say that the model cities program is just such an effort to see what you can do if you concentrate on a particular area of a community with money and programming to see can you develop. Systems of social services tied in with physical repair and new buildings to make a model city community. I think we see. The. Political arena moving pairs the urban. Eradication process that's coming in and urban renewal are tearing down everything.
Either to Bill. They had a rise in income. Apartments are low income housing. We're moving into an area where there is the knowledge that you need to reassess what you're doing so you can you rehabilitate. And this is very important and I think we see this trend from the national level which will be reflected in the local community too. But the problem is can you do it fast enough you know it's peculiar that up in Detroit up until 1963 we had a saw what we call a soft housing market. But with the big boom that took place in heavy industry and out of the own industry and a new influx of persons into the city at this time we have one of the tightest housing markets in the country and it poses a problem. Open housing if you want to care that's a little farther than many people call this a token just yeah consider this as a sort of US
ego. If we want to use those terms these sort of. Thing that we need to have there so people would know that they can. Move and live where they wish to. Whether they can afford to and one needs to know that he can go where he wishes to go. He would have a great deal of psychological you know would have to receive psychological and symbolic impact on the community. I wonder if you could give us some idea of the size of your program from the point of view of staff and facilities at this time. Well it's pretty hard for say to. Explain that's I'll speak about those programs in that we directly operate ourselves as a starter. For example we have four target areas and each one of these target areas have a multi purpose. Major Center
an average of about four. Or. So centers which will store fronts. Or something of that sort. Where in these appendages to the mean Center we recognize that our target areas are so large and the distance so vast in them that everybody would not be completely aware of that now to a purpose center so to put the appendages out there to run the services in the area of counseling and the many other things we do with a very important matter so we have four. Major centers of about 16. Service centers. We also have some set up intake so no this is there so purpose and take for this very important program two of them which makes us have 18 year. Sub centers now through the sap program we have some other operations that's come
into being a senior center. Over on the. West side of the city. Operating out of cotton Metropolitan Church daycare facility all of these are demonstration projects but I guess I would have to include them as facilities that we have. Available. These are not intake centers So these are pro program magic facilities. I think a part of your question was how many persons do we have working directly for us. Let's say it's about nine hundred fifty which interestingly enough. Seven hundred and fifty are the professional and nonprofessionals. These are persons who. In the main have been hired right out of the local community. Going through a training process become the advocates for the poor they have developed some
expertise and. Refer it's Jap testing and doing all sorts of things I think this is very important for people to keep in mind because of the allegation that the program is overloaded from the standpoint of administration of professionals this is certainly not true. There is something else that. Has been kind of pushed aside. The Office of Economic Opportunity was not set up to hire people. It was set up as a program to become the first hit go. To work with the community people to move them into the mainstream r into the good life as some people call it. And therefore the real mark of any of these programs is not how many people have been directly have by the program itself but how many people have you moved into a better standard of living.
I want to be quite honest here. The Office of Economic Opportunity itself has a proud had a problem of accountability and numbers. Doing 1965 or 66 we didn't because of the headlong way we were trying to come to grips with the problems. We didn't take the time to do the deed to your county that night be and that have stood us in good stead now that so many people bring the program under attack but in eighteen sixty seven. We have really begun to make the Stafford of accounting for the number of persons who have come in to receive service. We could see. That the persons who have been who have been placed in jobs through the efforts of the program. Last fiscal year will probably come out to around 9000 personnel. One thing I want to hastily clarify this
9000 personnel and. Place programs have nothing to do with that 53 million dollars which I tried to point out very quickly at the beginning. Here's a program from the Ghana legal services here starting all the rest. So let's not fall into the trap of saying only 9000 persons were placed in the jobs through 53 million dollars not by any means and only talking about one year anyway. A number of emerging groups are right. Many are. Feel in part that the establishment has to be radically changed. Are you having a lot of difficulty in reaching these groups to get them to
come together to join. Our enemy straight. Yes yes we have Harvard. You're quite correct. That we have seen the formulation of many. Groups and entities which advocate themselves as a spokesman for the community. I think it's very regrettable. That there couldn't have been a joining of hands so that action and effort could be made. I do not deny the fact. That for the old line agencies such as the Urban League the NAACP and others. They have been pushed by these new groups. Yet at the same time if everybody could join hands it would have been a better effort because every time you start a new group you say oh yeah then you splatter the whole effort and this is been the courier's particularly of the Negro community.
Mr. Simmons I wonder if you would provide us with some information regarding. Your work in the year your programs work in the year you have improving police community relations. We all know that this. Certainly is one of the major problems in all urban centers. And if you could give us some information. Sure. Yes Hartford and I would say that in 1965. First year be we program that we have an in-service training. Program for eighteen hundred in a city. Policeman. We now have one ongoing ongoing at the present time. There is no other. Systems approach that we're trying here. We have a program called Youth Service Corps which has been delegated to
the neighborhood service organization to work with 14 and 15 year olds. They work out of the police police precincts. When they want to time they can work eight hours. They farm. They. Have been doing spotting for abandoned cars. Helping out of crossings in the summertime and they. Will work in the parks with youngsters and. Do a variety of things. But the primary purpose of this. Is to expose them to the way the police work I think the policemen themselves said gained a great deal of insight from these youngsters I want to point out that these are our goodie goodie youngsters either these are youngsters that. Have had some sort of. Discipline discipline problems in school or Birchers with the police and other things. We took a look at their
programme and decided that there ought to be a career ladder built here. So then we requested from the Department of Justice. Don't your police could DARE program to pick up youngsters from 15 and 16. They're saying Well to really put this together let's build this home through the police cadets. There's a six to 17 rather through 21 21 and a person. The youngsters. A platform become a policeman a sample and we hope through this vehicle that we could bring youngsters an F-14 and if they wish to continue in their program from 14 all the way through 21. Then become police because. Quite bluntly put. We know that they have a problem in recruiting negro police. And here we hope to
expose the inner city youngsters to police work. Get him to understand him. And as I say and not just go out and get the goody goody youngster to bring those youngsters who are having problems into this work for the past several years. It's been increasingly clear it's become increasingly clear. To authorities to study analyze. Damn for. That somehow. Major. Public as well as private programs are going to have to seek a greater level of community participation from those living and ghetto areas. And I wonder if you can give us little information regarding. The steps that your program has taken in that direction. That's a well put question. Heartless for the simple reason if
Ojo is remembered for anything it will be the concept of maximum feasible citizen participation and it's been a terrific area of controversy. All over the country and in essence has led to. The diminishing of the various a tower funding because many persons felt threatened. Many politicians and others felt threatened by this concept. Just to speak directly to the local Detroit community though. Our policy advisory committee. Which is composed of. A sort of trap party entity. One part being. The programmers and the other part person representatives of the community at large and the other part the consumer. Citizens of the target area the citizens of the target area and I would say
our local community certainly have express their opinions about the program and if anyone have attended our meetings they will know that our service and the very vocal they have had a. Great part in the decision making of the programs of the organizations up to the point that they could be earmarking of the local community certainly doesn't have a town mayor that used to have and programming money and there that let's manage a program anymore. But in spite of that. Earmarked monies the citizens still can have their say in seeing to it that these programs are carried out. Near the end of the interview. I asked Mr. Simmons to comment on some of the problems faced by a large multi focused program such as the mayor's committee on human resources development. Each one of the.
Funding sources has its own rules and regulations we call them gad a lance. And a lot of confusion stems from that each one each department of the United States Government seen they have the home school funding year we have. Started programs because they all don't end on the same funding year because they need to be tied together a program that's a very important part of the whole. Draft. So you already have that sort of problem. I'm not saying here that the system hasn't worked but the system hasn't completely been there just from the way the new federal legislation comes into being in the way different programs are started. You know. You could almost say how in the devil can you really plan a neat program when you don't know what your money is going to be from one year to the next.
Well that's very true. When the Office of Economic Opportunity came into being the major portion of it was the Community Action Program versus our funding that is money that could be programmed with the advice and the thoughts. Of the local community. We see less and less of this. Verse of how money is being diminished all the time. Now we found the majority of our programs earmarked. There's only a certain way you're going to spend that money and you have to spend it in this particular area. The Office of Economic Opportunity has always stated that they are not in the bricks and mortar business. So we really can't back away. We cannot Babil. And we cannot bill them either. We have to leave on a one. Off basis. There have been many criticisms from some quarters since the series of explosions throughout the
country last summer. There have been charges that programs such as the mayor's Committee for Human Resources Development merely heightens expectations and inflames tensions and conflicts. And there has been the standard accusation that wasted taxpayers money. Based on the standards that we have evolved from those affected by socio economic conflicts and problems and all available research data. The mayor's Committee for Human Resources Development seems to be zeroing in on most of the problem areas which are causes of discontent in urban society. And indeed if a comparison is made between the efforts and those of a stablished traditional agencies such as those within the United Community Services structure covered last week this relatively new program seems to be miles ahead. From the point of view of involvement of any city residents and decision making about programs that affect their lives. And from the point of view of imagined programming which is geared to key
problems of our times. And this is done with a total budget of twenty eight million for the year of one thousand nine hundred sixty eight. Aside from the fact that the United Community Services budget of better than 20 million covers a tri county area their total budget differences at this time do not appear to be that great. It appears that this new program is also getting better mileage for its money as well. There are problems however as Mr. Simmons has pointed out. These involve restrictions on long range planning because of short term funding. No funds to build buildings and the inability to involve more of the new emerging groups and a concert did attack on the problems of urban life as opposed to administration of programs however. This has more to do with the insecurities in the American public as a whole about community action on the part of those at the bottom. A reactionary Congress any generally
Seeds of discontent
Episode Number
Episode 24 of 26
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Wayne State University
WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3313 and 3314. This prog.: Assessment of the response, attitude and relevancyof Detroit's Poverty Program, including an interview with the director.
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Producing Organization: Wayne State University
Producing Organization: WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
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Identifier: 68-15-24 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:30:19
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