Homeless to lose some spots after 2 New Bedford transitional housing programs lose HUD funding

I’m taking a step back from classic films for a moment to talk with all my fellow bloggers. In my “real” life, I have a job as program director of Network House in New Bedford, MA. It’s part of the Veteran’s Transition House, and a ten bed program for civilians suffering from homelessness and substance abuse. Network House has helped hundreds of people get their lives back on track since it’s inception in 1998.

But no more. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has decided to stop funding transitional programs and go with Housing First, designed to put people directly into permanent housing situations. They feel this is the best way to go, and we, along with other transitional programs, have been defunded as of 4/30/16.

But for the nine men currently residing at Network House, they now have nowhere to go. They came to us directly from detoxes, shelters, even jails. They’re not ready to go out on their own yet. I’ve been given until July 1st to find appropriate housing for them. Some will wind up homeless once again, some will relapse, some may die. I’ll do the best I can. All I’m asking of my fellow bloggers is to reblog this post and the article that follows, share to your social media sites,  and maybe we can send  message to HUD that transitional housing should not be eliminated, especially in the midst of a nationwide opiate crisis. If you can’t, I understand, but if you think it’s worthy enough to share with your viewers, I thank you.

NEW BEDFORD — Joseph Moniz said he has struggled with addiction for 20 years and been in and out of jail. Thanks to Network House, a transitional housing program for civilians based out of the Veteran’s Transition House (VTH) on Willis Street, Moniz, 42, said he has gotten treatment and a whole host of services to help him get back on his feet. “It’s given me my self-esteem and self purpose back,” he said. “This is like a stepping stone for the next

Source: Homeless to lose some spots after 2 New Bedford transitional housing programs lose HUD funding

(Cracked Rear Viewer will return to looking at classic films soon. Meanwhile, if you’d like to make a donation to the Veterans Transition House, please go to our website. Any little bit helps house a homeless man. Thank you.)

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Move over Keanu, it’s GAY PURR-EE (Warner Brothers 1962)

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Where else can you see Parisian pussycats dancing the Can-Can at the Mewlon Rouge but in GAY PURR-EE? This animated musical feature from UPA Studios was a bit more adult themed than it’s Disney counterparts, at least by 1962 standards. It’s the story of Mewsette, a country cat in 1890’s Provincial France who dreams of living the life of a big city kitty in Paris. One day she decides to chuck it all and hops on her mistress’s sister’s coach to head for the City of Lights. Her boyfriend, the mouse-catching Jaune-Tom, and his amusing little pal Robespierre, set out to find her and rescue her from the clutches of the scoundrel Meowrice, who together with Madame Rubens-Chatte plan to train Mewsette in the ways of the world and sell her off to a fat American cat.

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The vocal stars of GAY PURR-EE are Robert Goulet, fresh off his Broadway success in CAMELOT, and the one-and-only Judy Garland. Judy’s film career had been at a standstill since the box office failure of 1954’s A STAR IS BORN (now considered a classic), and she owed big bucks to the IRS. But her singing career was still going strong, and getting Garland to do an animated film was considered quite a coup. Judy had only one demand, though: she had the filmmakers hire Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg to write the songs, the duo responsible for the tunes in Garland’s greatest hit, THE WIZARD OF OZ, and her signature song “Over The Rainbow”.

Arlen and Harburg didn’t disappoint. The songs in GAY PURR-EE are Broadway quality, and Judy adds her own inimitable style to “Little Drops of Rain”, “Take My Hand, Paree”, and “Paris is a Lonely Town”. Goulet gets to show off his baritone on “Mewsette”, and even voice actor extraordinaire Paul Frees (Meowrice) sings two humorous tunes, “The Money Cat” and “The Horse Won’t Talk”.

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Red Buttons can be a bit annoying as comic relief cat Robespierre, but he’s there mainly for the kiddies (no, not kitties!). Hermione Gingold lends her unique voice to Madame Rubens-Chatte, and Man of 1000 Voices Mel Blanc shows up as a burly bulldog. Morey Amsterdam is the narrator, and a man on a ship shanghaied along with Jaune-Tom and Robespierre. Special shout-out to The Shadow Cats, Meowrice’s silent henchmen. Delineated all in black, with shifty yellow eyes, these bungling criminal cats add an amusing dimension to the nefarious doings of Meowrice.

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The movie is done in limited-animation style, colored in a gorgeous pastel palette. One scene that stands out is in the film’s middle, with Meowrice writing to American groom-to-be Mr. Henry Phtt about Mewsette’s progress. A series of portraits of the feline fatale are shown in the styles of painters Cezanne, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso, Renoir, Rousseau, and Toulouse-Lautrec, among others. The visuals here are outstanding, and the colors pop with vibrancy.

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Director Abe Levitow got his start working under Warner’s cartoon king Chuck Jones, and their styles are very similar. Jones himself wrote the screenplay with his wife Dorothy, and when Warner found out afterwards, they promptly fired him for breeching his exclusive contract with the studio. Chuck bounced back quicker than Wile E. Coyote, moving to MGM to take over their TOM AND JERRY shorts, with the TV classic HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS soon on the horizon.

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GAY PURR-EE is fun for film fans, an interesting experiment in animation that’s not quite a classic, but still very watchable today. The visuals are lovely to look at, the vocal talents delightful, and we get to hear Judy sing some wonderful Arlen and Harburg songs one more time. I’d give it two paws up!

Happy 100th Birthday Glenn Ford: 3:10 TO YUMA (Columbia 1957)

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Actor Glenn Ford was born 100 years ago today in Sainte-Christine-d’Auergne, Quebec, Canada. Yes, the All-American star was actually Canadian, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1939. That same year, Ford signed a contract with Columbia Pictures and began a long, prosperous career with the studio. After getting noticed in films like HEAVEN WITH A BARBED WIRE FENCE, SO ENDS OUR NIGHT, and TEXAS (his first Western), Ford took a break from acting and joined the Marine Corps to serve in World War II.

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After the war, Glenn Ford was one of Hollywood’s top leading men. He hit it big with 1946’s GILDA, co-starring Rita Hayworth in what may very well be the first true film noir. Soon he found himself the hero in a string of successes: FRAMED, MAN FROM THE ALAMO, THE BIG HEAT , BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, JUBAL, and TEAHOUSE OF THE AUGUST MOON. But my favorite Ford role casts him as the villain, outlaw Ben Wade in Delmer Daves’ 3:10 TO YUMA.

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Based on a story by the great Elmore Leonard, 3:10 TO YUMA begins with cattle rancher Dan Evans (Van Heflin) and his two young sons stumbling onto a stagecoach robbery by the notorious Ben Wade (Ford) and his gang. They witness the driver being killed, but Evans doesn’t get involved. He’s been beaten down by a harsh Arizona life, suffering through a severe drought, and needs money to survive. Wade and his crew ride to Bisbee, stopping at a saloon posing as cattle drivers, and alert the marshal to the killing. The town forms a posse and rides off, while Wade disperses his men so he can stay behind and dally with the local barmaid (Felicia Farr, wife of future Ford co-star Jack Lemmon).

Town drunk Alex Potter (Henry Jones in a good performance) arrives late to the posse, and tells them one of the strangers is still in town. They return, and Evans is used to trap Wade. The outlaw is captured, and the townsmen devise a plan to sneak Wade into Contention City by throwing the gang off the trail. Evans and Potter are the only men who volunteer to guard Wade at the hotel there while they await the 3:10 train to Yuma prison. Now begins a psychological cat-and-mouse game between Wade and Evans as the gang rides into Contention, and Evans is left on his own to bring the killer Wade to justice.

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Ford exudes quiet menace as Ben Wade, by turns charming and coldly calculating. He plays head games as Evans’ prisoner, his sly smirk masking his evil intentions. Ford’s calm demeanor as Wade is just right for the character, in a role that might have caused a lesser actor to chew the scenery. Heflin is his equal as Evans, who’s doing his job not only for the money, but to gain the respect of his children. The two actors work nicely together, elevating the material above the standard horse opera.

The supporting cast features Richard Jaeckel in his patented “top henchman” role, and also includes Leora Dana, Robert Emhardt, and Ford Rainey. Director Delmer Daves was responsible for some fine films, like DARK PASSAGE, BROKEN ARROW, A SUMMER PLACE, and two others with Ford, JUBAL and COWBOY. The theme song is sung by Frankie Laine, who also did the theme from TV’s RAWHIDE, and Mel Brooks’ BLAZING SADDLES . 3:10 TO YUMA was remade fifty years later with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the Ford/Heflin roles, one of the few remakes of classic films that really works.

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Glenn Ford went on to make many more pictures. THE SHEEPMAN, POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES, EXPERIMENT IN TERROR, and THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE’S FATHER were among the best. He did a series of lower budget Westerns in the late 60’s-early 70’s, and starred for a season in a modern-day TV Western, CADE’S COUNTY, with old Columbia cohort Edgar Buchanan. Later, he had a cameo as Pa Kent in 1978’s SUPERMAN, and even made a slasher film (1981’s HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME). Glenn Ford passed away on August 30, 2006, leaving a legacy of fine film performances. 3:10 TO YUMA may be his best, a complete change of pace that the actor nails with ease. Happy birthday, Glenn, and thanks for the memories.