What a pitifully grotesque scene is described in Linda Stansberry's Aug. 18 article (Putting Heads Together for Housing First). Many of these 300 heads make their own living out of managing the class of homeless people who wake every morning to the mantra of "Move On!" to shuffle off into the dawn.
What a tiny goal, to house a mere 30 of the thousands of street citizens who face winter and landlords who are "spoiled for choice," as Linda so delicately puts it!
How could Capt. Watson suggest this is better than the marsh? There, at least there was some sense of community, of roots, people taking some responsibility for each other. What it needed was some of the care and concern modern civilization is expected to provide for its citizens.
Rents are outrageous: They take most of most fixed-income checks. Mental health services have shriveled to nothing: We had eight psychiatrists at HCMH four years ago and now we have none, all driven away because of trauma and overwork. At present, the county pays through the nose for a group of temps who fly up for short stints and no commitment. The rest of staff persists at the breaking point.
And while Humboldt lives high off the affluent and protected drug culture, the trail of tears goes on. It is class warfare at its most lurid.
Ellen Taylor, Petrolia