Let us celebrate this tragedy averted.
The advice from the implementation plan the City and County approved: “The forced dispersal of people from encampment settings is not an appropriate solution or strategy, accomplishes nothing toward the goal of linking people to permanent housing opportunities, and can make it more difficult to provide such lasting solutions to the people who have been sleeping and living in the encampment.”
Thank you Hollie for your strong, peaceful attempt to be a witness to the day's events.
There is a small, but possibly fatal problem here. People have been told that the morning of May 2 they will be handcuffed, their possessions put in the shipping container already onsite and their dogs taken to the pound. There will not be a legal place for them to relocate to. The plan is to decide if there is a workable proposal on May 3rd.
“The forced dispersal of people from encampment settings is not an appropriate solution or strategy, accomplishes nothing toward the goal of linking people to permanent housing opportunities, and can make it more difficult to provide such lasting solutions to the people who have been sleeping and living in the encampment.” Focus Strategies' Jan 2016 Homeless Strategies and Implementation Plan
Dorthea Lange, 1930's--Unhealthy Lifestyle: Migrant workers' camp, outskirts of Marysville, California. The new migratory camps now being built by the Resettlement Administration will remove people from unsatisfactory living conditions such as these and substitute at least the minimum of comfort and sanitation.
Great article, thanks for coming by and talking to everyone. Here are a couple of bits and pieces you may not have heard:
This was the notice: Some time ago an officer came by and told her it was private property; it is public property. Where Momma Kat lives is Caltrans the higher ground may be County of Education property. Then a very nice officer came by and told them about an ordinance that passed that they had to take down tents during the day and in addition to a tent could only have what would fit in a trash can. Of course that ordinance has not passed. Then a "bad cop" came by and forcefully told them to get out. Then on Wednesday on officer came by. After walking past the pile of bags of trash collected after I made a casual comment that it would be nice if there was less trash around, he commented on the trash, Kat informed him that trash was the last of the syrup that hadn't yet been put away from breakfast. They then talked about her having to leave.
That was Thursday, which I spent trying to figure out who to talk to about this. I talked to EPD, City staff, Caltrans, Sheriff's office and County Office of Education. EPD claimed they simple received a phone call. Caltrans, City staff, Sheriff's Office knew nothing. Finally a call to the owner of the dumpster brought County Office of Education into the picture. I was told the dumpster was for a clean up at the County Office (on Myrtle). I went to bed hoping the dumpster had been misplaced.
And a bit of sick humor: After telling me of their concern, that this wasn't a safe or healthy spot for homeless to camp the Caltrans told me there was good news, the land for sale so if I knew of anyone who wanted to help...
I was told that if I took Mamma Kat to the Open Door clinic they could fast track her into the MAC. The man asked for some food so he went as far as McDonalds where his request for two double cheeseburgers and a tall coke was granted. By the time we got to Open Door it was closed for lunch; I found someone who would have appreciated if I had been given a last name, but thought he knew who Kat needed to see.
While we waited outside an old friend came by and we had a lovely chat until Kat got a call that she should return because people were in her stuff. Momma Kat was inconsolable. We returned to be greeted by the Sheriff's Deputy informing us that for our protection we would need to wait there until the SWAP crew finished. I again asked if they could save this area for next week and Kat returned to her camp.
Before leaving town Kat had a chance to go by the store, the man who was stabbed four times was dropped off at the pharmacy to see if medical would pay for his prescriptions and I returned to Open Door where I was told they did not know who had referred me there, but they could not help her get in the MAC.
I left a phone message today for Kat that her son who has missing had been seen, not with the person she was concerned about, and that his picture had been given to someone who could share it.
Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe, just maybe there is a plan to provide a safer, legal place with toilets, water and garbage service. A first step toward a Housing First program. That would be wonderful.
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In Print This Week:
Apr 20, 2017
vol XXVIII issue 16
North Coast Journal
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