Take Back Our Town: “We’re Not Out There Bullying People”


Take Back Our Town volunteers jump start a bus last night. [Photo provided by Tara Sutherland.]

When Tara Sutherland, her sister and her cousin, began talking about moving transients and homeless people off the sidewalks of Garberville and Redway, many residents were worried. “We got a lot of people calling us hate groups,” said Sutherland about the newly formed Take Back Our Town. But she says the group is about getting people to respect the Southern Humboldt community. In fact, she says, the group even tries to assist people in need if appropriate.

“We’re not out there bullying people or threatening them,” she said. “We’re giving them options, places they can go for help.”

Last night a  patrol from Take Back Our Town, Sutherland said, assisted their neighbors in a variety of ways. She wrote, “We found a business unlocked and waited for an employee to show up to lock it. Talked with many transients and told them what we are expecting while they are in our town—RESPECT. We also picked up trash as we walked. Jumped a bus that was loaded down with a bunch of people to help them move on!”

The group has plans to do more. The group hopes to eventually have a phone line that residents can text and send photos to so that law enforcement can be alerted to problems.

For now the group is concentrating on providing town patrols at 6 p.m. every evening. “We [are] doing things one step at a time,” she said. “It could get overwhelming. We’re focusing on what is at hand.”

If you are interested in being a part of this, Sutherland suggests, “Contacting the Facebook site to ask to be added to the group.” She also says that pamphlets are in the works that will contain phone numbers so people can call Take Back Our Town. In addition, she asks people to “come to the town meetings that we’re going to have once a month.”

Sutherland is determined that the annual trimmigrant migration next year will be different. Next year, she said, “It is not going to get like it was this year. People need to know where they are going. Don’t expect it to be the same free for all mess in our towns.”

Earlier Chapter: Take Back Our Town: The Transient Problem and One Group’s Solutions




  • You go girls, good job. A good balance of firmness and fairness.

  • This is what needs to be done,not just there here!!!thanks for standing up for your town!!!!

  • Where’s the like button? I, too, like that they are out there helping people in the community while they are looking out for their town.

  • So one time a day there will be a little less [edit] on the streets. You do realize they all come back out right after you leave? Garberville at night is scarier than Eureka at night!

  • Sylvia Christianson

    Thank you so very much for helping our town with this situation

  • Send them south. This is a good start and the way it is done and the Sheriff should get involved. Since most who are in a chronic homeless lifestyle choice are receiving welfare and/or SSI benefits, they need to channel these into secure and stable housing in those areas that have it which are the larger counties to the south that can provide the services needed. The rural counties don’t have these resources that larger counties do and the people needing these programs need to go where they are. This is the most humane way to do what needs to be done, they don’t need to be trashing and obstructing sidewalks and private or public property and trespassing and freezing in tents. Time for them to move on.

    • Man, I’ve lived here for 13 years and as a disabled man in this community, whose lived out of his car off and on (you ain’t ever seen me flying a sign here, ever) .. your statement is upsetting. P.S. I AIN’T, NOR HAVE I EVER BEEN, A TRIMMIGRANT … “This is the most HUMANE way to get it done”… do you hear yourself? SMH, I understand what’s upsetting most folks here, but that kinda rhetoric is a bit unnecessary .

    • Great ideas you present for solution to the problem but I think you overlook underlying contributors. How many of these people that need this help are here simply looking for employment in the illegal drug trade? I would guess about 95%. Maybe this should be considered as well when considering reasons for degredation of the local quality of life.

    • “Send them south”? As a Willits resident, I’d be interested to know what the method of transportation would be. We aren’t exactly rich in resources either. Charter bus to Los Angeles?

  • the misadventures of bunjee

    Ugh. Hate group? Perhaps if the Aryans or the Black Panthers were doing the moving. Keep up the good fight, ladies. You’re going to be called many things regardless of what you do, so just blow it off.

    • Farrell Broughton

      The arayan nation is a hate group, the black panthers were and are not a hate group…they are a group fighting for equality. Educate yourself.

    • The Black Panthers weren’t a hate group. They were a criminal drug gang posing as a civil rights and community services group.

  • Take back your town the many repercussions of this may cause your little town to up and die further more theses people who are homeless really don’t want to be there and the drug problem there is what I would focus on the meth and heroin beside there are places that are legal for marijuana growth we don’t need your negative bull shit I use to love Garberville now it a place I tell people to avoid because it is the rudest little town in America

    • Good, you and all your little out sider buddies need to leave!
      We don’t want you here and don’t need you, we’ll do just fine.
      Go back to wherever you came from, you’re not welcomed.

      • HJanet come I don’t think you know who your talking to were not little girls I’ve lived here 45 years, and I don’t like people crapping in the doorway of our businesses. And blocking good people from getting in. We’re moving the heroin and speed dealers out that’s our objective. And helping the ones that need help such as bus tickets or maybe a clean sleeping bag. We’re not a hate group were all about love peace and happiness. [edit] I think you are to come join our group. Or do you have something to hide maybe you’re one of those people. I only hope you’re not. But you have a bad attitude maybe you’re one of the users. I certainly hope not

    • Lol, you think the bums keep this town afloat or even play a minuet roll in any of the economical function??! Lol [edit]

  • A plan for the 2016 trim season is sorely needed, and yes people need to be respectful, which the vast majority are. When your’e treated like crap, you react in a crappy way, irrespective of how much money you have in your pocket.

    I’m concerned with the intent of a group that chooses the name, “Take back our town.” It screams us and them and your not welcome… now get out. Actions speak louder than words, if the good folks that understand the power of non-violence and respectful dialogue lead the charge then this will be a huge asset to the community. How so? Because this tact works, and is one that is sorely needed by everyone in SoHum. Blessings…

    • I think the name may be a play off Take Back the Night where women were encouraged to walk at night and feel safe again. SoHum folks just want that old friendly vibe back; not being accosted by disrespectful vagrants, or becoming victims of crime. Hard core drug use is probably at the root of most issues, and with less druggies hanging about as customers, the vibe is sure to improve.

  • Don’t do Facebook so we’re is the 600 pm meetings at?

  • Dont fall for the ” haters ” name calling, its all they got. Very GOOD job.

  • Invite the people calling you haters to come make the rounds with you. Or someone go visiting with some fresh baked cookies and sit down and explain it to them.

    This an opportunity to counteract the divisiveness in the community as well as to deal with the transients problem. Most of the problems getting along with neighbors stem from politics of lifestyle difference… which just boil down to different people’s different ideas about how to accomplish the SAME goal. Surely those people calling you “haters” don’t want trash pile encampments all over the place and human and dog poop everywhere either… and the loud partying, fighting, hard drugs, and having to step over loaded kids who need to bathe just to get into a store.

    They’re trained by political parties and propaganda spread in the media to think people organizing like this are selfish jerks who resent contributing to the general welfare. EVEN when reality is staring them in the face to show them that’s not the case. Hypnosis. They’re hypnotized and it just takes a little personal experience with those they’ve been trained to feel righteous against to help them start coming back to the real world.

    • We drove into Garberville yesterday afternoon to find lunch and our favorite place had already closed. It was like the zombie apocalypse on the main drag. On our way out of town we saw the Highway Patrol performing a traffic stop. There were big baggies of herb on the hood of the truck. Another fellow in a big pick up truck almost back into us. “Get us out of here!”, I said to my partner.
      Today we went to our favorite place to eat in G-ville and there was a much better vibe.
      You go, ladies!

  • Stay a/several sites that and them elsewhere.

    Disinfo/cointel wins hearts and minds.

    It’s easy to do…..

    Have them go somewhere wearing white armbands, or other silly stuff.

  • The facebook link appears to be down. I looked up Take Back our Town and there are actually a few of them around the world, no surprise. Can we get a good link?

    • It is a private group you have to be added my members and excepted into the group. This purpose is to keep it positive and keep out people trying to start problems. If you would like to be added I am sure someone else on your friends list is a member. Post on your time line to have one of them add you. If that doesn’t work you can tell me your name and I can search for you and add you.

    • We are now called citizens on patrol, Tara Sutherland, look her up

  • First step is getting the bum trash out of town, second step is re-branding the image of G-Ville as being a place that values good community behavior, contribution and hard work.
    The bums bring no value.
    Third is shutting down the scam organizations (CHILL etc..) that promote the polarizing of hard working residents, business owners and consumers of our beautiful town.
    These organizations and activists have created and encouraged this problem that has resulted in the residents/tax payers to feel afraid to go into and participate in their own community. Now it’s time for them to dissolve.
    Great work ladies!

    • Thank you very much were trying our hardest, to be kind but yet firm. And letting them know that we don’t like heroin and speed and alcohol on our street been picking up a lot of trash too

  • Is this the message?

    • Think so….

      Parades bring theft of small town values, most vested people want to be left alone and not have to worry or deal with some stranger’s issues. It’s American to want private, drama free space.


  • Great job ladies!

  • Other communities have printed flyers that businesses and local organizations hang in their windows that say something to the effect of: “There is no trim work here – move along.”

    Also, Humboldt County needs to consider very seriously the excellent idea of placing a small ad in High Times magazine because of its popularity and strong connection to the trimmigrant culture. This ad should make it clear that there are no trim jobs in Humboldt County, it is not worth traveling here, and if they do, there is a big chance that they will end up hungry and homeless.

    There has to be an energetic and concentrated effort at getting the word out OUTSIDE of Humboldt County to advise people not to come here.

  • [edit]
    Just fyi takes years to get ssi disability (which is a self-funding system so its not taking ur tax dollars tho many politicians want u to believe otherwise) & there is very little monetary “welfare” available. Food stamps are a federal program that was never intended for people to live on but to supplement their food supply. The name says it, supplemental nutritional aid program (SNAP).
    Go to the LOCO comments to spew ur hate, please, the comments here are often helpful instead of hateful.

    • Self-funding? What a joke. Disability is the new unemployment… and who pays for that? Working folks, not the fake disabled. It comes from Social Security – and people who hardly worked are now gaming the system. It hurts us all.

  • Garberville used to be like pleasentville

  • Garberville used to be a much more family friendly place where tourists would be in the Hotels and the streets were safe. It isn’t like that now and it is way past time to turn it around. Whatever it takes to do the job is required and this is a good start. Why in the world it went to this point is a good question. It is driving the tourists away and making the locals quickly do their shopping and get out as fast as they can. It is time for the legit people to do the job. The Sheriff’s people should join in.

    • maybe if the hcso wasnt always tied up with hundreds of illegal pot grows in that area (by locals), they would have the resources to join in,but they dont.

      • Actually Johnny what the problem is happens to be that growers/dealers want HCSO to come clean up the problem that they created themselves by manufacturing and dealing narcotics and have attracted a undesirable element that wants to join them at the task. And they can’t understand why response time is so poor, think about it.

      • Priorities, johnny, priorities. HCSO prioritizes forfeiture profits over local business profits. Or, put another way, HCSO has its own priorities in mind when it’s the citizens’ priorities they’re paid to put first. The citizens, speaking in general, don’t care about the pot grows. Then come the citizens who actively want them. Then the minority who don’t want them, but even those, even that minority SURELY must value a thriving Garberville business community and residential area over a few pot busts. Seriously. We need to keep perspective.

    • Perhaps the grant monies they keep receiving, have strings attached that sway them to ignore real criminal activities? Loitering is against the law, because loiterers ruin business. Defecating in public is against the law, because of the hygiene/disease problems associated with it. Aggression is against the law, because it’s unlawful to force others to cater to others.
      But, the good news is, some are trying to pass laws that criminalize the victims, in order to collect what little $$ is left in the citizens hands. Once this is accomplished, we will all be free to defecate on porches, without fear of arrest for having our porches defacated on by others, because nobody will have the $$ left to own a porch.
      I’m being sarcastic, but the data is telling.
      When the “global police” arrive, things will change, of course. Imagine that. One can almost see the planning gears in action. There’s always a method to the madness. Thank God for groups like this who are putting a spike in the spoke.

  • Throw the bums out, word needs to spread that you need to have a job before you arrive. Responsible growers do not hire filthy drug addicts.

  • So when do the gates come in? You know the ones on and off the interstate highway. And when do the armed guards arrive to check people’s bank statements as they pull in? You all do realise that you can tell everyone you see they aren’t welcome and whether they leave or not. That message will end with them. Thousands of more people are already planning to come back.
    This includes all the folks your neighbors hired this year and in years past. So try asking your friends and community to do all their work themselves. And when will they find time to work the shops in town. Since there’s no housing, or hostels, or employment offices, yet there’s this dualistic demand of leave your a bum, or get a job, but not at my store or in my garden.
    Considering sitting on the sidewalk with the friendly world travellers tonight. I wonder if you’ll notice me. I work on the BOD of an institution you all depend on. I arrived with a backpack and a dog and a yearning to be a part of a community. I found that here. Just had to look past the hate filled few, and talk with the good people here.
    Curious what are the “options” people are being recomended? Do they include go to Eureka? We know how that ends. Eureka gets too crowded and they get shuffled back this way.
    I wonder if this “group” has had any training in civil liberties. As much as you feel like you own this town I’m sorry but the banks own the shops, the state owns the roads. And the sidewalks are the Commons, owned by every citizen and every immigrant equally. Sorry just the way it is.
    My suggestion is to focus on hard drug users and dealers and all the folks on the thief boards in half the shops in town. And never judge anyone just because they are in close proximity to someone whom you might know is trouble.

  • these “take back the town” people sound like uneducated yokels
    with fascist tendencies…
    well, it makes good theatre…
    i just smile at the travelers, following their dreams probably not to be realized, they have as much right as anyone else to be here, because this is America, land of the free…
    a year from now everything will be exactly the same…

    • Negative Hombre. Think of our town like your house. Would you let someone come into your home, trash it, and shit in your porch? I doubt it. Give respect, get respect. Very simple. Everyone that lives here and operates business’s here are being disrespected and literally having their porch’s shit on. Sure you can claim land of the free and you can do what you want but that’s bullshit and we all know it. There are rules and hierarchy in every aspect of life. You don’t follow those rules you get cut. Time to move on people.

    • Hey hillmuffin Well then why don’t you pick the druggies off the street , the broken down heroin addicts the speed freaks take them all over your house and let them sleep there and they can shit in your toilet instead of on the street. Yes this is America respect it

    • Seriously you’re a joke, why don’t you take all these street people to your house and take care of them, let them shit in your toilet maybe on your floor. We’re trying to help people, only if it’s to move along or maybe get a bus ticket out of town. Yes this is America so respect it…..

  • I have to hand it to you girls, you have Moxie. Seems about 2007 things in Redway/Garberville started to go down hill when out of town folks from wherever? Started illegally camping on public right of way land all around town. Per Wikipedia, only the Fed’s can reinterpret what our Constitution was intended to say, (watch as they erode the 2nd amendment!) The Fed has wielded their mighty sword of civil rights interpretation upon all the land to protect all forms of transient/hobo/vagrant/freeloader/drug addicts/ by referring to them all as “homeless”. By appearing homeless, it pretty much gives anyone Carte Blanche to illegally camp on public property, degrade the environment, and to live life in chronic addiction. The Feds dictate what we can’t do to create laws to stop it. (The Criminalization of Homelessness) What is sad is that the folks who are functional homeless get caught up in the mix. Basically the fed kicked the can down the road and provided nothing in the way of resources . What you do notice is that it’s now all our problem to fix, that’s the way the Fed does business. Let your legislators know you are unhappy about it. Thank you for you’re efforts girls!

  • Steve, i know it sounds weird but if a guy holds out a cup and asks for money
    that’s called free speech and courts who have said this, its the law…
    sometimes it seems like we have too much freedom, the freedom to buy guns and
    shoot people for example…
    totalitarian and authoritarian countries/governments would not put up with lazy people on the streets, they would put them in re-education camps at the least…
    land of the free means freedom of movement, what you do after that is up to you…
    face it, we have to face it: our little paradise has been discovered (the hard luck cases of the country are overflowing into our area as well as the shocking massive environmental disaster grows in the hills) and maybe it just won’t be so nice anymore…
    i guess we could round them up and bus them out of here, and if we happen to ship out a few “real” locals by mistake? oh well…
    anyway its all a learning experience, like what would Jesus do?…
    “take back out town” is free speech too…

  • Thankyou for getting Organized for our Community, We need to get them on the next Bus out! Sick of the BS, and illegal Euros taking jobs away from US citizens!

  • As a resident of eureka, I wish you all the best, please don’t send them here. We are fed up with the whole trim/homeless self rightous bull shit…it’s a ever growing problem, who opened that curtain?

  • What are you Sutherland sisters going to do with the legalization of marijuana? IT’S such a joke the biz people selling 100.00 flip flops pandering to the growers but in turn running off the growers workers.
    You all are joke!

    • Not sure about that. I would guess people of a feather flock together kind of thing. If you are a dirty ass grower, you would probably hire some of these people. Taking that thought one more step, dirty ass people usually don’t spend 100 dollars on flip flops.

    • Hey Street Dan, isn’t it funny how you guys don’t use your real names. These Sutherland girls are doing a great job and I’m right behind them backing them, makes me wonder it sounds like you’re a little jealous of the pot growers. You missed your calling. My husband works hard for his money, and takes good care of his family. So bite me………… and by the way jealousy will get you nowhere

  • The biz people hate the marijuana industry because they are making more money than them? So you send your hate to the most vulnerable people in your community, the homeless. Make up your mind do you want the money or not?

    • You’ve nailed the problem; thanks. Perhaps it’s time to review what happened in the REAL Depression. Then “they” were called Oakies, camped out all over rural areas.
      Here in PV, there are still places referred to as Oakie Flats, etc. The population of these desperate people was eventually absorbed (and/or quietly killed and buried, like our First Nation people.)
      Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath describes it well. We can learn from it.
      The 99% are on the move, not just here, but nationally. And the cop population expands in its wake.
      Problem: Getting “rid” of the Homeless is one thing; what we do with the excess cops, when the Party’s over, will be quite another.
      The Take Back folks could be on the right track, and I hope so, but what’s going down in SoHum isn’t unlike the Homeless Problem throughout our Country.
      It’s a mine field; everywhere I look. I know of NO political party or candidate addressing it. Please correct me if I’m wrong about this, but I sincerely believe that if we don’t see the real problems our Homeless face, and with good old Love in our hearts, this can easily result in Standing Armies scanning for Travel Permits…like on the California borders of old, and Gaza today.
      The only solution I see is rooted in personal responsibility and gentle ACTIONS like the Take Back folks are trying up there… But where are the Homeless expected to go?

      • I resent that, I’m from Oklahoma. And it’s called The Grapes of Wrath. They respected there camp spots . they kept their camps clean.didn’t lay in doorways and shit they didn’t lay around and shoot up heroin. And then talk back and throw up all over the kids park. Were just claiming what we own, and trying to keep it clean it’s called respect for our community. And all were asking is that people respect IT….

    • Hey street Dan then hit the gravel and travel Now I know why you call yourself street Dan …….we’re not trying to mess with the homeless per se. It’s the heroin and speed freaks and people who leave their trash everywhere and hang in doorways

  • Such Good News ! Soo HAPPY to hear that these wonderful folks are making a difference for ALL the right reasons….I had just recently spent a day in Garberville, (the first time in almost 5 years) and was completely disheartened at how much the once quaint and friendly community had changed. I was mostly shocked at the filth and lawlessness that seems almost uncontrollable….I certainly feel badly for the community at large. The thoughts of a fire hose dousing the town with water just for a start kept going through my mind, Ugh ! Seems to my memory that the ‘Bus’ in the photo was parked back by the Farmer’s Market/Church even then ? (almost 3 weeks back).
    Wonderful news and my hope is that you continue this much needed fight. Good Job !

  • Good Work! to the group doing this. One thing I don’t understand, patrols at 6 p.m. every evening. I thought the group was going to focus on the school bus schedule. There are kids who walk to and from the bus stop and I would like to know they are not walking through a group of people of questionable habits. Please consider adding patrols times.

  • People can be allowed to be productive.restoring floodplain by cultivating chlorella on mined phytoplankton . Or just lower meth price so they look lively.chlorella worth more than meth.37,000 dollars/ton.or at least easier to grow.meth soon will grow on trees,like frankenscence,that they gave jesus’ parents.as the wierld turns.meth spreads everywhere.needs not advertising to move in war zones,and immigrations.

  • Solution Oriented

    So let’s be proactive. If there was an organization that vetted trimmers, the grower could get their workers from them. This would eliminate people on the street who are honestly looking for work. As we enter this new phase of legalization, this will be a necessary step toward professionalism. “Trimmigrants” would not need to hang out on the street waiting to be picked up. They would know where they were working before they arrived. Better for them, better for us.

  • Zoltan ease up on the hallucinogenics

  • Yep evrey one said great California legalized pot. But you complain when these druggies come to your town.

  • When I’m crowned emperor of Ecotopia (suck it, Jeffersonians!), my first decree will be for a wall to be constructed around the Emerald Triangle. And I’ll make the trimmigrants build it. It will be magnificent and very cost effective. We will put them out and they will never get back in. And there shall be a Trim Scene Solution in every drying room, and a tofurky in every pot.

  • So proud of my cousins!! If I lived down there I’d be right there with you, xoxo what you’re doing is all posative!

  • reminds me of that great old joke that i guess doesn’t apply any more:

    Q: why did all the hippies come to Garberville?

    A: Because they heard there were no jobs…

    i think Garberville and the world would be a happier place if women were allowed to parade around topless or nude, maybe make it mandatory!…(Err, not those wasted meth freak ladies or dudes of course)
    Really! i know that I would be happier!
    but alas Eureka is outlawing mammary wonderment and Garberville may be next…

    the reason all those wannabe trimmers are on the streets is because of those Too Big grows out in the hills that fucked it up for everybody: too much, lower prices, it sucks…those guys will probably take anyone, well, as long as she’s cute…just saying…The Truth…

    Free the Boobs!

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