A Bus Ticket Home

12202256_10156151385605487_1218952060_nWhen So Hum Locals on Patrol (formerly Take Back Our Town) walked through Garberville and Redway on Halloween, they thought they’d express their concerns about keeping the sidewalks clear, make the streets a little safer, pick up a little trash, and move on. However, a homeless man they met touched their hearts and opened their wallets.


Brian getting ready to get on the bus. [Photo provided by Vonai Graham.]

When Brian, who wishes to keep his last name and the location of his hometown private, met the So Hum Town Patrol on October 31, he told them he just wanted to go home.

“My mother and a group of people on patrol in Redway came across this man,” explained Tara Sutherland. “He was extremely nice and was upset. They talked to him, got to know [his] story and also found out it was his birthday.”

At first the Patrol was skeptical but he showed them his ID which confirmed his statement. Brian told the Patrol that he had, in Sutherland’s words, gotten “stranded in Garberville/Redway and wanted to leave.”

A few days later, on Tuesday the 3rd of November, the group pitched in and bought him a ticket. “My mother went to meet him at the bus stop with a lunch sack and water since it was going to be such a long travel to make sure he was more comfortable,” Sutherland explained.

12212400_10156154285025487_1533486038_nVonai Graham, Sutherland’s mother said as Brian walked up to the bus stop, “I ran into Ray’s and picked up the Deli sandwich that I had called in and ordered earlier–a bottle of water, a small bag of chips, an apple and a banana, put [it] in a bag and drove up to the bus stop. I gave him, Brian, the tickets and the bagged lunch.”

She noticed that some of Brian’s items he had been carrying before were gone.

“While we were waiting for the bus, I noticed that he didn’t have a backpack and other belongings that he had had the day before so I ask him where his things were, he told be that he was robbed last night and his stuff was all stolen from him,” Graham said.

She added, “As I sat and watched the bus drive away I was thinking to myself that I hope he finds a better life someday… .”




  • The county has a program for folks to go home:


    929 Koster St.
    Eureka, CA 95501

    Transportation Assistance Program (TAP)

    Do you know someone who needs help to a place outside of Humboldt County to:

     Return home
     Return to family or friends
     Return to a place for a job

    If they are eligible they could receive:

     Bus ticket
     Help with meals
     Help with fuel (in some cases)

    • Really good information Charlie Bean. Finally a program and direction for people that need a little assistance to get back on their feet instead of “locals” looking to rid themselves of people that they find to be a burden on their way of life. Thanks Charlie, I will pass on the word.

      • This program has been around for a while. Kathy Epling (rest in peace) & Debra Carey facilitated this process for the homeless for several years. There are several individuals in the community that consistently do selfless acts to improve the quality of life for Southern Humboldt. It is unfortunate that only a few people get the respect and recognition needed to continue their work. It is because of this & the lack of support from our failed leadership, community members and non-profits continue to struggle. Our Leadership spends more energy & time on discrediting those who provide logical reasons for the downhill spiral of Southern Humboldt & it’s economy than actually listening and following through with their campaign promises.

    • Thanks, and to those who passed the hat this time. The woods are so full of Brians….

    • What a good bunch of folks. Y’all should give yourselves a pat on the back. I applaud you for the good deeds.

    • I hope you see this. I apologize for the comment I added your name in below. If I could edit it is would.

    • I applaud their kindness and generosity. Compassion, empathy and how we treat others are all that truly matters in this life. The TAP or Transportation Assistance Program is specifically meant for people like Brian to decrease the homeless and transient population here but it can help just about anyone with an ID, without $ for transportation home and a contact able to verify for the DHHS that you do have a home, family or job elsewhere to return to. For example, my husbands best friend was visiting us earlier this year and used the TAP program to return home in time for some court bullshit he had to get back for right away and even though we didn’t make it into their office until only a couple days before he needed to leave they did a wonderful job with making it all happen in just in time! He was able to catch the bus the morning following approval and he even got $20 for meals on his trip too! The only downside he found was because the ticket was through Greyhound instead of Amtrak the trip took quite a bit longer but that’s just the difference between the train and the bus. They will even provide gas money for people with vehicles but who can’t afford gas themselves. We’re lucky to live in a county that has this type of program so spread the word about the TAP program, and you can help someone else whose stranded get home too! (Without buying any bus ticket either lol)

    • There should be a story done about this service!

  • Locals on patrol…..

    A group name like that makes me think it’s simply time until some “local” gets their trip to the dentist.

    2) don’t live in a suburb of San Fran if you don’t want homeless people. Move somewhere remote.

    • You are insane. We live 4 hours away from San Francisco. In the middle of the redwoods. Doesn’t get more remote than that!

      • If you say so and feel better telling yourself a lie.

        Less than a tank of gas and you can go hang out with bay area locals. They openly admit the true meaning of the word.

        Sohum is a suburb of the bay area.

      • Don’t mind Mr.X Tara…I come on this site everyday and he’s the biggest troll. You can count on him to constantly be posting something laughable in the comments section

      • I’m pretty sure I can get more remote than that…..

      • concerned neighbor

        Who ever mr. X is….I’ve noticed on other threads he or she just rambles and makes no sense 99% of what is said. good job tera!

    • Buddy we don’t even have a stoplight in our town were so remote so keep your nasty comments to yourself. Please….Mr.X… I see you’re too afraid to share your real name. Tells me a lot about you. Hope you find peace in life that you need……… and we are not a suburb of San Francisco. Were over 200 miles away. We chose to live in this tiny community because we like peace and quiet, and we’re going to keep it that way okay. Mr X

      • Is this not open forum.

      • There are entite counties in North California that have no traffic lights.

        You are 20 miles from Walmart, get over yourself and look up the French meaning of local.

        • Actually Walmart is around 70 miles from Garberville. Nobody cares if local means fag in French, except you. And just so you know, your daily troll theory fest on this site doesn’t contribute a damn thing, it only satisfies your need to be contrary and mean. Cheer up, Debbie Downer.

        • So Hum gal and proud of it

          You are obviously someone who has more free time than I if you have the time to be looking up the meaning of the word”local” and I doubt that anyone other than you thought of the word “local” meaning anything other than what it was used for. You might take the time to look over at map or use google before you tell someone how close a walmart is to where they live. I don’t know where you think So. Hum. is located but the So. Hum. area that I live in and that this post is referencing to is more than 60 miles away from any Walmart.
          So since you are not a member of our community I won’t waste my time reading anything you post from here on.

        • We’re not in France

    • Troll alert!!

    • Way to go MR. X. “Locals” looking to help an unfortunate man LEAVE their town. Why not offer the man info on a job and a better way of living rather than rid yourselves of him so that you may live “a better quality of life.”?

      • I’m all about helping people, only when hearing the word, ‘local’ there is a need to point out it’s French meaning.

        Besides, remote isn’t 20 .miles from Walmart. People should know that issues like this arise being a suburb of the bay area.

        Don’t like the problems of suburbia, move somewhere remote.

        • Sorry, looked up the French word for local. Your full of it. Kym, it’s about time to say goodbye to Mr. X. We’re in this site to avoid loco style trolls. I don’t mind a difference of opinion , but this guy is insulting in everything he posts .

        • He’s right, this is the official suburb zone map for sf.

          • A suburb is a community within commuting distance of a city. I suppose someone could commute from Garberville to SF every day but it’s highly unlikely anyone is or would, that would be 8 hours of driving . Saying Garberville is a suburb of SF is a big stretch, no matter what your map shows( which isn’t much, actually).

          • @Eastside
            Not sure why there is no reply option on your post; but yeah lol I crudely made that map for a reason. I was being facetious. It would be insane to think reno…or well you know, is a suburb of sf 🙂

      • Did you not read the article? He wanted to go home. No one made him. There are jobs all over town. If they truly wanted to live here and contribute they would get any job they could to stay. No hate is being leveled at them from town patrol.

        • Really, do you seriously believe that this man, or anybody in this situation, can step in off the streets and into a local job without rehabilitation? First, hiring would be on a locals first order and somebody in this situation would have likely suffered physical and psychological impairments on some level that would make this immediate transition most difficult. But these are the inner workings of the situation that locals with their 99’s and 4 hoops wouldn’t understand. The transition may be difficult but not impossible. I really wish there was a program for this to find rehabilitable people to give them a hand up and not a hand-out. Just my 2-cents.

      • Jonathan fairfield

        I don’t know if you have been to so hum lately yelp but every business in town is hiring. It has gotten to the point where businesses that would like to be open seven days a week have to close for at least two due to the lack of a reliable work force. I know there are many reasons for this in our small town but the lack of employment opportunity is not one of them. If you are lost in the so hum area and would be better served somewhere else then that is where you should go and I am proud of all the people that would help someone out in a time of need. Thank you

        • Actually I know the situation in Garb quite well. Sometimes I just get boiled over when I read about these great local acts of kindness that involve a sack lunch that are played out to be on a level with international intervention all the while everybody involved is sitting on their 99 per year. Cut the crap. This all began with slogans such as “Take Back Our Town”, “Locals on Patrol”, how about try “Make a Difference”?

        • Thank you John!

      • Yelp, I’m confused about your argument. He said he wanted to go home. Home for him is someplace else. But reading the article would have told you as much, if you had read the article.
        Thanks for your completely uneducated and biased opinion, though, but you can’t just read the comments and understand the subject; this leads to opinions based on ignorance.
        Altruistic advice falls on deaf ears if it is just your opinion jammed into someone’s face.
        And, by the way, do you go walking around homeless camps offering strangers work?

        • Wow. Yes I did read the article and was aware that he said he wanted to go home but maybe that was because primarily he felt he had more opportunity at home. I’m saying that maybe if he were offered advice and given opportunity he would succeed anywhere rather than a sack lunch and a bus ticket. My other point is quit acting like this is a United Nations effort backed by Kofi Annan to get these people the help they need. It is simply a way to clean up a problem that was primarily created by locals which is the manufacture of illegal drugs and the underground economy that goes with it. So yeah, I have a problem with glorifying and placing these people on a pedestal. Of course you probably already know that, and I would never assume YOU to be ignorant like you assume of others.

    • Responding to Troll

      Yep, and Vermont is a suburb of New York City… not!

    • So glad these folks in Garberville are doing this! Keep up the good work. It pays off.

    • Do you know what you are talking about?
      Or are you a troll?

      This group is AWESOME!

      Town is only 7 blocks or so , then it is mountains.

      Nothing like S.F. or any city.

    • Moron- LOOK AT A [edit] MAP!! A 5 hr drive is not close enough to be considered a suburb of anywhere! We’re HUMBOLDT COUNTY not fucking any part of San Fransisco!! Nowhere here could be considered a suburb of ANY metropolitan area as we are at minimum 2 hours away from a city the size of Redding….

  • Thank you to the ladies that help that young man.

  • For 1 Humboldt County it self sits some 200+ miles North of San Francisco Garberville sits about 86 miles from Eureka there are various small towns of Humboldt that have no traffic signals Ferndale Loleta Blue Lake Willow Creek Rio Dell & Scotia are just a few or so that don’t have much of anything you want homeless issues Eureka has plenty but nothing compared to the Likes of Los Angeles & Orange Counties

  • TAP – is available to people who have people on the other end waiting & welcoming that individual to come back. It could take up to 2-3 weeks for this to occur if phone tag occurs, or if there family is trying to find appropriate housing for that person. Often times they have burnt bridges and there isn’t anyone welcoming them back.

    Bay Area? Anyone actually from Garberville knows that Humboldt County is a four hour drive to San Fran. That being said it is no way in any shape or form considered apart of the North Bay Area.

    & lastly, I was with the group of people the night we met this man. He was very respectful and nice. He was also considerate enough to listen to us express our expectations of visitor in our community. Upon us departing we asked him if he needed anything… He suggested a bus ticket due to the fact that he was stranded. Again, this is a Rural area with limited resources and he didn’t have the means to make it much further. No one should ever feel like they are STUCK somewhere. We all hope he falls on better times when he arrives where he went. And he expressed his gratitude to my mom.

    I’m a softy. A little teary eyed right now. But with the cold of winter arriving this is not the place for people to be out in the elements.

  • Good luck to Brian!!thanks to the kindness of strangers a human being who lost his way is on his way home.Bless your hearts

  • @ Rocpile, yeah, I realized that after I posted. Sorry bout that.😐

  • Yeah now let’s put the rest on a bus

  • Only someone with I’ll intentions could turn this into something horrible. Sounds to me like Charlie bean, Mr x, and yelp are the ones who like sh*t on their sidewalks, needles on their kids play grounds and mounds and mounds of garbage piled up on their door steps. Just give us your adress and we will gladly donate all of this that we pick up, including the people doing it at your house! 🙂 then you can pay for their tickets and everything else you feel they deserve while in the pleasure of your own home! 😉

    • I’m not sure why you would say that about Charlie Bean. He posted in the first post at the top of the list about ways to help transients find a way home, out of the county. Sounds like you are condemning him for wanting to thwart your efforts–?

      • Yes, exactly Laura why bag on Charlie Bean when he was just offering the kind of help that is need by the mostly less-fortunate. Why bag on Yelp, he has great ideas and is looking out for the people in a place to receive help. He just doesn’t agree with everybody’s motives on this board or the underlying causes. Have a good day Laura you always have great insight and provide intelligent comments.

      • I’m sorry. My mistake. I replied apologizing to him. Thank you for making me aware of this.

    • Hey
      I am all about rule of law.

      This is why I’m going to teach these low income how to use the court system for free, instruct on forcing easements on where they camp.

      You French locals want people to pay property tax…..

      So here we go.

      Cheers French locals!

      • Your use of the phrase “french locals” is you calling people the homophobic insult “fags” … You are not a good person Mr.X and a blight on this blog’s comments

      • Where is your property? I think you should be first in line for this. I’m sure you will help them in a hostile takeover on a portion of your place. Let me know where you live and I’ll put up some flyers up in Garberville for you instructing them where your property is and that you are ready to help them get an easement on your place.

  • Happy Birthday to Brian! Well done Gville troop!

  • Its difficult for me to understand these people who are so different then myself. In his situation, I would have made myself as presentable as possible and began systematically visiting every business and asking for work, of any kind for any amount of pay/food/shelter. The first small amount of money I earned I would use partly to make myself look even more presentable. This is exactly what I did many times and ime you will have work within two days. Of course the economy was much better in the 90’s and work seemed to be abundant.

  • Who the hell is this “Mr.X”

    Where is he getting his facts?
    Why do they keep changing?
    Why dose he keep trying?


    Pay no mind to him and he will go away.
    Besides all of us “French locals” (lmao) know what’s real and what’s up so we don’t need to defend ourselves [edit]

  • so if you don’t agree with everything take back our town says then
    you should have homeless and garbage delivered to your porch?
    its that kind of histrionic rambling that makes people not take these vigilantes seriously…
    like i said before, in a year its going to be exactly the same…
    (the reason town is mainly accepted as it is is because most people around here live in
    the hills, and when you’re a few miles down a dirt road you see
    that no matter what happens in town, everything is pretty much the same
    out in the peaceful homesteads)

    • This type of rambling not only makes one not take them serious but invites disassociation with a group. This kind of rationale results from gang or mob-style mentality that results from being comfortable in a group-setting and not feeling repercussion and accountability for one’s own actions. Don’t worry about it too much I just chalk it up to being the result of decades and decades of hard-drug manufacture and consumption. Kind of makes me lose respect for someone when is see this as I always seem to pull for the underdog in life.

  • Adios Brian!!
    Don’t come back without an invite!

  • I wonder how many homeless in other parts of the State get free tickets to Garberville or Eureka?

    • If you are referring to the TAP program, one of the listed eligibility criteria to receive benefits is that the recipient must have a verified contact and landing-spot to receive benefits. Otherwise, you’re right it could be just used as travel money from town to town.

  • Problem is that there will be 10 people to replace this one person. Honestly if I ever was homeless and a bunch of evangelist do gooders came up to me to get me to move along. Id have to tell them to fk off. I would rather die in the cold. I don’t need to have someone save me to make themselves feel special. Sounds like the tsa…. Passports please. We don’t believe you. I see past your bullshit.

  • The desire of a troll is to replace the meaningful conversation about the important issue discussed with a discussion about the troll. Don’t even repeat their “name” let alone take the bait. Nuff said. The town patrol is amazing. They have started what is 3 years or more overdue but super better now than never. Thank you, thank you. I don’t have to agree with everything you say or do to appreciate and love the value of action, especially when few were doing anything but talk. You are and will inspire others to join you. Bless you.

  • I hear there is a video of one of your take back your town ladies with a gun down behind Renner threatening homeless people. . Vigilante on your team? You tell me….The video was sent to the DA. If you want to be taken seriously clean house of ALL people that do violence in this community. IT’S not welcome here….

    • Carnac was a "mystic from the East"

      I hear there is a video of dancing chickens that actually sing in key wearing denim robes and Carmen Miranda hats hiding under the pot of gold behind the Renner station.
      See I can make up better stuff!!!!!

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