Homeless Meeting in So Hum Gets Heated

Tempers ran high at a meeting about homelessness in Southern Humboldt. The Sheriff had to be called to keep the peace. The meeting which was held at Supervisor Clif Clendenen’s office rapidly grew to close to 40 people. Last night on KMUD (listen to the interview here) Clendenen expressed surprise at how many people were in attendance. There were advocates of both sides of the issue and all variations in-between. Two of those in attendance were Paul Encimer, homeless advocate, and John Casali, who began the non-profit Eel River Cleanup Crew which both employees homeless to cleanup trash and is reviled by some homeless and their advocates for throwing away bedding etc belonging to the people in the camps.

Attendee Rebecca McFarland was still agitated this morning about the hostility she met last night when she tried to speak at the meeting. “As I spoke, I heard homeless yell out, ‘You’re nothing but a lynch mob.’ It was crazy…The homeless were screaming foul rude things like ‘KKK’ and ‘why not just walk us all into a gas chamber.’ This is wrong…As a community, we have a right and responsibility to deal with and meet on the issues at hand…With hate speech like that, how are we to find any solutions?”

The passions at the meeting underscore a deep divide within the community on how to deal with issues that arise around homelessness. A porta potty in a public park recently had advocates and business folk at odds. A fight over the installation of razor wire on an empty lot in Redway reportedly pitted construction workers against homeless and ended with one of the land owners being bitten.

Supervisor Clendenan, speaking on KMUD, worried about the divide and how hard finding a resolution has been. The difficulties at yesterday’s meeting he said, “…underscore how far we have to go.” Nonetheless, both Encimer and Casali felt that the meeting was productive and hope to soon have another more facilitated meeting with structure that will help keep passions in check and allow for meaningful conversation.

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79 comments

  • thank you Kym

  • thank you Kym

  • What a shame. Apparently there was a productive meeting the day before, at which a pretty wide range of folks spoke. Kathy Epling would be a good source of information about that meeting, as she took copious notes.

  • What a shame. Apparently there was a productive meeting the day before, at which a pretty wide range of folks spoke. Kathy Epling would be a good source of information about that meeting, as she took copious notes.

  • That meeting was not ” open” it was a chamber board meeting,,

  • That meeting was not ” open” it was a chamber board meeting,,

  • kym, don’t forget to report that those business owners beat other community members. The business owner even took a backhoe after people as they were building their new business/prison, he was bitten because he assualted 2 people and threatened to ” kill people.”
    All on video…
    Sorry you couldn’t get a question off, rebecca. I would never walk in to anything John Casail puts together. He’s just a garden variety thief, that steal peoples survival gear, that is in the pockets of our local Sheriffs Dept. If you or I stold like he does we would be in jail, but he hides behind his??? nonprofit??? eelrivercleanup.org

    • I think that anyone who steals survival gear from those in dire need should get the maximum punishment. A heavy jail sentence would give him time to think about what a hypocrite he is. And when he gets out they should give him a bus ticket to another state, far away. We don’t need that kind of trouble maker around here.

    • John Casali is my hero. Are you down at the river bar picking up tons of garbage,including used needles,with money out of your pocket?

  • kym, don’t forget to report that those business owners beat other community members. The business owner even took a backhoe after people as they were building their new business/prison, he was bitten because he assualted 2 people and threatened to ” kill people.”
    All on video…
    Sorry you couldn’t get a question off, rebecca. I would never walk in to anything John Casail puts together. He’s just a garden variety thief, that steal peoples survival gear, that is in the pockets of our local Sheriffs Dept. If you or I stold like he does we would be in jail, but he hides behind his??? nonprofit??? eelrivercleanup.org

    • I think that anyone who steals survival gear from those in dire need should get the maximum punishment. A heavy jail sentence would give him time to think about what a hypocrite he is. And when he gets out they should give him a bus ticket to another state, far away. We don’t need that kind of trouble maker around here.

    • John Casali is my hero. Are you down at the river bar picking up tons of garbage,including used needles,with money out of your pocket?

  • I’m curious Den Mom,

    You say other community members were beaten by business owners.
    Please describe “community members” if you will.
    I thought it was a clash between the homeless and business owners…what am I missing here?

  • I’m curious Den Mom,

    You say other community members were beaten by business owners.
    Please describe “community members” if you will.
    I thought it was a clash between the homeless and business owners…what am I missing here?

  • Thank you for this report. I wanted to go but was a little fearful of the drama and hostility that would be present. I was correct in that assumption. torn right in middle over these issues. My greatest fear is being homeless. I have been homeless myself a couple times. Once when I had 2 jobs and was going to college, a single mom with three little girls.

    In the 25 years since that time, I have sacrificed much to be an advocate for the homeless, always giving donations to those I feel are truly in need, and I stop to talk to them frequently.

    But the last two years have been different! Many of the young homeless that have gathered here the last 2 years have been rude to me on the street. I have had several incidents where I was threatened or attacked by loose dogs. I have witnessed many times, these ‘new’ homeless, disrespecting the town, my neighbors, their own friends and dogs and the earth our mother. My daughter had her purse stolen from the Blue Room a couple months ago. Her phone had GPS and we tracked it to a homeless camp behind Osprey School. We recovered her purse & phone. No wallet. more disrespect.

    I cannot approve of, accept or ignore this disrespect.

    I live next door to Paul and Kathy’s Bookstore where they gather day and night. So I have the opportunity to see and experience them MORE OFTEN than most people in the community do. I feel the need to protect myself now and avoid the homeless whenever I can.

    • You speak for much of the community. They’re destroying and disrespecting our community.

      I’ll add that these are rude vagrants that don’t respect themselves so we can’t expect them to respect us or the community. As you can guess, I’m no bleeding heart for these bums. They’re a disgrace to our community and the women in our community seem to receive even more disrespect, not to mention sexually explicit remarks and gestures, from these bums.

  • Thank you for this report. I wanted to go but was a little fearful of the drama and hostility that would be present. I was correct in that assumption. torn right in middle over these issues. My greatest fear is being homeless. I have been homeless myself a couple times. Once when I had 2 jobs and was going to college, a single mom with three little girls.

    In the 25 years since that time, I have sacrificed much to be an advocate for the homeless, always giving donations to those I feel are truly in need, and I stop to talk to them frequently.

    But the last two years have been different! Many of the young homeless that have gathered here the last 2 years have been rude to me on the street. I have had several incidents where I was threatened or attacked by loose dogs. I have witnessed many times, these ‘new’ homeless, disrespecting the town, my neighbors, their own friends and dogs and the earth our mother. My daughter had her purse stolen from the Blue Room a couple months ago. Her phone had GPS and we tracked it to a homeless camp behind Osprey School. We recovered her purse & phone. No wallet. more disrespect.

    I cannot approve of, accept or ignore this disrespect.

    I live next door to Paul and Kathy’s Bookstore where they gather day and night. So I have the opportunity to see and experience them MORE OFTEN than most people in the community do. I feel the need to protect myself now and avoid the homeless whenever I can.

    • You speak for much of the community. They’re destroying and disrespecting our community.

      I’ll add that these are rude vagrants that don’t respect themselves so we can’t expect them to respect us or the community. As you can guess, I’m no bleeding heart for these bums. They’re a disgrace to our community and the women in our community seem to receive even more disrespect, not to mention sexually explicit remarks and gestures, from these bums.

  • The term ” homeless” and transient have two different definitions, the first being a person who finds themselves between places to live, between jobs, etc. This is far different then someone who is a transient by choice and by actions is frequently under the influence and under arrest. One is seeking to return to normal, which is a job, home, car, etc. This is the difference. The habitual transient is the problem and the one that needs to be encouraged to keep moving or the Sheriff should act whenever the law is broken and place them under arrest and take them to jail. The community will set a standard of what it wants, if providing places to camp, a bathroom, food, etc. is to be the norm then a huge influx will result. Many counties and cities now are requiring drug testing for anyone seeking public assistance, this is a good start. Before any assistance is given, maybe it should be detmined what the person’s circumstances are and what the chances are for a resumption to work and housing will be or not and if this person is a habitual criminal offender, panhandler, and user. The fact is the transient population is growing and crime is definately increasing to a level that has to be addressed and reduced before more crime on the scale of Fort Bragg is created where people are being assulted daily and killed weekly.

  • The term ” homeless” and transient have two different definitions, the first being a person who finds themselves between places to live, between jobs, etc. This is far different then someone who is a transient by choice and by actions is frequently under the influence and under arrest. One is seeking to return to normal, which is a job, home, car, etc. This is the difference. The habitual transient is the problem and the one that needs to be encouraged to keep moving or the Sheriff should act whenever the law is broken and place them under arrest and take them to jail. The community will set a standard of what it wants, if providing places to camp, a bathroom, food, etc. is to be the norm then a huge influx will result. Many counties and cities now are requiring drug testing for anyone seeking public assistance, this is a good start. Before any assistance is given, maybe it should be detmined what the person’s circumstances are and what the chances are for a resumption to work and housing will be or not and if this person is a habitual criminal offender, panhandler, and user. The fact is the transient population is growing and crime is definately increasing to a level that has to be addressed and reduced before more crime on the scale of Fort Bragg is created where people are being assulted daily and killed weekly.

  • The term ” homeless” and transient have two different definitions, the first being a person who finds themselves between places to live, between jobs, etc. This is far different then someone who is a transient by choice and by actions is frequently under the influence and under arrest. One is seeking to return to normal, which is a job, home, car, etc. This is the difference. The habitual transient is the problem and the one that needs to be encouraged to keep moving or the Sheriff should act under the law. The community will set a standard of what it wants, if providing places to camp, a bathroom, food, etc. is to be the norm then expect many more to locate. Many counties and cities now are requiring drug testing for anyone seeking public assistance, this is a good start. Before any assistance is given, maybe it should be determined what the person’s circumstances are and what the chances are for a resumption to work and housing will be or not and if this person is a habitual criminal offender, panhandler, and user. The fact is the transient population is growing and crime is definately increasing to a level that has to be addressed and reduced before more crime on the scale of Fort Bragg is created where people are being assulted daily and killed weekly.

  • I had not thought that the Chamber meeting was closed. I heard there were a lot of people there, too.
    In any case, here’s what I think. If all of us who care about this issue commit to spending an hour a week or so engaging with the transients/homeless folks in our midst, we can both increase our mutual understanding and, I bet, decrease the incivility and anti-social behaviors that are bothering us all, on all sides of this issue. I promise to do my hour, by stopping in at DeMulling Grove when I go to town to do other errands. I know some people are already doing this, and I hope others will join in.

    • You are NUTS! I don’t want anything to do with them. In Redway one transient exposed himself while I was walking by and then minuets later a fight broke out and there were at least 20 bums. I called 911 while waiting in the laundromat and waited 40 min, no one ever came! Dispatch said sorry it was shift change. I wish there were NO bums. I have stopped shopping in Redway!

  • I had not thought that the Chamber meeting was closed. I heard there were a lot of people there, too.
    In any case, here’s what I think. If all of us who care about this issue commit to spending an hour a week or so engaging with the transients/homeless folks in our midst, we can both increase our mutual understanding and, I bet, decrease the incivility and anti-social behaviors that are bothering us all, on all sides of this issue. I promise to do my hour, by stopping in at DeMulling Grove when I go to town to do other errands. I know some people are already doing this, and I hope others will join in.

    • You are NUTS! I don’t want anything to do with them. In Redway one transient exposed himself while I was walking by and then minuets later a fight broke out and there were at least 20 bums. I called 911 while waiting in the laundromat and waited 40 min, no one ever came! Dispatch said sorry it was shift change. I wish there were NO bums. I have stopped shopping in Redway!

  • My prediction is that right wingers will use all this drug and transient hysteria as a pretext to set up a police state.

  • My prediction is that right wingers will use all this drug and transient hysteria as a pretext to set up a police state.

  • What, KKK insults, but nothing greater? When the business group in Arcata held a meeting to discuss building a public toilet with its own private funds — something homeless people should favor — a few choice homeless activists (meaning homeless people who champion homeless causes) instead held up signs outside the building calling the business owners Nazis. That event pretty much sunk the idea, although it comes up for air every 5 years or so. Meanwhile, mind where you step walking in the downtown, or be prepared to clean your shoes.

  • What, KKK insults, but nothing greater? When the business group in Arcata held a meeting to discuss building a public toilet with its own private funds — something homeless people should favor — a few choice homeless activists (meaning homeless people who champion homeless causes) instead held up signs outside the building calling the business owners Nazis. That event pretty much sunk the idea, although it comes up for air every 5 years or so. Meanwhile, mind where you step walking in the downtown, or be prepared to clean your shoes.

  • Having worked some 30 years in G,ville I have come to the conclusion that there is no set “type” of street person . I don’t think anything is gained by supporting or condemning them as a group. You have a diverse group here. Many are impaired. And some of these folks are heart breaking. They are not getting away with anything, they are barely holding on. Separating the truly needy from the Jr. dead heads and various scammers is difficult at best. I don’t have any easy answers other than to try and treat each other as individuals.

  • Having worked some 30 years in G,ville I have come to the conclusion that there is no set “type” of street person . I don’t think anything is gained by supporting or condemning them as a group. You have a diverse group here. Many are impaired. And some of these folks are heart breaking. They are not getting away with anything, they are barely holding on. Separating the truly needy from the Jr. dead heads and various scammers is difficult at best. I don’t have any easy answers other than to try and treat each other as individuals.

  • Chamber of Commerce Meetings are always open and usually on the first Wednesday of the month at 1pm at the Humboldt House

  • Chamber of Commerce Meetings are always open and usually on the first Wednesday of the month at 1pm at the Humboldt House

  • I just want to say that I know who is leasing the lot in Redway, between Redway Liquors and the Laundromat, and the only reason why the fence got put up, with the razor wire is so no one, homeless or not, would go inside the fenced in area and vandalize the equipment and cars parked in there. Before the fence got put up there was a modular office trailer in there that was going to be used as office space that had windows broken out of it and the homeless (transients) whichever you’d like to call them, had left their trash in there and were sleeping in there. My fiance works for that company and I am very thankful that the fence is there. It wouldn’t take much to do some severe damage to either the water trucks or pieces of equipment in there that make it extremely hazardous to drive. I heard about the guy being bit by another person and he was only restraining that guy (a homeless) until the cops came. The person leasing that property had numerous encounters with the homeless and tried many times being polite to them and asking them to move on. I know if it were me, personally, I wouldn’t have even given the homeless any chance and been nice to them, I would have immediately started calling the sheriff every time I came to my property and saw a group of 5+ with their dogs loitering on my leased property. There is a serious issue at hand here and we all need to figure out how to come together as ADULTS and act mature and fix this situation. I myself, am sick and tired of looking at all these ‘broken down’ buses with 10-15 people and 3-5 dogs per bus parked on the sides of our streets and loiter in front of our businesses. It makes it hard for our customers to come in without being harassed. There has got to be some sort of solution. I understand times are hard but half these people lingering around town, have chosen to have this lifestyle. Each and every morning we wake up, we all have to option to either make our lives better or not.

  • I just want to say that I know who is leasing the lot in Redway, between Redway Liquors and the Laundromat, and the only reason why the fence got put up, with the razor wire is so no one, homeless or not, would go inside the fenced in area and vandalize the equipment and cars parked in there. Before the fence got put up there was a modular office trailer in there that was going to be used as office space that had windows broken out of it and the homeless (transients) whichever you’d like to call them, had left their trash in there and were sleeping in there. My fiance works for that company and I am very thankful that the fence is there. It wouldn’t take much to do some severe damage to either the water trucks or pieces of equipment in there that make it extremely hazardous to drive. I heard about the guy being bit by another person and he was only restraining that guy (a homeless) until the cops came. The person leasing that property had numerous encounters with the homeless and tried many times being polite to them and asking them to move on. I know if it were me, personally, I wouldn’t have even given the homeless any chance and been nice to them, I would have immediately started calling the sheriff every time I came to my property and saw a group of 5+ with their dogs loitering on my leased property. There is a serious issue at hand here and we all need to figure out how to come together as ADULTS and act mature and fix this situation. I myself, am sick and tired of looking at all these ‘broken down’ buses with 10-15 people and 3-5 dogs per bus parked on the sides of our streets and loiter in front of our businesses. It makes it hard for our customers to come in without being harassed. There has got to be some sort of solution. I understand times are hard but half these people lingering around town, have chosen to have this lifestyle. Each and every morning we wake up, we all have to option to either make our lives better or not.

  • I totally support John Casalli and his effort to clean up the river, As for John stealing their bed rolls. That is so ridiculous. Like John wants old blankets and towels. Get smart. If the homeless leave their stuff by the river it should get picked up. I assume 9 out of 10 times they would leave it there anyways. It is not like these people are the cleanest people around. if they are truly traveling they would put the gear in their backpacks and take it with them to Veterans Park. It would give them something to sit on , While they drink their beers and think of new ways to annoy the townsfolk

  • I totally support John Casalli and his effort to clean up the river, As for John stealing their bed rolls. That is so ridiculous. Like John wants old blankets and towels. Get smart. If the homeless leave their stuff by the river it should get picked up. I assume 9 out of 10 times they would leave it there anyways. It is not like these people are the cleanest people around. if they are truly traveling they would put the gear in their backpacks and take it with them to Veterans Park. It would give them something to sit on , While they drink their beers and think of new ways to annoy the townsfolk

  • I saw 10 homeless and transients at the Redway gas station with no money and trying to get to the Bay area. I turned them down at first. There were actually 2 others panhandling the station at 10 pm. I left for Garberville then turned around, went back and filled up their tank and gave them 20 bucks for food. I had a chance to speak with all 10 and they were quite a diverse bunch of hitchhikers with the driver a bit out of his mind as if he was a hippie on speed. But here’s how I figured it. The hundred bucks I spent got them out of town. And I got to know them a bit as Barb suggested we do. It was a great experience for all.

    And I fully understand the problem, but in the end, public toilets should be a congressional mandate for all towns and cities. It’s a right not a privilege. And if every place had one or more, then no single place would be targeted by the homeless transient community as a stomping ground. I think it’s a violation of the 14th Amendment (Equal Protection) to deny them their right to use a toilet or not have one to start with. We should have public toilets because it’s the right thing to do for all of us.

    Lastly, for all the Emerald City folks, this is your opportunity to start our local government yourselves without the counties “permission.” Organize street cleaning, public toilets, community outreach. That’s how you self-govern. Solar Dan, Woods, Jim Lamport get off your arses and start governing now!

    • -right on!

    • I applaud you for actually engaging with those folks, rather then demonizing them as so many people do. Hopefully they will use your assistance to make their way to someplace where they may have more options, economically and socially. (Of course if you see them at that same gas station again in a day or two, you may feel a bit burned! But look at it this way: You did a good thing by extending them a little bit of trust and the benefit of the doubt, and if they choose to break that trust, that’s on them.)

      And I agree 100% that every community ought to have some kind of public toilets. Not having public toilets is why we get the random turds turning up here and there.

      And while it would be nice if all communities provided public toilets, it doesn’t make sense to wait for that to happen before acting locally. I understand the “magnet” argument that says that if we provide much better social services than other places do, then people needing those services might be attracted to the area, overburdening the local community.

      But in the case of public toilets, I really don’t think you’d see some big new influx of homeless people / transients, just because Garberville and Redway would have a couple of public toilets. I can see how a community providing (relatively) generous general relief cash payments and medical care and emergency housing and so on might risk becoming a “magnet,” drawing the less-fortunate from more stingy communities. But it’s hard for me to imagine that anyone would set their sights on our area just because of a public bathroom.

      And obviously the lack of public bathroom isn’t leading these homeless and/or transient folks to leave, it’s just leading them to poop in the bushes, and at various semi-private nooks and crannies around town.

    • I had a chance to speak with all 10 and they were quite a diverse bunch

      What I admire about you is that you don’t just talk about them –you talk with them.

      I got to know them a bit as Barb suggested we do. It was a great experience for all.

      Earlier this summer I was waiting around for an item that I had ordered to arrive at Chautauqua, they said the trruck that was bringing it would be there in less than an hour. As I sat in the town square waiting I got to talking to disheveled forlorn looking transient. He told me that he was hitchhiking to Alaska and had stopped here on his journey north. He said he had been busted a couple days earlier for being drunk in public in Garberville. He had a drinking problem he acknowledged, shaking his head. He said he had to stay in the area til his court date a week hence. We talked for about a half an hour. Later after I picked up the delievry and was leaving I noticed him standing on the main street near Calico’s. I decided to pull over and give him a few bucks. He had never asked me for anything. He smiled widely and said, I have enough for a burrito now, and he headed into the gas station to buy his dinner.. I turned around on the south end of town and as I was heading back through I saw him sitting cross-legged on the sidewalk, eating. We waved. That’s all, end of story. It’s just a very minor thing but the spring I saw in his step as he headed off to get his burrito made me happy inside. It made my heart feel good. In fact it still makes me feel good to remember it. I never saw him again. Don’t remember his name. I hope he’s doing better.

      • that is a nice story Suzy,,,thank you

      • Thanks Rebecca. Another time –I was in need of someone to help me move some firewood, from Miranda to White Thorn, three cords. All of my friends were “very busy”, you know how that goes. So I borrowed my mom’s pickup and early in the morning I drove to the vet’s park. There were 6 or 8 people hanging out. I approached the biggest and burliest of them. He’s wearing a sleeveless jean jacket and has big muscular tattooed arms. About six feet tall. I look up at him, look him in the eye, long… I’m a woman in my twenties and I’m not naive, after checking him out good I feel that he’s not going to hurt me. The look on his face, it’s full of anguish, but it’s honest, not phoney.

        We talk briefly and then I decide he’s alright and I ask him if he wants a job. We go. The truck will only hold one cord at a time. We make two trips, load and unload two cords, takes many hours. After the wood is unloaded I invite him into the house. I pay him and invite him to a shower and to stay the night. The dude bathes and comes out and sits. He doesn’t talk, he just sits there. Kind of in his own world. But it’s not uncomfortable. Just quiet. He told me while riding in the truck that he’d hitchhiked and rode freight trains from Atlanta. He was completely broke, he didn’t even have a sleeping bag.

        I give him some bedding to use and he makes a bed to sleep on on the deck. My honey comes home from his job and we have dinner. Everyone is tired and we all go to bed early. The next day is the same. The dude and I get in the truck and drive to Miranda. He doesn’t say much. But I discern through some fragmented comments that he makes now and then that he’d gone through some kind of traumatic events concerning his family back east.

        I listened to what he said but I never pressed him about anything, we worked together and sweated together mostly in silence. He worked hard tossing the heavy wood. After we finished unloading the third cord I gave him a ride back to town and thanked him. I dropped him in Redway and pointed out to him the Mateel where he could get a free lunch the next day. He sort of grunted and took the money and a bag of food I’d fixed for him.

        He was respectful although not very communicative. But I liked him, Under the crusty veneer I could feel a gentleness about him that he seemed unable to express. I felt good about getting the wood taken care of. More than that I felt good that we’d related to each other. He called himself “Saturday”, a huge tough as nails barrel of a dude, yet there was something about him so fragile, something I couldn’t see.

  • I saw 10 homeless and transients at the Redway gas station with no money and trying to get to the Bay area. I turned them down at first. There were actually 2 others panhandling the station at 10 pm. I left for Garberville then turned around, went back and filled up their tank and gave them 20 bucks for food. I had a chance to speak with all 10 and they were quite a diverse bunch of hitchhikers with the driver a bit out of his mind as if he was a hippie on speed. But here’s how I figured it. The hundred bucks I spent got them out of town. And I got to know them a bit as Barb suggested we do. It was a great experience for all.

    And I fully understand the problem, but in the end, public toilets should be a congressional mandate for all towns and cities. It’s a right not a privilege. And if every place had one or more, then no single place would be targeted by the homeless transient community as a stomping ground. I think it’s a violation of the 14th Amendment (Equal Protection) to deny them their right to use a toilet or not have one to start with. We should have public toilets because it’s the right thing to do for all of us.

    Lastly, for all the Emerald City folks, this is your opportunity to start our local government yourselves without the counties “permission.” Organize street cleaning, public toilets, community outreach. That’s how you self-govern. Solar Dan, Woods, Jim Lamport get off your arses and start governing now!

    • -right on!

    • I applaud you for actually engaging with those folks, rather then demonizing them as so many people do. Hopefully they will use your assistance to make their way to someplace where they may have more options, economically and socially. (Of course if you see them at that same gas station again in a day or two, you may feel a bit burned! But look at it this way: You did a good thing by extending them a little bit of trust and the benefit of the doubt, and if they choose to break that trust, that’s on them.)

      And I agree 100% that every community ought to have some kind of public toilets. Not having public toilets is why we get the random turds turning up here and there.

      And while it would be nice if all communities provided public toilets, it doesn’t make sense to wait for that to happen before acting locally. I understand the “magnet” argument that says that if we provide much better social services than other places do, then people needing those services might be attracted to the area, overburdening the local community.

      But in the case of public toilets, I really don’t think you’d see some big new influx of homeless people / transients, just because Garberville and Redway would have a couple of public toilets. I can see how a community providing (relatively) generous general relief cash payments and medical care and emergency housing and so on might risk becoming a “magnet,” drawing the less-fortunate from more stingy communities. But it’s hard for me to imagine that anyone would set their sights on our area just because of a public bathroom.

      And obviously the lack of public bathroom isn’t leading these homeless and/or transient folks to leave, it’s just leading them to poop in the bushes, and at various semi-private nooks and crannies around town.

    • I had a chance to speak with all 10 and they were quite a diverse bunch

      What I admire about you is that you don’t just talk about them –you talk with them.

      I got to know them a bit as Barb suggested we do. It was a great experience for all.

      Earlier this summer I was waiting around for an item that I had ordered to arrive at Chautauqua, they said the trruck that was bringing it would be there in less than an hour. As I sat in the town square waiting I got to talking to disheveled forlorn looking transient. He told me that he was hitchhiking to Alaska and had stopped here on his journey north. He said he had been busted a couple days earlier for being drunk in public in Garberville. He had a drinking problem he acknowledged, shaking his head. He said he had to stay in the area til his court date a week hence. We talked for about a half an hour. Later after I picked up the delievry and was leaving I noticed him standing on the main street near Calico’s. I decided to pull over and give him a few bucks. He had never asked me for anything. He smiled widely and said, I have enough for a burrito now, and he headed into the gas station to buy his dinner.. I turned around on the south end of town and as I was heading back through I saw him sitting cross-legged on the sidewalk, eating. We waved. That’s all, end of story. It’s just a very minor thing but the spring I saw in his step as he headed off to get his burrito made me happy inside. It made my heart feel good. In fact it still makes me feel good to remember it. I never saw him again. Don’t remember his name. I hope he’s doing better.

      • that is a nice story Suzy,,,thank you

      • Thanks Rebecca. Another time –I was in need of someone to help me move some firewood, from Miranda to White Thorn, three cords. All of my friends were “very busy”, you know how that goes. So I borrowed my mom’s pickup and early in the morning I drove to the vet’s park. There were 6 or 8 people hanging out. I approached the biggest and burliest of them. He’s wearing a sleeveless jean jacket and has big muscular tattooed arms. About six feet tall. I look up at him, look him in the eye, long… I’m a woman in my twenties and I’m not naive, after checking him out good I feel that he’s not going to hurt me. The look on his face, it’s full of anguish, but it’s honest, not phoney.

        We talk briefly and then I decide he’s alright and I ask him if he wants a job. We go. The truck will only hold one cord at a time. We make two trips, load and unload two cords, takes many hours. After the wood is unloaded I invite him into the house. I pay him and invite him to a shower and to stay the night. The dude bathes and comes out and sits. He doesn’t talk, he just sits there. Kind of in his own world. But it’s not uncomfortable. Just quiet. He told me while riding in the truck that he’d hitchhiked and rode freight trains from Atlanta. He was completely broke, he didn’t even have a sleeping bag.

        I give him some bedding to use and he makes a bed to sleep on on the deck. My honey comes home from his job and we have dinner. Everyone is tired and we all go to bed early. The next day is the same. The dude and I get in the truck and drive to Miranda. He doesn’t say much. But I discern through some fragmented comments that he makes now and then that he’d gone through some kind of traumatic events concerning his family back east.

        I listened to what he said but I never pressed him about anything, we worked together and sweated together mostly in silence. He worked hard tossing the heavy wood. After we finished unloading the third cord I gave him a ride back to town and thanked him. I dropped him in Redway and pointed out to him the Mateel where he could get a free lunch the next day. He sort of grunted and took the money and a bag of food I’d fixed for him.

        He was respectful although not very communicative. But I liked him, Under the crusty veneer I could feel a gentleness about him that he seemed unable to express. I felt good about getting the wood taken care of. More than that I felt good that we’d related to each other. He called himself “Saturday”, a huge tough as nails barrel of a dude, yet there was something about him so fragile, something I couldn’t see.

  • If the homeless , as Skunk as stated, have the money to buy Speed, they should have money for gas.

  • If the homeless , as Skunk as stated, have the money to buy Speed, they should have money for gas.

  • This is a great idea to give homeless and transients money for gas to get out of the county, this solves several issues at once. And residents don’t have to pay for incarceration. which costs all taxpayers a lot.

    Same thinking for the bus ticket that used to be given out, it sends them where they want to be, not where they happen to be.

  • This is a great idea to give homeless and transients money for gas to get out of the county, this solves several issues at once. And residents don’t have to pay for incarceration. which costs all taxpayers a lot.

    Same thinking for the bus ticket that used to be given out, it sends them where they want to be, not where they happen to be.

  • But they all want to be here rather than just happening to be here. It is absolutely rediculous that we should even have to shell out a single cent of our hard earned money to deal with these people. It’s not free to have fences and razor wire installed on your own property. You shouldn’t have to go to extremes to protect what is rightfully yours. Instead of the the $100 just give them a few job applications and see where that goes. They CHOOSE to do nothing to better thier own circumstances.

  • But they all want to be here rather than just happening to be here. It is absolutely rediculous that we should even have to shell out a single cent of our hard earned money to deal with these people. It’s not free to have fences and razor wire installed on your own property. You shouldn’t have to go to extremes to protect what is rightfully yours. Instead of the the $100 just give them a few job applications and see where that goes. They CHOOSE to do nothing to better thier own circumstances.

  • I get so frustrated reading some of these posts,
    I try to “get it”, the thought process going in, and I do, I understand,
    but when “Barb” types “” If all of us who care about this issue commit to spending
    an hour a week or so engaging with the transients/homeless folks in our midst””
    I will admit that had some deep breaths there…..

    Barb,,,,we do,,we who are in town spend far too much time with them all ready,
    that is the problem, the ones that hang in that “vets park” all day and night use it as a flop house,
    coming and going from their panhandling up town after which one or two groups will
    return with beer and chips for them and their friends, Im not making this up,,I watch it
    from my job across the street where I have a clear view every day of what goes on there.

    you and others that come to town to do your errands you dont drive by them 2,3,4 times a day,
    you come from a safe home, somewhere that these drifters dont know where you park your car
    (you dont need razor wire) I am really not trying to come down on you or your idea, Im not,
    its just that you dont seem to get that you want to come visit them, like they somehow belong there,
    come by the laundromat next time, I will show you where they “go #2” out back,,I will point out
    a trail for you to fallow so you can have a better idea of what your dealing with…………..

  • I get so frustrated reading some of these posts,
    I try to “get it”, the thought process going in, and I do, I understand,
    but when “Barb” types “” If all of us who care about this issue commit to spending
    an hour a week or so engaging with the transients/homeless folks in our midst””
    I will admit that had some deep breaths there…..

    Barb,,,,we do,,we who are in town spend far too much time with them all ready,
    that is the problem, the ones that hang in that “vets park” all day and night use it as a flop house,
    coming and going from their panhandling up town after which one or two groups will
    return with beer and chips for them and their friends, Im not making this up,,I watch it
    from my job across the street where I have a clear view every day of what goes on there.

    you and others that come to town to do your errands you dont drive by them 2,3,4 times a day,
    you come from a safe home, somewhere that these drifters dont know where you park your car
    (you dont need razor wire) I am really not trying to come down on you or your idea, Im not,
    its just that you dont seem to get that you want to come visit them, like they somehow belong there,
    come by the laundromat next time, I will show you where they “go #2” out back,,I will point out
    a trail for you to fallow so you can have a better idea of what your dealing with…………..

  • If all of us who care about this issue commit to spending
    an hour a week or so engaging with the business owners and employees, then perhaps those of you don’t grasp the seriousness of this pressing issue, will better understand what it is that we in town go through hour by hour day by day week by week

  • If all of us who care about this issue commit to spending
    an hour a week or so engaging with the business owners and employees, then perhaps those of you don’t grasp the seriousness of this pressing issue, will better understand what it is that we in town go through hour by hour day by day week by week

  • Give them money for gas and they’ll just buy more speed and booze. These are bums that do not want a job or to be productive citizens. It’s take, take, take! No give.

    We already help the homeless that are truely in need. The rain will soon flush the bums out so save your money.

    The Grove is the responsibility of the county. The chronic problem with vagrants found at the Gove may force the county to take action and put a fence around it next year and post No Trespassing signs. End of problem.

  • Give them money for gas and they’ll just buy more speed and booze. These are bums that do not want a job or to be productive citizens. It’s take, take, take! No give.

    We already help the homeless that are truely in need. The rain will soon flush the bums out so save your money.

    The Grove is the responsibility of the county. The chronic problem with vagrants found at the Gove may force the county to take action and put a fence around it next year and post No Trespassing signs. End of problem.

  • Pingback: Homeless in Humboldt–It’s More than a Problem; It’s a Girl « REDHEADED BLACKBELT

  • Pingback: Homeless in Humboldt–It’s More than a Problem; It’s a Girl « REDHEADED BLACKBELT

  • The homeless in the area do not want jobs. I hired one male ,mid 20s to rake my field for $10 an hour. I told him 6 hours min. we agreed to that. after 1.5 hour he wanted to get paid and for me to drive him to Redway. I gave him $15 bucks and he had me drop him off at the liquor store. On the drive he had the guts or stupidity to tell me he felt sorry for me and other working people. he said we were sold out to the man. I was a sucker to get up every morning and go to work. He was the one with the free spirit .
    He is not alone, that attitude is paramount among there kind.

  • The homeless in the area do not want jobs. I hired one male ,mid 20s to rake my field for $10 an hour. I told him 6 hours min. we agreed to that. after 1.5 hour he wanted to get paid and for me to drive him to Redway. I gave him $15 bucks and he had me drop him off at the liquor store. On the drive he had the guts or stupidity to tell me he felt sorry for me and other working people. he said we were sold out to the man. I was a sucker to get up every morning and go to work. He was the one with the free spirit .
    He is not alone, that attitude is paramount among there kind.

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