Homeless in Humboldt–It's More than a Problem; It's a Girl

Detail from a painting by M.R. Robinson

After reading the comments about homelessness on Friday’s post, especially this one, I  needed to re-vist something I had written earlier.

Last night, as I cleaned the debris from the kitchen, I more or less listened to a talk show about local homelessness. Like waves on the beach, it flowed in and out of my awareness.  A guest spoke about trying to help the homeless. I cleared the piles of crispy plump vegi-tacos and wrapped them for snacks. A man called and talked about the decaying cars in his neighborhood—I nodded and scraped the plates into compost–made a note to myself, “It’s so full, I’ve got to take it out.” Someone talked about aggressive panhandlers. Flash to an old lady attacking me with a shopping cart.  I asked my son to put away his toys. A passionate woman demanded why?  Why in a show about the homeless wasn’t there one homeless person to speak to their point of view. I nodded. I wiped the counter.

The voices for the homeless and the homed plucked at me then dropped away as I tucked my house to bed.

Awake, this morning, I slipped from under a thick comforter  and pulled the cozy warmth of my house around me like a shawl.  Opening the  cupboards and the refrigerator and finding a bounty of melonberrybreadbuttereggmilkojcheesetomato, after slicing and toasting and frying, after setting white plates with red and gold and white, I sent my husband and son off to their day –clean clothes, home-packed lunch. Curled in a soft chair, I performed the morning ritual of opening the computer.

The cold bluewhite screen opened to another piece about how we treat our homeless, of how we should deal with our unhoused.

Closing my eyes, I thought of clicking to another blog because…What I do is never enough and always too much–enabler or oppressor–any action leads to shame.

And non action buries me in more.

Over a year ago, I wrote about a girl I met.  In the dark hours when the house is still and I stretch clean feet across clean sheets and tangle with my sins, her eyes meet mine and I look away.

Here is what I saw and did and was:

They fade into the background of our lives. Each, someone’s lost child, even the old men with their beer breath and ragged chins, even the zombie crews who defecate on sidewalks, in alleyways, and behind the driftwood on the beach. “So do we just keep ignoring this problem that won’t go away?”

I stepped out of Anglin’s today and almost didn’t notice her but she stopped me–not the man in front or the couple behind–but me.

Clutching a rope tied to the ratty collar of a silky Australian Shepherd and carrying a heavy backpack with a blanket roll, her thin body moved with the easy swing of someone used to carrying weight but she didn’t look older than 16 even with her silver nose ring.  “Please, is there a gas station soon?” She gestured south, ahead of her down Broadway, a street that unsuccessfully tries to pretend it isn’t Hwy 101 for the 2 miles through Eureka. She looked at me with dark eyes through a fringe of tangled hair.

“No, not for quite a ways–at least a half a mile,” I smiled, “Back that way, North, is your closest Service station,” and turned to get into my car.  She arched her neck away so I wouldn’t see the tears escape down the ladders of her lashes.  I slid into my car–two ships passing.

My head as heavy as my heart, my neck bent like grass in the rain. With my head against the steering wheel, I watched from the corner of my eye as she sank against the wall of a building, huddled away from the sidewalk.  Not understanding her sadness but needing to do something, her dog put his paws on her shoulders and lapped up the drops spilling from her eyes.  Gently she pushed him away and made him settle down.

I came to stand beside her. I didn’t want to get sucked into this morass but I came to stand beside her.  “Are you..” but by the time I finished with “okay?”  I had sunk down in the dirt between the buildings, the vortex of her wet eyes had pulled me into her world.

At first, she waved me away, trying to hide her tears, but when I touched her arm, she told me, “I’m going to be okay.  I’m just upset ’cause this guy I knew, he just hung himself, hung himself, and he was all.. and I saw him.  He was just dead and why? I mean like everybody knew him. He just hung himself, why?” Her words tangled with her sobs, muffling them and the traffic noise and the snuffling of her dog straining to burrow his nose into her neck made all but the gist of her story disappear between her heart and mine.

I knelt there through the rain of her tears.  No, there was nothing I could do, she said.  She’d be all right. Below the ragged skirt she wore, The dog pressed his shiny silver coat against her brown legs streaked with grayish grime. When her tears slowed a little, I slipped back to the car to peel a ten and a five from my wallet and tuck them into her hand.  “Call your Mom,” I said little knowing if her mom might be the one she needed to run from.  “Tell her you’re okay.”

She said she’d be alright so I left her to drive south.

I needed to get gas.

From the Chevron.

On Broadway.

 

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81 comments

  • Your post brings up many thoughts for me. There is discomfort in not knowing what is right to do or how to help or if it is helpful to help. Even here as I think of things to write from my own understanding I do fear unkind, uncomfortable feed back. There is discomfort in coming close to the conversation. Yet my personal comforts are many just as you describe: my home, my wall heater, my bathroom, my trip to the store, my knowing where I will be tonight.
    There is something so honest in your post it is helpful.

  • Your post brings up many thoughts for me. There is discomfort in not knowing what is right to do or how to help or if it is helpful to help. Even here as I think of things to write from my own understanding I do fear unkind, uncomfortable feed back. There is discomfort in coming close to the conversation. Yet my personal comforts are many just as you describe: my home, my wall heater, my bathroom, my trip to the store, my knowing where I will be tonight.
    There is something so honest in your post it is helpful.

  • Just remember that these are someones child and the day they were born someone was really happy they arrived,and then life happened….They all have a story. Lets just treat All like we would want our child to be treated..

  • Just remember that these are someones child and the day they were born someone was really happy they arrived,and then life happened….They all have a story. Lets just treat All like we would want our child to be treated..

  • Answer to Den Mom, We should treat them like our own children, That`s right and I want my son to get a job and be responsible, and I want my daughter to be in a stable relationship before she gets pregnant. You sound like yellow jello. get a spine

    • And Scob Do, how did you treat your children as they were growing up? Did you feed, house, love and guide them, or did you belittle, abandon, beat, rape or simply ignore them? If one or the other of your kids does not do what you want them to do, will you stop loving them, cast them out or disown them, no matter the reason why they disappointed you? And if one of your children had become brain-damaged or otherwise incapacitated, would you have continued to care, or cast them out when it was no longer “fun” to parent them?

      Should those who didn’t “luck out” in the caring relative department be abandoned by society as well? How can you make these blanket judgments without knowing the individual stories?

      Having had a mom who was mentally ill, I thank my lucky stars that my dad hung in there with her and loved, supported, and nurtured me and my siblings, in spite of the varying kinds of hell my mother put him through. Having now an adult relative who suffered traumatic brain injury through no fault of his own, and who is, because of that, unable to support himself or to maintain positive relationships, I draw on the memory of my dad’s faithful nurturing to help me find the patience to deal with the unpleasant personality quirks the TBI has inflicted upon my kin.

  • Answer to Den Mom, We should treat them like our own children, That`s right and I want my son to get a job and be responsible, and I want my daughter to be in a stable relationship before she gets pregnant. You sound like yellow jello. get a spine

    • And Scob Do, how did you treat your children as they were growing up? Did you feed, house, love and guide them, or did you belittle, abandon, beat, rape or simply ignore them? If one or the other of your kids does not do what you want them to do, will you stop loving them, cast them out or disown them, no matter the reason why they disappointed you? And if one of your children had become brain-damaged or otherwise incapacitated, would you have continued to care, or cast them out when it was no longer “fun” to parent them?

      Should those who didn’t “luck out” in the caring relative department be abandoned by society as well? How can you make these blanket judgments without knowing the individual stories?

      Having had a mom who was mentally ill, I thank my lucky stars that my dad hung in there with her and loved, supported, and nurtured me and my siblings, in spite of the varying kinds of hell my mother put him through. Having now an adult relative who suffered traumatic brain injury through no fault of his own, and who is, because of that, unable to support himself or to maintain positive relationships, I draw on the memory of my dad’s faithful nurturing to help me find the patience to deal with the unpleasant personality quirks the TBI has inflicted upon my kin.

  • Wow, Scob Do. What happened to you in your life that makes you lack compassion?
    Jeez, the woman’s friend hung himself.

  • Wow, Scob Do. What happened to you in your life that makes you lack compassion?
    Jeez, the woman’s friend hung himself.

  • Fine words and a great post about the giving of our human self to others. It never hurts to treat others well, the way you’d like to be treated, to care, to offer kindness or support. It may go nowhere, it may go miles, it may be a seed that blossoms here or somewhere else– or it may die on the vine. However it may go– it’s the right thing to do– and we have to try. In a sense, everyone is our son or daughter needing help on their path to… somewhere. Thanks for the reminder, Kym.

  • Fine words and a great post about the giving of our human self to others. It never hurts to treat others well, the way you’d like to be treated, to care, to offer kindness or support. It may go nowhere, it may go miles, it may be a seed that blossoms here or somewhere else– or it may die on the vine. However it may go– it’s the right thing to do– and we have to try. In a sense, everyone is our son or daughter needing help on their path to… somewhere. Thanks for the reminder, Kym.

  • Seems if someone doesn’t want to meet the ludicrous demands of all the street vagrants/bums, their supporters accuse you of lacking compassion. They’re confused and mean well but you’re spot on with the yellow jello. People are confusing street vagrants that have chosen that life style, with regular hard working citizens.

    • Fed Up, I’m not saying that one must meet their demands. I’m saying that each of them are people. We can and do deny loved ones things they ask for. We can deny homeless people unreasonable requests. But we also need to think of them as people who may have reasonable needs that we can meet and then this might help society as a whole.

      • I agree Kym and I hope everyone has an altruistic side too. I just disagree with any attemps to aid and attract individuals I consider to be vagrants and those that choose the homeless life style. Individual freedom is a unique American right but it comes with a price and part of the price is responsibility.

  • Seems if someone doesn’t want to meet the ludicrous demands of all the street vagrants/bums, their supporters accuse you of lacking compassion. They’re confused and mean well but you’re spot on with the yellow jello. People are confusing street vagrants that have chosen that life style, with regular hard working citizens.

    • Fed Up, I’m not saying that one must meet their demands. I’m saying that each of them are people. We can and do deny loved ones things they ask for. We can deny homeless people unreasonable requests. But we also need to think of them as people who may have reasonable needs that we can meet and then this might help society as a whole.

      • I agree Kym and I hope everyone has an altruistic side too. I just disagree with any attemps to aid and attract individuals I consider to be vagrants and those that choose the homeless life style. Individual freedom is a unique American right but it comes with a price and part of the price is responsibility.

  • Skippy, I couldn’t agree more. Compassion is what makes us wonderful. Even when we struggle with what is the right thing to do, even when we cannot understand, We are all in the same boat, and extending compassion just may make the one little difference that a person needs, for that day or for their life, it doesn’t matter, in the long run, the only life we are in charge of is our own, and we can only make the world a better place by being the best person we can be……however we can be it.

  • Skippy, I couldn’t agree more. Compassion is what makes us wonderful. Even when we struggle with what is the right thing to do, even when we cannot understand, We are all in the same boat, and extending compassion just may make the one little difference that a person needs, for that day or for their life, it doesn’t matter, in the long run, the only life we are in charge of is our own, and we can only make the world a better place by being the best person we can be……however we can be it.

  • In an uncaring community, we could allow the sinews of human life to writhe and wallow in their well deserved pain and suffering– woven from the threads of their own miserable and chosen fabric– while enjoying the richer tapestries for ourselves and our finer families.

    In a caring community, we could stop and simply say… ”Call your Mom…” even though we’re not sure who she’s running from or where she’s going to.

    Is it better to do something– or to do nothing? We look back in isolated glances, walk away, and need to get home before dark, thinking, “It’s getting too late already.” We know our family and pets have been waiting; patiently waiting for us coming home and sharing dinner, before lighting the fire and telling stories and drifting off to bed, like families do.

  • In an uncaring community, we could allow the sinews of human life to writhe and wallow in their well deserved pain and suffering– woven from the threads of their own miserable and chosen fabric– while enjoying the richer tapestries for ourselves and our finer families.

    In a caring community, we could stop and simply say… ”Call your Mom…” even though we’re not sure who she’s running from or where she’s going to.

    Is it better to do something– or to do nothing? We look back in isolated glances, walk away, and need to get home before dark, thinking, “It’s getting too late already.” We know our family and pets have been waiting; patiently waiting for us coming home and sharing dinner, before lighting the fire and telling stories and drifting off to bed, like families do.

  • Lives unraveld that were once tight, bleak futures full of blight, to each in their own time, trying to find the light. For every life lived in triumpth there is a trajedy. The most one can lose who is ever born is a life poorly lived.

  • Lives unraveld that were once tight, bleak futures full of blight, to each in their own time, trying to find the light. For every life lived in triumpth there is a trajedy. The most one can lose who is ever born is a life poorly lived.

  • her dog put his paws on her shoulders and lapped up the drops spilling from her eyes.

    Your honest realism transcends sentimentality to make visuals like this poignant.

  • her dog put his paws on her shoulders and lapped up the drops spilling from her eyes.

    Your honest realism transcends sentimentality to make visuals like this poignant.

  • “think globally, act locally.” It doesn’t get any more local than the person next to you. And my personal hero said,” love your neighbor as yourself” Be wise, but compassionate. mark

  • “think globally, act locally.” It doesn’t get any more local than the person next to you. And my personal hero said,” love your neighbor as yourself” Be wise, but compassionate. mark

  • True Story. There were these 2 homeless men in the G-ville / redway area, their names were Ugly Ken and Hobbit, maybe someone remembers them. They would come by and ask for $20.00 ,I would give it to them once a month, for personal reasons. They walked all day from Redway to G ville, and back again. They drank,they probably did other things when they could. They were just existing day by day. Then One day a , call her a bleeding heart , Decided that she would help them out, She reasoned correctly that they were homeless and needed a home,So now these 2 men had a free place to live with no responsibity, so they just drank and watch TV.
    Within 3 months they were both dead. It seems the only thing keeping them alive was their constant walking and moving around. I wrote this to show how good intentions can have terrible consequences. Sometimes the best thing to do is do nothing at all.

  • True Story. There were these 2 homeless men in the G-ville / redway area, their names were Ugly Ken and Hobbit, maybe someone remembers them. They would come by and ask for $20.00 ,I would give it to them once a month, for personal reasons. They walked all day from Redway to G ville, and back again. They drank,they probably did other things when they could. They were just existing day by day. Then One day a , call her a bleeding heart , Decided that she would help them out, She reasoned correctly that they were homeless and needed a home,So now these 2 men had a free place to live with no responsibity, so they just drank and watch TV.
    Within 3 months they were both dead. It seems the only thing keeping them alive was their constant walking and moving around. I wrote this to show how good intentions can have terrible consequences. Sometimes the best thing to do is do nothing at all.

  • One day I returned to my car from shopping at Chatauqua and got in the front seat and got a huge scare when I realized that someone was sitting in the back seat tucked under a piece of plywood that I had in my Forerunner. I yelled in surprise before I recognized Hobbit. He was fussing with his jeans which looked clean. He had used my backseat to change pants as I realized moments later. He slurred a request to go home. Loading his pushcarrt atop the slanted plywood sheet I saw and smelled that his sleeping bag was saturated and dripping from his wrapping his wet jeans up. He said he had a home in Miranda. After confirming with Ugly Ken that Pete did have a home, I set off for Miranda, my human side screaming with fear that the back of my 4runner might be catching urine runoff. On the freeway Pete was looking a bit green so I lowered the windows for maximum air and got instructions to a little cabin that somone had let him use. I felt good to see that he had a place, and was hugely relieved to find the back of my truck dry when I unloaded his cart and possessions.
    Sometimes you step up to help another human.
    I had no idea that his having a home was a contributing factor to his death. When he and Ken went that winter, if felt wrong to have two local men’s deaths go so unrecognized. I think Pastor Sharon may have written something in the paper.
    He was a genial little Hobbit, never heard of him raising his voice unless he was defending himself or others.

  • One day I returned to my car from shopping at Chatauqua and got in the front seat and got a huge scare when I realized that someone was sitting in the back seat tucked under a piece of plywood that I had in my Forerunner. I yelled in surprise before I recognized Hobbit. He was fussing with his jeans which looked clean. He had used my backseat to change pants as I realized moments later. He slurred a request to go home. Loading his pushcarrt atop the slanted plywood sheet I saw and smelled that his sleeping bag was saturated and dripping from his wrapping his wet jeans up. He said he had a home in Miranda. After confirming with Ugly Ken that Pete did have a home, I set off for Miranda, my human side screaming with fear that the back of my 4runner might be catching urine runoff. On the freeway Pete was looking a bit green so I lowered the windows for maximum air and got instructions to a little cabin that somone had let him use. I felt good to see that he had a place, and was hugely relieved to find the back of my truck dry when I unloaded his cart and possessions.
    Sometimes you step up to help another human.
    I had no idea that his having a home was a contributing factor to his death. When he and Ken went that winter, if felt wrong to have two local men’s deaths go so unrecognized. I think Pastor Sharon may have written something in the paper.
    He was a genial little Hobbit, never heard of him raising his voice unless he was defending himself or others.

  • Thank you so much Kym. We are brothers and sisters. Even as the leaves of one tree or flowers of one garden.

    It can be hard to figure out how to be compassionate and loving and kind to people while still being diligent about protecting ones self from being taken advantage of. But while we work to find where that line is in this situation, I feel it would be better to err on the side of compassion.

  • Thank you so much Kym. We are brothers and sisters. Even as the leaves of one tree or flowers of one garden.

    It can be hard to figure out how to be compassionate and loving and kind to people while still being diligent about protecting ones self from being taken advantage of. But while we work to find where that line is in this situation, I feel it would be better to err on the side of compassion.

  • yellow jello, humm ….I have a spine and thank God a heart..We are all one event from being on the street. I too want my children to have a job and be responsible, but it isn’t what makes me Love them….respect them…show unconditional support no matter what happens in their journey of life…I wiill treat my brothers and sisters with Love and respect, and I guess you can treat people like crap Scob do. Those men were sick , and putting them in shelter didn’t kill them. They got to die inside with diginity not found wrapped in a sleeping bag in front of shop smart. If you think they would of lived longer exposed to the winter elements you are wrong. Maybe you should try walking all day, carrying everything you own with no food, no water.Being moved around like cattle.Having the community you live in hate on you.. You would’t last a day let alone decades.Again, call me what you want… I choose the path of Love..We have enough hate in the world, and in our little community. Love your Brothers & Sisters.
    Love, Yellow jello

    • Den Mom, it`s not the trailer that killed them, it was not the compassion you have that killed them, it was alcoholism that killed them. putting them in a home without responsibilities allowed them to fall deeper into their disease, they drank more, and more, and they died. Your compassion was misplaced. Use wisdom and not emotion, somethings must be left alone to a higher power.

  • yellow jello, humm ….I have a spine and thank God a heart..We are all one event from being on the street. I too want my children to have a job and be responsible, but it isn’t what makes me Love them….respect them…show unconditional support no matter what happens in their journey of life…I wiill treat my brothers and sisters with Love and respect, and I guess you can treat people like crap Scob do. Those men were sick , and putting them in shelter didn’t kill them. They got to die inside with diginity not found wrapped in a sleeping bag in front of shop smart. If you think they would of lived longer exposed to the winter elements you are wrong. Maybe you should try walking all day, carrying everything you own with no food, no water.Being moved around like cattle.Having the community you live in hate on you.. You would’t last a day let alone decades.Again, call me what you want… I choose the path of Love..We have enough hate in the world, and in our little community. Love your Brothers & Sisters.
    Love, Yellow jello

    • Den Mom, it`s not the trailer that killed them, it was not the compassion you have that killed them, it was alcoholism that killed them. putting them in a home without responsibilities allowed them to fall deeper into their disease, they drank more, and more, and they died. Your compassion was misplaced. Use wisdom and not emotion, somethings must be left alone to a higher power.

  • We are all one event from being on the street.

    That tension causes the source of much of the hatred towards the homeless. Every time the hater sees a homeless person on the street he is reminded unconsciously that if things were a little different it could be him. Fear arises. To avoid the fear it is projected onto others. It is their own insecurity and fear that they try to alleviate by projecting it onto, and eventually striking out against, innocent homeless victims. Too ignorant to recognize their fears, too lazy to try, I say they are cowards who lack responsibility.

    • Scotty , give me full power now.
      Captain,I can`t , the reactor is cold and you can`t mix Dilithium crystals cold with anti-matter.
      Commander Scot, we must. the haters are coming at us. We cannot fall into their hands and be subject to their logic. Full warp speed ahead.
      Aye aye captain.
      Spock, have you tried to communicate with the haters?
      Yes Captain, I did a Vulcan mind melt with the haters. I explained to them that we just wanted toothbrushes and combs,and sleeping bags for the crew. Also a wee bit of solar red heroin, for medicinal purposes and some Altar blue meth for the road.
      Captain, they are an uptight bunch.
      Brace yourselves for warp 7 speed

      • Captain, Captain, I can’t warp ahead on this new tweek. We used the last of our bread and weve been burned again.
        What’s the problem Scotty?
        The black crack we scored from J.T. … it’s really red devil salsa.
        Oh shit, We’ll have to do that k-spank we scored at area 333.
        You lost that, remember.
        I’ll find it, damn, it must be somewhere . . .
        Captain, our altitude is falling,
        You mean our attitude?
        Whats the difference?
        The difference is I can’t find no spoof. We’re all out of fuel, our ship wont make it through to dawn, safely … we’ll be drawn into a black wormhole dude ,,, –we need some crank. NOW!
        True but it’s too late, to panhandle. I still have a couple of moxycontins … I’m just gonna crawl into my sleeping bag and …
        Ahhh were crashing
        ….
        What happened? Captain where are you? Where am I?
        This is the vet’s park, man
        Who … who are you?
        Don’t worry dude .. i’m on your side
        Youre not one of the haters?
        Hahaha no man, what kinda logic been messin’ with you mind? here try some
        of … this shit.
        * * * * * * * * * * *
        Oh oh, oh wow!, omg!!!
        Kick back man, its all love, man, look at the moon …
        Yeah wow I see what you mean, there’s no place for hate, in this place …
        That’s right man, check you later man.
        * * * * * * * * * * *
        Yeah uh, bye, –hey, wait a minute, come back! where’d my sleeping bag go? who took my cell phone? And my space helmet. Hey, my food stamps are gone too …

  • We are all one event from being on the street.

    That tension causes the source of much of the hatred towards the homeless. Every time the hater sees a homeless person on the street he is reminded unconsciously that if things were a little different it could be him. Fear arises. To avoid the fear it is projected onto others. It is their own insecurity and fear that they try to alleviate by projecting it onto, and eventually striking out against, innocent homeless victims. Too ignorant to recognize their fears, too lazy to try, I say they are cowards who lack responsibility.

    • Scotty , give me full power now.
      Captain,I can`t , the reactor is cold and you can`t mix Dilithium crystals cold with anti-matter.
      Commander Scot, we must. the haters are coming at us. We cannot fall into their hands and be subject to their logic. Full warp speed ahead.
      Aye aye captain.
      Spock, have you tried to communicate with the haters?
      Yes Captain, I did a Vulcan mind melt with the haters. I explained to them that we just wanted toothbrushes and combs,and sleeping bags for the crew. Also a wee bit of solar red heroin, for medicinal purposes and some Altar blue meth for the road.
      Captain, they are an uptight bunch.
      Brace yourselves for warp 7 speed

      • Captain, Captain, I can’t warp ahead on this new tweek. We used the last of our bread and weve been burned again.
        What’s the problem Scotty?
        The black crack we scored from J.T. … it’s really red devil salsa.
        Oh shit, We’ll have to do that k-spank we scored at area 333.
        You lost that, remember.
        I’ll find it, damn, it must be somewhere . . .
        Captain, our altitude is falling,
        You mean our attitude?
        Whats the difference?
        The difference is I can’t find no spoof. We’re all out of fuel, our ship wont make it through to dawn, safely … we’ll be drawn into a black wormhole dude ,,, –we need some crank. NOW!
        True but it’s too late, to panhandle. I still have a couple of moxycontins … I’m just gonna crawl into my sleeping bag and …
        Ahhh were crashing
        ….
        What happened? Captain where are you? Where am I?
        This is the vet’s park, man
        Who … who are you?
        Don’t worry dude .. i’m on your side
        Youre not one of the haters?
        Hahaha no man, what kinda logic been messin’ with you mind? here try some
        of … this shit.
        * * * * * * * * * * *
        Oh oh, oh wow!, omg!!!
        Kick back man, its all love, man, look at the moon …
        Yeah wow I see what you mean, there’s no place for hate, in this place …
        That’s right man, check you later man.
        * * * * * * * * * * *
        Yeah uh, bye, –hey, wait a minute, come back! where’d my sleeping bag go? who took my cell phone? And my space helmet. Hey, my food stamps are gone too …

  • I’ve been thinking about how some of the people you see on the streets got there. It’s not just one thing, but from my own experiences, I have known younger adults that plainly had shit for parents.( I am not putting all the blame here, just listen a little) Some had one or both parents into drugs or booze, and many were left to figure out how to get to school ,have a meal, and just general hygiene stuff. As years passed , many of these kids didn’t fit in with their peers and didn’t go to sports or other social functions (who would drive them? or just give a shit) The list is a lifetime of what didn’t happen that was good, and what did happen that was bad. Eventually, a common answer is to dull from the pain and disappointment and the next generation of drugs/booze starts all over. Leads to no job, or DUI’s and just general “I don’t give a shit” (because they are hurt from so many years and don’t really have the image of how to do things) this is one portion of who you have out on the street. I know this is a very brief version, but if you talk to people , you will find that many of them have been deeply hurt in their younger years. I know that some make the best of thing’s a don’t end of like this, but even with my own cousins, I saw this as theirs was the example of alcoholic mother and absent dad, most of the kids ended up pretty tragic and a few made it through. I agree with one of the post that said something to the effect that “their not getting away with anything, their just barely holding on.” not everyone, but many.

    • Well said, and true from my expereinces and observations.
      I didn’t go the same way, but it was a close call in my younger years by almost taking the wrong road to nowhere.
      Thanks.

  • M.E. Your understanding mirrors mine. But there’s a whole lot of Libertarian deniers who believe that takiing children away from parents is fundamentally not good for the children. Since it also costs a lot of public money, some selfish people agree with that out of not wanting to pay to raise other people’s children. The people on the streets and in the jails are proof that its a shortsighted savings of money.

    Small example of children being hurt by their parents in this news item. What might some innocent naive HumCo Kindergartener bring to class?

    • (umm, I would be one of the people that would be extremely slow to take a child out of the home. I am not happy at all with the removal of children in many cases as it has proven to be even more detrimental and even more so these days. (please don’t be offended if you have been a wonderful foster parent as I do know that it happens) I will save that subject for another time perhaps. )
      For now, I keep hearing that people think that it’s not that hard for the homeless people to just “get their shit together, clean up, get a job and the rest. It’s a vent of frustration when that is said most of the times. I would think that many folks would benefit from a simple act of a bathroom and shower. A safe place to sleep would be nice and services to help those that may still be able to accept them would be like a dream.

    • How ironic…

      The largest driver of the young adult homeless population is the foster care system.

      http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/A-growing-problem-Fresh-out-of-foster-care-and-886284.php

      Taking children away from their parents is a course of action that should be reserved for serious cases of child abuse and neglect, not issues like the parents smoking pot as someone suggested in a previous thread.

      • I have read these stories and wonder what that would be like to go from having a foster home and the on your 18th birthday, you have to move out. Sometimes it might be OK, but these stories are becoming more and more. Thank you to the kind folks that offer a helping hand or a home that is safe.

        • There are some promising transitional-type programs in some areas, but at the present time these only serve a tiny proportion of kids who are aging-out of foster care.

          There are some great foster parents and group home staff out there, and we need more of those. Unfortunately there are also a whole lot of them that are mediocre-at-best, and sadly there seem to be quite a few who are absolutely terrible. Same with the case workers and social workers who are supposed to be checking in on these kids to make sure that they are being treated appropriately. Which is why kids suffer such high levels of sexual abuse (as well as other forms of abuse and neglect) while in foster care or group homes.

          And what a truly horrific tragedy that is — kids removed from their parents’ homes (sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for not such good reasons) only to be sexually abused in a foster home or a group home.

          Inappropriately removing kids from their parents (for example over somthing like pot smoking by the parents) just makes these problems much worse, as it leads to overcrowding in foster homes and group homes, and to unreasonably large case loads for case managers, social workers, and the like. So those who advocate removing kids from their parents for anything less than serious abuse or neglect are, in effect, contributing to the system’s epidemic levels of sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect. I wish these folks would at least put their efforts into reforming and improving the child welfare / foster care / group home system before they start advocating for more kids to be thrown into it.

  • M.E. Your understanding mirrors mine. But there’s a whole lot of Libertarian deniers who believe that takiing children away from parents is fundamentally not good for the children. Since it also costs a lot of public money, some selfish people agree with that out of not wanting to pay to raise other people’s children. The people on the streets and in the jails are proof that its a shortsighted savings of money.

    Small example of children being hurt by their parents in this news item. What might some innocent naive HumCo Kindergartener bring to class?

    • (umm, I would be one of the people that would be extremely slow to take a child out of the home. I am not happy at all with the removal of children in many cases as it has proven to be even more detrimental and even more so these days. (please don’t be offended if you have been a wonderful foster parent as I do know that it happens) I will save that subject for another time perhaps. )
      For now, I keep hearing that people think that it’s not that hard for the homeless people to just “get their shit together, clean up, get a job and the rest. It’s a vent of frustration when that is said most of the times. I would think that many folks would benefit from a simple act of a bathroom and shower. A safe place to sleep would be nice and services to help those that may still be able to accept them would be like a dream.

    • How ironic…

      The largest driver of the young adult homeless population is the foster care system.

      http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/A-growing-problem-Fresh-out-of-foster-care-and-886284.php

      Taking children away from their parents is a course of action that should be reserved for serious cases of child abuse and neglect, not issues like the parents smoking pot as someone suggested in a previous thread.

      • I have read these stories and wonder what that would be like to go from having a foster home and the on your 18th birthday, you have to move out. Sometimes it might be OK, but these stories are becoming more and more. Thank you to the kind folks that offer a helping hand or a home that is safe.

        • There are some promising transitional-type programs in some areas, but at the present time these only serve a tiny proportion of kids who are aging-out of foster care.

          There are some great foster parents and group home staff out there, and we need more of those. Unfortunately there are also a whole lot of them that are mediocre-at-best, and sadly there seem to be quite a few who are absolutely terrible. Same with the case workers and social workers who are supposed to be checking in on these kids to make sure that they are being treated appropriately. Which is why kids suffer such high levels of sexual abuse (as well as other forms of abuse and neglect) while in foster care or group homes.

          And what a truly horrific tragedy that is — kids removed from their parents’ homes (sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for not such good reasons) only to be sexually abused in a foster home or a group home.

          Inappropriately removing kids from their parents (for example over somthing like pot smoking by the parents) just makes these problems much worse, as it leads to overcrowding in foster homes and group homes, and to unreasonably large case loads for case managers, social workers, and the like. So those who advocate removing kids from their parents for anything less than serious abuse or neglect are, in effect, contributing to the system’s epidemic levels of sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect. I wish these folks would at least put their efforts into reforming and improving the child welfare / foster care / group home system before they start advocating for more kids to be thrown into it.

  • Anon For Now, You have just left handedly accused me of being a bad parent,by assuming I have belittled,abandon, beat ,raped or ignore my children. This thought process of yours only shows to the community the lack of logical reasoning . I try to teach my children to be responsible human beings just as I think the homeless should be taught. This is the true mark of love.

  • Anon For Now, You have just left handedly accused me of being a bad parent,by assuming I have belittled,abandon, beat ,raped or ignore my children. This thought process of yours only shows to the community the lack of logical reasoning . I try to teach my children to be responsible human beings just as I think the homeless should be taught. This is the true mark of love.

  • I think we should do a study. Why don’t we pick 5 people from all walks of “SHELTER”, and place them on the streets of So.hum.with no $, We will give you a very nice sleeping bag, and a back pack if you really want one(which is a sign you are homeless).No contact with any of your love ones, u are on your own and at the mercy of your community. We will keep a journal on how each day went and how easy it was to do the basic human rights.Sleep, eat, and we already know we have no public bathroom, so write about how it went for you when your body wants to function. Write about how you feel alone and how you are looked at and judged by the way you look.how many times you were told to move on by our local sheriff.How hungry you got? How you survived….how it feels to live every emotion in front of your community.I think we would learn so much about this topic and what So.hum is lacking. Just skip the thought of a shower, not going to happen. I know this experience will be life changing, and some of us on here need our thoughts about this topic adjusted…
    Any takers?

    • YES,! dont go there,, oh wait, you just did,,, you seem to be so good at your shaming and blaming Deb, but wait, what if that backed person showed some RESPECT for the area they were in, swept up a lot for a bag of supply’s or perhaps spoke with out that sense of entitlement,,that way of “”oh how bad off I am and you all need to care for me because I have so little and you all have so much””. there is no fear of the sheriff if you have no warrants and you dont reek like pot,,,stand up, put down the beer, pick up a broom and earn a few bucks for a meal, at the same time it earns a name for your self and day by day those around you learn that you are trying to help your self there for getting help from those around you……..its not that hard,,,,I would take up your challenge BUT I have been there already in life and proved you wrong before…….

  • I think we should do a study. Why don’t we pick 5 people from all walks of “SHELTER”, and place them on the streets of So.hum.with no $, We will give you a very nice sleeping bag, and a back pack if you really want one(which is a sign you are homeless).No contact with any of your love ones, u are on your own and at the mercy of your community. We will keep a journal on how each day went and how easy it was to do the basic human rights.Sleep, eat, and we already know we have no public bathroom, so write about how it went for you when your body wants to function. Write about how you feel alone and how you are looked at and judged by the way you look.how many times you were told to move on by our local sheriff.How hungry you got? How you survived….how it feels to live every emotion in front of your community.I think we would learn so much about this topic and what So.hum is lacking. Just skip the thought of a shower, not going to happen. I know this experience will be life changing, and some of us on here need our thoughts about this topic adjusted…
    Any takers?

    • YES,! dont go there,, oh wait, you just did,,, you seem to be so good at your shaming and blaming Deb, but wait, what if that backed person showed some RESPECT for the area they were in, swept up a lot for a bag of supply’s or perhaps spoke with out that sense of entitlement,,that way of “”oh how bad off I am and you all need to care for me because I have so little and you all have so much””. there is no fear of the sheriff if you have no warrants and you dont reek like pot,,,stand up, put down the beer, pick up a broom and earn a few bucks for a meal, at the same time it earns a name for your self and day by day those around you learn that you are trying to help your self there for getting help from those around you……..its not that hard,,,,I would take up your challenge BUT I have been there already in life and proved you wrong before…….

  • There was another Great Depression that people lived through in the 1930’s to the start of WWII. I have some family members as most do that lived through it. Ask them what it was like with homeless people. There were no demands for public toilets, hot showers, and camping gear. People didn’t think entitlements were to demand because they didn’t exist. People had to deal with criminals back then the old fashioned way and there seemed to be a lot more honor among what they called hobos and travelers, most of them knew a trade and worked off a meal or bar tab, they would drink alcohol, but drug use was rare and almost unknown. Today helping by offering a ride or food or a place to stay can often result in a dangerous situation.

  • There was another Great Depression that people lived through in the 1930’s to the start of WWII. I have some family members as most do that lived through it. Ask them what it was like with homeless people. There were no demands for public toilets, hot showers, and camping gear. People didn’t think entitlements were to demand because they didn’t exist. People had to deal with criminals back then the old fashioned way and there seemed to be a lot more honor among what they called hobos and travelers, most of them knew a trade and worked off a meal or bar tab, they would drink alcohol, but drug use was rare and almost unknown. Today helping by offering a ride or food or a place to stay can often result in a dangerous situation.

  • A powerful force threatening our job security today is the Mexican cartels who have invaded our national forests and set up headquarters in over 1,000 cities across the U.S. Concerning the largest industry in the country, they intend to flood the market, lower the price, control sales, and steal the source of income from hard working local marijuana growers and dealers.

  • A powerful force threatening our job security today is the Mexican cartels who have invaded our national forests and set up headquarters in over 1,000 cities across the U.S. Concerning the largest industry in the country, they intend to flood the market, lower the price, control sales, and steal the source of income from hard working local marijuana growers and dealers.

  • I read this post yesterday and thought about it all day today. I work in a large city and I’ve been accosted by the needy. Yes, it can be a drag. I also know that every life born to this planet must toil to thrive. I know that many, including myself are not too far from needing a helping hand. I have two lovely daughters, a son, and two precious grandchildren. To think that they’d be reduced to the fear and desperation that the character of your post is experiencing is enough to me sick. I’ve had to help people and, thank God, people have helped me. In these cases, all involved have worked diligently to regain independence. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Thanks, Kym and to all who have commented for giving me the food for thought. I hope to continue helping when a needy life reaches my way.

    Peace and love from John
    (hoping to earn an honorable place in this beautiful creation)

  • I read this post yesterday and thought about it all day today. I work in a large city and I’ve been accosted by the needy. Yes, it can be a drag. I also know that every life born to this planet must toil to thrive. I know that many, including myself are not too far from needing a helping hand. I have two lovely daughters, a son, and two precious grandchildren. To think that they’d be reduced to the fear and desperation that the character of your post is experiencing is enough to me sick. I’ve had to help people and, thank God, people have helped me. In these cases, all involved have worked diligently to regain independence. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Thanks, Kym and to all who have commented for giving me the food for thought. I hope to continue helping when a needy life reaches my way.

    Peace and love from John
    (hoping to earn an honorable place in this beautiful creation)

  • I read this post yesterday and thought about it all day today. I work in a large city and I’ve been accosted by the needy. Yes, it can be a drag. I also know that every life born to this planet must toil to thrive. I know that many, including myself are not too far from needing a helping hand. I have two lovely daughters, a son, and two precious grandchildren. To think that they’d be reduced to the fear and desperation that the character of your post is experiencing is enough to make me sick. I’ve had to help people and, thank God, people have helped me. In these cases, all involved have worked diligently to regain independence. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Thanks, Kym and to all who have commented for giving me the food for thought. I hope to continue helping when a needy life reaches my way.

    Peace and love from John
    (hoping to earn an honorable place in this beautiful creation)

    • Thank you John, for all that you do, and for protecting Cathy and me that morning in town from those 3 drifters , 1 being the worst that were yelling at us

  • I read this post yesterday and thought about it all day today. I work in a large city and I’ve been accosted by the needy. Yes, it can be a drag. I also know that every life born to this planet must toil to thrive. I know that many, including myself are not too far from needing a helping hand. I have two lovely daughters, a son, and two precious grandchildren. To think that they’d be reduced to the fear and desperation that the character of your post is experiencing is enough to make me sick. I’ve had to help people and, thank God, people have helped me. In these cases, all involved have worked diligently to regain independence. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Thanks, Kym and to all who have commented for giving me the food for thought. I hope to continue helping when a needy life reaches my way.

    Peace and love from John
    (hoping to earn an honorable place in this beautiful creation)

    • Thank you John, for all that you do, and for protecting Cathy and me that morning in town from those 3 drifters , 1 being the worst that were yelling at us

  • I saw people being vilified as “ignorant haters” on a previous thread. I was wondering just who these ignorant haters are and what are the requirements of this label.

  • I saw people being vilified as “ignorant haters” on a previous thread. I was wondering just who these ignorant haters are and what are the requirements of this label.

  • FOR ALL OF US WHO WANT TO WORK ON THIS ISSUE
    HERE IN REDWAY / GARBERVILLE,
    BRING YOUR IDEAS TO THE TABLE OR SHUT THE HELL UP,
    REALLY,
    THIS MEETING IS BEING PUT ON BY BOTH “SIDES”
    SO, SUIT UP AND SHOW UP,,,,
    IT SEEMS TO BE PRETTY IMPORTANT HERE ONLINE
    WHEN YOU HAVE A KEYBOARD AND A FAKE NAME TO HIDE BEHIND,
    LETS SEE IF YOU MAKE THE TIME TO COME SHARE AT THE MEETING
    WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS.
    This meeting will be held at the Vet’s Hall in Garberville on Friday,
    Oct. 7 beginning at 6 p.m.

    http://www.redwoodtimes.com/ci_18997199?IADID=Search-www.redwoodtimes.com-www.redwoodtimes.com

  • FOR ALL OF US WHO WANT TO WORK ON THIS ISSUE
    HERE IN REDWAY / GARBERVILLE,
    BRING YOUR IDEAS TO THE TABLE OR SHUT THE HELL UP,
    REALLY,
    THIS MEETING IS BEING PUT ON BY BOTH “SIDES”
    SO, SUIT UP AND SHOW UP,,,,
    IT SEEMS TO BE PRETTY IMPORTANT HERE ONLINE
    WHEN YOU HAVE A KEYBOARD AND A FAKE NAME TO HIDE BEHIND,
    LETS SEE IF YOU MAKE THE TIME TO COME SHARE AT THE MEETING
    WHEN IT REALLY COUNTS.
    This meeting will be held at the Vet’s Hall in Garberville on Friday,
    Oct. 7 beginning at 6 p.m.

    http://www.redwoodtimes.com/ci_18997199?IADID=Search-www.redwoodtimes.com-www.redwoodtimes.com

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