Local homeless camps

Today I took a “tour” of some of our local homeless camps, where I saw ragged tents that served as homes tucked into the brush, tarps stretched over the worn canvas as extra protection from any rain.  I saw nylon cords strung through the trees where faded shirts washed who-knows-where hung to dry on this incredibly sun-shiny day.  I also overheard a woman say she was cleaning up her camp, but was keeping the one ugly tarp hung up in the corner of the clearing because it provided privacy when she “piddled”.

I heard people with beautifully sweet smiles and no teeth explain what they were doing to try to get indoors. To pull their lives together.

I met a woman named Iris with a beautiful dog (that scared the shit out of me at first but turned out to be a love) who explained that she could get shelter IF she gave up her dog. The dog she loved that kept her safe.  Then she described where her camp lie deep in the marsh.

After this I drove back to Arcata and watched a Crabs baseball game.


6 Responses to Local homeless camps

  1. Kym Kemp says:

    The juxtaposition between how we live and how some of our neighbors live doesn’t sit comfortably with me either.

    • Lynette M says:

      Thanks Kym.
      I think we’re coming to your neighborhood in about 1 1/2 weeks to hear John Shelter’s presentation to the SoHum folks at the Mateel–he’ll talk about the homeless/engagement program he has going in Eureka and how something similar might be implemented in Garberville.

      If you are there, please find me and say “hi”.

  2. Peter says:

    it’s good to be able to see what is, not with judgments but just to take in the reality around us, some of it is far from pretty or what we might live, but acknowledging what you see is important in the process of potentially changing it. so thank you fro sharing your vision with us.

    • Lynette M says:

      I automatically judge what I see as “bad” , truth be told, but am trying to remind myself (as others remind me) that things aren’t always as they appear. And at least some who seem to be victims of misfortune may actually be in their circumstance by choice.
      The thing is others (especially children) can be negatively effected by those choices. And there are yet others in terrible circumstances through no choice at all.

      I am thankful to be in a place (job) that offers at least the possiblity of having a positive impact on all this. Even Paul says that it is better to try and fail than not try at all…

  3. I am ever so greatful for your wonderful blog. I teach young children who are considered “at risk”, some of their family situations are really difficult. I find it hard sometimes to teach my daughter to not view every seemingly negative situation as “bad”. That yes, some people make decisions that put them in bad situations and that others are just victims of circumstances beyond their control.

    We should never become so blind to the world around us that we forget we have been given the job of being a “light unto the world”.

    • Lynette M says:

      Your work is of such value. I work for the DA and everyday we see what happens when children (such as those you work with) don’t get the positive influence you are providing.
      You will never truly know the value of the work you do, but it is infinitely important. Thank you.

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