Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sacramento's Tent City

Because times have become so rough, millions of layoff's, the economy being in down road spiral an area of Sacramento has been filled with hundreds of homeless people. The area has come to be known as Tent City. There are tents everywhere in a somewhat secluded area, but not unseen from cars passing and some onlookers. Families, children, bbq's, some without tents, taken in by other homeless. Only a few cars owned, many bicycles, tables.

Tent City is being cleared. A grant has been approved to help these people in shelters, store their belongings while their in the shelter. But... one only gets a night and a hot meal. Worse cases a couple of days and a meal.

Many don't want hand outs, they are surviving the best that they can. These aren't the typical bums or homeless sleeping under bridges, or lazy people who really don't care to work and instead live off others handouts.

These people lost everything. Their jobs, their homes were foreclosed on. Where else do they go? It could have been us. My husband has been unemployed since late November after working for the same company 13 years. A major mass layoff from a company that survived world war 2. They didn't go out of business, they relocated to another state thinking it would save them costs, labor dollars, etc. The man could have taken a transfer, but where would we have gone when we got there? Instead he took his severance package, he cashed out his 401 and a small pension. It is what we are living off of. Luckily I recieved a good chunk of back pay in late October to go with this. We lost our retirement future, but we will not lose our home that we purchased April 15 of last year. Nor will be become homeless, we won't lose our minor son as a result. Our glass is still half full. We figure considering it all. We're still on middle ground.

Leave the people in Tent City Alone

They aren't hurting anyone, they are helping one another, when someone gets work, they share with one another. They have no address so they will not qualify for any type of aid. This also makes getting a job tough.

Usually people compain that lazy people are sucking up all our resources, increase our taxes because of welfare, AFDC and programs like this. Normally I would agree.

I cannot agree now.

So a few people don't like the scenery when they travel and look over to it. Imagine how many neighborhoods across the country that are torn down, beat up, ghetto poor that's always existed. The dirty projects we have to pass on the way to work, or to the store, doctor appointments, school.

People always have something to bitch about, but they aren't the ones in the hole.
I'm certain if they were and there was no where for them to go...they'd go camping too.

There are other smaller tent cities it's just that this one made news headlines several times. The ones now will just pack up and move on to another before letting the city governments make their choices and I hope they do. A day or a couple in shelter gives them what? It gives them a notice that they can no longer stay. With the amount of money they received in grants. $250,000 to start and another $150,000 in the last week or about, they could restore a dump and give them more permanent housing. I would propose a 3 month stay that includes an address, or vacant buildings that are similar to shelters, so they can pick themselves back up. I'm sure $350,000 could rent a couple auditorium type buildings for 6 months to a year and provide 2 groups to stay their 3 months. That could help atleast 300 people at a time. If they're living in tents, I doubt they would complain to live somewhere like this that was more permanent and would actually help them. I would sleep on a cot next to my Master with our son next to us in the corner of a shelter type building if it meant a semi permanent address so he could get work if we were in the same position as those people. Thank God, were not. But can you see how my heart goes out to them? The hard times put them there.

If that's all there was...

We would and we could call it home. My Master would retain his independence, honor and integrity. If there was no plan like this... We'd stay in our tent and go where we would be harder to find.

That's all these families are trying to do.

Leave them be!

Until next time...


Louve said...

I have seen the Tent City (the news said they even call Sacramento Tent City now). It's terrible. I sit and think about it sometimes...Americans are certainly feeling hard times, you see on the news other countries in our boat too. I also watch the History Channel alot and its not only people suffering. The polar bears are losing their ice, the temps are too warm for the Empire penguins to reproduce (so I heard), frogs in the rain forests are becoming extinct and appearing with gruesome deformities. The entire world seems to be falling apart. And I just wonder twinkle. Sometimes I wonder about it so much that I have to make myself not wonder about it all. It's worrying.

His kajirah said...

Extremely worrying, Louve. It's scary. And we don't know what's to come. At times this one feels or senses things and then they happen, and other times can't quite put it together. It becomes exhausting thinking about it all.

And it's very sad.

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Snowbrush said...

This is my first glimpse of your political sensitivities. It would seem appropriate for your local newspaper.

His kajirah said...

Hi Snow

A few years back I wrote for a political website. Controversial pieces from AB 651 ( Physicians assisted suicide bill) to the Morning after Pill. A piece on California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and others.

As my body continued to deteriorate, so did my mind and thoughts.

Hoping you are well