No one with experience with local systems of care is ever surprised when a homeless person ends up back on the street after an emergency visit to a hospital or mental health facility. The widespread belief that “services” are available for poor people in need belies a harsh reality: For the neediest people, there is too often no realistic help — the few available options are inadequate or useless.
Want evidence? Look to the streets.
Some of the most vulnerable homeless people, like the late Alan Davis, the double-amputee who haunted downtown Modesto for years, are dead. Others, like Jimmy Young, are prone on sidewalks. Still others, like Louis X, are wheelchair-bound in a Modesto park after a few days in the hospital. And many, like Little Sherry Lopez, are dirt-bound in filthy camps along the freeway.
As we reported earlier this month, Modesto’s Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART) put Louis X in an ambulance earlier this month, shortly after he’d been diagnosed with cellulitis. After a week in the hospital, Louis, whom HEART had evaluated as, “gravely disabled,” was back in the park where he’d been found. He had a new wheelchair and a pair of hospital booties.
When HEART sent Louis X to the hospital, the hope was that classifying him as “gravely disabled” would initiate a process that would place him in a system of care. At the time, Louis was badly soiled with his own waste and clearly unable to care for himself.
Ordinarily, hospitals release patients once they’ve been treated for a physical ailment. In cases when patients at a hospital or mental health facility have been referred for mental illness or disability, the patient is often evaluated in terms of “danger to oneself or others.”
The evaluation seldom includes any acknowledgement of the patient’s history on the streets. It may include questions like, “Do you have a place to go when released” and “Do you have frequent thoughts of suicide.”
Most homeless people — even the mentally ill and disabled — know that their options for care after release are limited to congregate living in a shelter, a for-profit board and care home, or a lockdown facility. The alternative is back to the streets among friends.
Not many people in any condition want to spend their remaining days sharing a room with three or four other people in a facility where the culinary highlight of the week is a boiled wiener from the odd lots section of the Dollar Store, with sides of soggy fries and wilted lettuce. Nor do they relish the idea of congregate living when it means arbitrary rules about coming and going, constant reminders of how lucky they are to be receiving charity despite their clear unworthiness, and bedding down amidst a cacophony of coughs, snores, and farts.
These unattractive options are the chief reasons many homeless people, “don’t want help.” But in the case of the mentally ill and developmentally disabled, we too often allow them to be judges of their own self-sufficiency, despite abundant evidence they can’t care for themselves. All they have to do to prove their fitness is answer a few simple questions. We value their ability to self-diagnose even while we discount their preferences for living with at least a small degree of dignity and autonomy.
These aren’t people “falling through the cracks.” They’re casualties trapped in an ever-spiraling black hole of “help” that inevitably tosses them back to the streets with the centrifugal force of a cosmic whirligig. The message is always loud and clear:
If you’re poor, disabled, or sick and need help, you are sorely out of luck — unless you decide to accept what amounts to self-imposed incarceration.
By far the most efficient and cost-effective way of getting homeless people off the streets — including the ill and disabled — is permitted camping. People who persist in returning to the streets from shelters and board and care homes will gladly stay in a tent, especially when it’s in a camp of peers.
That was the case with almost 500 homeless people who occupied the Modesto Outdoor Emergency Shelter (MOES) before it was shut down late in 2019. Alan Davis, Sherry Lopez and hundreds of other homeless people found comfort among friends and were served by a constant stream of volunteers and professionals who found it much easier to provide help when people in need were all in one place.
Despite evidence that MOES proved to be a cost-effective and humane way to reduce quality-of-life crimes resulting from homelessness, Stanislaus County and City of Modesto officials closed it down after opening a 180-bed low-barrier shelter in a building also occupied by the Salvation Army’s homeless shelter. Today, cities around the state — including San Francisco and Sacramento — have designated “Safe Ground” locations for homeless camps and are even permitting tiered housing options such as Pallet Shelters, Tuff Sheds, and Conestoga Huts as proven methods of reducing the harms of homelessness.
After establishing one of the first successful homeless camps in the state, Modesto and Stanislaus County gave up on a strategy that has since proven to be the best practice for dealing with homelessness. The result is that more and more people, including the elderly, ill and disabled, are waking up in parks and on sidewalks — people like Louis X, a disabled veteran caught up in a system that no longer serves its purpose.
Nice article good information absolutely polite and most dignified.
I hear your righteous anger, Eric Caine, don’t hold back…
Don’t anyone hold back who has something to say here or anywhere…
Has “the system” ever truly served its purpose? What ever help it musters up seems like it is coming out of their very own pockets. It is given so begrudgingly. Social Services has a sordid history of more to be ashamed of than proud! Whom ever is at the helm of social policy has much to learn about human compassion and fellow feeling…
The dehumanizing nature of what passes itself off as Human Services trades a whole lot of next to nothing for a message of: WE HAVE DONE AS MUCH AS WE ARE ALLOWED AND NO MORE, in other words, NOBODY HERE GIVES A DAMN DIDN’T ANYONE TELL YOU THIS IS MERELY A JOB?
In the developmentally disabled community there is what is known as A CIRCLE OF CARE. Volunteers come along side of an individual to be a support team to assist in amplifying the voice of the disabled individual.
This is of immense importance when face to face with a doctor, nurse, social worker, administrator, even family, sad to say. I have witnessed, far too many times, when a disabled person could not articulate, or, remember to articulate, or think to ask, what was personally necessary, and/or, wanted by the individual being accompanied by their advocate.
You would not think that professionals, such as those listed above, would literally disregard what a disabled or elderly person had to say, when not accompanied by a witness, but it happens, all too regularly. How much more does a HOUSELESS individual get “written off” when no advocate is present? Let me count the ways…
These professionals have so many tricks of their trade to get around doing what they ought, it is scandalous. “Time is money”, services cost money, and most policies demand scant resources be allocated on anyone especially people they can, with ease, take advantage of due to cognitive dissonances. They tell themselves, “If you don’t know what you want, I cannot make up your mind for you.” Accurate, right? But knowingly booting someone back to the street, is not accurate. Who fills the GAP?
I have witnessed one’s very own family do the most expedient thing rather than stand up for what is a human right, a patient’s right…
YES, OUR HOUSELESS POPULATION has been through the mill, ground up, and spat back out onto the streets, just as DISGUSTINGLY as when someone coughs up a hunk of MUCOUS and lets it go SPLAT on the street.
Forgive my choice of analogy, but it certainly depicts the WRONG DONE.
OUR HOUSELESS neighbors are in a world of hurt, with very few, coming along side them to MAKE ANY REAL DIFFERENCE. ANYTHING CAN HELP
HOW DO WE SLEEP AT NIGHT? WHAT KINDS OF MENTAL GYMNASTICS MUST WE PERFORM IN ORDER TO PUT THIS TRAGEDY OUT OF MIND? PUT THAT ENERGY TO WORK PRAYING FOR RIGHTEOUS SOLUTIONS TO END SOME, OR ALL, OF THIS LOCAL, DAILY, DEHUMANIZING PRACTICE
Great post Root.. The huge mistake we’ve made as a society is in turning human suffering into a business enterprise, especially ones who receive government dollars. In doing so bureaucracies have been created that spend more time doing paperwork and going to meetings than working with clients. Additionally they are usually under resourced with huge client ratios. For example, the new Low Barrier Shelter has a ratio of 60-1! Again because they are government funded, monies to hire highly paid folks aren’t there. Many of these workers are paid in the $15/hr range.
The whole homeless system of care is not an integrated enterprise nor does it make effective use of the newer information technologies, a funding issue once again.
Furthermore, the constraints imposed by HIPAA make it almost impossible to share information w/o an act of the Supreme Court! For example when Louis X was released, no one could find out from the hospital where he was released to. That means he had to be searched for, even by MPD!
We do encounter homeless folks that have developmental disabilities and who also may have co-occurring issues. Our experience with homeless folks who are primarily developmentally disabled is not good. The system of care for these folks is different in that they don’t seem to be sufficiently staffed to frequently interact with their homeless clients outside of their offices. We are looking into this deficit.
To deal with some of the systems of care deficits we recently formed a new non-profit, Stanislaus Homeless Advocates and Resource Enterprise (SHARE) that is modeled after the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. The essence of SHARE is to have a pool of volunteer advocates that will assist a homeless person for as long as needed/reasonable to obtain agreed goals. No one is getting paid for these services which allows us to get as close as we can to a non funded bureaucracy! A free community service of sorts.
For more info. visit our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/sharestanislaus
Keep up the great posts Root, very insightful.
Lou Valero says
How ya doing, Frank,
The Low Barrier Shelter with the 60-1 ratio, and SHARE, proves the ability to get by with minimal resources, staff and pay level, while at the same time giving the houseless breathing room. Sure, there are houseless people who need substantial structure, but, how did the rest of the houseless population survive, before living the precarious life they experience now? They did not need to be babysat, I am sure of that much. How about you?
I am not griping that too much money is being spent to help our houseless.
I do question whether money has to be spent the way it has thus far been spent. Meaning, how were all these people living prior to houselessness?
The majority were certainly not in need of a paid or volunteer babysitter.
I am absolutely all for sanctioned encampments and parking, like yourself, BUT do they NEED the added expense of PARK RANGERS, or the like?
Many of the houseless people are capable of supervising themselves, especially when in enclaves with other trusted people living collectively and watching each others’ backs. What of those during the Depression?
Locals need to stop thinking all houseless people are addicted and mentally ill. We have entered a time, and will more so enter that time, when many people have fallen on hard times, through no fault of their own. So now, do we want to continue to watch them flounder, while local government acts like not enough money exists to supervise them. I saw where approximately $50K was available to pay for temporary salaries. It needs to be used wisely.
There has to be a way to weed out the high maintenance populations, with specific needs, from the self-governing, fully capable, population that merely needs safe places to encamp for the duration. Who is running this run away fiasco. Not you, Frank, because you are level headed.
This truly is not rocket science, we are merely tasked with trusting people financially strapped to carve out a way to survive together with the support they need to exist in unison on safe space, undisturbed, rather than act as if everyone has no mind of their own. They do not need a nanny state, they do need our understanding. Stop treating everyone the same. It is what it is.
It is transparently clear how to tell who has more agency and who does not. Who needs more structure built and who does not.
Obviously I am not speakingbof who needs thestructure of a home they can afford. I am reflecting on who needs what in these mean times.
Thanks for your listening ear and the attention you give to our houseless…
We would all love to think that we are safe in an encampment specifically desisigned for those of us without houses, maybe the majority have no intent on doing harm, but just like with every community, crime happens! So without a government there will cease to exist, this dream of having space set aside for these encampments. Without a governing society, how can there not be chaos and risk of falling victim, not only to those outside these encampments but from those inside! It’s a dad reality but we have to face that their is crime in every part of society, rich poor, Christian etc…
So this isn’t about having a babysitter or being watched it’s about keeping order and protection when we need it most!
You are right about the house less not all being addicts or mentally ill, but for those of us who aren’t, we need that community to have law and order so we don’t find ourselves being victimized any further! Thank you for your time!
Slipping through the cracks!
Lou Valero says
I do not want to glorify being without a home in anyway. I could say much about what sort of negative conditions have been allowed to exist in society that have led up to the atrocious outcome that people have been ousted from any semblance of an indoor dwelling and worst.
For now, I want to stay on the topic of some of the conditions that can prevail when the ousted people, have little or no choice, but to sleep outdoors. And what actions some people have found to bring some semblance of safety or control over the circumstances they try to survive within.
Because of the dangers that can and do exist when individuals or couples or entire families dwell outdoors, unwillingly, fear enters in for multiple obvious reasons. I certainly do not want to make light of fear.
I do not want to belittle the use of babysitters, they serve a purpose.
What I was suggesting in the above comments was that generally most adults do not want to be babysat, for it robs them of their autonomy or self-agency. Defining babysitter as: a person or persons who look after a child or children while the parents are out, the term or even the notion of the thought is not fitting for most adults. Yet adults without homes are treated as if child-like by some, not all, hired or volunteer custodians. Hence, many adult house-less adults do not like to go to shelters precisely because it is more common than not that they will be treated in ways that causes them to think they are viewed as children.
This treatment has been described as the custodian or supervisor or whatever the title, as coming across in a form of “one-upmanship”. Defined as: the technique or practice of gaining a feeling of superiority over another person. People may be without a home but that should not reduce them to being treated less than equal, that is not conducive to any type of pleasant relationship.
The tendency has been that when people are hired to keep things neatly and methodically arranged at shelters or encampments they can tend to see themselves as, or, are literally given job descriptions as: authority figures, over anyone and everyone, regardless of who is not in line with the rules. Plus, rules can be made, without warning, or, assigned arbitrarily and capriciously: willful and unreasonable without consideration or in disregard of facts or law; having no meaning; making no sense; ridiculously impractical or ill-advised. It could feel like waiting for the shoe to drop or like walking on eggshells.
You know like children hopefully having their favorite babysitter because of how they were cared for. Homeless adults are no less deserving of how they want to be cared for, and certainly do not want to be cared for by people who come across as authority figures, only.
The treatment is more military or legalistic like, thus, on top of all the other nonsense the houseless have to contend with, they do not appreciate being bossed around or knowing they are being surveilled. They want a balance of power. Hence, some cities are now opting for a co-governance between the houseless and the local government body, at the suggestion of the homeless and their homeless advocates. Things were simply not working out when they had little or no say about what had been happening to them.
Some homeless people even created their own versions of Intentional Communities, where they survived for many years without authority figures/babysitters. I won’t spoil the pleasure of doing your own research. For starters, may I make the suggestion to please read:
This Oceanside homeless encampment has one rule: Keep it clean,
on The San Diego Union-Tribune website, and,
America’s Tent Cities for the Homeless, on the Atlantic website.
Then their are articles about sanctioned tent encampments, which sprouted up at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and have become a key part of the city’s homelessness response and a lightening rod for debate among activists, politicians and homeless people. If I may suggest:
Could a San Francisco experiment be an answer to LA’s sprawling
street encampments, on the Los Angeles Times website.
There is much interesting reading on the subject of housing people. Some are food for thought type of articles. Some are informative as to how cities are not wisely spending the funds that are supposed to be housing the homeless but are padding the pockets of the greedy.
As I view the current situation, if the local government keeps spending money to create jobs to oversee and shuffle the homeless around they will not be pooling the funds together to start building homes that will be affordable to the low-income that combine healthcare and housing which Gov. Gavin Newsom declared, “….can no longer be divorced”. I suggest reading: California is its own worst enemy when it comes to homelessness. But here’s how the state can start to make a real difference, on the CalMatters website.
Since, at least, the 1980’s, Boston, MA had low income apartments designed for the disabled and elderly that had a doctor’s office on the first floor. The doctor’s office was even equipped with a mobile a x-ray machine that he could wheel up the elevator and into the apartment of a resident who was too ill to make a visit to his office. I was visiting an elderly resident who was burning up with fever, the x-ray revealed double-pneumonia. The resident refused to go to the hospital due to her fear that because of her skin color she would run the risk of being experimented on, thus once diagnosed she was prescribed medications, and, since I was visiting I was able to extend my visit and care for her until well. The doctor easily made house-visits to monitor her progress.
There is so much more that can be done for the homeless with health issues, rather than leaving them on the streets.
I fully understand that not all people have the same adventuresome typology/personality, nor are they healthy enough to venture out. And, being a woman can definitely add to what actions to be wary of: feeling or showing caution about possible dangers or problems. What I wrote about, in the above comment, was simply a suggestion of how some may choose to live while waiting for the local government to make some concrete plans that could work better.
I see that Eric Caine did a new post about how some houseless people are falling through the cracks. Not meaning they are not all falling. Some fall through the cracks differently, all of which is preventable. Perhaps I will read your helpful comments there, also.
I cried while reading your comment, coming to my own realization of what this world is really about and knowing that my one voice will never make a difference! I care for my mentally ill husband and we have been down to homeless! The city leaders took advantage of his illness and our poverty and targeting us , finally taking our home in 2021 during covid! We have lived in our home that we purchased since 2005, after the sherriff evicted us on March 4 from the home that we put 93,000 cash down on 20 years ago promising us housing, we are now homeless again! Luckily we were able to collect a small settlement from the city for them denying us running water for over 4 years we were able to buy a used motor home, the space is 1000 a month our house payment was 530 he gets ssi I get food stamps which isn’t enough to pay far the space any longer, I fear we are going to be back at a park or something, you are right there is no hope for people like us! Our rent for this spot is due on Monday and we are out of resources and out of time! Some days I look back before the night we were evicted and wish the cops hadn’t shown up, because of the nosey neighbors they were just being ass holes but I had a plan and they ruined everything! I don’t want to go down that dark road of slowly slimming away so I was going to get my husband high, put all 5 of our pets in our bed watch something really funny and then I was going to turn the gas on, that would have saved us from facing this once again! I know there isn’t enough people who care about the people on the streets and I’m not strong or well enough to make it and I’m only 50, I have a whole family who loves me but I’m not honest with them because I always fear I have let them down! I believe this is a problem but I would rather be dead than feel that hurt, I’m telling you this, I’m not sure why maybe it was something you said or something I felt about your brutal honesty but ther it is! Thank you for having a voice and using it!
Lori, contact SHARE on Facebook and we can discuss.
LORI JOHNSON says
I’m not sure what contact share on fb means
Lori, hi, again!. There may be a link above in one of Frank’s previous comments that Frank suggested to you. Click on red highlighted link , it will take you directly to SHARE on Facebook.
I have not met Frank personally, but I believe, from reading his many comments, that he is a sincere, upright advocate for those who are Houseless. He knows most of the inner workings about what assistance may be available locally. Ask for him, personally.
Can you make it to a City Council meeting in person or make a call in, when they are in session? Or, call the office to leave a comment or ask to speak in person to the Mayor? I have heard the Mayor offer to take calls from people about their concerns.
The mayor and the Modesto City Council members and the public need to hear from more houseless people just how important it is that they and family get help, right now, and, at the very least, get a safe place to park undisturbed for as long as needed, right now.
Tell them how necessary it is to be in a position to save up to get back into an affordable home. Just a suggestion, Lori. You have your story to tell and your voice counts. People are not speaking up to place responsibility squarely on the decision makers who callously and care-less-ly drag their feet.
There is a City Council member and a sheriff, right now, working towards convincing other decision makers to make sanctioned, safe camping and vehicle parking happen for those without homes, rather than having camps disrupted on a regularly basis. People need to log their complaints. Let them know we are tired of the same old same old status quo.
Tap into your emotions and demand they hear you. You may have been born for just a time like this, start a Movement. What would you name such a Movement, if you were willing to speak up for yourself and others? Give it some thought rather than let these people dilly dally as if no one is suffering. You would have to want to do it, of course. Don’t do it for me. If someone were listening what would you want to voice?
Views On Issues Concerning Everyone (VOICE). Issues of concern, that should be concerning everyone, is why I speak up. We need to voice our thoughts, get our emotions out in the open… rather than let them continue to depress us. It is choosing health over all evil…
Sincerely hoping to hear more from you, Lori, soon. You won’t be letting me down if you choose silence. Choose life, however, please.
We are in Merced county, I have attended council meetings in Atwater for the past 8 years! They have done a lot of damage, no help at all and are the reason we are houseless! Atwater city leaders say horrible things about the house less community, once a camp was burned out and a councilman was backed in watching and eating his lunch! They have been known to do horrible things to silence people, I have called county, state and federal agencies, they were no help at all! I swear saying this stuff out loud is embarrassing because if I heard someone saying this I would advise them to seek help! We were the target of harassment for 8 years, they denied us running water for over 4, making sure that community members did not help us, I called fire, churches and many other programs, one being self help adopted by Jerry Brown, they were going to bring water but the city said they would make sure they lost funding if they did! The media was told, no media attention for the Johnsons, they raided our yard for protest signs, filed false reports and charges! At one point there were police stationed outside of our home day and night! We were protesting because we weren’t allowed water, they told residents we didn’t pay, that’s not true we won in court, but they waited until 8 days after they got us out of our home to settle, then we were desperate! We put $93,000 cash down 20 years ago and we’re evicted, during covid, at that, the house sat empty for 7 months! Them denying us water had a domino affect on our lives I couldn’t work and not be able to shower, plus I got a bacteria from drinking standing water which I still have health problems from! I wish they gave a crap about the homeless, or even their residents!
Send me a newsletter with all the councill members names and numbers, city hall and county officials and I will talk their ear off until they can’t take the shame of ignoring a community of fellow human beings and knowing that they are aiding in their deaths and cruel suffering!
Lori, No contact info available to send you anything. Not advisable to exchange contact info here on public site. To keep your contact info confidential you may contact the J. Hudson email offered you in previous reply, hope you jotted it down for safe keeping, and, include specific instruction about any contact info you give. Your contact info used for this post is kept confidential for your protection. Info you requested above is available online.
I apologize for my brevity, hope to hear from you…
Dear Lori and family (pets are family, too, I know mine are)
I pray Eric Caine processes my reply with immediacy and that you read our replies soon.
First, and foremost, it is not factual that your voice will never make a difference. I can understand why it feels as if it is fact. I need you to know, your voice is already making a difference. You have touched me, Frank and Eric deeply, I am certain of this. Anyone who has had opportunity to have read your honest thoughts has to have been shaken to the core. You are valued, do not listen to any voices telling you diifferent. Hold your head up and know that you are genuinely loved.
I am going to ask somethings of you. It may require from you all of the strength you think and feel you have left. I ask that you not give up. We need you. I know from personal experience that the hardest thing to do is to care for the needs of others, when your own needs are going unmet. We are asking you to hold on for us, we need to get to know you annd your husband and pets, and, find out what we can do to ease your suffering.
I know being a caretaker can be draining even when being a loving, caring person is exactly who you are. I sense down deep in the fiber of my being that you are exhasted and asking yourself what is the use. That very question has so very many glorious answers that are just out of sight for a little while. I am asking you to place all of your hope in that truth. I am asking you to believe even though all looks out of control that you are about to discover your best is soon to be.
When reading your thoughts I got a genuine sense of who you are. You are not a person who would intentionally let anyone down. Even each member of your family has their own way of thinking and believing. No two people exactly alike, right? We can get the feeling that if we turned ourselves into a pretzel we still could not take the shape pleasing to any one member, and, especially, not every member. We learn to extend grace to them when they suggest or impose that we do things their particular way. Sometimes they are right, sometimes not so much. It can appear being dishonest with family is a way to save them and ourself alot of drama.
I ask that you let yourself up, let go of the weight that you somehow displease family. I ask that you forgive yourself for any and all things where you view yourself as letting others down, including if you see yourself as falling short to you yourself, somehow.
There truly exists a peace of mind that excels all thought and will guard your heart and your mental powers by means of Messiah. I personally have cried out for that peace and found it to be true. I ask that you throw all your anxieties on God through prayer for this peace, even if you are not a believer in God or Messiah. There is only one way to find out what is trustworthy. See: 2 Timothy 3:1
I write replys to Valley Citizen posts because I want to reach way down deep into readers in order to touch them where it will do the most good, never to harm, only to speak truth to power.
If my brutal honesty further hurt you, during your vulnerable experiences, I sincerely apologize to you, your husband, and, your pets, as well as your extended family. I am certain anyone’s honesty was not meant to harm you.
When people do not treat others as well as they could, it is generally because they themselves do not know this peace.
I also ask that you contact J. Hudson at Insightfulways@gmail.com. Explain simply that you are Lori who replied to a Valley Citizen post recently. I entrust you into loving care who will be expecting your email.
If you are willing to stay in touch with me please reply to this reply so we can make that happen. I will keep checking back to see if you reached out, even if weeks from now, in the event you do not see my reply for some time or not in the mood to reply til then. I only noticed your reply today.
You may already be aware of United Way’s 24/7 crisis services, a phone call away at 1-877-211-7826.
You and your family will be in my heart, mind and prayers from here on in.
Thank you for your reply, Lori, thank you for your honesty…
Thank you for your reply, those were powerful words, I have always felt that I had a purpose and I did not have a choice in any of the directions I went on the journey, someone guided me , telling me that no matter the outcome I would be fine, because I’m protected and a Day would come and I would see my purpose, then I got list in the fight with the city of Atwater and I was sick, drained and heartbroken ! I started telling myself that I had no purpose and even thinking that I was just a messenger, which is important as well but I have known that I had a gift and I was going to be able share my gift with the world! Your reply hot me thinking about something I told my husband, I believe that God had us suffering at different stages, from private to very public, all the time telling me it would be over soon , then he had our suffering in the most public way, because he was giving his people a chance to come back to him, but they never came, he gave them so many chances to show that they were coming back to him, but he was just as disappointed as I was! I actually told God if you’re waiting for them to come, please accept that they aren’t coming because it breaks my heart that my suffering is for them to save themselves but they wouldn’t show me human compassion yet alone , show me live from neighbors, because they showed hatred and would have been happy if we were dead! They attend church and tell me I’m going to he’ll because I smoke pot! The next door neighbor, I thought was my best friend stole my information from all my online accounts, video taped us laughing and doing happy dances when we were being evicted, I thought she lived me like I did her, her husband and 2 children were all doing the same thing! They had been harassing us non stop for 9 months prior to the eviction! I had nothing left they were taking my home which we worked so hard for, never knowing how the community actually felt about me, this is a community that I would have done anything forand we had been fighting for the past 8 years to try to make Atwater a better place for their children and grandchildren to live, free!
Mayor Paul Creighton actually told a mutual friend, “Tell her we will give her $25,000 and tell her that the nearest homeless camp is by the railroad tracks!” I can’t believe that another human being could actually feel that way! When I sold fruit I shared with everyone people git to know me and really liked me, so I believed, it could have something to do with the cops pulled everyone over that left our house to see if we had running water! But, we have been alone in our fight, but I’ve been dreadfully alone for a very long time, I try not to talk to the same people more than once because I don’t want to feel the pain I have recently been made to feel! I have so many issues just from what other residents did to me, it makes me feel that something is wrong with me, because how could it be so many people doing this to me, there has to be something that I’m doing or have done, but I always try to treat people the way I want to be treated and I don’t stop loving because the road gets rough-and-tumble everyone that I thought lived me , left me at My darkest hour and haven’t been kind since then! I believe that when we evicted, it was actually God reaching door taking us in his loving arms away from the hell we were living! My dogs are less stressed, my cat isn’t over grooming and they are playful! I know that was our house but there was evil coming in every direction all the time, even our pets knew! But, he still has us here and every single time I think about doing something he puts up road blocks, it’s possible it’s because maybe someone will need me and my heart will be healed! I’m so tired of feeling like everyone thinks that I’m a disappointment or I’m not worthy of the live that they give so freely to everyone wise! That city has pur a dark cloud over my life! My parents believe if it’s written in a newspaper that it has to be true, so that makes them believe that I lie all the time and I live in some fantasy world which has been a total nightmare for me! They are always skeptical of me when all I want is to be treated the same as the rest of my family! None of them are able to see God’s journey, not even for themselves yet alone me! My parents had high hopes for me, until I broke their hearts and got pregnant at 17, I’ve always believed I was pre determined to have the exact children that I do have, my oldest was my way of proving that just because I was young that my children would be uneducated and live in poverty, she is very intelligent and educated and successful and she volunteers for prolife preaches to the women in halfway houses, she is truly a success story! My second one makes me suffer she has my only four grandchildren, I would and have done anything for her but her personal life is a tragic mess, married a third time already and is only 31, each guy she married she see m s to have a perfect life because in her career world she is very successful, but I believe that she always wants to hidevwhat is the most imperfect things about her and that happens to be us! Our only son was made up of only our good qualities he’s loved by everyone his personal life is as successful and his life as a marine, he’s special intelligence special forces and Is getting ready to be an officer in the marines, at the age of 28! Then their is my little girl, a Navy Corman, just an average girl , average pay, not overly successful but has a heart of gold whish makes her prone to depression and feelings of guilt, I believe that she is truly the success because she loves hard and would do anything for those she loves, she’s unselfish, she’s in a fight with God because religion has really done some bad things to her and the one with my grandkids! I have always told my kids that going to church isn’t always the best thing for everyone, it’s a social aspect of faith that some people need, but there are a few select that you will never be suit for church! I have been to many different churches and have gotten something from every one of them, but as an adult I have known that being able to see the journey was more important for me, because they have made me feel that I wasn’t worthy of God’s attention! Thank you so much for your reply, I just happened to look at it when I was making plans to alleviate my pain! Your words made me feel something I haven’t felt in so long, that someone is interested in what I have to say, many people have listened and seemed so interested just to use what I say to defeat me! I have spoke at many council meetings, but the city and leaders have broken my confidence, I would love to find that in me, again! Thank you for your kind words!
Forgive me, Lori, somehow the reply I made to this, second, reply you made to me, was replied back to you, but, it is located down at the bottom of all the other comments. Please look below for my reply to your reply to me. OOPS!!! Life happens…
Gary Wheeler says
My wife Victoria, helped organize a birthday party for Louis a couple days ago. My understanding is that he was a POW during the Vietnam War. And suffered. He gets in a real funk if his PTSD is triggered. Had some kind of subsidized apartment some time ago I heard, but had too many friends visit, and did not like all the rules. Its a tough world out there. We do what we can. We try to keep an eye out for Louis X. He is a nice enough guy. If not the most talkative. Our dogs get along fine with his little dog. And we share what we find.
I wish we could build some kind of tiny village or encampment on disused MID land a block or so away from there. Nice location for public transit. But too close to schools and playgrounds I expect.
Gary Wheeler says
I should perhaps mention that it was Louis X’s 70th Birthday… what a survivor.
Damon Woods says
Good article. Hope you push ‘what works’ to the government agencies who are intent on spending Billions of $ on homeless solutions. Setting up camps under bridges or else where makes sense, and possibly coupled with a few non profits who seek to get these people back into society, or into another option that has some hope. Some of the population in prisons are also former homeless people who opted for prison life vs. sidewalk life. 50 years ago, Governments decided to close down the mental health hospitals due to a small percentage of abuses that occurred, rather than trying to fix the system- this put millions onto the streets and prisons.
Government’s error of convenience for government’s sake. Abuse is abuse, small percentage or not. Nothing even comes close in comparison to all the abuses that have taken place, since the Government sought a way out of having to improve how the mental health “system” and direct care staff treated their patients.
Sad to have to admit, but, the government has paid in excess of $128,000.00 (per year), for one developmentally disabled individual’s managed care (as the few details shared goes), plus a hefty monthly personal allotment, medical insurances bills, subsidized housing, costs, not counting the costs to case manage within multiple other agencies (per month). The government has that kind of money to allot for one client. Yet, here is the sad part, key persons, who stood to profit from all that, still failed to comply with regulations. Many essentially laughed their way all the way to the bank, leaving their client very dissatisfied. I am not trying to make my replies specifically about developmentally disabled people. What I shared earlier and now are examples that can be applicable to many populations.
My point being is that apparently the government picks and chooses when, how, and on whom they will spend money on, at any given time. The government has our tax money and the trillions they print up, without backing, THEREFORE they had no excuse for flinging the doors open and shoving defenseless people to the gutter. The government CHOOSES to not be accountable to WE THE PEOPLE for their disparate treatment of certain populations over others.
Meanwhile, WE who have a will see these PEOPLE HOUSED are beside ourselves trying to make a way even for some small concession to allocate SAFE GROUND NOW.
I, for one, REFUSE to make excuses for the Government who, according to your reply, Damon Wood, has had 50 years to come up with their own solution. Instead, they throw money at the situation, and the GREEDY dogs lap it up like Gravy Train, while laughing all the way to their banks.
And do not even get me started talking about the majority of non-profits. I have invested more than my share of blood, sweat and tears inside many and so far most have talked a good talk, but failed to walk the talk, even the educated and well paid…
Thank you for your reply, Damon, you brought up a very significant 50 year point.
I see people park their rvs at Walmart all the time, they had six cops come and knock on the door and actually evict us, an employee said she asked us to leave, several times, that wasn’t true, I asked her to show us on video she said they don’t let just anyone view their security video! I said prove you approached us, at least one time!
Lou Valero says
Unfortunately, gas prices are through the roof, RVs guzzle gas, so moving every day or two is near impossible, in order to stave off encounters like you experienced. Thus Cities and Counties NEED TO find APPROVED ground to where RVs and other vehicles and people without vehicles can REST assured they will NOT be hassled. Law abiding citizens are not going to simply disappear from sight, they NEED their OWN safe places, where they will no longer be virtually accosted by the VERY authorities who are paid to protect, NOT harm by ” moving innocent people along” for seeking a resting place wherever they possibly can. The local governments have created a sub-culture of innocent citizens, made to look deviant, when they are merely seeking refuge.
Why are the local decision makers content to defraud the VERY houseless citizens they are USING to illegally obtain money from TAXPAYERS by deception. Local government certainly has MISAPPROPRIATED FUNDS. No one can convince me decision makers could NOT have discovered a far better solution ALONG TIME AGO.
The solutions exist, locate the RESTING PLACES or you NOT so innocent people will be “moving…along” yourselves. WE THE PEOPLE need a government with a HEART not one that only knows how to “move” in the police to scatter the innocent. What goes around, COMES around…
I agree ❤, I don’t see how himan beings can be so heartless, seeing others suffering, so publicly and go and make it so much worse, we were tired and need to sleep, just like anyone else! Where can we do that if we have no home!? It’s been drilled into our brains since childhood, a good night’s sleep is very important, then those same people that have told us that are taking away our sleep, by having us removed from places and making us worry and not be able to get a good night’s rest! How can lawmakers not feel ashamed for the way they are treating fellow human beings! We are lucky that where we have our motor home parked right now, people care about us and don’t want to see us suffer any further 😢! But it was other human beings that caused us to fall so hard that where we are, she worries about what is going to happen, if things are out of her control! I know for a fact law makers don’t give a shit about us!
If they would catch us at least by the stage of homelessness that we are right now, they could save face! They have let too many fall through the cracks and their self righteous antics, not getting involved, because they are so above us is absurd, I was raised in a middle class family where education was of the utmost importance, but here I am, homeless and it’s because of those self righteous hypocrites that make the laws that make everything we do illegal! They put us here to rid the world of us and shame us in the process! They talk about the homeless society, constantly and with a look of disgust, then they act like we should trust them and enter their programs or even want their guidance, as for me and my husband, no thank you, we do not want to be guided to your hell! This hell 8s bad enough and I don’t believe God wants us to follow you to the actual hell! Without remorse, empathy, sympathy, human compassion, you lack the integrity to guide me anywhere, I fear your hell worse than the hell I live at this moment 💔!
Lou Valero says
And, many people gloat, gossiping to each other HOW they simply can’t understand for the life of them, WHY it is SO DIFFICULT to get the houseless people to jump on their band wagon and go along with their program. As if there was something wrong with the houseless people.
They size it up as PARANOIA, but, in REALITY, it is their very own NEGLIGENCE and LACK of ACCOUNTABILITY.
The TRUTH is that their very own PATHOLOGY leaves them DEVOID of a CONSCIENCE. Lets call them out for who they REALLY are.
They can deny this all they want BUT let them PROVE it FALSE
There is only one WAY to STEP UP TO THE PLATE and that is to create the funding it will take to PUT A SPEEDY END to this SHAMEFUL DEHUMANIZING PROGRAM they have been holding meetings about AD NAUSEUM for years now.
YES, THE HOMELESS PROGRAM GOING NO WHERE ON TIME.
It is the FACT that they try to FOOL citizens into THINKING that help is just around the corner. HOW MUCH OF TAX PAYERS’ HARD EARNED MONEY WAS FRIVOUSLY SPENT, THUS FAR, TO DATE? They are the LAUGHING STOCK of STANISLAUS CO at a VERY HIGH EXPENSE of the HOUSELESS.
STANISLAUS CO, MODESTO, and ALL OTHERS are to BLAME for NOT at the VERY LEAST providing SAFE GROUNDS, NOW
CA counties, cities and towns are ABSOLUTELY EXCUSELESS!
HOUSELESS COLLECTIVE MANIFESTO OF PLANNING
Local Government has an obligation and responsibility to all citizens. Local Government appears to want only to appease the housed members of the county and cities, over the bona fide needs of the unhoused members. Local Government choose to appease the housed members who clamored to be heard that they wanted their streets and public parks back.
The fundamental responsibilities of Local Government are to protect public health, to assure the safety and security of persons and property, to provide the essentials for satisfactory living conditions with the potential to thrive; and to assure that all persons are treated with honor, dignity, and respect.
In the fulfillment of Local Government’s basic shelter obligations and responsibilities, and, owing to escalating demand, and, the basic needs of unhoused persons, various types of both: traditional and non-traditional accommodations must be considered with all good faith “immediacy behaviors”:
All people need nurturing. Caring for. Rather, people are actually investing in the corrosion and eventual collapse of democracy. Cause when there is little social investment in all of society, it will soon grow impoverished. How can democracy function when people have nothing left in common? The core of democracy is all about the rights we give each other. A choosing what is best for everyone. Not only best for those who have not yet fallen on hardest times.
For starters: the unhoused, and, concerned citizen advocates demand public parks and parking lots be given back and shared for encampment purposes, 24 hours per day, and/or, until effort is put forth to identify multiple unused grounds that will be dedicated, 24 hours per day, to the unhoused persons and their pets and their vehicles. Let said grounds not be in food deserts and far from public transportation. Do not take long to ponder over these demands, human health and life are at stake. This crisis is an emergency and ought to be acted upon as such.
Everything the unhoused can do to Co-Govern these parks and grounds will be expected since this first concerns them.
This topic shall be raised, first, for debate, then, consensus.
Thank you for appreciating the unhoused have needs greater than : a simple desire to want a leisurely fun day in the park.
The unhoused are contending for their continued lives. These are unprecedented times.
Well said! I would like to continue with your thought and say that if is their property, they , the unhoused will take make time and effort into making sure it’s clean, if shelter us provided , they won’t feel the need to use other extremes such as gathering and letting things become overwhelming, that’s just what a sense of security can do, now imagine how that can have an affect on how we live and view ourselves? Together we can make this world a better place, not shaming people into being and feelings alone!!!
You have a way of contributing, more, to each and every comment. Yes, indeed, those given back what is rightfully theirs, as much as everyone elses’, would enhance their sense of ownership. I totally agree.
In good faith, you sound very positive. Good to know. Keep sharing your voice even on new posts on various subjects of interest, please.
What you said about making us look deviants, rings true, we were in our motor home in Walmart parking lot and so were so many others! I noticed Atwater police talking to an employee of Walmart, I just overlooked it, because there were so many people in motor homes there and my husband was inside shopping, so we were good, or so we thought, I heard a knock on the door, 6 Atwater cops , said Walmart employee asked us to leave several times! That was a lie and I told the cops right in front of the employee! I knew this was a set up ,because I know almost all the Atwater cops and 6 were standing in front of me, I’ve mer one but the others I’d never seen which is really odd, there police force isn’t that big! They wanted us to sign a trespass order, but we refused, because it was based on a lot! We had protest signs on our motor home and the mayor didn’t like it because it was the truth! We knew the mayor had it done,Rick said because he was mad, I said it was because he was meeting people for dinner at Applebee’s, I asked him in the next council meeting and by his body language I was right!
So, shortly after that eviction we were getting supplies at target, a guy pulled up with a gun and was telling Rick to forget about our home isn’t our any longer, he was saying things in a threatening tone so we called APD, they pulled us over, the got the guy, but the chief can’t give a truthful answer to save our lives! He told me was arrested on serious charges and told Rick he wasn’t arrested, I asked the chief if he had a gun already knowing the answer just to see what he said, he said no, I told him be careful because I know the answer I I think you should check your memory again or are you just lying to me? He thought for a while and said, I need to look at the report again, he refused to let us get the report he had different excuses and had a couple Sgts do the same!
The moral to this story is, that if city leaders want you gone badly enough they will go to extreme measures even committing crimes to do so!!!!
I want so badly to tell you about the scary stuff that happened after that but I fear for my life still! Our sherriff is powerful, to say the least, running unopposed doesn’t surprise me, people fear him and what he’s capable of! At a council meeting the ex chief the one that chicken winged my husband while in cuffs pointed us out to ex DA Larry Morse, who came up to me said Mrs. Johnson, walked up to Rick said nothing, just looked him up and down and walked off! They are all so connected! They current DA and mayor Paul Creighton are good friends, that friendship is getting in the way of us getting any type of justice! My criminal defense attorney told me, be safe, you don’t know what they are capable of, people fear this county for a reason!
After the Walmart incident we found safety at the Merced elks lodge and ran into a couple of Atwater cops who asked where we were staying, we made a mistake and told them! I don’t know if the chief was viewing the body cams or if those trusted cops told him but the sherriff had the camp host make us leave , we had already paid for that night! Turns out he is a member!
This is always in my head, my safety is going to be pulled out from under me at any time, so I am always trying to prepare, making my day way too busy! I also try to stay inside but my dogs just live taking me for walks, today they took me on a run, at least I’m getting exercise which I’ve never been a fan of!
I talk to my animals all the time, just like it was another person but I don’t trust people nit to hurt me, my husband thinks maybe people think I’m crazy but actually they realize we are friends I know what they are saying because of their different barks and body language, I don’t see any harm they love me and protect me with their lives, so they are my safe place! I tell them all of my feelings, sometimes they seem so sad and it makes me feel worse! I don’t want to burden them any longer, but they are all I have to confide in and I trust them so, does anyone think it’s a problem?
I have always had clear thoughts, my head stayed clear, but now there is chaos and confusion that I’m not sure if something is wrong with Me of if it’s something I can overcome on my own! Sometimes my thoughts go back and for , as ifim trying to convince myself that it had to be something I did wrong because if everyone is treating us this way, it can’t be everyone else, I always stayed the same treating people how I want to be treated, everyone changes, from one day to the next! The gossip is so horrible about us that even people that knew me wanted to get in on it and started doing horrible things to us! I try to think what could I have done differently? What did I do, I think maybe I deserve this because everyone else thinks I do so I must! Right??? So, people wouldn’t give us drink when we were thirsty, is there anything that anyone can think of that would make us deserving of thar? I’m still trying to make sense out of my nightmare! I know that God rescued us from that nightmare, even though they took our home, The chaos is gone, but it remains in my head, those were supposed to be my friends, we were close, how can someone that knows me and is aware of my suffering cause more suffering, so intentionally? That is why my heart hurts, t h at is why I think everyone feels the same way, so I don’t want to be here and I don’t want anyone around because I know it’s just a matter of time, they will also break 💔 my heart! I thought it was lonely living in our house, because when you stand up to corruption you make a lot of powerful enemies and nobody wants to be around that, but out here it’s like maybe because of the situation but I don’t have anyone! My niece was the only one that would come see us, because she’s my sweet niece and we love each other, she moved away to Florida and I miss her more than I thought I could miss anyone 💔!As tears roll down my face, I think of all the people in my family, I have a big family but where are they, why do they avoid the subject of where we are? Why when I say how cold it is, don’t they send me a blanket, they are not poor, it wouldn’t hurt them to let me know ow they were thinking of me! Yhats what hurts the most, I look on my moms fb it’s like I don’t even exist, maybe they would be better off if I didn’t? I see tons of pictures of them with all my siblings, cousins, their friends, when I said something they said stop being dramatic! Really my feelings are real not dramatic, so I don’t feel that I can Say anything without making it seem like drama, so what will make them happy? Hmmm, if I weren’t here they wouldn’t have to pretend to care!!!!!💔💔💔💔💔💔💔
Hey, Lori, good, I mean truly good to hear from you. I have checked back daily so as to not miss you. Soooo glad you took my suggestion. I and perhaps others will contact you about how to remove and replace a propane tank. I myself will have to ask others. A friend of mine does all his own repairs of appliances, cars, you name it. I will start asking him. You know, the reason he can do that himself is because he goes on line and tyes in what he wkants to fix. He gives make and model of what needs fixing, changing, whatever. It all pops up with many comments giving instructions and often parts, make and model. There seems to be a whole large community of people out there willing to share what they have learned. IT SEEMS TO BE MONEY THAT IS NOT SHARED, CAUSE HARDER TO COME BY FOR MANY. HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED IT SEEMS TO BE THE POORER ONES IN SOCIETY THAT WANT TO, ATLEAST, SHARE WHAT THEY CAN, IF NOT MONEY.
Yes, cold to the bones, without some way to heat the RV. So sad to know. I think about what has happened to society, alot.
I understand how difficult it is for you to trust. Cuz of your experiences. But trust can be all someone has. Pray for discernment to know who to trust. Exercise it like a muscle. It may hurt for the time being but it will grow. We can learn byvour experiences, good and bad ones. But do not throw yourself or others under the bus. Slow and steady wins the race said the turtle to the hare. Wink, wink. Trying to get you to laugh. Laughter is so good or us. Laugh though your heart is breaking. Laughter is good medicine. Come on girl let go and let yourself laugh deeply. Abba created laughter for our healing. I know does not seem right now like there is much to laugh about. That is you clue to let out a laugh anyways.
Dont be concerned about spelling and grammer. I cannot type through my tears either. I often say, “If they can’t take a joke that is on them.” I mean people so concerned about the smaller stuff in life that they busy themselves minding other peoples business. Not that spelling and grammer has to useful place in life, but when one is trying to survive, let go of all the clutter. Sounds like a decent philosophy. Stuff can drag us down more if we let it. I do my best to not so much look at the problems but keep my eye on the prize and love deeply.
The deeper we can love others the deeper the pain we are open and vulnerable to. But hate and seeking after our own pleasure over others that ain’t all where the joys in life are. You have abundance of love inside you. I can tell. Be happy!
Of course, our pet family understands us and our emotions. Just like a good mother who loves her child we become in tune with their emotions and body language. Don’t let anyone tell you different. You are living your life noone else can rob you of that unless you let them by dwelling too much on what others think while they live their life and try to live yours too.
You be you! Of course be mindful of not hurting others feelings but you simply cannot let others drag you down. To each their own. We are all meant to be free moral agents not thought police for others. Hope I am not coming across as one.
You mentioned in an earlier reply that you were able to park your RV at a womans place. If I understood you correctly. Is that still happening? You mention the Lodge. Not sure what came first in the stream of things.
How about your windshield? I have been listening carefully.
You mentioned committments almost done. When you can leave? Not sure if you want to say more. You be you. Just out of concern for you, Lori, husband and doggys & kittys.
Got your email. Cannot chat more at this moment in time.
I am working on something very labor intensive. So bye for now?
Again, keep in touch with us here in Stan co. I am familiar with Merced co. Stay posted and I will do the same. K?
Love and hugs and kisses for your pet children. Man’ best friends. I call them therapy babies. We all need therapy, right?
There isnt a person in the world who does not need laughs and therapy every now and again. Dont let anyone talk you out of it. Right? We can’t change anyone but ourselves. When the timing is right others will catch on to what is best. K?
Here’s another reason to stress, I applied for the housing is key program and behind on rent , going on 2 weeks! We are in an rv camp, so we pay $990 per month, you aren’t supposed to get behind! The landlord or manager tried to talk to them about where we are in the process, they refused to talk to them, so I called and they are supposed to get back to me within 72 hours, I gave them the info so they could be accessible to them, but now we all have to wait! It’s so stressful, we can’t lose this spot! Our generator is not in working condition, which was another thing they failed to mention when we bought this motor home! They actually said it worked great, when I asked them to come show me how it works, it took a long time, a day or so when it was over 100 degrees! They never got it working, so we will be without power as well! I thought everything was good, I applied which gave me anxiety because we have been let down by every part of the system and we can’t take another hit! There is no where for us to go and I already have a hard enough time going outside, because people might talk to me and that’s not good! If we have to move I will not be ok! This is my last safe place then out there on the side of the road or back to a park where people are so hateful! I can’t take that kind of hatred ! Plus I haven’t done any stimulants, besides coffee in about 4 months! I will constantly be worrying about my pets, my safety, my sanity! Would we go back to Atwater where we know our lives are in danger and protest? I can’t do this anymore! I always heard ,fake it til you make it! Well I’m trying to make happy my goal, so I’ve been faking it for too long and another blow is going to end that! I’m usually the most happy person, I can find joy in absolutely anything, but since all of this has happened I’m really finding it hard to find joy in things that really matter! I’m not a complicated person but I know that we worked hard for our home and it was stolen and that put us out here in this position! I usually don’t wish bad on other, because I fear God’s wrath, but lately I find it so hard to pray for my enemy and easier to pray that they suffer the same fate! I don’t like this , I’m scared of who I am becoming!
This world has made me into someone that I have tried to avoid my entire life! I guess I should just suck it up! There are people worse off than us, but I’m being selfish and am only thinking how it’s affecting me, my animals, my husband! I should just appreciate that we are still here and still together! Alone, together! But I’m finding it hard to appreciate anything after everything we have been through, we are tired and struggling to stay off the side of the road! I see things unfolding right before my eyes and I can tell you how people become homeless on the streets! It starts innocent enough, finding rest in your motor home, that us falling apart, then you have to move from a spot with electricity, because you can’t afford to stay! The government relies on the fact that ssi is not nearly enough to get you by and they wish you gone, anyway so we are headed right where they want us! I read the article homeless, a journey home! It was interesting, but there is something that sets us aside from them! A few things actually! We have stood up to our city county and state government, we have fought for justice, we have already been let down by the system and the people! I was clean for nearly 2 years when we were evicted, I am trying to stay clean because my health has already been compromised! I have acute anemia and it took 18 months of infusions to get me to be healthy, but I already feel like my count is going down, but I missed my appointment because both vehicles broke down! My memory is affected, my hair is falling out, I’m tired a lot, but I have to keep doing this which takes all my energy, so where do I go back to boosting my energy? It takes so much more work to survive out here, especially since I was raised with spring cleaning every Saturday! So I’m trying my hardest to not let that part of me slip away! Maybe, letting it all go will happen, but I cannot be if that were to happen ! I’m not a snob or spoiled I don’t think less of people who are different of don’t keep up with their cleaning, but that’s what makes me who I am and if I lose that, everything else is already gone! So this is a true testament of my strength!
Think about the problems when you’re in you hones all toasty with your family, snuggled up together, mostly its money, I say don’t worry it’s going to be whatever it’s going to be so don’t let anything hinder the time you have with your loved ones in your home! Once a home is gone you don’t even have your lived ones, because who wants to go see their homeless daughter, mom, sister? When you’re out here you long for those moments! My name is Lori and I have a story, I think it’s about time that the world hears what happens in this great country we call America! I am a person who has a family who says they love me and I am also homeless and being that seems like a dirty word because people avoid you like the plague! Funny, the people here, mostly working traveling people, treat us pretty well, they don’t realize we are homeless until they ask where we live ! But, family only sees us as homeless ! I wish they could see me while I am still me! 😕 I this was not supposed to happen, we had a plan! Please, remember that we are here and we are not doing well
Elaine Gorman says
Eric and others, what do you know about the building under construction near MLK center, that might be used for homeless veterans and seniors. What do folks think of the plan by Modesto City Councilmember to have several homeless campgrounds around town. And……sometime when you are out by TRRP, in Mary Grogan Grove, there is a guy who has planted an amazing garden. He told me that he lives in his vehicle. Check him out, he has stories to tell.
Lou Valero says
Absolutely, all lights green, full steam ahead, all out approval for safe, sanctioned, camping and parking, prior to the cold, hopefully rainy, season ahead. People need time to purchase tents.
Perhaps, valley citizens will be in a giving mood, and donate tents.
Fifty people per camp, seems manageable!,yet, arbitrary. A few families could fill the quota, per camp.
The suggested number of sanctioned camps seems low, yet, perhaps intentionally, so the powers that be can see how things work, before sanctioning more, as needed.
Lets all step up and agree to this being a done deal, contact City Council, ASAP.
Yes there is a project underway on the North-West side of Vine St. that will house both Vets and Seniors. It is a collaborative Housing Authority project.
Very supportive of of City/County effort for sanctioned camp grounds and safe parking areas.
Will have to check on gardener. Reminds me of a homeless lady who wanted to have a pinto bean patch down in that area a few years ago. It didn’t happen, she was ‘moved on’!
Lou Valero says
DEINSTITUTIONALIZATION’S GRIM HISTORY:
1833 Worcester State Hospital opens in Massachusetts as the first mental hospital (fully supported by state funds).
1860 Twenty-eight of the 33 existing U.S. states have state psychiatric hospitals.
1939-1945 During World War II conscientious objectors enter state psychiatric hospitals to replace doctors who were sent away for the war effort. TELL ME WHAT DID THESE OBJECTORS KNOW IN ORDER TO QUALIFY AS DOCTORS THAT WOULD DO IN THE PINCH?
1946 Life Magazine publishes photos depicting the horrors inside the hospitals. BEDLAM SPREADS.
1954 Chlorpromazine, marketed as Thorazine, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It’s the first anti-psychotic drug widely used to treat the symptoms of mental illness. For many, it brought hope that some patients could live among the community.
1955 The number of patients inside public mental hospitals nationwide peaks at 560,000.
1959 The number of patients in California state mental hospitals peaks at 37,000.
1963 President John F. Kennedy signs the Community Mental Health Act. This PUSHES the responsibility of mentally ill patients from the state toward the federal government. JFK wanted to create a network of community mental health centers where mentally ill people could live in the community while receiving care. JFK could have been inspired to act because his younger sister, Rosemary, was mentally disabled, received a lobotomy and spent her life hidden away. Less than a month after signing the new legislation, JFK is assassinated. He was prevented from seeing the plan through. THE COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CENTERS NEVER RECEIVE STABLE FUNDING. Even 15 years later, less than half the promised centers are built. NIMBY’S MUST HAVE CAME OUT IN DROVES.
1965 The U.S. Congress establishes Medicaid and Medicare. Mentally disabled people living in the community are eligible for benefits but those in psychiatric hospitals are excluded. By encouraging patients to be discharged, state legislators could SHIFT the cost of care for mentally ill patients to the federal government.
1967 Ronald Reagan is elected governor of California. At this point, the number of patients in state hospitals had fallen to 22,000, and the Reagan administration uses the decline as a reason to make cuts to the Department of Mental Hygiene. They cut 2,600 jobs and 10 percent of the budget DESPITE REPORTS showing that hospitals were ALREADY BELOW RECOMMENDED STAFFING LEVELS.
1967 Reagan signs the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and ends the practice of institutionalizing patients against their will, or for indefinite amounts of time. This law is regarded by some as a “patient’s bill of rights”. SADLY, THE CARE OUTSIDE STATE HOSPITALS WAS INADEQUATE, AS WELL. The year after the law goes into effect, a study shows the number of mentally ill people entering San Mateo’s criminal justice system doubles. HOW MANY OF THESE ENTERING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM ENTERED BY FREE CHOICE?
1969 Reagan reverses earlier budget cuts. He increases spending on the Department of Mental Hygiene by a record $28 million.
1973 The number of patients in California State mental hospitals falls to 7,000. WHERE DID THEY GO?
1980 President Jimmy Carter signs the Mental Health Systems Act to improve on JFK’s dream.
1981 President Reagan and the Congress repeals Carter’s legislation with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. This PUSHES the responsibility of mentally ill patients BACK ONTO the states. The legislation creates block grants for the states, BUT FEDERAL SPENDING ON MENTAL ILLNESS DECLINES.
2004 The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 10 percent of state prisoners have symptoms that meet criteria for a psychotic disorder. IF NOT UPON ENTRY, THEREAFTER, IN THE MAD HOUSE.
2015 In the San Francisco Homeless Count, 55 percent of people experiencing chronic homelessness report they have emotional or psychiatric conditions. NO WONDER WITH ALL THE TRAUMA FACED.
2021 WE THE PEOPLE can guess the percentage of the chronic Houseless Count, AFTER ALL THE SHIFTING AND PUSHING THAT CONTINUES TO GO BACK AND FORTH, BETWEEN STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AS TO WHOSE PAYING TO SAFELY HOUSE ALL ILL CITIZENS AND MAKE IT HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY, IF NOT SOONER.
AS FOR THE REST OF US, NON-ILL, CITIZENS: I KEEP HEARING SO CALLED EXPERTS SAYING THAT IN ORDER FOR CAPITALISM TO WORK, AS ENVISIONED, A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF ECITIZENS HAVE TO BE UNEMPLOYED. I AM AWARE OF THE MANY UNEMPLOYED, HAVING EITHER ALREADY ACHIEVED, OR, HEADING TOWARD, HOUSELESSNESS, YET, I DO NOT SEE CAPITALISM WORKING, AS ENVISIONED, OR AT ALL, EXCEPT FOR THE RICH, WHO KEEP GETTING RICHER, WHILE THE REST OF US CITIZENS SINK, PERIOD. SOME ACHIEVEMENT…
Thanks go to KQED for the majority of the above stats.
I was asked to leave an email address so if people had any questions, email@example.com.
As I read my comments I’ve noticed a ton of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, I’m sorry. I can’t see through my tears and since I haven’t had anyone to talk to about the thoughts are flowing faster than I can keep up with! Thank you all for taking your time to read our story and the ton of BS we went through to get where we are!
It was nearly freezing last night and we feel it in our bones, we are out of propane and I don’t know if there is a tank that you take out because the manual doesn’t specify, if anyone knows I would appreciate the wisdom!
Again thank you and hopefully soon my other commitments will be up. Maybe they are checking facts so it might take some time, but there are still some yet to come!