Don't talk about, be about it.
Another 10 bags of trash cleaned up along the guard rail, by myself this time. It's only been a few days since I had been down there but things are always happening and changing down at the guard rail. The rumor on social media was that the evictions still happened. I spoke with the police, I spoke with Share, and I spoke to those I consider my family camping outside. As I had suspected... there were no evictions. None. Period.
So what WAS happening down on the guard rail over the last few days?
- There was a man on drugs in a car brandishing a gun in the area, it was spotted quickly and reported and he is in jail. Some people chose to relocate for that night as they were either still fearful after seeing the man with the gun (I don't blame them at all!) or the area did not feel settled down to be able to sleep as the police were out asking questions of everyone in the area. There were no evictions. The people who were outside in the dark remained outside in the dark. They just moved from one peice of private property they are not allowed to camp on to another peice of private property they are not allowed to camp on. Business as ususal.
- There were also some people that left and moved out of the area voluntarily due to the recent overall increased police visits. Why the increased police visits along the rail? Well, because YOU asked for it! Increased police presence is what happens when concerned citizens report that crimes are being committed in an area without proof to politicians. Why? To cover thier collective political butts, the Politicians respond to such complaints and reports with the order to the police forces to increase patrols to that area. That means people along the rail are routinely questioned by the police and many people in the homeless community have warrants for fines, missed court dates, and a lot of them are battling addiction and mental health issues. Most don't want or think they need a police presence in the area, and so when police ARE in the area, they move somewhere they feel is safer. They were not evicted. They actually became victims of people "trying to help". It is hard to understand the full circle of the situation BUT that is what happens when complaints and petitions are made to improve the security of an area. The police are brought in to respond to your complaints. As it should be in some cases, but the fallout and exodus that happens is real, people will choose to go somewhere else and sadly often end up more difficult to find and disconnected from services.
But don't worry about that too much, because of course someone then threw a party for those still there to make everything all better!
Yes. There was a pizza party & apples brought to homeless people outside of a shelter that serves hundreds of meals a day. Then there were pictures taken & posted of the trash after the boxes & smashed apples were left all around. Again, not sure why groups will bring in items that will add to the normal trash of life on the rail, take pics of trash they helped create but then not help to clean up afterwards. It seems in my mind the clean up afterwards could also be seen as positive too - but that is what is happening. That along with the talk of guns to increase more fear and complaint calls. I'm confused as to how these activities is attempting to help the homeless community, but this is the reality of what is happening.
While frustrated in some directions, I am also excited to be having conversations empowering street people to have pride in what they have, setting the example of how the area must be kept for them to hopefully stay under the radar and not harrassed. Teaching men to fish metaphorically speaking, not feeding people who aren't really hungry, but instead I am giving hope when it feels hopeless. I emptied the trash cans, swept all the apples smashed in the street. I now know almost everyone's name. I call them by name. I will tell thier story. I will speak on thier behalf. I will only tell the truth. I will not engage in negativity or drama. I am the same as them. We are all one community. I will not engage in seperation. I will not tolerate lies, prejudice, or those that choose to be self-serving in the name of some misguided approach to charity.
I WORK FOR THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY. I DON'T DO THIS FOR MONEY OR DONATIONS. I WILL DO THIS REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANYONE SAYS OR DOES. I WOULD LOVE YOUR SUPPORT, BUT I AM NOT DEPENDENT ON ANY ONES APPROVAL TO DO THIS .
To all of the awsome people who do appreciate and support me.
Thank you and love you all.
Photos Before 8-9-15 Clean Up
And the AFTER pictures!