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  1. TopTop #91
    Farmer Lynda's Avatar
    Farmer Lynda
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    [This is Lynda Hopkins' post from Thanksgiving posted on Facebook - Barry ]


    This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for a warm, dry house; a roof over our heads; a cheerful kitchen to cook in; running water; and a flushing toilet. On Thanksgiving I think it’s worth remembering that we have more than 2,000 homeless residents in our County and nearly 200 camped on the Joe Rodota Trail.

    I know this is tremendously controversial and I know that there are many people in our community who disagree with placing port-a-potties (donated by the community, not paid for by government) along the Joe Rodota Trail. But I am also grateful that today, on Thanksgiving, people will not be urinating and defecating along the trail but rather in basic sanitation facilities that protect public health and afford a small amount of dignity to those encamped along the trail.

    I want to be very clear: my goal is very much to NOT have anyone camped along the Joe Rodota Trail. My goal is to have the trail free and clear for runners and cyclists. And I want to achieve that goal as quickly as possible. But for legal as well as ethical reasons, we must pursue that goal in a humane way, by attempting to offer each and every person camped there an alternative place to go.

    A few things to know about homelessness and the Joe Rodota Trail:

    • The County has been working extremely hard to identify and address gaps in our current system of care and staff plans to present options to the Board of Supervisors before the end of the year.

    • Homelessness does not have a ‘one-size fits all’ solution and it doesn’t occur overnight. There is no “snap your finger” solution — but I’m always open to any suggestions and ideas.

    • The County continues to actively work with local providers to increase outreach and services for those living along the Joe Rodota Trail. Our efforts focus on helping people obtain housing and services, as well as ensuring that all agencies remain informed and involved.

    • The JRT encampment continues to change, as homelessness is not a static event for most people. Often, it takes time to build trust. It’s not uncommon for people to enter the system of care and leave it several times before they are permanently housed.

    • Having said that, sweeps, noticing and enforcement are not the end goals. These tactics are merely a temporary Band-Aid on a deeper societal issue. The goal is always to permanently house people in a way that meets their needs. In order to solve the issues along the trail, we must help the people living there.

    • As of November 27, 2019, County staff estimates approximately 160 people are living along the trail. On November 26, portable toilets and handwashing stations were installed to support public health. This does not mean we are turning the trail into a permanent encampment; just that we are addressing an urgent need as we move forward with solutions in order to return the trail to its linear park status.

    • Regional Parks' mission is to provide public access to safe, clean parks and trails. The Community Development Commission is dedicated to creating homes for all in thriving and inclusive neighborhoods. We are committed to working collaboratively with the City of Santa Rosa to address the Joe Rodota Trail encampment and homelessness within our shared jurisdiction.
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  3. TopTop #92
    Moon's Avatar
    Moon
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    I don't have a heck of a high opinion of the Board of Supes in general; if they give
    an eructation in a high wind about the poor, why didn't they rein in Shirlee Zane
    before she got rid of the Chanate property?

    However, I recently attended a Board meeting, about doing a hatchet job on IOLERO (Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach, the last word of which was originally intended to be Oversight.) Lynda Hopkins is the only supervisor who dared to point out to those ranting about the Board caving to "special interest groups" that the special interest group represented by the speakers from the audience was the population of Sonoma County.

    Quote Farmer Lynda wrote: View Post
    ...A few things to know about homelessness and the Joe Rodota Trail:...
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  5. TopTop #93
    BlueBayou's Avatar
    BlueBayou
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    This was posted on the County of Sonoma Community Development Commission (CDC) Page. I cannot find anywhere an estimate of how many people are being served for each award or application. I also do not find anything results oriented.

    I guess I was looking for something to show that what these programs do with the money they’ve requested have had significant enough impact to make them eligible to continue getting approval or make requests. What is the criteria for award?

    Interestingly enough under the Ineligible category, it was not based on the not meeting mandatory professional or a minimum type of quality assurance of some sort. The ineligible award requests were all of technical aspects, pages not being numbered correctly in application, a field left blank. Most were just one agency. Maybe they need support with the application process but have a worthy need? Are we only setting funding aside for these providers to work within their own criteria and projects ?

    Does the County have its own projects or are we just relying on the fact these organizations are in our community. I’m not sure and I am asking. If that is what is happening, i worry it’s an illusion. Not to say these organizations don’t do good work, but when a Joe Rodota Trail encampment forms who is earmarked to take that on , before it gets worse. Are we getting the best return on every dollar allocated and how is that checked ? If the County does not have its own committee working on identified projects contributing to resolving the homelessness issue why not? It would then become obvious why the encampment on Joe Rodota Trail is just percolating for disaster. What is it going to take before we actually get 160 people habitable living accommodations? It’s growing faster than we can keep up I know that.


    In yesterday’s Press Democrat it reported the millions of dollars the state awarded the county for use towards expenses and recovery from the Kincaid Fire. That does not included any funding for personal property loss or to foot the bill for debris removal on personal property. You and your insurance company are on the hook for that.

    This was awarded quickly and swiftly so immediate action can be taken to begin recovery as it was deemed a state of emergency. Why are not the lives of those out there tonite in 35 degree weather deemed a state of emergency too?

    Below is a summary of the requests made for for the 2019-2020 Consolidated Notice of Funding Availability for Homeless Services Funding to The CDC.


    Summary of Homeless Services Requests


    49 Applications deemed eligible
    Category Amount Requested
    Coordinated Entry Access Points $365,000
    Emergency Shelter $1,693,770
    Fair Housing Related Services $260,100
    Homelessness Prevention & Diversion $868,009
    Other Homeless Services $1,455,779
    Permanent Supportive Housing $2,830,144
    Rapid Re-Housing $2,446,237
    Street Outreach $1,019,439
    Winter Shelter $446,558
    Subtotal Services $11,385,036


    23 Applications deemed eligible
    Category Amount Requested
    Permanent Supportive Housing – Construction/Rehab $9,363,976
    Permanent Supportive Housing - Acquisition $7,250,000
    Emergency Shelter Rehabilitation $93,699
    City Capital Development Projects $4,703,698
    Subtotal Capital Development $21,411,373


    Eligible Homeless Services Submissions

    Coordinated Entry Access Points: $365,000

    • Catholic Charities - Coordinated Entry
    • Interfaith Shelter Network - Sonoma Valley Access Point
    Emergency Shelter: $1,693,770

    • Catholic Charities: Sam Jones Hall
    • Committee on the Shelterless (COTS): Mary Isaak Center Emergency Shelter
    • Community Action Partnership: Sloan Women's Emergency Shelter
    • Catholic Charities: Family Support Center
    • YWCA: Confidential Safe House and Services
    • Social Advocates for Youth: Dream Center Emergency Shelter
    • Progress Foundation: Peer Respite
    Homelessness Prevention & Diversion: $868,009

    • Catholic Charities: Homeless Prevention/Diversion
    • Committee on the Shelterless (COTS): COTS Prevention Diversion Program
    • Community Action Partnership: HCA Family Fund
    • Social Advocates for Youth: TAY Homelessness Prevention
    • SHARE - Sonoma County: Sonoma County Home Share Program
    • SHARE - Sonoma County: Sonoma Valley Home Share Program
    Other Homeless Services: $1,455,779

    • Catholic Charities: Mental Health Integration Pilot
    • Goodwill Industries of the Redwood Empire: Mental Health Homeless Services Peer Navigators
    • Russian Riverkeeper: Clean Camp & Education
    • St. Vincent de Paul Sonoma County: Sonoma County Homeless Court
    • West County Community Services: Meeting Their Needs - Leveraging High Acuity Case Management
    • The Living Room/Homeless Action!: West College Ave. Tent Village
    • The Living Room/Homeless Action!: Sister Scene Safe Parking & Tent Camping
    Permanent Supportive Housing - $2,830,144

    • Catholic Charities: PSH - Alternative for Unsheltered Community (for Service-Resistant Population)
    • Catholic Charities: Palms Inn (Services)
    • Community Support Network: CSN PSH - Housing First (Stony Point Common)
    • Community Support Network: Sanctuary House PSH Program
    • Committee on the Shelterless (COTS): Vida Nueva Permanent Supportive Housing
    • Reach for Home: Permanent Supportive Housing
    • The Living Room: The Living Room - Road to Home
    • The Living Room/Homeless Action!: Fair Homes - 2005 Linwood
    Rapid-Rehousing - $2,446,237

    • Catholic Charities: Rapid Re-Housing
    • Committee on the Shelterless: COTS Rapid Re-Housing
    • InterFaith Shelter Network: Housing First - Sonoma Valley
    • InterFaith Shelter Network: Family Rapid Re-Housing
    • Reach for Home: Short Term Subsidy (RRH)
    • Sonoma County Housing Authority: Housing Navigation & Stabilization
    • Social Advocates for Youth: Rapid Re-Housing
    • West County Community Services: West County Rapid Rehousing +
    • TLC Child & Family Services: THP - Plus Expansion
    Street Outreach - $1,019,439

    • Abode Sonoma County: The Care Van
    • Catholic Charities: Homeless Service Center
    • Catholic Charities: HOST
    • Reach for Home: Outreach
    • Social Advocates for Youth: Street Outreach
    Winter Shelter - $446,558

    • Sonoma Overnight Support: SOS Winter Shelter
    • Committee on the Shelterless (COTS): COTS Winter Shelter
    • Catholic Charities: Winter Shelter Expansion
    • Social Advocates for Youth: TAY Winter Shelter Expansion
    • West County Community Services: West County Winter Shelter
    Back to Top

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  7. TopTop #94
    Mary C's Avatar
    Mary C
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail


    Commentary: When helping isn’t helpful
    By Mary Carouba

    The homeless crisis on the Joe Rodota Trail has galvanized many in our community, and compassionate individuals are taking various actions in an effort to help. As one who once lived in that world and who has worked professionally with drug addiction and homelessness over the past 30 years, I have concerns about this grassroots community response.

    Though there are many causes of homelessness — mental health issues, addiction to alcohol and other drugs, the numerous fires since 2017, immigration inequities and more — meth is the driving force behind the crisis on the Joe Rodota Trail, and we need to respond accordingly. Meth is driving some of the most dangerous activity on the trail. It is contributing disproportionately to conflicts with neighbors and poses the greatest danger to those trying to help.

    There are many homeless individuals and groups who live peacefully in Sonoma County, and who are accepted by their communities in a sometimes uneasy but generally “Let’s co-exist peacefully” kind of a way. That is not the story of the Joe Rodota Trail.

    Compassionate individuals are doing laundry for those on the trail, giving them rides and even bringing them into their homes; this approach concerns me greatly. A problem like this requires a concerted and consistent multi-agency approach, and individuals who are wading in the middle of this situation are putting themselves at risk. I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t help when we see a community need; I am simply advocating that we do it in a way that serves the people we’re trying to help and doesn’t enable them to continue hurting themselves.

    Many of the people on the trail would not be homeless if not for their addiction. And when you give an addict money, rides, pallets, etc., you may be enabling them to continue using, extending the length of time they will use. The absolute best thing that can happen for an addict is to hit bottom. If you’re dealing with an active addict, every piece of help you provide potentially delays that process.

    Drug addiction is like a fever; you need to starve it, not feed it. Every penny given, every piece of clothing washed, every ride given, can unwittingly support drug addiction, theft and hopelessness, all of which increase the underlying problems that caring individuals are so earnestly trying to address.

    Few of the addicts on the trail are self-supporting, which means many of them resort to illegal activities such as theft, etc., to maintain their addiction. There is a large bicycle chop shop on the trail, with hundreds of stolen bike parts — an illegal operation taking place in broad daylight. There are also robust drug sales taking place on the trail daily. I’ve dealt with the end results of drug addiction of all kinds: methamphetamine is by far the worst and most dangerous drug I’ve ever encountered and is the most resistant to treatment because of the changes to brain chemistry. When I worked with Child Protective Services, it was clear that some of the greatest damage done to children was perpetrated by meth addicts. It is a cruel, vicious drug that often causes permanent brain damage. So please be careful about what it is you’re supporting when you step in the middle of people’s lives with your good intentions.

    Most of the people on the trail have had tough lives, and some of them began using drugs to survive those challenges. I deeply understand and relate to this in the most personal of ways. They, like me, are richly deserving of a better life, but a better life will never be available to them as long as they are addicted to drugs.

    Please consider partnering with severely underfunded and understaffed community agencies that have resources, information and a familiarity with this population before you step into the middle of a powerful network of drug-addicted individuals. Drug addiction, alcoholism, barely funded mental health resources and homelessness are all serious problems in search of real solutions and require a serious community response. Doing laundry, providing rides and giving money may make the giver feel good, and it does provide some temporary relief for people who are living with so little, but it does little to solve the underlying problems.

    It doesn’t work to give away a blanket but then say, “Not in my neighborhood” when a shelter is proposed. It doesn’t work to give an a homeless individual $10, then vote against a bill that would address the situation in a serious way, but which would slightly raise your taxes. There are real solutions, but they require some sacrifice on the part of the community, and until now, the community has responded to that need with a resounding, “Meh.”

    There seems to be an attitude on the part of those helping that, “No one is doing anything, so we need to take action,” yet there are extraordinary groups that have been pounding away at this problem and its many underlying causes for years with little community support, a dearth of funding and few volunteers. They have been attempting to tackle the complex underlying issues of mental health and addiction with little support from the community, yet they continue to stagger along. If you want to help, please find a group like that and partner with them.

    There are many good people living on that trail who are down on their luck, caught in traps not of their own making and facing all kinds of life challenges. They’re not out to do anyone any harm. They’re also not the reason I’m asking people to be very cautious.

    In the end, all those on the trail who need help deserve a serious and sustained community response that will address the underlying causes that have brought us to this desperate point. In the meantime, when your compassion compels you to do something, anything, and you jump in and begin taking action, unless you are intimately familiar with this population, you run the risk of harming those you are trying to help by enabling their addiction, and you potentially expose yourself and your family to great danger. Please just think twice.

    Mary Carouba is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book, Women at Ground Zero, TED Talk presenter, award-winning Moth storyteller and a former investigative social worker for Sonoma County Child Protective Services.
    Last edited by Barry; 11-29-2019 at 11:59 PM.
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  9. TopTop #95
    doghairnancy
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    This problem isn't going to go away at any cost the county is going to be able to reckon with. If we build housing for the homeless, the cost is going to be prohibitive (remember the $133K tiny houses for vets?) and the working poor are going to wonder why nobody worries about their precarious situation. We're in deep doodoo. At least the portapotties are a stopgap for the doodoo, they we know they are going to be vandalized or stolen. I'm grateful to Lynda Hopkins for being thoughtful, honest, smart, and not in the job for questionable reasons. We are lucky to have a supe of her caliber and commitment.
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  11. TopTop #96
    BlueBayou's Avatar
    BlueBayou
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    If you live on Joe Rodota Trail and wanted to get off the trail and into one of the posted 184 Winter Shelter beds available.....assuming traveling to a different Sonoma County City is problematic, Santa Rosa only has 40 beds of the 184 listed for Single Adults. At best we can only serve 1/4 of those living on the Trail and that’s if others currently homeless hidden elsewhere in Santa Rosa don’t apply. Those 40 beds all come from Redwood Gospel Mission. Without sounding cynical or unappreciative, I am not sure I can apply the “something better than nothing “ here. I’d be embarrassed to announce that as a Committee when the heart of your announcement states, “ helping to protect people from the years’ harshest winter” This comes from The County of Sonoma’s Committee -Home Sonoma County.

    Quote Mayacaman wrote: View Post
    There are long-term solutions and short term necessities. Right now, Winter is coming. It is getting colder - by night and by day. Those who are out of doors would do better inside, we should all agree....
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  13. TopTop #97
    rossmen
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Address gaps and present options before the end of the year, that's the plan. Besides setting up temporary facilities for camping along the main bike trail to Rosa.

    Lynda Hopkins does not know how many homeless people there are. Most homeless people I know don't take part in the count. One problem with setting up the bike trails as camping is that it limits trail potential. And Santa Rosa declined to settle with homeless action, they want the poor to move west. Usually what the city's and county do as winter comes on is provide more shelter, so people can be warm and dry in the coldest months. The new plan seems to be letting the most vulnerable, many suffering from mental and drug problems, freeze to death.

    Quote Farmer Lynda wrote: View Post
    ...A few things to know about homelessness and the Joe Rodota Trail...
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  15. TopTop #98
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Mary, you say that you "lived in that world". Would you share some of your personal story of living homeless, where this was, and if you were addicted to Meth. Did you have a child or children during this time? How did you uplift yourself from the streets? What agency was instrumental? You may explain this in a book or Ted Talk, but I'm curious if you could comment briefly here, on your experience.

    Quote Mary C wrote: View Post

    Commentary: When helping isn’t helpful
    By Mary Carouba

    The homeless crisis on the Joe Rodota Trail has galvanized many in our community, and compassionate individuals are taking various actions in an effort to help. As one who once lived in that world and who has worked professionally with drug addiction and homelessness over the past 30 years, I have concerns about this grassroots community response.....
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  16. TopTop #99
    Hotspring 44's Avatar
    Hotspring 44
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Shandi and others,
    Here is a link to a YouTube video that will answer some of the questions that are in the quote-box below:
    Quote Shandi wrote: View Post
    Mary, you say that you "lived in that world". Would you share some of your personal story of living homeless, where this was, and if you were addicted to Meth. Did you have a child or children during this time? How did you uplift yourself from the streets? What agency was instrumental? You may explain this in a book or Ted Talk, but I'm curious if you could comment briefly here, on your experience.
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  18. TopTop #100
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail


    rossmen wrote:


    "...Santa Rosa declined to settle with homeless action, they want the poor to move west. Usually what the city's and county do as winter comes on is provide more shelter, so people can be warm and dry in the coldest months. The new plan seems to be letting the most vulnerable, many suffering from mental and drug problems, freeze to death..."

    Let us hope that is not the "new plan." Yet, Ross, you may be on to something. Back at the time of World War One, "gone west" meant to have died. Tucker Carlson and other talking heads on Fox News can pontificate about "ideology" - presumably a democrat party "Ideology" that brought this Crisis of Homelessness on - but it seems that the bottom line ideology is Social Darwinism & Survival of the fittest. -And that seems to be very much a bi-partisan ideology.


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  19. TopTop #101
    Mayacaman's Avatar
    Mayacaman
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    doghairnancy wrote:

    "...This problem isn't going to go away at any cost the county is going to be able to reckon with. If we build housing for the homeless, the cost is going to be prohibitive (remember the $133K tiny houses for vets?) and the working poor are going to wonder why nobody worries about their precarious situation..."
    Nancy, the long-term solution is to open up a portion of the two hundred and forty-five million [245,000,000] acres that the Bureau of Land Management is "managing" to Homesteads - in two schedules of parcels: one for the Homeless, and another for the "working poor" - as I have written over on the other thread.

    In the wilderness, one doesn't need sewer hook-ups or being connected to the grid; solar panels suffice. The cost of building a tiny house out of rammed-earth blocks is a tiny fraction of the cost that those homes for vets cost. I would wager that it can be done for about two and a half thousand dollars - if the working poor & homeless candidates for the Homesteads would do the work themselves - as in former times.

    The issue of Homelessness is too big for the Counties to be able to solve alone. All the county should have to do is provide temporary warm accommodations during the cold season - and a large lot {or two or three} somewhere for a Tent City where the Homeless may camp when it is warm and dry. At the present hour a warm, dry place is the urgent need of all of the Homeless in California, and across the nation.

    Open Up the Armories!!
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  21. TopTop #102
    Meinvelt
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    Shandi, I think you're on target !

    Quote Shandi wrote: View Post
    Mary, you say that you "lived in that world". Would you share some of your personal story of living homeless, ...
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  22. TopTop #103
    BlueBayou's Avatar
    BlueBayou
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    THE USE OF CONVERTED STORAGE CONTAINERS

    This video made me smile listening to the affects providing safe temporary housing to those homeless and what it means to them. The video shows how used storage containers can be converted into temporary housing where you can stay upwards to 18 months but most were ready much sooner and left for their self supporting permanent housing. One formerly homeless person simply said , “when you have a home all of the sudden everything else falls into place”. The project makes it mandatory that after someone builds for you ,you build for someone else. The program doesn’t just convert storage containers , it converts people.

    They also used donated old school buses that were for converted in emergency overnight shelters where you can stay up to 2 nights with each bus accommodating 6 individuals in twin bed size sleeping areas. Reading ways other communities have set these and the converted storage containers up quickly was not to complicate with plumbing/sewer/water challenges , but by bringing in a portable trailer like facilities for these purposes with the tiny houses surrounding them. Where toilets were placed in some designs, they used composting toilet designs.

    There are many videos out there and designs . I chose this one because it included the human factor. There are design kits avail free of charge for converting and can be done including purchasing the container with minimal constructional design for about $2,500 $3,600. Project completion time estimates (depending on volunteers available) 2-3 weeks. Again we are talking solutions for emergency and temporary transitional housing here.


    Los Angeles County was awarded grant funds to their Public Healthcare Agency to be used for housing the homeless specifically those identified as having an impact on the MediCal system. The State Healthcare Agency does not usually allocate funds for housing. A study showed the longer a person remains homeless, the more money it ends up costing in MediCal services directly related to enduring health issues from living on the streets.
    Last edited by Barry; 12-01-2019 at 12:55 PM.
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  24. TopTop #104
    Goat Rock Ukulele's Avatar
    Goat Rock Ukulele
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    It's obvious that people need somewhere on the outskirts of Santa Rosa and other towns to park rvs and build shanties and set up tents. When you got nothing but the cold ground a tent and a cot is a mansion. When you got a tent and a cot an old rv is a mansion. Way back you could build a hobo house out of old pallets along a rail line if you were down and out. Almost no one wants to live in a shelter. Urban camping is a lot better for most. There are thousands of old rvs that don't run but would make acceptable shelter if there were a place you could locate them. It's happening anyway. It would be far better to provide areas that have sewer hookups or a community bathroom.
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  26. TopTop #105
    arthunter's Avatar
    arthunter
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    I want to add weight to this opinion. You are absolutely right! I tried to help three homeless people recently and I' m still paying for that decision. These were not people on the trail. They had jobs, dressed well, and they were intelligent. They were living in their cars and I had extra space. I did background checks, asked about drug use, told them I did not allow illegal drugs ... Blah, blah, blah ... They were all on meth ...moved in, stopped paying rent and wouldn't leave. What is the county doing about this giant meth problem? This isn't the first time I've been hurt by this. Someone is making a whole lot of money destroying lives, thus endangering us all. I tried to clean up my own neighborhood only to face massive retaliation.
    Quote Mary C wrote: View Post
    Last edited by Barry; 12-01-2019 at 12:56 PM.
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  28. TopTop #106
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    It's about compassion.

    Even though you've been burned, even though you were taken advantage of... the human heart is always ready to offer compassion to another, because that's what compassion is all about! We're all in this boat together.

    There, on the Joe Rodota Trail, but for the grace of God, it could be me.

    Hafiz says:

    Even after all this time
    the sun never says to the earth,
    "You owe me."

    Look what happens
    with a love like that -
    It lights the whole world!

    Quote arthunter wrote: View Post
    I want to add weight to this opinion. You are absolutely right! I tried to help three homeless people recently and I' m still paying for that decision. ...
    Last edited by Barry; 12-01-2019 at 12:58 PM.
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  30. TopTop #107
    JONESY
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    "Compassion ... Forgivness ... Acceptance"

    Quote tommy wrote: View Post
    it's about compassion.
    ...
    Last edited by Barry; 12-01-2019 at 12:58 PM.
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  32. TopTop #108
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Homeless encampments along the Joe Rodota Trail

    I have also brought a homeless man into my space, and although he wasn't on meth or any other heavy drug, he began to gaslight me, and tell me he was my "spiritual teacher". It took me a year to get him out, and even though I warned friends about him, two of my women friends also took him in, after I finally got him out. He burned them too. He was a very successful manipulator. And I learned from that experience not to bring anyone into my space that I don't know. Hell, even when we know them, people can be triggered by stress, and lash out on us. It happens in relationships all the time.

    I've also had the experience of being emotionally abused by home owners, while renting a room from them. They had jobs, a nice home, and appeared mentally healthy, but within a couple of months, the truth of their emotional instability showed itself. They weren't drug addicts, unless you count daily wine consumption, and smart phone addiction.

    My very good friend tells me not to give unless I have "surplus". She knows how my giving nature has hurt me when I give on a personal level. Now, I try to give only from a distance, or through an organized charity.
    I learned that I can't risk losing the little I have, and it's important to consider the potential downside of my giving. The "what ifs".

    Giving a pair of shoes to someone without any is very different than bringing that person into our homes. We have to realize the risk, especially if we've had the experience already. We need to be kind to ourselves first, and kindly ruthless to those who may ultimate cause us grief, even unintentionally. We can't know these things ahead of time, so we need to evaluate the potential for risk as much as possible.

    Meth is a life destroyer, easy to find and get addicted to, and cheap. It was originally made available to the inner cities, as a way to control minorities, and has now spread far and wide. It gives a temporary high, as a way to escape the constant suffering. Even though the consequences of using are very visible, it provides momentary relief from the ravages of the horrible reality of living on the street, or the apparent safety of shelters.

    Quote arthunter wrote: View Post
    I want to add weight to this opinion. You are absolutely right! I tried to help three homeless people recently and I' m still paying for that decision. ...
    Last edited by Barry; 12-01-2019 at 01:00 PM.
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