Wednesday, April 27, 2016

And So, The Police

I read in our local paper online that there was a community group working to prevent homelessness, after someone had wrote a letter complaining about the homeless parking in the local park. I was looking on Google for free parking for people traveling in their truck or car, etc when this turned up.  I have read all the signs in all the parks around here, looking for places with BBQ sets ups, water fountains, and things like that that people go to parks for, along with the shade on hot days, and if we could walk Tama on his leash and clean up after him, no problem.  Park hours, and rules noted.  And there are some parks that are drug and gang loaded hell holes you really want to avoid, also noted.

Basically, I called the police looking for answers about what is legal and what is not.  It is not illegal to park on a public street, nor to spend an inordinate amount of time in your vehicle, but people will call the police for suspicious activity, which I fully understand having called them many times on people literally cooking up crack or heroin or whatever, and shooting up in front of our old apartment (they never came).  So yeah, I wanted to know what the rules were to avoid doing anything.  It is NOT illegal to be homeless, as long as you follow the civic laws. End of the matter.

However, I get shunted to this community group I had read about. No one answers, so I leave a message, and the police guy calls back, and asks me a LOT of questions and what we are looking for (NO WE WILL NOT GIVE UP THE CAT!) and yeah maybe we can get some help from this organization.  All I wanted to know was how we can be legal, and deal with our situation ourselves.  But yeah, maybe they can help us.  Though I am not all that impressed, because 7 year waiting list on low income housing in our city, and only 30 people helped in the whole time since November?

But the questions.  The whole 'would you take work if we could find you work?'  I have work, I am turning down work at the moment, because no electric, no work.  Where were they when I called in Dec 2013?  Yeah, I would like to work, but how to work and be here for Hubby?  I explained that I had a sewing business, what I needed was electricity and a roof over our head we could afford, and that any outside job would have to be part time, no more than 4 hours away from home.  I also made it clear that we were looking forward to living with in our means and getting hubby back to PT and staying in our insurance coverage area and that we have potential places we had lined up to apply for when the truck was ready to roll.  Basically, we do not need to be in a shelter; we have a shelter. We just need a freaking place to park safely some nights when we can't or don't want to pay for a motel or camp site.  It is not illegal to be homeless!  Lots of people spend some time living in their cars or campers to build up enough to make a down payment on a house, let alone the key money for a flat.

So yeah, now I feel like I have gone and done it.  Something does not feel right.  Something is broken. I feel as if I have made things a hell of a lot worse for us.  Maybe it's the whole police thing, maybe it is the feeling that we are about to be made examples of by some government agency, or religious group.  I don't know, but it feels wrong.  All the trouble we have had in the past two years plus with the Social Security Office and the Medi-Cal and everything has just really put me off this sort of thing. I mean I have had some really insane battles with Social Security that no one should have to put up with from people who are supposed to help vulnerable people.  And I still see the large groups of homeless people in the parks when I ride by to go shopping.  And why did they only take MY information rather than both of us?  That was very odd.  He never even asked my husbands name.

I hope this creeped out feeling goes away, but it has ruined my day.  I left our number with a homeless advocacy law center, just in case.

2 comments:

  1. That is pretty weird and alarming. I wonder if there are any "rooms for rent"; I have had friends do that and it has been a positive experience for them (usually it is older folks wanting extra money for taxes and living costs, and often it's in quiet neighborhoods and cats were allowed.)

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    1. THe guy said he would call back this afternoon. I am going to ask why he only took my info and the reason for it. Are they going to help us or use it to target us?
      From what I have since read about our now definitly soon to be ex city, they have been bulldozing and trashing homeless people's belongings, I am afraid they will label us vagrant and confiscate our truck day one, now. Yes, I am paranoid. Here we are trying to keep our rental record clean, which it is, never late, no evictions, so we can move into a new place when we find one and suddenly the police are involved. And this business with the next city over bragging they have no homeless people and are closing down their assitance programs is really interesting, considering the amount of homeless that turned up over here about that same time they were 'helping' the homeless to get housing over there. And that city's wait list is as bad as the one here, 6 to 7 years.
      Most of the one room to rents around here are no pet, and you have to live with their pets. I am allergic to dogs more than cats. Plus I don't want to be someone's live in maid or babysitter, I have enough on my plate and tht is what most of them want.

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