This post was not typed in caps but I can't seem to fix it AHHH sorry, I'm not trying to yell :( Today I felt homeless, and at the same time very blessed. Many people who are homeless come south for the winter. Some towns are known to grow as much as thirty thousand in homeless populations each winter. Just last night we were approached by three separate sets of people all homeless and sad. Not counting the many at street corners. They are all asking for cash, something to help them get from here to there. I know, I know some are druggies working a very easy angle… but I have been homeless and sometimes, many times homelessness comes after a series of very unfortunate events. Like a two income family that loses one income because of accident, illness, death, or divorce. Then what? One two months after the rent is not paid they are out on the streets and wondering what happened.
Last night we found a Walmart (which often allows overnight parking for people who are passing through). We settled for the night only to be notified by the security guard that this particular walmart doesn’t allow overnight parking. We talked to the security guard for a while about options. The problem? It is illegal to sleep in your car here. Seriously? Illegal to be homeless? Well, not exactly. It is illegal to have an asset of safety while homeless. After hearing that it was illegal to sleep in our car, I did some searches. One article was about a woman who slept on the street beside her car so that she wouldn’t be arrested. Your kidding right? Who is served by a law like that??? Good grief!
What kind of a world do we live in? After people have lost everything and land in their car. we arrest them simply because they are down and out and have no place to go.. impound their car and strip them of any remaining hope. Can we really be that heartless??? I am thinking of the many women I've talked with who ended up in their car because they had to make the choice to run in order to protect their children. What of them? Do you arrest the mama simply because she is sleeping in her car? take away her car and her children??? Who could write a law like that? Who could carry it out? As I googled I found there were a few churches whose paring lots were "safe zones". People were welcome to come to those churches and park in their parking lots without reprisal. I suppose that should sooth my feathers but my reaction is WHAT??? Can't we invite them in? But then again If I were homeless and a woman with children I would want to stay in the relative safety of my car. I would also much rather pick the place I parked... especially if I was being hunted.
We had options, We found a campground. I almost felt guilty taking that option but sometimes being conscientious objector just isn’t worth it. Wondering what we can do to make a difference.