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Dear City of Chico

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Okay, I get it, we have a homeless problem. A pretty big one for such a cold place in the winter. And maybe I didn’t research my neighborhood carefully before moving into my apartment in a panic but it’s like a homeless hobo convention up in this bitch at the moment.

I live in a neighborhood that houses SEVERAL rehab centers, I didn’t realize that. County Mental health is a street over. We have a couple of different Vets assistance offices over here. The Blood Bank is across the street. I think Welfare is also down the street. And so is the DMV and you know what kind of people hang out at the DMV. I live right next door to a bike path that is poorly lit and also constantly vandalized, has the homeless and the druggies (no really I’ve seen the discarded crack pipes and syringes over there) hiding out in it during the winter months.

For some reason the city runs the homeless “undesirables” out of downtown around the holidays. It usually starts around Halloween for the trick or treat things they do down there for the kids. Then there’s the Christmas Preview and the other various things that go on around here for the holidays. I get it, we have a giant Christmas tree and kids everywhere and you probably don’t want to see these people all up in your holiday photos. For the moment all of the most famous homeless folks, including the Die Guy live on my block. It’s cool, I get it, rent is expensive, shit sucks, you feel the need to tell everyone to die when they walk by.  But I can’t say it makes the Man in my life feel very safe for me to be out doing my thing, walking back and forth etc.  He’s actually pretty freaked out about it, especially since one of the rehabs on our block seems to have installed a smoking section outside with lawn chairs and ashtrays. Especially since most of the people using this space aren’t clients of the rehab center, they’re just the other random boxes of crazy that stumble off our bike path.

Honestly I don’t mind where I live in town so much. It drives Ben absolutely nuts that I walk everywhere and basically give no fucks about what goes on around here. I think most of our hobos are harmless and I honestly worry more about college kids and my own neighbors than I do the guy having an disagreement with a lamp post or the one dude that seems to talk to cars. (What the fuck, I talk to things that can’t talk back to me all the time? That’s not that weird.) I just wonder if we’re doing anything to help the people who are truly BROKEN here instead of just shuffling them off to one area of town or another. Because some of these people are clearly unemployable and from what I’ve heard from my friends over at the Studio Inn Lounge, they basically just let them out of our local “looney bin,” with 50 bucks and the number to the Jesus Center when they pick them up. I realize this is a pretty common problem in the country, but it makes me sad, as I see it every single day when I’m heading to work.

 

p.s. I know I already blew National Blog Posting Month. Sue me.

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3 thoughts on “Dear City of Chico

  1. I was enamored with your impressions on what people should fear when walking in their neighborhood. A recent post of mine came to mind…

    I interviewed a homeless, proud new Grandpa, in Oroville several weeks ago.

    During my visit to Chico in mid October I had heard of several instances of violence towards homeless people.

    I said, “I heard there has been a lot of recent violence towards homeless people in Chico. What’s your thoughts on that?”

    He said, “People that get beat up out here are being asses and generally making fools of themselves. If you act like a human being you’ll be fine.”

    What a profound concept, acting like a human being. That is something I’m resolute and passionate about, simply being a good person. Be humble, treat people with respect and don’t be a fool.

    • I’m kind of a big nut when it comes to people who can’t do for themselves. I’d like to think that if I couldn’t do what I needed done someone would step in and at least be kind to me. I’ve never and never will treat anyone unable to help themselves like crap.

      That being said, it’s getting cold. We’re gonna need stuff in Nor Cal. Blankets and coats (clean ones) will become a premium as well has gloves and hats etc. I’m already committed to help Foster Kids this year but it doesn’t mean other people can’t start amassing the things these actual “broken” humans need.

      I realize we have the Jesus Center, and bless it to the ends of the Earth, it helps more people than just the displaced, but, yeah people are going to need stuff. I have a feeling it’s going to be a very very cold winter here.

      (this message brought to you by I’m a big giant liberal nut bag but I love all of God’s creatures. Even if society deems them “broken”)

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