Skid Row Sleepover

I have an agenda for tonight. So of course nothing went as planned.

Its  1 o’clock in the morning and I finally sat down in the covered cot provided to me for tonight.

Things in my personal life have changed drastically since I worked here. I needed some clarity. To be humbled and made thankful for what I have. I needed to lose my fear of losing everything and find ways to bring something ro folks who have nothing.

Instead … I found a nice church man from Burbank (the city where I work) and a boisterous man named “Sugar Bear” and a local activist who previously was a client of The Union Rescue Mission. I also found the good Rev. Bales.

I learned a perspective I’d been blinded to ; that it isnt the tenants of the Nickle who want tents and carts ro be on the street as much as the gangs and dealers need the cover of a tent/blanket/cart to sell their drugs and run business away from the prying eyes of the police. … I will have to think of this some more.

My head is 4 inches from a urine stained sidewalk so drenched in human soil that it is wafting to me hours after the last person could have relieved themselves here.  8 feet away an elderly lady is asleep in a wheelchair and huddle of blanket with a puddle of vomit at her feet.

I have moved my Gigi Hill bag under my head as a pillow and am wondering jow Darla is doing in her bed and if anyone is sleeping in my bed tonight.

We were talking earlier of the lack of family shelters. Sone agencies thought a Welfare check could pay for rent abd so if missions took in gamilues : were they misusing the $600 a monthbin cash aid?  These people want to house folks for 2 tears and mentor them into being well housed. I have had thise families as clients and seen the relax belligerence erode at month 22 when they realize how quickly their housing will revert to homelessness.

Skid row is the last home of boom boxes and bicycling.

There are fighters who live here and everyone just dying at different rates.
And I saw a miuse the size of a chipmunk.

When it doesn’t smell like pee it is because pot is overpowering my nose.

Instead of being a carthesis for me , this is reminding me that my push at work is one of the few things keeping families at my desk out of this area.

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2 thoughts on “Skid Row Sleepover

  1. I’ve always maintained that anyone who wants to work with the population of skid Row (in a paid position) ought be required upon application to genuinely live amongst them for at least a week (maybe even a month). Upon application for these positions the applicant ought be stripped of everything but the clothes on their back and be disallowed any access to any resources they brought with them. We’d end up with much better social workers and case managers that way.

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