Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sallies Out

It's foggy and a light mist is falling, just as it was when I returned home at 9:30 last night. It's 53 degrees out, and I wore my light-weight rain coat out when I was walking this morning - not that I was cold, but because I wanted to stay a little bit dry. The kits are running in and out, chasing each other, and they are damp from the mist. Other than walking to the recycle bins, the laundry room, and out onto the patio, I plan on staying inside for the rest of the day - just to avoid people. Rosie and Remy were very happy to see me last night, so we took a short walk, and then I read to them. Since tomorrow is Memorial Day and the race, I won't see them, and then I have an appointment with Dr. Shapiro at 10 on Tuesday, so I'll walk them after I've seen Jed. But I have begged a ride with Kathy and Jim back to their neighborhood after the race, so I don't have to pack up and travel by bus over to Brandi's. I'll be back here every afternoon to blog, check e-mail, and love my kits.
With all of the tornadic destruction, and the flooding of the lower Mississippi River, it seems as though other places are being over-looked. How many of you know about the flooding of the reservations in Montana and the Dakotas? Multiple Indian reservations are under water, and have been under water for some time now. But the Native Americans don't get the publicity that everyone else does.... I mean, doesn't losing everything you own, as well as your farming and ranching income, because of flooding on the reservation, where the government says you must live, compare with the folks who are losing everything due to the flooding along the lower Mississippi and the tornadoes in Joplin, Tuscaloosa, Oklahoma and the midwest? Uh-oh. I'm getting angry. I'd better let that topic drop....
And another topic for a Sunday - the homeless and mental illness. There is a big brouhaha going on in Boulder at this point in time, because The Carriage House, a non-profit group that provides aid and assistance to the homeless wants to expand to a larger building. The building in question is on Broadway, between Arapahoe and Canyon, and the back of the building is separated from Central Park by Boulder Creek. One block west is the public library, and the several parks that form the backdrop of the Boulder Creek Festival, from 4th Street up to 13th. The current location of The Carriage House is four blocks to the north, on the west side of Broadway. The Carriage House gives the homeless a place to stay during the daytime hours, and offers a free lunch, counseling and aid. The Homeless Shelter is another 30 blocks north on Broadway, and is closed to the homeless during daylight hours. The homeless tend to congregate in the public library and Central Park when the Shelter is closed. The groups of men and women do, sometimes, appear threatening to me, so I can only imagine what others might think or feel. -
Now, at one point in time, Jeff and I had our condo repossessed, and we lived out of our Dodge Caravan - luckily, we had access to showers where I worked (we had a gym) and we slept in the vehicle. That's as close as I've been to being homeless. - I travel on the bus a great deal, and the folks who stay at the Homeless Shelter and I tend to travel on the same busses. I know that a lot of the people are down on their luck and are doing their best to find a job, make a decent living, and get a place of their own to live in. Then there are the other folks, who travel from city to city, and they discuss where you can get the best hand-outs, best sleeping arrangements, best food, etc. from St. Louis over to Seattle and San Francisco. (The folks from the Homeless Shelter call me "the dog lady", because they always see me on my way to or from walking dogs.) The big to-do is that people in Boulder believe that the homeless population consists mainly of sex offenders and homicidal maniacs. Studies at the Homeless Shelter and the Carriage House have shown that less than 1% of the homeless are known sex offenders, and none are "homocidal maniacs." Business-men (and -women) in the downtown area want the Carriage House moved away from the parks, Broadway, the Pearl Street Mall, and other tourist destinations. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it - I can see the business-folks point of view (no one who owns a business wants groups of smelly, un-kempt panhandlers around), nor do most of the sincerely job-seeking homeless do that. But then there are the professional moochers - and they have staked out their "personal" corners on which to pan-handle, and they will beat the stuffing out of anyone else who dares to try to get money on "their" spot. But I really felt bad for the real homeless, those seeking jobs, counseling, etc. earlier this week. A 9-year-old girl was walking to school and someone tried to grab her and pull her into a passing car. A description was obtained of the man, and he was turned in to police by the director of The Carriage House. The Carriage House works with local law enforcement, and they have taken a huge body-blow by admitting that it was one of their "members" who tried to abduct a young girl.... But does one wormy apple mean all apples are rotten? I don't think so....

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