Un-housed are members of Community

Un-housed sleeping quiet

I support the Health and Safety of community and the need and right of un-housed to live in vehicles. Un-housed are mix of financially unfortunate and those with personal and substance abuse problems. Many of the un-housed are vets from Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Vets from Vietnam averaged ten years before becoming un-housed, Now with Afghanistan it is one year to become un-housed. There are more young un-housed and even children.

I have lived in Palo Alto since 1957. I was un-housed using public streets, parking lots, and church lots to sleep in my vehicle for 13 years. With out the freedom to live in public domain when I had no other place to go with out being harassed and criminalized being arrested for sleeping in only shelter I had. This use of public areas allowed me to life, liberty, protect my property, and pursue happiness.

I was responsible and considerate of community and created work for myself and other un-housed which gave them income and served needs in community. I housed other un-housed in my vehicles that worked with me. I supported my god daughter to improve her life. I could not have done these things with out the freedom to use the public domain.

Un-housed are members of community and living in fear for being criminalized for living. There is many organizations that help un-housed to integrate them into community. Those that break laws threatening community health and safety can be reported and will be sited or arrested. Police will respond to complaints and direct un-housed to appropriate places to park. There are laws to protect community and I do not feel a new law restricting use of public domain are not needed or desirable.

5 Replies to “Un-housed are members of Community”

  1. Dear Kitci,

    My high school and junior high school classmate (Gunn, Class of 1967); you have written a moving and on the mark defense of our un-housed brothers and sisters. Your article raises critical concerns re the additional issues that would be faced by the un-housed—should they be forced out of their vehicles and back on to the streets. The credibility and emotion that your piece evokes is clearly enhanced by your own life experiences. Thanks so much for your willingness to share so many details of your life and for your ongoing assistance of so many others.

    1. As reported in the Weekly:

      It’s incomprehensible that council member and attorney Larry Klein would say that it would be a “waste of council’s time or public’s time for any meaningful discussion’….. on this matter.

      It seizes to amaze me that not only does he and other city council members want to “Chill Our” First Amendment rights but he and others would like to invalidate the constitutional provisions of “Redress Grievances” and do away with oral communications altogether. These are treasonous pronouncements.

      “Around Town”

      FOUR-WHEEL HOMES … Palo Alto’s plan to ban living in vehicles was put on hold this week, after a chorus of protests from homeless residents and advocates.

      But the council’s decision to delay the discussion until September didn’t stop about 15 people from addressing the City Council on the topic. Given that item’s postponement, the council took the rare step of voting to give each speaker only one minute to say his or her piece (speakers typically get three minutes).

      Councilman Larry Klein said that because the issue will be discussed in detail by the council’s Policy and Services Committee at a future date, it would be a “waste of council’s time or public’s time for any meaningful discussion to be had on the merits or demerits of the problem” at Monday’s meeting.

      Most speakers used their minute to thank the council for delaying its decision. In the meantime, concerned residents and homeless advocates plan to hold meetings and come up with an alternative plan.

  2. At last Monday’s City Council meeting, it was a bit confusing to have to cut one’s remarks from three minutes to one minute on very little notice. I regret that my remarks were rushed and more garbled than they would otherwise been.

    I was quite moved by two of the other speakers: a woman who told of her fears of shelters and other alternatives and how the only way she could feel secure at night was in her car with the four doors locked. I don’t know how anyone could have listened to her and hot felt sympathy for her situation.

    Then there was the young man who said that when he left a party and found he was not in good shape to drive, he curled up in his front seat and napped until he felt able to drive. What could be more public spirited than that? Would that all of us were such public-spirited citizens! Do any of us want to live in a City where it is illegal to be such a safety-minded, responsible citizen? Or where a woman can’t have the security of her locked car at night?

    1. Chuck,

      Thank you for your comments. However, the action of city council to reduce your voice to one minute was no mistake. It was a cold methodical and calculated move to “Chill” yours and others redress of grievances. The city of Palo Alto does indeed have a long and depraved history in this regard.

  3. Well, we will just have to make it our business to speak up anyway. And announce it loud and clear when our speech is limited. For as Ghandi said–You may not be able to prevent evil, but what you must never do is allow evil happen without calling it by its name.

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