For people reading this blog entry that have not read my previous entries on the homeless, I encourage you to read Homeless Project Background. It will give you some background on my project. Briefly, I have made a commitment to give $20 each week to a homeless person and minimally ask their name and where they are from.
About a month ago, three events happened that I believe are making my goal of meeting the homeless a bit more difficult. According to the local paper in La Jolla, there was a town hall meeting where the local police and La Jollans gathered to talk about the homeless problem. I did not attend the meeting as I was not aware of it until the newspaper article. The gist of the article was some of the local La Jollans wanted the police to move the homeless out of their neighborhood. The usual reasons were cited. They are dangerous. They scare away tourists and shoppers. Etc…
The day after I read the article, I saw a man who worked at one of the local stores yelling at a homeless man. In no uncertain terms, he was screaming at the top of his lungs things like “Get out of here” and “I’ll call the police on you.” The homeless man was clearly intimidated and moving on. I wonder where he went.
A few days later, there was a manager of a local hole-in-the-wall restaurant talking with two police officers. As I walked by, the officers said the he would need to call the police more often when he saw the homeless loitering.
I have noticed in this past month that all the homeless who I have come to know are gone. It is a bit creepy for me. I am sure they are not all in shelters, though I am hoping that Ron from my previous posts is still in a shelter. I am sure they are not all in jail. They have just been moved from my neighborhood to someone else’s.
The $20 bills have been accumulating in my pocket. I am going to have to start searching other neighborhoods to continue my quest.