Soup Delivery Parking Update
Spices For SwiftHaven
Wash Y’er Paws!
Radio Free Fl!p: End Of Another Year
SOUP DELIVERY PARKING UPDATE
(for next 8 days through holidays):
🌿Drivers of Soup Brigade:
Please park off of Lottie between library and courthouse on Grand Ave.
🌿Camp is having garbage trucks come today, and some clean up done, plus health Department sends lab workers to behind city hall. Give them all extra space.
🌿If Lottie Street is crowded with folks by the Food Tent then wait till it clears, or better yet, signal for a volunteer to help you unload from your car.
🌿If it’s your first time doing a delivery , consider asking an experienced neighbor to come with you.
I had an interesting exchange this morning with a grandmother about her 5-year-old granddaughter who learned about the City Hall encampment and wanted to go by and see for herself. So her grandma drove her by. The child was very concerned about the messy conditions and wanted to do something about homelessness when she grows up. Here is an edited version of my own side of that conversation:
You might talk with your granddaughter about this aspect: When people are treated as if their lives don’t matter, everywhere they turn, for a long time, some of them may loose track of the fact that their lives DO matter. And some of them may wind up having trouble treating themselves and those around them with respect.
(I wouldn’t tell a young child this, but I would talk about it with you grownups: add to that, folks are right on the edge. Some of them haven’t been inside a building for months in all this wind and rain. They can’t get dry and they can’t get warm. They have no energy. The person in the next tent can get pretty annoying when you can’t get warm and you can’t get dry and you can’t see an end to it. Some campers are sick, not with Covid, but with pneumonia or cancer or diabetes that’s poorly controlled or so many other things. They just don’t have energy to clean up after themselves. I don’t think a young child needs to, or should, know about that part – about just how harshly the world is treating them. Some campers have been released from the hospital with nowhere to go except the courthouse lawn.
In terms of the mess, it is hard to hire workers to go among the campers for fear of Covid, even though campers are being tested often and test results are pretty good. Folks who test positive get to go stay at the quarantine hotel where it’s dry and warm.
It can be hard to sort out trash from important personal belongings that help people survive. Who decides? Where is the owner’s dignity in it all? If grownups swoop in on a little girl’s bedroom and decide which of her toys to keep, she might feel disrespected herself.
I really don’t think a five year old should be told the harsh details! But she could still write to the officials herself. Taking action will leave her feeling less helpless. She doesn’t have to wait till she grows up. I’d love to see a children’s campaign, complete with their own ideas of what actions we could take. Maybe the children can come up with ideas we grownups haven’t thought of. And perhaps parents and grandparents can help children adopt a warm tone towards the officials too. They aren’t Bad Guys! They’re stuck.
City Hall’s street address is 210 Lottie Street, 98225.
The Whatcom County Courthouse address is 311 Grand Avenue, 98225
Folks who have lost their homes have nowhere to store things. And often no way to dry things out if they get wet. So clothing (or anything else) donated should be things that remain useful when wet. Coats, parkas, heavy wool sweaters, fleece, ski wear, caps and hats, thick wool socks, ski gloves and wool mittens. Outer layers that stop wind. Yoga Mats and other waterproof ground insulation. Cotton does not stay warm when wet. Neither do most thin or non-wool socks.
There isn’t secure storage yet at the City Hall 210 encampment and donations sometimes go astray instead of going to those who need them most. So for now, please hold your donations and tomorrow I will try to set up a spreadsheet so you can say what you’ve got and how you could be contacted. Perhaps a volunteer would be willing to take charge of a Google Doc or some other shareable tool? And let people tell them what folks have to donate, without anyone actually having to move stuff around till we can figure out who can really use it. Please let me know if you might be willing to volunteer to do this, or at least set it up.
HomesNOW.org is a great place to donate money. They’ve got a 501c3 non-profit designation so your donations are tax deductable. It’s still OK to give me money if you want to. I am buying ingredients (when the volunteers who shop for me permit me to reimburse them), containers, and stuff like, last night I ordered 30 mylar emergency blankets for distribution. I got 4 tents just like the only ones at the encampment that Heather says haven’t blown over in the winds. I respond to what seems most urgent in the moment. I’m not an expert. Sometimes I make mistakes. I’m just your neighbor.
The tiny houses are scheduled to arrive tomorrow!!! There’s been a crew working all week, and volunteers are bringing them meals until they get everything up and running, after which they hope to be self-sufficient. We might still drop off a meal or two a week just out of love… A neighbor is delivering a propane BBQ grill tomorrow and residents are looking forward to not only cooking on it, but at finally having a source of heat to gather around, since their contract with the city does not permit fires anywhere on site. I bet they could still use more patio and camp chairs. Tomorrow may be too busy with the houses showing up for them to accept anything else except the grill. By tomorrow there should be about 14 volunteers working on site.
SPICES FOR SWIFTHAVEN
If you will be at the Grocery Outlet or Dollar Store in the next couple days, check with me (Fl!p) about picking up some big bulk containers of spices to outfit the new kitchen. I’d rather you check with me so we don’t get all one thing and nothing of others. I’ve been hearing from future residents about spices they’d love to have. I would like to give them control over what they eat.
We’ve got almost a dozen great big soup pots here. We’ve got noodles, rice, lentils, onions (always), bacon, soup bases, grated cheese, eggs, two cases of canned chopped tomatoes, canned tuna, canned & dried fruit for dessert baking, and more. And we have containers with lids, dinner boxes, and bakery sacks for delivery. You can sign up to take meals for 50 (go round up some friends to help) or snacks for 20. Go to the MealTrain to sign up:
I found a single key on the sidewalk on the 2400 block of Spruce street this afternoon while out for a walk. I was concerned it might be a house key and didn’t want to leave it behind. To ensure it is returned to the right person, it would help if the person the key belongs to could provide a description of it. Thanks, ~ Sharon Avolio. email@example.com
I am looking for a referral to a plumber to unclog some slow moving drains. Please let me know if you have one you would recommend. ~ Elsa Caron 360-650-0400
WASH Y’ER PAWS!
Handwashing with soap & water is still the preferred method for reducing the risk of passing Covid-19. Still Water Gifts is a local small business that creates plant-based bath products that can keep you clean and sweet-smelling! This local business that has donated literally thousands of pounds of hand soap to food banks and communities that are in need. Supporting this local business as this time would be great!
www.stillwatergifts.com or call Sandie for local pick up options. 360-318-6268
RADIO FREE FL!P: END OF ANOTHER YEAR
Written by Bob Zentz. I was asked to record this song for my beloved Guitar Camp community. We usually sing it together at our New Years Retreat. Zeke and I sing it for you too!
Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 2518 Cherry Street firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love it if you’d add my phone to your contacts, so if I need to call you’ll know it’s me; and if you’d share your own number with me, in case I need to reach you.
If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.