IDES OF JANUARY
Alert: Lost Keys
Some Personal History
Radio Free Fl!p: Wolf’s Lullaby
Going to bed early tonight…
ALERT: LOST KEYS
Somewhere on a walk around 4 pm from W North to Elizabeth to Madison to Wiliams and back to North. Honda key fob and a bunch of other keys. Phone 360-306-1401 ~ Jodi Pilkey
I still have pots, ingredients, containers and advice. I would love to assist you to cook hot food for our neighbors who have lost their homes.
SOME PERSONAL HISTORY
I wrote this just a year ago. I was just beginning to face the issue of homelessness here in Bellingham. This was before COVID, when there were more emergency shelters, staffed mostly by elder volunteers. We went out as the storm was coming in and the snow was just beginning to fall. I don’t think I will ever forget that night. I learned to take hot soup for folks as they were just leaving the warmth of the library and seeking a doorway’s shelter for the night. And now the library is closed. The emergency shelters are almost all closed. There are over 100 people without shelter camped on the City Hall lawn. And snow is predicted again, in about a week. I am heartbroken.
Here is what I wrote to some other friends last year on this day:
I spent Sunday afternoon and evening out with a volunteer learning how to find homeless folks and warn them of the coming storm and let them know both the City and County were opening emergency shelters. And we handed out lots of coats, hats, gloves, socks, hand-warmers, blankets & food. I was pretty horrified to find out first hand that almost none of the homeless folks I talked with had heard a storm was coming! What good does it do to open shelters if there is no mechanism for getting the word out to the people who need them? No phones, no TV, newspapers, and clearly no one is talking with them, even when they hand over money. Wah!
I learned a lot. It was clear that my mentor, a woman a little younger than me who has been doing this work for years, is so concerned about individuals without shelter that she has little slack for how scary they can be. Enough to be careful and avoid some of them, but not enough to stop her from approaching individuals and groups. There was a young man who was pretty clearly disconnected from the world, voices in his head etc. She moved in as Mama and got him into a coat, gloves, hat, scarf etc, and got him turned around and headed directly towards the shelter pickup point. He seemed much calmer and more connected by the end of our visit. It was lovely.
She did tell me that she almost never takes anyone into her car. Once in a while a disabled elderly woman who is familiar to her. We were seeking those elders yesterday. My mentor knew a lot of the hidden places homeless folks habitually take refuge in, and what time they are likely to arrive. I printed off lists of shelters, pick up points, and times, and handed them out along with clothing. My mentor was very glad to have me with her. Two women together are much safer than one. Her SUV is completely stuffed with supplies, but she could use lots and lots more supplies.
I was pretty horrified that almost all of the people we spoke with avoided and were scared of the Lighthouse Mission, had awful stories, and thought they would freeze before they would go there. It was a relief to be able to tell them about other shelters. (This was a year ago when there were other shelters.) We tried to let them know they have a human right to be safe and have a place to rest; that it is not their fault they are without shelter.
WARM GLOVES and thick mittens, new socks, warm hats, and taxi rides to shelters…. dry sleeping bags with water proof cover or at least a huge contractor-weight garbage bag to curl up inside with bedding to try to stay dry. …These are all desperately needed. Ten minutes waiting or walking in cold with no gloves is painful. Not “clothes in general’ because people on street don’t have closets or storage to keep things dry. Protein bars, beef sticks & jerky, easily pocketed, wrapped food, and hand warmers. Money to help volunteers get more of what’s needed. Deliver to Unity Village in Fairhaven at 206 McKenzie Ave in a waterproof container. We are also accepting donations at our house if you live nearby and know where we live. Check before you bring things to make sure we can use them. We have limited space at home. Thank you! Love/Fl!p
RADIO FREE Fl!P: WOLF’S LULLABY
Cindy Kallet. Sometimes there are no words. Thank you Cindy. I am trying to go to bed early. In my warm house. How can I?
Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 2518 Cherry Street email@example.com
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