As shelter-in-place orders began, I had recently become involved in the lives of several people in need of permanent shelter, as well as a newly emerging effort for addressing the needs of the unsheltered. It grows like a vine, based on the skills of those helping and the needs encountered. Members of the group have contacted politicians, officials, and outreach organizers, attended meetings, gathered information, brought information to encampments, organized food deliveries, pressed for hotel shelter, reached out to the public, and listened for individual needs. Our advocacy group includes people who have homes and people who do not; people with academic experience, others with career experience, with life experience and who just want to contribute however they can. I have learned so much. I want to encourage you and others to join us or do something similar in your area. Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to know more.
Ray called, “Cheryl, Cheryl, Come quick! Quick! Quick! –Here!” He said. And he dropped something into her hands. It was a newborn kitten.
“I almost dropped it,” Cheryl said. “He fit in the palm of my hand…”
Ray and Cheryl looked to see if there were more kittens, alive or dead, on or near the freeway above, but they couldn’t find any. She thought that her young pet, whom she named, “Freeway” seemed too clean to be a feral cat, and believed that a driver had abandoned him on the exit ramp. Cheryl describes being homeless as being similar to how she found Freeway:
“Someone just pulled over and threw him out the door. I heard him crying. His eyes weren’t even focused, hadn’t even changed color yet. Being homeless is like that. All the sudden you’re just here. You don’t know where you’re going to go. You’re not focused, you’re not centered. you’re not grounded. You don’t know who you are. You don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know who you’re going to run into; you don’t know what you’re going to run into. You just hope you can meet somebody you can trust.”