First we met Alphonse – nope, I don’t recognize him. Then Jesse, nope, I don’t know him. Then Jim, hmm… I don’t think so.
I asked these three men, “what do you want or need from society, not like a hand out but a hand up?” Alphonse was quick to respond, “31 million dollars HA HA”; Jesse, a job and a place to clean up.” I said we’ve been discussing how we can bring out showers. They all thought that was expensive. I told them so what!
Tony and I started chatting with Jim some more. It turns out Jim is very talkative and knows many of these people. Soon Jim offered to take us to the homeless shelter and few other camps.
We walked down the creek to the next couple of camps. The first camp was empty, the next one had Kelly and Alicia.
Kelly & Alicia have a dog that was barking. A little dog looked like a wiener and Chihuahua mix. The dog and I got along quickly. Jim shared that I am looking for Randy. They did not know Randy. Jim asked me to ask them my question. Question? Oh yes, “what do you want or need from society, not like a hand out but a hand up?”
These two were touched that anyone would ask this question. Hmm, Kelly was thinking. Work – a job. Alicia liked the idea of a mobile shower.
One thing everyone shared – stop harassing them. Stop intimidating them. The police are intimidating the homeless. I would offer that the police are actually assaulting the homeless. Assault – look up the actual definition. You’ll be surprised. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/assault Don’t get me wrong –I love the police. I’ll back them in a heartbeat and I have. However, the tactics used on these people without recourse is unconscionable.
Jim, Tony and I are off to the balance of our adventure. We looked around the east ridge area. Then toward the homeless shelter on Little Orchard. We met several other people at the homeless shelter. Then off to the train tracks to meet “The Cowboy” also known as David. David knows Randy. He is behind the Burger King on Monterey. That camp was desconstructed earlier today. Everyone scattered.
We took a break at Burger King. We shared more with Jim about what little we knew about Randy’s whereabouts for the last few years. We described what little we know of the drug house on Senter. Jim knows exactly where we were talking about.
Off we drove to the drug house. This time I asked Tony to stay in the car. This place had people who you don’t dare turn your back on. They were all saying, “Randy who?” Jim shared details I did not know about Randy and then they knew who we wanted.
Back to the Safeway & Walgreens on Capital – he was supposedly living near a dumpster there. Jim was amazing – he asked a couple of people behind Safeway about Randy. Nothing!
Then – boom. We saw one more person. Jim approached him and learned of the garbage corral by Jamba juice.
There was a camp looking place behind that dumpster. It did not look good, looked like someone had taken down that camp too.
Well – Jim looked in the garbage corral. Jim asked, “Leo, do you know where Randy is?”
I looked over the corral wall. There was my brother, Randy.
Well, happy ending?
We won’t know for a while. Randy was shocked to see us, maybe embarrassed, maybe afraid – but clearly not ready to be seen.
Randy is having some health issues. His back is in pain, his leg hurts and he was wincing to move. He has been laid up for a while and Leo has been helping him.