A Cook Stove
A Cook Stove
A Warm Coat
Sunglasses—Ray Bans, please
Hoodies and warm clothing
Any comfort and care items to make it homey and change the pace
A place to go to the bathroom (Porto-potties?)
Biohazard-disposal containers for women’s sanitary items
Charity begins at home. Sometimes Trump seems to be saying just that. Perhaps freedom from hunger is the freedom we all need. When our people are starving, roving the streets looking for shelter, chronically unemployed, then it is at last time for a movement. It’s what prompted the revolutions of the 19th century and it’s what drove the 1960s Civil Rights activism. We are no more impervious to ills of imposed poverty than to the desire to feed and shelter our families. The people have spoken, and beneath the rhetoric of hate, misogyny and bigotry, are the very real concerns of people who have witnessed a steady decline in resources, opportunities and wages, as well as the intangibles: loss of pride, purpose and dignity. Unlike the bulk of Trump’s electorate, I don’t draw the boundary along a color line. I see that in San Francisco, the disenfranchised, displaced and working poor are blacks, averaging salaries of $24,000 a year. These communities, long-time residents of this thriving metropolis, are in need of jobs, resources, supermarkets and hope. Maybe we will see change.
That said, this is not the time to go to sleep. We need to remain watchful, vigilant and engaged. Trump’s policies need to provide for all of us, not just White Americans, who are feeling the pain that historically, only Native Americans, African Americans and Latino Americans and countless other minority groups have experienced. It’s the same pain. The pain is momentarily evenly distributed among those of the working class and working poor: groups, which are increasingly indistinguishable from one another. Let us look upon the lessons of history and see that we are our brother’s keeper. We’re in it together. Four years, or less: Who knows? But if we get more jobs, better paying jobs, I’m okay with prosperity.
In the meantime, let’s practice agape, friends. I’m talking about love. Kindness is contagious.
A shower so he can use the sleeping bag he just got
Community gardens with fresh food
There’s a lot of unhappiness even among the wealthy. It seems that money cannot buy everything, and what it can buy is not always available. Take, for an example, the numerous Google employees purported to be living in their cars. I’ve known about poor students doing it, and the community of full-time campers near my home, but they’re under employed. This is something different. Presumably, these Google homeless are the lucky ones; they can shower and eat at work and are probably not harassed by the police. Still, it’s hard to ignore that one of best-known tech companies on the planet has homeless employees. You gotta wonder about how the people who are chronically under-employed and have no regular income are surviving.
Sadly, this is not new. We are in a cycle, repeating a dismal fate. The Hoovervilles of the 1930s also had explosive mass migration and homelessness. But, we’ve forgotten them, or have failed to teach these lessons to our children. We think we are immune to history, even our own. Hoovervilles are created when wealth is consolidated in the hands of few. Will the government step in to correct the disparities? They can start with raising the minimum wage and taxing the wealthy. After all, people like Trump should pay their share. If not, only some of us pay of the price of inequality: it’s due every April 15th.
We could all use jobs. We all want healthcare. We all want a home to rest our bodies through the night and at the end of the day; preferably that home is dry, clean and heated with good, old-fashioned fossil fuels. The challenge to do so, for all of us, regardless of race, is tasked to our new president, a man promising to make this a great nation, again. This is a familiar moment from a historical standpoint: the mass migration of hundreds of thousands of people, looking for refuge, opportunity and peace is the same one that has driven previous generation to enact change, from the bottom up. We forget, that the people who rule our nation are the 1%, the most elite among us. We are the many.