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Full Version: So, not all cities are chasing away vehicle dwellers
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I found a listing at, with positive reviews, for the parking lot at the community center in Arcata, California. I was skeptical. Like nearly every other coastal town, I expected it to be hostile to anyone trying to stay the night without paying high prices for lodgings or campgrounds. So I figured this parking lot would be one of those places you spend all night anticipating The Knock.

But no. The community center is closed down for the duration of the pandemic, but even before that it was cool to stay there. There were about a dozen rigs last night, well scattered around the large lot. About half the people appear to be travelers, like myself, and the rest appear to be living there long term. This morning police came by and talked with some of the latter — to see if they were okay, not to chase them off. In the afternoon, a woman from some charitable organization came around asking if I needed any food.

Since it’s high tourist season, campgrounds and RV parks are full all along the coast. Plus people out of work and out of shelter because of the pandemic are filling up dispersed camping areas. So it’s great to have a free, uncrowded, clean and legal place to stop.
thank you for the report. great news. highdesertranger
Nice. I might want to go visit the area one of these days and now I know where to stay overnight, if I do that.
It’s the right thing for communities to do, giving particularly vehicle dwellers a sanctioned spot to spend the night, and avoids the problems that come from vehicle dwellers setting up in commercial or residential areas.

Friendly, helpful, non-threatening contact with law enforcement and social services is a good way to assess and meet needs of all sorts.

There was a ruling this past year from somewhere on the west coast, I believe, that prevents the ousting of the homeless from their chosen parking spots if there are not adequate shelter beds to meet local needs.

From my perspective, lots set aside in communities for the homeless in vehicles should be avoided by those who can afford to be elsewhere.

It just seems appropriate, in my opinion.
The ruling by the 9th district which the Supreme court let stand is Martin vs Boise.

Probably one of the best judgements to come down in a long time!

Where I live we don't have shelters for anyone other than domestic violence victims.

The people here are selfish and privileged.  I would invite ALL of the homeless to come here and sleep in the public and then sue the community into bankruptcy for violating their rights.

They won't provide shelter here. No one here wants it. Instead they give the homeless a sack lunch and a bus ticket to Spokane.

Of course to us.. who plan to or do live in a vehicle do NOT consider ourselves homeless... but the communities DO.

I don't want to go to Spokane..but I will take a tank of gas and a sack lunch instead and mosey on out.
To me, "homeless" implies an individual's lack of choice in which govt/advocates intervene. The term "houseless" is just as important to advocate for. Those who choose to be houseless i would think are NOT needing/wanting govt intervention to get them into S&B, nor are needing taxpayer dollars. But we still need to advocate for the right to choose to be "houseless" and wander freely.
Oh yea.. the Northwest with another win for those with little to no option for stix and brix..
It’s such a complicated issue.

The truth is, many who are chronically homeless choose that lifestyle for a variety of reasons, even when other alternatives are available and offered.

Masses of people sleeping in parks, doorways etc., is not sustainable for the long term, nor are masses of vehicle dwellers on city streets, in parks, on federal land, etc.

I don’t know what the answer is, and I’m not judging, I’m being realistic.
(08-11-2020, 01:45 PM)WanderingRose Wrote: [ -> ]I don’t know what the answer is...
Deconstruction of the status quo.