It's eviction day for the Sacramento tent city residents

Tent City Residents Issued Moving Papers


I've been meaning to post about the California tent cities and just read this article in the LA times from 3/18/09:  Ontario residents only' at Tent City

I commend Ontario for at least making space available for displaced residents.  You can't just expect one town take in all of the Southern California homeless.

But, to not allow dogs and to tow away peoples' motorhomes is really uncalled for. 

I have a dog, there's NO way I'd give up my dog.

In a "civilized" country you'd have a long list of options for these people.  Options that allow people to live and work WITH their dogs and kids.   Quite a few should probably be in rehab or some kind of support group to get / stay off drugs.

$12 trillion in bailout money went to banks, insurance companies and "undisclosed" corporations and the people got NOTHING.

Here's the article on the Sacramento tent city eviction notice:  

Tent-City Residents Issued Moving Papers  

Rob Dew and Debra Hamilton
April 14, 2009 

Sacramento Police were busy today passing out decrees to the citizens of tent city telling them to move out by April 15th.

“Any items not removed will be considered abandoned and disposed of accordingly.” stated the one page document. “Move to Shelter by: 4-15-09 WED” was hand written at the bottom of the page.

What alternatives for shelter do the Tent Citizens have? The Cal-Expo shelter touted as a solution on several local news reports has been full for some time and has a waiting list.

That will leave many of over 500 residents without a solution. Most tent-city residents have too many possessions to store at the bus depot storage lockers.

Motorhome Dave a nine month resident was selling off some of his possessions in a yard sale in order to rent a storage unit. He thinks the mayor and governor are just trying to mitigate the public relations nightmare that Oprah caused.

Another resident, Bill who has unsuccessfully tried to get transitional housing will try his luck across the river, which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation and could result in $100 illegal camping ticket. As of now the City of Sacramento has given a large population of homeless two days to find a home.

Tent city

Tent city

Photos: Debra Hamilton

I remember the days when I had to move every two weeks, back in the 90s. 

I had rented out my house so that I could make the $2,200 mortgage payment and I had a Thousand Trails / NACO camping membership.

It's tough packing up everything by yourself. I had a minivan and often barely fit everything.   My commute to work was 50 miles or more, but I worked graveyard shift, so at least I didn't have to deal with the San Francisco rush hour traffic.

Even back then there were so many people in the campgrounds because they couldn't afford a house.  Entire families.  I wasn't the only one moving every 2 weeks back and forth from the campgrounds closest to San Francisco.  Morgan Hill, San Benito, Santa Rosa ...

I loved sleeping in my tent and still do. 

Thing is, it's illegal in Mohave County, AZ, to sleep in your tent or camper on the property you own.   I'd have to set up my tent about 1000 ft from my place on BLM land, then I'm legal.  But that's another story about government out of control to be told another day ...

I met many interesting people back in the days of tent camping at Thousand Trails / NACO.  People with $200,000 motor coaches and people just struggling to get by. 

After I sold my house and got my truck camper, I once drove through the area near 3rd Street in San Francisco where camping was legal.   It scared me, I was afraid to stop.

I found a place in a decent looking neighborhood next to some sports field.  I was only in San Francisco for a short visit, so it was ok to find a different spot every night.  No lights and no noise - if they don't know you're inside, they obviously won't ticket you.  I rarely broke my self imposed rule to never park more than 24 hours in residential areas.

Walmart parking lots were high on the list of many travelers for free camping, but in Kingman the city passed an ordinance prohibiting overnight parking at Walmart.   My favorite places were far away from any people, in the desert or in the bush.

Camping is great when you have CASH and you're just out there for FUN.

Back in 2001 I picked up a couple hitchhiking to Vegas.  

They got a rent-to-own deal for a 1 acre lot and I think they paid $100/month. 

I posted their story and a pic

They had NO car!  He had serious medical problems, this was NOT the place for them.  But they liked it there and I brought them water and stuff and helped them out.

I ran out of time and money with all the litigation and didn't visit for a while and one day they were gone.  The lot was empty and looked like they'd never been there.  I suspect that the county got on their case because they didn't have a septic system.  No camping on YOUR property. 

I don't know what I can do for the millions of people losing their jobs and homes other than to encourage everybody to prepare and get out of the cities BEFORE you're totally broke and have your vehicle impounded.

And of course I'd be glad to help people who want to live out here in the desert.  For most people it's too "desert", but I just had Canadian couple visit and they like it and want to buy property here for retirement.  All kinds of people live her and love it.

All over America are rural areas with cheap property - pick you climate and move.

It's tough to make money in rural areas, but mechanics, contractors, handymen, etc. certainly can get by if they do good work.