Saturday, August 15, 2009

A night in Safe Ground camp

I spent last night in the non-legal Safe Ground camp in one of its undisclosed locations.

Certainly, I was interested in what it is like, and for that reason I wanted to stay there [and to report about my experience in this blog]. But, also, getting shelter space is tight: I had to stay out from the mission on Thursday night and had trouble getting any sleep downtown.

So, a very sleepy Tom Armstrong showed up at the secluded site last night at about 6:15pm. My friend who suggested it would be OK for me to appear was sound asleep, so it was kind of weird on my part, I thought, for me to show up as I did. But I was immediately treated kindly, offered good hot food and a sleeping space.

There were, maybe, just ten of us there last night. Others who are regularly with the main core of campers had splintered off for the night, going to a cite in Placer county for an event that was planned.

I don't want to say too much, since I don't want to 'give away' anything I shouldn't, but the cite last night was nice and quiet and I got a great night's sleep, which I needed. There were two women there, the rest men. One of the men had a tent; the rest of us slept in bags or under blankets.

We, the folks in the encampment, didn't bother anyone. There was no fighting, no boistrousness, no substance nor alcohol use. After the night's rest, we picked up all our things and left the space very much the pristine spot that it had been.

I am hopeful that the city and county authorities, and the police, will allow the Safe Ground camp to continue with its promising program of a non-partying homeless encampment.

Good folks in the burgeoning homeless population need places just 'to be.'

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