Today, I diverted from my regular course of planned chores to economize on gas/energy, to make an unplanned trip to check my P.O. Box--it's Saturday, so the traffic was light and there were many available parking spaces. On my way into the post office, I passed an elderly couple holding a sign reading "Homeless, Please Help!" The woman was stooped and looked worn out and stressed and the man was bundled up in a wheelchair as it's still very unseasonably cold here in the North Bay.
I am unusually skilled at sniffing out BS and very experienced in homeless people and sometimes there are scams. I lived in San Francisco for two years where one can't walk 10-20 feet without being hit up, but these two elders were in Vacaville--where the homeless population is escalating and not the "traditional" population.
I gave the couple all the cash I had in my purse, which wasn't much, (only about $5) and, more importantly, I chatted with them. They are staying in a very shabby hotel that charges by the week and asks no questions. Although down on their luck, the woman told me that they are inviting another couple to stay in the other bed in their room--she is 70 and he is 71! The woman also told me they just had to hang on until the 1st when they were going to be put into a studio apartment so I went to buy them some food and I got $20 more for them to be able to stay one more night in the flea-bag roach motel for one more week. I am not wealthy, or even in that neighborhood, but I have a roof over my head and plenty of family and friends around so I will never have to worry about that horror and I can't get this sad story out of my head.
I am choking up just to think about the four homeless Elders in my community and they are only four that I heard about today. What kind of society do we live in when our Elders are being put out to pasture, but not a nice, warm, pastoral setting in a land of milk and honey; but a cold, hungry, hardhearted world of cold shoulder and cruelty. Mr. and Mrs. Homeless Senior Citizen were not lazy, drug addicted parasites--they simply fell through the widening cracks of societal greed and institutional violence where money for bombs is plentiful, but for people's needs is drying up.
Here in my state, California, where the above passion play occurred, the Governor, Jerry Brown (D) is balancing a 26 billion dollar budget shortfall (caused by the 15 billion a year sucked out of California by the Feds's war of terror against the world), by cutting 13 billion in funding for essential services to seniors, students, the disabled, and already poor families. Jerry Brown calls them the "vulnerable."
Peace of the Action and Bay Area CODEPINK are organizing a march (endorsed by over 35 groups and individuals) from San Francisco (starting on May Day) and ending up in Sacramento on May 9th to protest the fact that the 660,000 millionaire households in California are not being asked to bear the burden of the downturn of this economy due to war profiteering and other globalization of greed.
We are planning on constructing a tent city on the grounds of the State Capitol to highlight that even Democrats need to be protested when they protect corporate interests and the war machine at the expense of others.
Please click on Strike California above for more information--we hope you can join us in this march/strike, but if you can't, could you please donate $13 for Peace and Justice. Thirteen is our lucky number to raise grassroots support to defend against this class war being waged on us by Democrat and Republican alike. Please click on this link to make a tax deductible donation of $13, or whatever you can afford to help us meet our expenses!
LOVE, PEACE AND SOLIDARITY
PS: NO NEW SOAPBOX THIS SUNDAY DUE TO THE HOLIDAY--HAPPY HOLIDAY, OR SUNDAY, OR WHATEVER!
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P.O. Box 6264, Vacaville, Ca 95696
Phone: 707-359-4085, Email: Cindy@CindySheehansSoapbox.com, Web: www.CindySheehansSoapbox.com