Friday, January 27, 2012

The Perils Being Homeless In Humboldt County

Peoples' Action for Rights and Community <PeoplesARC@gmail.com>
Today is Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, and this report is coming from Eureka, CA in Humboldt County.

Three people have died from exposure this season in Humboldt County.  It is disgraceful that people would be hunted for sleeping, stolen from by the police, ticketed or arrested for having no place to go, and left to hide, freeze and die.  But, be not fooled.  There has been, for years, a deliberate government campaign for people with no shelter:  disappear, be imprisoned, or die. 

A female and male couple who I've known for two years, live outside on the cold streets of Eureka. Currently, the woman is in the hospital with serious pneumonia on top of too much prescribed Seroquel- she has been quite depressed and is in serious condition at St.Joe's.

The couple has been sleeping in a tent at the Del Norte Pier.  Yesterday (January 25, 2012), the man had a friend call for an ambulance when his partner fell very ill and incoherent.  First, three Eureka cops showed up, including Eureka Police Sgt. Michael Quigley (notoriously abusive) and two other officers; then the fire department; then the ambulance- IN THAT ORDER.
The woman was put on a stretcher and taken to the emergency room about 10:30am. 
Her partner followed in a city bus.  He stayed with her at the hospital until late night, and returned about 12:30am to the tent and his dog, Charlie (black lab and chow mix, about 11 years old). Charlie had been tied up to a tree by the tent, so she had access in and out of the tent.  When the man returned late from the hospital, he found that their tent had been cut all the way to the ground, their tarps and all of their other belongings were outside the tent door, everything spread all over the place, backpacks rummaged through, and the two shopping carts with which they had collected recyclables were still there with the recyclables in them. 
Right in front of the shopping carts was Charlie, dead, shot twice. 
In anguish, the man spent the night there. He grieved and had to figure out what to do with Charlie's body.  He tried to rest in a sleeping bag that was now soaked and covered with mud on the ground.

According to one report, friends, who also had a tent nearby, were visited by the Eureka Police after the ambulance and partner of the woman with the medical emergency left the area.  The police cut these peoples' tent to the ground.

This cruelty is despicable.  Please do what you can for each other.  It's cold and wet.  And the police (and the threat of the police) is always there.

~Verbena

1 comment:

  1. At least the police gave the guy a ride to the hospital to stay with his critically ill girlfriend. Wait, no they didn't, they made him take the bus.

    ReplyDelete

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