Thursday, November 27, 2008

Life In the Creek - Part 5: Carolina and Crew

Carolina (Spanish pronunciation: care OH LEAN uh), and her family are new comers to our creek. I first noticed them last winter. Carolina is the mother of five but lost custody thanks to a drug habit. She was living in her car with the kids when the state took them away.

Still her oldest, a teen - maybe just out of high school - lives with her off and on. Carolina is considered one of the bad homeless by most in the creek because of her temper. I first became aware of her when I heard her screaming across the valley. She and her son have loud and emotional fights and he will leave for months on end.

At some point, while her boy was gone, Carolina moved an African American man into her tent. The two of them have loud and violent fights. And now she comes and goes after fighting with the boyfriend. He is a shy man and never speaks to me but I've seen him petting Mabel when she goes up to his tent.

Most of the hikers just avoid them as Carolina has just started screaming at some of them.

These folks I've mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg. Our homeless population has simply exploded this past year (along with the hiking population making it painfully clear that lots of people are unemployed!).

There is a teen aged boy with shoulder length hair, kind eyes and a quick smile who sometimes camps near Tim. He has a volatile relationship with his parents and when it gets too much, he comes to the creek and Tim looks after him.

I discovered three more men living in the bamboo on the north shore, one of which was camping right in the sandy river bottom! I pray they have a radio and can move to higher ground when storms move in.

Two more are living in large pipes abandoned by the Army Corps on the north side of the waterfalls. And a newcomer has pitched his tent in the large cedar just off the main trail to Walden Pond.

And there are two more tents east of Tim and Blondie's. All of these have appeared this year. Seriously, every time I'm feeling desperate and thinking I might have to move there, someone moves into MY bush!

I wanted to write about our homeless to give them a face and because I hope it makes all of us realize how lucky we are to have a roof over our heads, people that love us and food on our tables today.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Anonymous said...

This certainly makes me think about how much I have to be grateful for!

Linda@VS said...

Thank you for giving faces, voices, and stories to these people who have fallen through the cracks in society. A co-worker told me the other day she was shocked to see how many people have set up housekeeping under a bridge in New Orleans.

I've read recently about a population of people (mostly women) who have lost their homes and are living in their cars, even though they have jobs and go to work every day. They could afford to pay rent, but can't come up with the first and last months' rent and deposit, plus the utilities deposits, to get into an apartment in the first place.

Sad, sad.