Sep 03

Hepatitis Outbreak in S.D. Homeless Community Leaves 15 Dead, Over 250 Hospitalized

Michael McConnell Leading Fight For Bathrooms and Medical Aid

From CBC Radio Program As It Happens with Carol Off and Jeff Douglas

San Diego is experiencing the worst outbreak in decades of hepatitis A, and the homeless population has been hit the hardest.

This is in part because the city hasn’t equipped homeless people with the necessary tools to fight the disease, says the former Vice Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless in San Diego.

“The city does a poor job of providing basic need sanitation, rest rooms, hand washing, places to throw garbage. So I’m not overly surprised that this is continuing to be a huge outbreak,” Michael McConnell told As It Happens guest host Susan Bonner.

Since November of last year, 15 people have died from the disease and 263 people have been hospitalised.

Local health officials are reporting that around 70 per cent of the people affected are homeless.

McConnell spoke with Bonner about why homeless people in San Diego are vulnerable to hepatitis A. Here is part of their conversation.

‘We can’t just cycle people through our emergency rooms and our jails and just send them right back into the horror that is the streets of San Diego.’   – Michael McConnell

Mr. McConnell, local health officials are saying that as many as 70% of the people who’ve been hospitalised with hep A are homeless. Can you tell us about the homeless population and what living conditions they face in the city?

“We have a large unsheltered population of people experiencing homelessness in San Diego county.

“The city does a poor job of providing basic need sanitation, rest rooms, hand washing, places to throw garbage. So I’m not overly surprised that this is continuing to be a huge outbreak.”

Click Here to listen to radio interview and read the rest of the article.

Health conditions in other cities are similar to those in San Diego.  The authorities have continued to ignore basic health concerns for decades.  The shortage of public bathrooms in Los Angeles is at a critical stage.  Because of the huge surge of homeless folks, most restaurants and even fast food locations have installed code locks on their bathrooms to keep out non-customers.  It is a challenge to find a bathroom if you are homeless.

TIP To folks living in vehicles:  An old guy living in his van offered this tip to Gypsy Cool many years ago.  Get a used orange juice size bottle and fill it with a mix of liquid soap and water.  You can use this on the road to wash your hands.  Another similar sized bottle with just pure water can be used to wash off the soapy water.

Solutions Ignored by Cities in America

The City of Los Angeles has a lot of unused properties they could turn into homeless centers. An old Library could be set up with washers and dryers, showers and bathrooms to service homeless folks. This is low-cost compared to the billions they say they are going to use to build housing.  In England, pensioners work at the public bathrooms and collect tips.  They keep the bathroom clean and stocked up.  Why not hire some homeless folks and do the same in Los Angeles?  The City of Burbank has a Temporary Aid building where local homeless folks can get an appointment to shower or do their laundry.  It is mainly run by volunteers, with a small professional paid staff.  Los Angeles and San Diego could easily open many of these operations at a very low cost.  The question is:  Why aren’t they doing it?  Maybe the billions of dollars raised for the homeless are going to be funneled to the Mayor’s cronies in the building trades to build “housing”..  Building ten houses a year does nothing to solve the problem.  Opening 50 bathrooms would save lives.

Jammed Emergency Rooms

Think of the cost to treat homeless folks for hepatitis in emergency rooms and hospitals.  This can be prevented and the millions of dollars can be used for bathrooms, a much more cost effective way to deal with the problem.

Jan 30

For Seniors Some Great Programs

Seniors in Los Angeles Area Have Access to Great Programs

Here’s a few great programs for seniors in the L.A. area.  Similar programs may be available Statewide.

Burbank TC #61.  TRANSPORTATION  Check out Metro, which operates the buses and trains, including the subway system.  If you want to get around the area without driving your car or RV, you can apply online for a senior tap card.  You can do this online.  www.metro.net.  A senior tap card will get you rides for 75 cents Peak hours, and only 35 cents Off Peak.  This includes a free transfer to another bus or train within 2 hours, meaning you can scoot a long way around the city for 35 cents Off Peak.  There are many other programs for seniors, special passes, etc., including some available at senior centers in cities other than Los Angeles.  Santa Monica, for example, has a fantastic bus system, The Big Blue Bus.

SCAN2.  HEALTH If you are on Medicare and need a supplemental plan, try SCAN.  It’s free.  Along with it you get a free Silver Sneaker Fitness card.  This is good at thousands of gyms across the country, including exercise equipment, pool, steam/sauna (when available).  You can go to many different gyms, so that means that you will have access to showers as well as fitness.  One of the problems living stealth in a vehicle or living in an RV is shower and clean-up.  Although there are shower programs in some cities and facilities, this is a great solution for seniors.

Free Thanksgiving dinner at a Presbyterian Church

Free Thanksgiving dinner at a Presbyterian Church

3. FOOD  When you are living in a vehicle or RV, food becomes an issue.  RVs usually have good cooking facilities, but if you are in a car or van it is a little harder.  Small camp type stoves are good, but you need to be in a sheltered area to use it, away from prying eyes of residents who will call the cops if they see anyone using a cook stove on the street.  Some people go to a park where there are camping or BBQ pits.  The big parks in L.A. like Griffith Park have campsites where you can cook dinner.

Another way to go is to eat hot meals for free at Churches and other Food Coalition sites, like those we frequently post on this website.  Please note that there are hundreds of free hot meals served in So. California every day.  Check around the area you are staying in, the local city, the local churches, and look for food banks.  The County, through Senior Centers, have hot lunch programs for a couple of bucks. These are decent meals, and are served around the County at designated park buildings and Senior Centers.  The Senior Centers in some cities are really great, with free computers to use, free wi-fi, exercise programs, libraries, good bathrooms, etc.  They have all kinds of free or cheap programs so check them out.

Even if you are living in a vehicle, a senior can have a great time in Southern California.  Although many of us do not have large Social Security checks, if you don’t have to pay rent or utilities then you can have enough money to get by on using the strategies like those listed above.

Send any information you get or comments to unclepaulie@rocketmail.com

 

 

Aug 07

Hope of the Valley

Here’s the Latest Information on Hope of the Valley

Van Nuys Help Center (6425 Tyrone Ave. Van Nuys, CA 91406). This is our main facility that daily provides homeless services to our clients. Here, we provide daily hot meals from 12:15pm-1pm Monday through Friday and most Saturdays. Additionally, we have showers available for our clients from 9-11:45 every day. We also have case managers onsite, Department of Mental Health, Veterans Affairs, etc. This is a one-stop shop for our clients seeking assistance.
Thrift Stores. We still have the thrift store in Sun Valley (but this will be closing towards the end of the year). So, we have 3 stores:
Sun Valley (8165 San Fernando Rd. Sun Valley, CA 91352).
Granada Hills (18167 Chatsworth St. Granada Hills, CA 91344).
Santa Clarita (19379 Soledad Canyon Rd. Canyon Country, CA 91351).
Hope Care Center (New Recuperative Facility). This facility, located at 11134 Sepulveda Blvd. Mission Hills, CA 91345, is where all of our Administrative offices currently are. In the downstairs portion, however, we have a recuperative care facility that acts as a shelter for homeless patients being discharged from hospitals. This facility accepts no walk-ins, clients have to be transported by a hospital and admitted by our team here. We have a full skilled nursing staff here that help bring our clients back to full health, as well as a case management team that works to find them appropriate housing. They are fed three delicious and nutritious meals a day here by our executive chef, Geronimo. The recuperative facility contains a brand new commercial catering kitchen that is capable of making 3,000 meals a day! In addition to the recuperative care portion of the building, we have a Federally Qualified Health Clinic (not up and running quite yet), but will provide health care for the surrounding community.

Oct 28

How To Live in Your Van and Survive

New Edition of Famous Underground Handbook Now Available

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A straightforward, no-nonsense manifesto on living the nomadic underground life. Clearly maps out the current insanity of today’s world situation while offering invaluable tips on food, health, security, money, van living, and dealing with cops. Gets you well on your way to dropping out of this oppressive system, then lists over 1,300 additional books where you can find everything else you need to help weather these uncertain and chaotic times.

This handbook covers everything you need to know to live on the edge and survive.  The author, Skip Freedman has lived the nomadic life in his van for over 10 years.  He knows every angle of how to survive in these urban mini-police states.  And by the way, a vast preponderance of folks who live nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyles have jobs and work when they need to.  As we have said on this website, if you have an indication that you are going to lose your job and not be able to pay your rent or house payment, do not wait for the ax to fall.  Do yourself a favor and prepare now.  Get a van, RV, or other suitable vehicle now, and trick it out.  You will be glad you did.

There are thousands of folks in the Los Angeles area who are living nomadic lifestyles.  Most of us work, but we were tanked by the economic collapse that started in 2000 that wiped out the good factory jobs, literally exporting them overseas.  It meant that many of us had to get lower paying jobs, and we soon found that after paying rent and bills we were underwater financially.  The solution was to cut living expenses:  move out of the expensive apartment, get a storage unit, join a health club for showers, and live in a vehicle. There are many articles on gypsycool.com about how to do this, with many more coming. We still work for a living, but have money to spend on what we want, not give it to some landlord for an overpriced roof over our heads.

I wish that everyone could get Skip’s book and read it.  The print is small to save printing costs, but the information is the best around.  As an added bonus, Skip spend several years compiling a fantastic bibliography of books on the subject that he has written about.  You can get most of these at your library, even if the library has to order them for you.  There is also youtube.com, which has thousands of great videos on the subject of van, nomadic, or semi-nomadic living.

Order this book today.  It is not available anywhere else, at least for a while.  That’s right, this website is the ONLY place you can get the book. At this time it is not on amazon.com or any other place, meaning that the price to you is a low direct price from the publisher and author.  Amazon wants as much as 60% of the price from small publishers.  That means if it does get to amazon that the price will be $20-$40..00

Where to get the book:.

The book is 8 1/2 X 11 size with a comb binding so it will lay flat or open fully by folding the pages around.  The book is available in the United States through www.Biblio.com for $15.00.

Jun 23

Life and Death in Dirty Dave’s Homeless Camp

Filmmaker Michael Arth Spent Years Documenting the Drama of

A Homeless Camp in the Woods of Florida

200px-Michael_E._Arth_5-21-09His film, “Out of the Woods” is an engrossing study of the folks who live in a camp in the Florida woods.  Some are drunks, fighting the demons created by alcohol; some are dopers, others just out of work or homeless with no place to lay their head at night.  Dirty Dave Grimsly, who weirdly has a slight resemblance to George Bush (the Junior one), takes them all in.  He feeds them, cooks meals, gives them a tent or a sleeping bag, and tends to them.  Because of their emotional and physical situations, the people who live in the camp provide us with dramatic statements of the personal horrors and the angst they are going through.  Michael Arth is to be honored for this timeless study of those who need a helping hand, but find that the there is none from the local government.  For those poor folks, the last stop is a tent deep in the woods, in a camp run by a good natured alcoholic nick-named Dirty Dave.  And if there is an unlikely saint in this film, it is Dave.  Every day he lives through his own hell of being a drunk and an ex-con sent to prison for manslaughter  But it is Dave who gives his love and attention to a squad of lost souls who occupy the camp. It will probably be a long time before you forget some of these characters and their sad and tragic lives.  Filmmaker.Arth holds up a backwards-looking mirror in which you not only see them in the present, but you see them as children, growing up, handsome and beautiful, ready to jump into the American dream.  The juxtaposition of their youthful years, so hopeful and full of life, with the shocking reality of their hopeless descent into the swirling hell that lies beneath the surface of our society, is a major achievement by Mr. Arth.

Mr. Arth made this film in part to promote the construction of a project called Tiger Bay Village, to give a last chance to homeless folks in the area, a place to detox and recover their health, as well as living quarters so they can recover their personal dignity. Michael Arth has been working for years to push through this project, which is still stalled by the local government.  The pathetic, actually enraging and ironic slap in the face to the American people, is that when our own folks need this kind of help it is not to be found, and our own government, year after year dumps millions of people into the U.S. as “refugees” or for “political asylum”.  As this is syrian_refugeeswritten, your tax paid mentally ill rulers at the Department of State are planning on bringing one and a half million refugees from Syria into the country.  What for?  We don’t need them or want them.  We have our own to take care of.  Every war that the CIA loses becomes another humanity dump of millions more into our decaying cities.  With the jobs sent to China, and the banksters pushing millions of families from their homes into the streets, the homeless population is increasing at a rapid pace. Tell Washington to STOP NOW.  Get out of these foreign countries, and please, no more refugees until the American born homeless are taken care of, and that includes our Veterans, 800,000 of whom have been waiting for years for their benefits. The smells in homeless encampments are nothing compared to the stink from the politicians in Washington, D.C., the world’s biggest sewage pit masquerading as a city. Those politicians are not fit to kiss the feet of a guy like Dirty Dave Grimsley.

Watch the film below, or find it directly on youtube:  Out of the Woods

Contact the filmmaker Michael Arth at www.goldenapplesmedia.com

Check out the Tiger Bay Village site at www.villagesforthehomeless.org

 

Jun 14

82 Year Old Barber Removed From Park For Giving Free Haircuts to Homeless

The Class War Against the Poor Continues Across America

Cops and Suits Say No More Free Haircuts for Homeless in Hartford

Good-bye Joe the Barber – God Bless You For Trying

Joe the barber 1HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Hartford officials say they ordered an 82-year-old good Samaritan out of a city park because residents were concerned about the safety and sanitation of his free haircuts to homeless people.

But city health officials said Thursday they’re trying to work with Anthony Cymerys (sih-MEHR’-is) so he can continue providing the valuable service in a more controlled environment. They also say Cymerys isn’t a licensed barber.

Cymerys is known as “Joe the Barber” and has been giving haircuts in exchange for hugs for 25 years in the city. He’s been a fixture at Bushnell Park every Wednesday, but authorities kicked him out of the park this week.

Cymerys’ friends questioned officials’ actions, saying it was only a year ago that the city honored Cymerys for his charitable deeds.

War on Haircuts.  What’s Next – A War on Nail Clippers?

Joe the barber 2The fact is that in cities across America, many homeless people help each other out, not only with food, but also with personal hygiene like haircuts.  So old Joe the Barber didn’t have a “license”, so what?  He still gives satisfactory haircuts to homeless folks who couldn’t afford it otherwise.  In the L.A. area there are at least 2 nice ladies who occasionally give haircuts to homeless and needy people for free.  Maybe some of the self-involved citizens who own actual barber shops should volunteer some time to help out.  The foreclosures by the banksters have put millions of middle-class Americans on the street;  now they have to face the realities of the life of poor folks, including such mundane things as haircuts.  When you are homeless you aren’t going to go to some fancy salon and plunk down $40 bucks for a trim.

To the people who forced old Joe the Barber out of the park:  May all your hair fall out and your finger and toenails become ingrown. 

 

Oct 29

Health Issue For Urban Gypsies – GMO Frankenfoods!

Vote YES on Proposition 37 in California!

One of the problems of living a nomadic lifestyle is one of food quality.  A lot of folks living in their vehicles are down in their luck money-wise, and have to spend a portion of their time foraging for food, going to food banks, hitting the senior lunches, and finding free or cheap food.  In this situation we often don’t have the option of being “picky”.  We eat what we find or can get with our meager funds, and sometimes the food is not the greatest.  Everyone knows that eating fast-food continuously is bad for your health.  But now there is another problem:  Genetically Modified Foods.

This is food that big chemical companies have introduced into the farming process that has been genetically modified.  Why would they “modify” perfectly good food?  The main reason is so they can patent the food and then make money off selling the seeds. These type of corporations inserted pesticides into the seeds in a genetic manner.  They say this will make the farmers a bigger crop.  The question is what this genetic manipulation will do to the average human or animal.  These monster corporations spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy off politicians.  They don’t want you to know which foods they have done their dirty work on.  That is why we must force them to label the food if it contains a GMO (genetically modified organism).  For your health and safety, if you are registered to vote in California, vote YES on Proposition 37. 

Please go to this website and watch the videos on this issue: www.you-rant.com

And check out this video: