May 14

Happy Mother’s Day

A Woman on the Street



I have no family, not even a friend

Some days I think that this is the end

The end of a long time of sadness and grief

I was hoping my spell of bad luck would be brief

It’s been going on now for a very long time

There’s no money left, not even a dime

Who can I trust out here on the street

Can’t even depend on my tired old feet

Very few smiles, no looks in my eyes

They leave me alone, they don’t hear my cries

Not even a soul to say a kind word

Or to sympathize with what might have occurred

I feel so alone, no one helps me out

But isn’t caring what it’s all about?

Even a smile would do very well

To help me get through my Holiday hell

–Anonymous poem sent to us at GC.  Photo by uncle paulie of a homeless

woman in a bank alcove in Studio City, CA.

May 11

List of Dinosaurs Who Rule the World

Here’s a List of the Grouchy Old Dinosaurs Who Are Having an Increasingly Hard Time Running The Planet Earth.  They Should Retire, Give Their Money to Charity, and Spend Their Time Playing Miniature Golf

Note:  If you have Windows 10 you can select all, right click and hit print, then choose to print “PDF” instead of printing it out, you can save it to a file on your computer”

George Soros 136 Cantitoe St., Katonah, NY geo:41.236832,-73.650559
Vatican City Rome, Italy geo:41.903333,12.45333
The Bilderberg Group/AFB, Inc. 477 Madison Ave., 6th Fl., New York, NY geo:40.758522,-73.974632
The Club of Rome Lagerhausstrasse 9, Winterthur, Switzerland geo:47.49745,8.72474
Council on Foreign Relations 58 E. 68th St., New York, NY geo:40.7689098,-73.9666893
Royal Institute for International Affairs 10 St. James Square, London, UK geo:51.5077623,-0.1360435
The Tavistock Institute 30 Tabernacle St., London, UK geo:51.5228348,-0.086419
The Trilateral Commission 1156 Fifteenth St. NW, Washington, DC geo:38.9053726,-77.0350494
Bank for International Settlements Basel, Switzerland geo:47.548056,7.591944
The City of London exact center of London, UK geo:51.5155,-0.0922
The Federal Reserve 20th& Constitution Ave., Washington, DC geo:38.892778,-77.045833
Internal Revenue Service 1111 Constitution Ave., Washington, DC geo:38.8928598,-77.0268686
International Monetary Fund 1900 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC geo:38.8999977,-77.0442657
“ “ “ 700 19th St. NW, Washington, DC geo:38.8989525,-77.0442047
TheWorld Bank 1818 H St. NW, Washington, DC geo:38.8989563,-77.0425568
BATF 99 New York Ave., NE, Washington, DC geo:38.907855,-77.004625
CIA 1000 Colonial Farm Road, McLean, VA geo:38.95180.-77.14659
DHS/TSA/FEMA 500 C Street, SW, Washington, DC geo:38.938056,-77.082222
DOD/The Pentagon 1400 Defense Pentagon, Arlington, VA geo:38.87099,-77.05596
DEA 600-700 Army-Navy Dr., Arlington, VA geo:38.86454,-77.057823
FBI 935 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC geo:38.895197,-77024994
NSA Fort Meade, MD geo:39.108889,-76.771389
NSA Utah Data Center Camp Williams, Bluffdale, UT geo:40.43135,-111.933092
NSA Pine Gap Data Center Alice Springs, Australia geo:-23.799, 133.737
CBS Corporation 51 W. 52nd St., New York, NY geo:40.761106,-73.978811
Comcast 1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia, PA geo:39.9547,-75.1683
TimeWarner One Time Warner Center, New York, NY geo:40.7685526,-73.983187
21st Century Fox 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY geo:40.7585,-73.9823
Viacom One Astor Plaza, New York, NY geo:40.757778,-73.986389
TheWalt Disney Company 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA geo:34.156207,-118.325189
AbengoaWater N°1, 41014 Seville, Spain geo:37.338611,-5.976389
Andre & Cie SA Ave. Antoine-Henri-Jomini 8, Lausanne, Switzerland geo:46.5196535,6.6322734
BP Amoco 1 St. James’s Square, London, UK geo:51.5076602,-0.1357116
Bechtel 50 Beale St., San Francisco, CA geo:37.7912557,-122.3963987
Bunge Limited 50 Main Street, 6th Floor, White Plains, NY geo:41.0314692,-73.7734135
Cargill Continental 15407 McGinty Road, Wayzata, MN geo:44.9521782,-93.477087
Chevron Texaco 6001 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA geo:37.7582505,-121.9580965
De Beers Société Anonyme 48 Rue de Bragance, L-1255 Luxembourg geo:49.6051272,6.113243
ExxonMobil 5959 Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, TX geo:32.8898862,-96.9499646
Louis Dreyfus Zuidplein 208, 1077 XV Amsterdam, The Netherlands geo:52.3401998,4.8726324
Monsanto 800 N. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO geo:38.6693344,-90.3997803
Royal Dutch/Shell Carel van Bylandtlaan 16, The Hague, Netherlands geo:52.0936601,4.3127177
page 1 of 2
Known Windsor properties:
Anmer Hall Anmer, Norfolk, UK geo:52.83425,0.579722
Bagshot Park Counties Surrey & Berkshire, UK geo:51.370556,-0.696111
Balmoral Castle & Craigowan Lodge Aberdeenshire, Scotland geo:57.040833,-3.23
Barnwell Manor Barnwell, Northamptonshire, UK geo:51.500833,-0.141944
Birkhall Aberdeenshire, Scotland geo:57.0287,-3.074
Buckingham Palace City of Westminster, London, UK geo:51.500833,-0.141944
Clarence House City of Westminster, London, UK geo:51.504,-0.1385
Delnadamph Lodge Aberdeenshire, Scotland geo:57.16075,-3.28046
Dumfries House Ayrshire, Scotland geo:55.455,-4.3081
Gatcombe Park Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, UK geo:51.693333,-2.173611
Highgrove House Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK geo:51.623056,-2.178611
Hillsborough Castle County Down, Northern Ireland geo:54.46127,-6.08604
Holyrood House Edinburgh, Scotland geo:55.9525,-3.1725
Kensington Palace & Wren House City of Westminster, London, UK geo:51.505278,-0.188333
Llwynywermod Myddfai, Carmarthenshire, Wales geo:51.500833,-0.141944
Royal Lodge Windsor, Berkshire, UK geo:51.439,-0.6068
St. James Palace City of Westminster, London,UK geo:51.504722,-0.1375
Sandringham House Sandringham, Norfolk, UK geo:52.829722,0.513889
Tamarisk St. Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, UK geo:51.500833,-0.141944
Thatched House Lodge Richmond Park, London, UK geo:51.4275,-0.285278
Windsor Castle Windsor, Berkshire, UK geo:51.483333,-0.604167
Known Rothschild properties:
Ascott House Buckinghamshire, UK geo:51.89545,0.706175
Aston Clinton House Buckinghamshire, UK geo:51.7943,-0.719602
Château d’Armailhac Pauillac, France geo:45.1999,-0.7488
Château Clarke Bordeaux, France geo:44.84,-0.58
Château Duhart-Milon Pauillac, France geo:45.1999,-0.7488
Château Lafite Rothschild Médoc region, France geo:45.225,-0.773056
Château des Laurets 33570 Puisseguin, France geo:44.925099.-0.074307
Château Mouton Rothschild La Pigotte, 33250 Pauillac, France geo:45.2136792,-0.7690187
Château de Pregny Pregny-Chambesy, Switzerland geo:46.235268,6.141761
Château de Reux Reux, France geo:49.2753,0.1563
Exbury Gardens Hampshire, UK geo:50.7986,-1.4005
Eythrope Waddesdon, Buckingham,UK geo:51.846,-0.9215
Haras de Meautry Touques, France geo:49.341944,0.10444
Mentmore Towers Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, UK geo:51.8677,-0.691375
Vaux-de-Cernay Abbey Cernay-la-Ville, France geo:48.683889,1.936111
Waddesdon Manor Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire, UK geo:51.846,-0.9215
Woodwalton Fen (wetland) Cambridgeshire, UK geo:52.45,-0.183
Known Rockefeller properties:
Kykuit/Pocantico 200 Lake Road, Pocantico Hills, NY geo:41.089722,-73.844444
apartment One Beekman Place, New York City, NY geo:40.7528844,-73.9648745
building 810 5thAvenue, New York City, NY geo:40.766139,-73.971223
building 10 East 40th St., New York City, NY geo:40.7516313,-73.9812655
The Anchorage and The Eyrie Mount Desert Island, ME geo:44.342827,-68.307138
FourWinds Livingston, NY geo:42.128056,-73.792222
page 2 of 2

May 08

The Pavement – London Magazine for Homeless

Magazine in London Helps Homeless With Articles on Where to Get Food and Services

Pavement magazine, 5 year anniversary film from nick aldridge on Vimeo.



“We are always happy to get a call from The Pavement – it’s one way of telling that something we are doing is having a real impact on the lives of homeless people. Plus we rely on The Pavement to help us get news and information about services and issues out to the people most affected.” Alison Gelder, CEO, Housing Justice.

“I have seen The Pavement a couple of times now and am really impressed with the content of it. It contains helpful information for our clients regarding what services are available in the city.” Programme Coordinator, The Salvation Army


“I think The Pavement is brilliant. To people that don’t know it, I’d describe it as like a mix of Private Eye and the Yellow Pages for homeless people. It’s certainly something that I relied on many times.

“I remember the last time I was homeless, I went to a Day Centre and said it’d been a while since I’d slept rough in the city and needed some information about soup runs. They gave me a copy of The Pavement and that sorted me out.

“I knew where I could go to get food, where I could find day centres and get the help I needed. With a copy of The Pavement in your hand, you can survive.

“Homeless people need The Pavement. It gives us a voice and we don’t have a voice. You don’t hear these stories in the mainstream media. They tell you about Katie Price’s wedding but not about the homeless guy who was stabbed in Blackfriars last night. That’s what The Pavement is for.” Christopher Ubsdell, former rough sleeper


The Pavement is committed to publishing independent advice as well as hard-hitting and entertaining reportage, tailored to a homeless readership within the UK via our regional magazines and UK-wide website. We aim to provide and publicise appropriate information that is objective, timely and relevant on a range of advisory and practical services available to homeless people, as well as news on the issues impacting the homeless and dispossessed from across the UK. Our ultimate goal is to help reduce short-term hardship amongst our readers and longer term to provide them with information to enable them to guide their own futures.

The Pavement exists because there was nothing like it, but it fulfils a need.

The Pavement is a small charity, founded in the spring of 2005. We distribute The Pavement in London, Scotland and the West Midlands, and we plan to launch in other regions. In London alone, we deliver 4,000+ copies of The Pavement to over 70 hostels, day centres, homeless surgeries, soup-runs and libraries. By using volunteer journalists and homelessness sector professionals, as well as work from the country’s best cartoonists (many of them Private Eye contributors), we’ve achieved a balance of news, features, humour and service listings unlike other publications.

Our journalists cover the news from the streets or news affecting the streets, and we often deal with topics ignored by the mainstream press. Alongside this, other professionals provide features on health, foot care, legal advice and life in hostels, with the back pages given over to The List, a regularly updated directory of homeless services.

As always, we welcome comment, so do get in contact.



The Pavement’s Word on the Street project aimed to empower homeless volunteers to contribute as fully as possible to the magazine. For three months, volunteers with direct experience of homelessness attended workshops, run by media professionals, to help them develop skills in reporting and photojournalism. They were given training in everything from interviewing to computer skills. The team pulled together a very special November 2014 issue of The Pavement, which featured a brand new cartoon strip (1, 2), Heartbreak Hotel, based on their experiences in hostels, as well as a host of first personal pieces. The group will continue to contribute to the magazine, drawing on a growing bank of ideas for articles, and creating podcasts for the website. A short film about the project is in development.

1 Forget Dennis the Menace and the Bash Street Kids… Beano artist’s new cartoon strip stars a homeless Scot (Sunday Herald, 2 November 2014)

2 Karin Goodwin talks about Heartbreak Hotel (STV, 14 November 2014)


The UK Common Rights Project allowed homeless people to speak about the lack of those common rights – water, sanitation, food and shelter – the rest of us take for granted. We worked with Housing Justice and Open Cinema to create a hard-hitting report and website, which were launched at the House of Commons. One of the project films won the Best Short Documentary category at the 2014 Moondance International Film Festival in the US. The project was a follow-up to 2010’s Rights Guide for Rough Sleepers, which we worked on with Housing Justice and Liberty.


Over 100 charities, big and small, are members of the high-profile campaign that aims to show the reality of the help that benefits provide, why they need it and the difference it makes. Almost a third of homeless people on Jobseekers Allowance have had their benefits sanctioned (cut off), for instance, compared to just three per cent of housed claimants, leading to destitution and desperation among some of the country’s most vulnerable people.


The Just Fair Consortium monitors the fundamental human rights to food, housing, social security, education, equality, employment and health. Members, who include Oxfam, the Trussell Trust, the Trade Union Congress and Unicef UK, endorsed a common statement of recommendations from the Going Hungry? The Human Right to Food in the UK report. In 2015, the United Nations will review the UK’s human rights record, and the consortium will be part of the reporting process.

American readers can go online to to read the current and past issues for free. Be sure to check out their comic strip.  Below are some photos from some of their issues.

Mar 31

Now Occupying Heaven

Los Angeles Bard Duane Thorin Passes

He Wrote “Occupy Your Car”, the Classic Song About Homeless Folks and the Economic Meltdown

Duane Thorin, Los Angeles’ own Troubadour. Photo by Uncle Paulie

Duane Thorin had music in his heart from birth. He loved to sing, play the guitar, entertain. But the path to that musical life was paved with obstructions and suffering. It was only when he was crushed by the 2008 meltdown like millions of other folks that he somehow rose from the ashes of despair to be able to live his dream of music, storytelling and song and make his mark on the Southern California cultural scene.

I first met Duane in the 1990’s when he was a frequent visitor to my bookshop in Burbank. At the time that I met him, he was installing swimming pools in middle class areas of San Bernardino and Riverside. Those were the years of the housing boom. The government and the banksters were pushing everybody who was breathing, and some that were possibly not even existing in this dimension, to buy a house. Out in the hinterlands of San Berdoo, there was a huge housing boom. They were springing up in every desert plot and sandy hill that was available. Mortgages were rubber-stamped, and the middle class, eager to participate in the great American dream, poured into the area.

The families that bought these new digs got settled in, but then they got a taste of summer. It’s not Death Valley, but it is boiling hot out that way. The moms and pops had to hear their kids whining about it every damn day. The summer boil. No school with air conditioning. No nice grassy back yards like in the Westside of L.A. Just sand dunes. What to do? Paying the mortgage was tough enough, no way for a real swimming pool like in Beverly Hills. So how about an above-ground pool? They are just big enough and deep enough to keep the kids wet, a place to play in the yard at least part of the brutal summer days. Once the parents bought the pool, they would be given a referral to a guy like Duane who would come out to your place with a crew and actually install the thing on your sandlot.

Duane was a big sturdy guy. Although he had worked in the entertainment world part of his life, several years booking acts into the Ice House in Pasadena, he still had to make a living. I don’t remember how he ever go into that business, but he did. Part of the lure of it was work like a dog all summer and make enough to live the rest of the year. The reward during Fall and Winter was to do the things that he really loved to do, singing, music, reading. But installing pools out in San Bernardino in the middle of summer is brutal work. The area had to be leveled, the rocks, snakes and lizards moved out, and then the pool put together so that when it was filled the water would stay inside.

He always had a tough time keeping a crew, the work was hell, long days when 100 degrees was the lowest it ever got, burning your skin off. Take your salt pills and drink gallons of water ’cause you’re going to sweat until you end up looking like a prune. Duane would come into my shop and occasionally dragoon some unemployed book – lover to work for him in the pool biz. If those guys lasted a week it was a miracle. Most were skinny and pale, night owls with an aversion to sunlight. I used to joke about it with him, telling him he was killing my customers. He said he was just trying to put some money in their pocket for an honest day’s work. Usually they were done in one or two days, and after a couple weeks of recuperation they looked forward to something a little less physical, like working at a Starbucks. Anything other than the sheer brutality of that scalding sun.

At times, even Duane had to back off for a few days. The pressure from the pool companies was intense. They would sell scores of pools and they depended on Duane to put them up. He had all his equipment loaded into a trailer, which he would pull out to the customer’s property. A difficult pool installation might take more than one day, sometimes several days. He would get a cheap motel and the crew would have to crash there until the job was done. Just before the economic crash, an omen had popped up: his main guy, a really hard working Latino, was arrested and sent to prison for something. Duane was upset about that because he depended on him. It meant hiring 2 guys to replace him. The work load was intense, the phone always ringing, more jobs than he could ever handle. But it all came to a dead stop with the 2008 crash.

The big Meltdown hit everyone. The middle class was devastated. The poor class swelled with new members. Millions lost their houses, their savings, their way of life. San Bernardino looked like a big ghost town. Within a couple years, the City was sending guys out to the neighborhoods to spray paint green lawns on the abandoned properties so they would look lived in. The pools were a big problem. The happy days of children splashing in the pools became the nightmare of the City, as the thousands of abandoned pools, now with stagnant algae packed water, became a breeding ground for billions of mosquitoes. City crews spent months draining the pools that Duane had built. We joked that maybe the thieving bankers visiting their now empty houses would get a well deserved dose of malaria in the process.

Back in the bookstore, I saw Duane on almost a daily basis. We became fast friends. He was talented, intelligent, funny and literate. His business had collapsed but he lasted a couple years on his savings. I had to close the book store about the same time, and move into my van. At some point, he ran out of money totally. There was no work in L.A. The homeless population was swelling, thousands of families living in cars and vans. He lost his apartment, but I found him an RV which he got parked on a friend’s property, a lovely couple living in the mountains of Altadena. Through this crushing defeat, Duane Thorin was reborn. It wasn’t easy, he and I were often together at food banks. We hung out at coffee houses. The weird thing was that he was free. Free to change. Free to pursue his dreams.

He now had time to devote to his music. He sang at coffee houses, ran open mic nights, sharpened his skills with his guitar, hustled some music jobs, wrote songs. He was killer at it. His creativity exploded.

He also had time to do something that he wanted to do for years. His dad had been in the Korean war. He was captured by the North Koreans and thrown into a jail with other G.I.s. He managed to escape and was free for some time, trying to make it back to friendly lines, but was recaptured due to another G.I. making a stupid mistake. Duane’s dad was one of the only Americans to ever escape from the North Koreans. His recapture meant that torture and punishment would now be his life, and the North Koreans turned him over to the Red Chinese.

Duane had made a recording of his dad telling his story before his death, and wanted to get it out, so I helped him to produce a CD of the original recording. It’s an exciting story, although agonizing to re-live the captivity. Duane, was very patriotic, and wanted folks to remember what those who served for us had to go through. Listen to Duane singing the National Anthem. It will floor you.

Duane’s career soared in the last few years. He was in demand as a singing coach and manager, he arranged and ran the musical entertainment for private celebrity parties, he sang at venues around the southland and wrote songs. We were blessed at Gypsy Cool to have Duane’s music video, Occupy Your Car, and his original song about Walmart moving into a small town.

The songs are so powerful because Duane lived through it. He knew what it was to live in a car. He could write his songs from his heart, drawing on his own personal experiences. His good friend Donna Barnes-Roberts has filmed and recorded Duane for years, and we are blessed with her preservation of his music.

His sudden death last week was a shock. He seemed healthy, in good humor, and leading the life he always dreamed about, the musical life. He had created a character called Chef Duanio, an Italian Chef who sang opera. Duane had so much fun with that, and Chef Duanio was a hilarious musical show that played around town.

Chef Duanio

L.A. has lost another great voice, a bard, a troubadour.

Duane Thorin joins some other noted musicians who have passed recently. I can’t help thinking that Heaven’s gotta be rockin’ right now.

Uncle Paulie

Duane Thorin’s website, click here

Chef Duanio website, click here

Waltadena an original song by Duane Thorin

Feb 28

Donate toHope of the Valley


Don’t Discard…Donate!
Donate your gently used clothing and household items to the Mission. We will use your donations to provide clothing to those in need and all proceeds from our 3 thrift stores provide food, shelter, counseling, and care to those who need it more.
Hope of the Valley….Where Everyone and Everything Gets A Second Chance!


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.  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



Jan 27

Hollywood Food For The Hungry – New Location

Weekdays Dinner is Served at 5pm

5941 Hollywood Blvd. Photos by Uncle Paulie

5941 Hollywood Blvd. Photos by Uncle Paulie

IMG_5423Dinner is served here, 5941 Hollywood Blvd., Walk in the driveway and kitchen is just to the right. At this time it is served Monday through Friday only.  Saturday and Sunday is still back at the corner of Sycamore and Romaine (The Line) at 5pm.


The new location for the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition is inside the Salvation Army Weingart Center.  Tables and chairs, restroom to wash up.  Please thank the wonderful staff and volunteers of the Coalition for all their great work.