Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sign of the Times

One of our vendors brought this in to the Real Change office this morning like it was a picture of his new baby. He showed it off proudly to everyone who would look. "Have you seen my eviction notice?"

"Shelter #6" refers to a covered picnic shelter at Woodland Park, near the zoo, not a homeless shelter. His property isn't actually in the shelter, it's hidden nearby. The notice says he has to move it or lose it by tomorrow afternoon.

As he put it, he's been evicted from the street to the street.

Note that contrary to the warm fuzzy goodness of the words "Customer Service Bureau" neither the notice nor anyone on the other end of that line promises or can promise any place for the evictee to go. (Really, we're customers now? We're not citizens anymore? Or is the idea that homeless people aren't citizens?) The homeless shelters in this city are full, as was underlined by the news that the count conducted Thursday night found 15% more homeless than last year.

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