Homeless Crap in Livermore

I’m thoroughly frustrated with the City of Livermore. Here’s why.

And, by the way, I’m on hold with the DMV about my registration. Wee fun. Not. Supposedly a 34-minute wait. We’ll see.

It’s 4:39 pm.

Livermore Parking Program

A wonderful idea, but poorly planned and mostly at Church Parking Lots. They are paying for Security Guards (we LOVE them) who deal with the jerks trying to scare us off because NOT IN MY BACKYARD/NIBYs. Those turds assume we will bring drugs, trash and be animals and they don’t want us. News flash – Will, Andy and I were the only ones who were participating in the first few weeks in this new program, and what are we gonna do? Sleep. Stay in the car. Wow-what a disappointment! Poor bullies.

The participating churches – 5 – are spread throughout Livermore and we spend a lot of gas getting from place to place and camping at Starbucks until they are in place at 7:30 pm.

The other “facility” is the unused old City Council Chambers where the guards have to unlock the building and “escort” us to the restroom. The other five locations have a Blue Room for us to use. I’d rather do that! Besides, that parking lot is well lite and next to the Police Station. I don’t need to be awakened at 3 am when the sirens pop on and their scrambling.  It just sucks and that’s Friday and Sunday night. We boondock at Walmart,  Safeway, or Target. We don’t park in front of someone’s house. How rude!

Why can’t they do one church the 1st week of the month, another the 2nd week, a 3rd the 3rd week, and so on. Have a church for the 5th or overlap week. Easy pease. m no. Let us drive hither and yon and waste gas. Geez.

DMV answered at 5:02. Not bad! A native speaker and very helpful. And he sounds cute.

Livermore Homeless Refuge

This is where I meet Will and came under the tutelage and loving grace of Donna McKenzie.

She is responsible for me meeting Sheryl and Dave, Mattie and Leslie, Isaac, Alan, Alison, Lee and so many others. She has given me hope, she has fed me, looked out for me, and made sure I had a home to sleep in last year when the Refuge Center was closed. Even a place for me to shower safely. Donna has done so much to ease this terror for me. But welcomed and soothed me when I became homeless and helped me by giving me what I needed to survive in this alternate reality. But meeting Will was the life-saving difference.

Without him, I wouldn’t be alive. And that’s the truth.

Her husband, companion, and partner of 48 years died 2 weeks ago.  Years ago, they sold their home here in Livermore (BIG house) and they started the Homeless Refuge for the homeless during the winter BECAUSE THE CITY DOES NOTHING!!!

The City has done close to nothing and the biggest hurdle Donna has had to deal with FOR YEARS! From her mouth to God’s ears and through my fingers. I am sick of how the City deals with the Homeless Community with “allowing” the Churches to “deal” with us as their Christain responsibility.

Old Council Chambers or any Large Empty Space

This is where Donna has had the issue, as there is no dedicated space for the homeless for things such as:

  • A year-round place to sleep when it is cold, wet or too hot (cooling center)
  • A place to get coffee or tea, have a microwave to make a Cup-o-Soup
  • A place to receive information or updates
  • A place for meetings or to pick up mail
  • A place to have a “clothes closet” to receive shoes, underwear, shirts, pants, blankets, sleeping  bags, backpacks, duffel bags – you know, stuff they need as opposed to one church for mail, several for clothes, Donna for a sleeping bags, blankets or a have her microwave something
  • Lockers to store stuff for a day or two or just overnight
  • SHOWERS!
  • A place – other than McDonald’s or the Library (or Starbucks) to read a book, play a hand of cards, play chess, not watch TV other than the news
  • Have newspapers available
  • Have a bulletin board to post notices or news bits that impact the Homeless Community

There are drawbacks that the City Council will have. Loitering Homeless around whatever site is selected. If they convert the Old Council Chambers NEXT TO THE POLICE STATION will diminish the loitering because if there are Homeless who have run-ins with the Police, they won’t want to be there. Duh!

Fremont has done it for the most part at offering the Senior Center as a place to be for Winter Shelter EVERY NIGHT RAIN OR SHINE. They have posted rules and Security folks who are PAID watchers at night.

What does Livermore have? Because of Donna, they have the Refuge and this is who at happens:

  • The Refuge is Open during Winter IF it will be below 45F or there is a 25% of rain, or both
  • There are 3 churches that rotate shelter every week. They post on Facebook if the Refuge will be open that night. Better have a cell phone or know someone who does
  • The Refuge is at the same Church every weekend – Saturday and Sunday
  • Food is donated for Donna to serve “us”. People who stay the night or just get a hot dinner.
  • The most popular dinner that is brought is Lasagna. Donna received 5 trays one-weekend last year. Lasagna. 5 in two days. Think Costco had a special? Sheesh.
  • How about something healthy? Not carb bombs for us Diabetics?
  • The “Watchers” from 8 to Midnight and Midnight to 7 am are ALL volunteers. Last year they had to offer $15 an hour to work from Midnight to 7am. When they don’t have Watchers for shifts this season, they are closed.
  • Donna has organized and donated her time EVERY DAY  from 5 to 8 pm supplying food, providing sleeping bags, making sure the space is clean or is bitched at over lint on the floor that will impact the “children” and deal with the meth heads and tweakers who light up in the Children’s Chapel because IT’S DONNA’S FAULT BECAUSE SHE WAN’T PERSONALLY THERE TO THROW THEM OUT. She gets bitched at when there are cigarette butt’s on the public sidewalk in front of the Church.

There are too many issues that I have an issue with that the City has FAILED to support its residents. The fault of the Tri-Valley area, Livermore/Pleasanton/Castro Valley/San Ramon. None of the cities are taking the proper action with housing, Castro Valley and Pleasanton are trying a few things, which I applaud. Pleasanton has tried to increase its Section 8 and Low Income Housing. So has San Ramon. Livermore City Council complains there are not enough grants, not enough Section 8 grants, not enough time, not enough man-hours, not enough help from the County/State/Feds-HU. D. Wah! Boo-hoo. Poor babies. It’s so hard!

They are currently discussing and bringing to a vote one of two development projects bringing a destination hotel to Downtown Livermore, a new and bigger parking garage, neither over 3 stories! A new downtown park! (Like we have none now) New housing units, but no low-income housing!  increase to the tax base and hotel taxes! And building and meter fees to the City coffers! Squee. Give me a break. SMDH.

If I am wrong about any of this, excuse me. As a homeless individual who could suffer another stroke existing in this chaos, hearing about the debate over a new parking garage next to the Bankhead and a Destination Hotel like this is Disneyland while I have to sleep in a car at churches with hostile neighbors, doesn’t make me…ummm… sympathetic to the City’s plight. Fucking bastards. The Major has made to very obvious he “dislikes” the homeless and doesn’t want them here.

THEN FUCKING DO SOMETHING ASSHAT!

Thank you for reading my venting today.

The DMV has gotten a bad rap. There are helpful people by phone.

In Memorium

There was a kind, benevolent soul who also happened to be the other half of a wonderful duo. We came to know him as Bob, because Donna was always in lead, in the limelight, bowed at the feet of our dear Mother. The homeless of Livermore & Pleasanton are her flock.  Donna and Bob’s flock And if it weren’t for Donna, Bob would have been sitting in his recliner watching the game.

Bob was never chatty. He had dry sayings that served his mood,  such as “same shit different day”. He was direct. You just had to know and accept what Donna said was the law. You never spoke ill of Donna, you never spoke against Donna, Donna was above any commentary – even when it was in her regard. Bob would defend his wonderful wife against all. And we loved him for that.

Bob passed on Saturday evening, Januar 11, 2020.

He left his life with Donna to be in his Maker’s Presence, to join old friends like Henry, to see his parents again.

We’ll miss you Bob. We will look after Donna and keep her safe.

Selfish-Uneducated-Nincompoop Day

Welcome to Sunday! Let me tell you what is happening to us.

Because we are “homeless” and are, therefore “derelicts”.

Livermore created a Safe Parking Program and are using CityServe Tri-Valley as the facilitator for the program. You have to be vetted and approved to participate. Get a monthly card. There are 6 different locations throughout the city of Livermore and mostly church parking lots. We have our own Security Guards (Company with 3 employees to watch us for the week). We check in with them and sleep in our car. There is a handicapped port-a-potty for our use, which the guards have the key for the lock. They will usually unlock it for us when they arrive at 7pm. We are welcome after 7pm, but we can’t leave and return. No in and out privileges.

Basically, we have a secure place to sleep and pee. That’s it. And you have to leave by 7am. That’s it. Park. Sleep. Leave. Don’t make a mess and don’t piss off the neighbors. Got it.

The neighbor’s don’t agree with this philosophy. They are the “not in my backyard” crowd. NIMBY’s. They have made their presence known.

Nosey folk have driven up to the guard and inquired. Others have called the police. Some just group together and watch us – with the “understanding” that they “take care” of those who step out of line. They don’t want the activities of the Creek People to poison their pristine little neighborhoods. Soil their children. Their pristine thoughts.

Maybe they should stop imagining what we will do and actually see what we don’t do.

I may accept the fact I am homeless, I may be treated like I am homeless, but I will be damned if I “act” like their version of homeless. Whatever the fuck that is.

Why do people have to be that way? Destroy something they “think” is bad. What they think is bad that doesn’t exist. I just don’t get it. Can someone explain?

And changing the lock on the port-a-potty? They are being rented by the City for our specific use and now “concerned citizens” have made one location unavailable. Good job? Mission accomplished? We’ll stop parking here? God Christian thoughts and actions?

Nah. Thanks for the fodder for a blog post you uneducated nincompoop’s.

I’ve Succumbed. I Am Homeless.

Nothing has changed, but the finality of my situation has enveloped me. There is no help due to their being no scraggly crevices to stick is in. And I have no strength to look.

No one cares (I know this is difficult, but be patient), they’re going through the motions (I’m going to be your Navigator to help you through this process – where’ve you been this last year?), we need to make sure we have all your paperwork (how many people need the same damn thing? and for what?).

Copies of my Social Security card, my SSI award, my bank account – all at my fingertips and provided, but when an opportunity comes up they will need documentation with a date within a week. What? Social Security cards don’t ever change and award letters don’t either. You get a Cost of Living increase once a year and I just got mine. A fresh print from SS? I can’t request it online because their 3rd party facilitator – Equifax – has my file locked and what I have to do to get unlocked isn’t easy or enjoyable AND I CAN’T USE A POBOX!

It’s frustrating.

I hate calling Social Security anyway. It takes too long and simple requests are something they have difficulty understanding.

And driving to Hayward to get a printout for something I already have is ludicrous.

Blah.

Another County servicer will be in contact with us Monday to make sure we are on track to receive housing! To help ger our paperwork in order! To make it easier for us!

Shut up! I believed that 8 months ago and the apartment they were speaking of never came to fruition. Because of an internal document verifying how long each of us has been homeless. They had access to the same resources we do……/ MAKE A PHONE CALL!

We have to give them a piece of paper? Why? It’s a freaky mess, makes little sense and it’s not for “anyone” who has seen us homeless and living in a car. They want this on the company letterhead with a description of what they witnessed. Who can testify to that! With a specific date a year ago? It’s insane.

If you saw a doctor, therapist or psychiatrist, get documentation from them! I can give them phone numbers to call, and we’ve signed ROIs (Release of Information). They have permission to access my medical records, and yet they still need me to get their stupid form completed to their satisfaction!”

Can you tell they’re pissing me off with their ineptitude?

I hate how they handle everyday shit. They create obstacles!

I am too tired and mentally done for this crap.

Today is Wednesday, I Think

I’m in a flu induced haze. I call it Danny Plague since he gave it to us for Christmas. Merry indeed. Bah humbug. *Cough*Wheez*Collapse*Sleep*

One day melts into the next and EVERYTHING is the same, except the amount of rainfall overnight, how wet we are in the car, how cold we are in the car and how sick we still are in the car. It all comes down to the car and how much worse it all is.

I have tried to update my Youtube channel daily, but “daily” isn’t happening. You can see the latest “A Day in My Life” here https://youtu.be/zW9Q2BgTsSg

When I can make it a OneTinySoapbox Channel, I will. Need to do research and study, but there are only so many hours in a day and when those hours are plagued impacted it’s a crapshoot.

Just like contacting an attorney. I have contacted dozens and the only one who was interested needed a down payment for an expert. You had a stroke, they told you you had a stroke, what is the problem? They didn’t tell you what kind? Does that matter? Yeah, it kinda does. Especially since I’m still suffering from the results of it. And they missed a bunch of stuff. Well. that doesn’t matter. You’re still alive and that is what matters. But….my quality, or lack thereof, of life? Pishposh. that is not OUR concern.

I am so cold. I have had the chills for days and it won’t improve with the temperature not getting out of the low to mid 50’s for the next two weeks.  And rain.  I haven’t had a shower since Christmas Eve and it doesn’t look likely for another few weeks. Hell, we need to laundry anyway.  And my glasses are getting worse, as is my vision. I don’t know what I can do about that except try to schedule with my BARA doctor and have the surgery approved to stop the Eye Aneurysms. And wait for stabilization. And THEN get a new eye prescription. That will be a few months out and just glasses as usual. I can forget contact lenses as they are not a necessity. Who wants peripheral vision anyway? Or be able to see in the rain? Or not have to worry about sneezing while driving and knocking over your glasses? Or worry about fog on your glasses? Or being able to breathe normally? Certainly not me. Not since the age of 11.

I can type anything, but who will listen. Suzy, you did an awesome thing! You contacted the local paper! Thank you! It makes a difference. And those of you who contributed $5 to our campaign – bless you! But does that make a difference in the long run? It may keep us alive with hope but it doesn’ change much for us. Just plodding ahead one day at a time. My goal is $100,000 and my campaign has raised $4880. In a little over a year. That’s $406.66 a month. It helped get us into hotel rooms, paid for needed repairs to the car, even a hot meal at a restaurant, but we never used any of that money just blow it on “fun”. We have never gone to a movie. We camped. That is as exciting as it got. And we enjoy camping when we aren’t going to freeze to death.  Or be flooded out.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/life4wng20

To help us. I don’t know how much more I can take before I hit my cap. I don’t want to die, but living like this isn’t a “choice”.

Well, I just lost a Day

The post for today was Wanderlust Wednesday, instead of Toxic Thursday. We can wait a week for that.

Blame the fact I’m sick and have been drinking tea at Starbucks for several hours when I should have been sleeping, or that my brain is truly is broken. Regardless, it’s a blonde moment and yet again I prove these locks have not been touched with dyes.

Wanderlust Wednesday

A day to reflect on where I’ve been and want to return. What I want to show Will, since he’s flown over most of it. I got to show him a fraction when we drove North to Oregon and the Avenue of the Giants. It was so awesome.

Next, I have so show him stuff like this:

Untitled-b65 And, sadly, some of my pictures are scanned from negatives and this is the effect.

It kinda sucks, but why I need to show Will and take new pictures. This is a West Cost trek I did in 1995 with my ex Kevin. And since my tagged photos are on my old hard drive and ALL were in individual floders with the trip name –  this was save to Dropbox. But, Will and I have plans to explore. Yay!

I think this is Umpqua Lighthouse. I’m probably wrong.

Untitled-b24

This is Scotia? Oregon? It could be the Columbia Gorge? I know it’s 1995. At least that came over in Dropbox. But when I see this, my wanderlust comes forth and wants to Be.

Untitled-b79

Redwoods forest in Norther California, by Crescent City? Lots of ferns up there. It is beautiful. I wish Will and I had more time. Untitled-49

And here’s my proof it was 1995. Fen as a puppy. He was so cute and sweet and precious. He was still smaller than Andy is now as a full-grown dog. Here, Fen is about 10 lbs of puppy fluff and small paws. He would be 75 lbs fully grown and his paws were the size of my fists. He still thought he was a lap dog. I miss my cuddly, live teddy bear. Untitled-b16 We were a happy pack. The elkies didn’t travel with us regrettably.  I wish I had taken my camera when Heidi and I were wandering. What we saw!

Untitled-b85

Kevin in front of the Montero. Oh, the places we went!  This is definitely Northern California with the mystery of Bigfoot. Redwood Country.

But speaking of wondrous sites – this is from a trip to Yosemite….

Yosemite and Railroad Museum May 15th and 16th 2004 003

And this is what I love to record. May 2004.

Or this one from the same trip. My ode to Ansel Adams.

Yosemite and Railroad Museum May 15th and 16th 2004 025 edited The Tunnel View. Ansel is an inspiration for me.

Well, this was a wandering post. I didn’t want anything heavy today. Just a nice post for January 2nd. Whatever WordPress says.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday Testimonials

Day Three of days with purpose typing. It reminds a little of what I am doing on YouTube – A Day in My Life Daily Vlog (under vylinghart@gmail.com – I might be able to name it soon since I’m regularly adding video, guess what I’ll name it? Hehe).

I have a hope to build a small media empire (sure) to be able to bring light to the homeless situation here in Alameda County, Tri-Valley Area, the East Bay of the San Francisco Regional Area, since all people hear is San Francisco which is pretty much a world away for most here in the Tri-Valley Area without a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) ticket.

This will grow and change. This is my plea and my cause. And God’s plan for me, whether you believe in that or not, but I do.

So, for today, I will give a testimonial, though some of you have more than likely thought “haven’t you DONE that consistently”? To a degree.

I have always been a person who wanted to be “clean”. Groomed. Bathed. Hair styled and makeup subtle. Contact lenses on and glasses put away since they are an obstruction on my face and I don’t see as well. Or breathe easily. Thank God they don’t use glass anymore, but polycarbonate. Remember the phrase “Coke bottle glasses”? How thick the glass bottoms were on a bottle of Coke? That would be me!And those polycarbonate lenses coatings fail, they scratch, and the lenses become cloudy. And there is nothing you can do when the coating starts to fail. My “current” predicament. I’ve worn my contact lenses 2 days this month, since I had access to bathroom and could wash my hands and be sanitary.

Speaking of 2 days, I have taken a shower twice this month. When I showered on CHristmas Eve, I hadn’t showered in over 2 weeks, 3 for Will. The last time was when went to Del Valle Regional Park and used the showers in the campground. It was more than two weeks for both of us at that point.

Being at our very adult age, being denied the human need of bathing is so difficult. We could have gone to the church who offers it once a week or 3 days a week, but we had appointments with doctors or therapists, and we have to camp out for hours or loose our spots. As with everything being homeless, hurry up and wait. What else do have to do? Indeed.

There is much about homelessness that is hurry up and wait, which is interesting when there are few places you can go. There is the McDonald’s on P Street, or the library. I choose Starbucks due to the WIFI and tea. But, when I first became homeless, I didn’t know where I could go. There is no checklist for “If you’re homeless in Livermore”. We’ve got the Labs (Lawrence Livermore) here, so there is money. Hell, Martha Stewart has been here. We are not an island in a vast wasteland.

Though, it does cause you to contemplate (often) how did I come to this situation. Will and I have the same issue – loyalty to the family name and family pride. Will was Dorothy’s Grand Champion, her knight in shining armour. He did his mother proud! Caring for her for over 10 years and not expecting anything – and that’s the problem. He expected nothing, but his brother destroyed any sense of truth or valuing family when Gary had him removed as his mother’s executor, and HE probably stole the copy of the trust that Will had at the house (Since Gary and Colleen treated Dorothy’s house as their property entering any time they wanted). Will valued family. Gary does not, especially his brother who is an obstacle to everything, supposedly.

I valued family. What little I had that Gun hadn’t destroyed all sense of. I just remember Dad asking me to take care of her if anything happened to him. She would outlive him, he knew. Well, she made sure of that! And I did, because I promised Dad. She was like a poison to my soul, but I wouldn’t let Dad down, even after death. Did she appreciate my “sacrifice”? Ah, hell no! She complained that I lived in her house. She complained that I had clothes of mine in her closet. She complained that my Diabetic diet intruded on her “groceries” and caused her fridge to “smell” (fresh produce smells like fruits and vegetables, not moldy trash). When I cooked dinner for us, she complained about the smell and the stove being on (could cause a fire, afterall) and complained about the dishes that had to be washed (which I did since the dishwasher was “broken” due to lack of use and rubber dying out). Because eating one of two frozen dinners was so healthy? She was malnourished and trying to get her to eat produce was so difficult, unless it was in a frozen dinner or a can with high fructose corn syrup.

Dorothy wanted to eat a Swiffer. Gunn wanted to eat anything that wasn’t freshly made. Dorothy didn’t try to kill Will. She adored her oldest boy. I had loved Gunn, as one does the mother-figure in her life, but I didn’t like or trust her. I had decades of reasons why not to. And after her death, I learned of the extent of her machinations of separating Dad from his family. Regardless of your personal reasons for disliking your in-laws, to not notify his family that he is dead is so fundamentally wrong on so many levels. Did you hate his ex-wife so much, and their son, that you couldn’t see past that you homewrecker? Even after 43 years?

Hindsight is 20/20, and Gunn had so may tells. So much makes sense now that I know the missing details. The truth shall set you free, and that sentiment should be engraved on her headstone. It set her free, set me free, and can alleviate Dad’s soul of so much grief and loss that can never be corrected. I am absolved of guilt, much to her chagrin.

What I still can’t understand is why her family thinks I’m lying. Spoilt child not getting her way (Fuck up Freddy. Your Dad was a shit, treated your mother like shit, and my Dad defended her. DEFENDED HER. Get that through your head, but the apple doesn’t fall far from THAT tree, does it?). This is what I do not understand, other than intense denial for something they never saw with their own eyes. She was their older sister. Always putting on airs, being better than everyone else, living a Hollywood lifestyle and forgetting her Norwegian Farming and Christian roots. Forgetting all the morality taught to her by her parents. Claiming to be Born Again, when she never picked up a bible, listened to a sermon, went to Church other than on Christmas, or practiced Christian Kindness ever! The woman they thought she was never existed in MY lifetime. She lied to them for decades, and they heard nothing else. Saw nothing else.

To bring this full circle, Gunn is the one who gave me the personal expectations that I live by. How my clothes could never be dusty, or – God forbid – muddy. Why dogs were never allowed in the house, due to their being so filthy. Having to “dress” to get the mail, go to the grocery store, or do gardening. She never left the house without mascara. How critical she was over my weight, my marriage, my reading, my knitting, my needlework, my lack of children. All intentionally done to provoke her! To put her in a bad light. Newsflash, battleax, it ain’t your life! If she were alive today and she knew it had been more than 2 days since I had bathed, she would be livid! A personal embarrassment her. Wouldn’t matter the cause, just that her tender delicacies would be bruised.

Lack of bathing, sleeping in a car, not doing laundry for a month, so many no-no’s. What choice have I had? Not a plethora.