The county wants to put me in jail so they don’t have to see me

I must start off by saying I laughed when I heard that Alameda County agreed to lease the City of Oakland use of the Old North County Jail for $1.00 a year. Would the officials who had this idea stay in North County? Exactly how it is that this is an option just because someone else feels like, “well it’s better than where you are now so this is what I have to offer you, take it or leave it”?

A jail is not a home

When the problem of homelessness was in its infancy and jails were expanding to greet new “clients” each day, the issue concerning the growing number of unsheltered people on the street was practically invisible. Years later, two wars overseas, and a financial meltdown created The Great Recession.

How I Got Inside

When I was homeless in the San Francisco Bay Area, I relied to a large degree on the moral support of lifelong friends and family who were not. For one reason or another, it was not feasible for any of them to let me stay in their homes for any substantial length of time.

Gentrification abroad: The destruction of a Roma village

As I walk through a Roma village in Istanbul, I see pink and yellow painted houses that are rusting, with open windows that have clothes hanging down the sides. There is trash everywhere I step. Ahead of me in the distance, I see tall buildings that are multicolored and modern. These are the apartment buildings that are replacing the Roma village. As Roma activist Sadi Cati shows me around, the Roma people living in the little houses look very unhappy while staring at me.