Yesterday my (truly) homeless friend, Tricia, called me to say that the police had come by their campsite and informed them that the landowner ‘wanted them off his land.’ They’ve been living there for over 5 years with the landowner’s permission so I asked what had happened to make him change his mind. Apparently more homeless have moved in and a few have had brushes with the law and what was a quiet campsite for a couple and their dog, was becoming a rowdy group campground. The police told them if they were still there on Wednesday they would get a ticket, on Thursday, they would be taken to jail.
As an aside I wish the sheriff in Colorado could have acted with such alacrity when I called and asked if he could remove the squatter from our house. Instead I had to go through 2 court hearings – one to evict him and one to decide if he owed me money (yep, like 1ok) and the sheriff wouldn’t act until both hearings (months apart) were completed. But back to the current story…
Tricia asked could I help them move- they weren’t certain where they could go. I said yes, of course, and got to work trying to locate a shelter for them. This is what I learned about the local shelters. There is one for men and one for women and children. This is a problem for Ben and Tricia who have been together for over 20 years. She is disabled and relies on him. They don’t allow animals. This is another problem as Ben and Tricia have their ‘baby’ Goldie (a golden retriever) who is an older dog and suspicious of strangers – not exactly a candidate for shelter adoption even if Ben and Tricia wanted to give her up. And the shelters are filled to overflowing already- especially during times of rain, such as now. And they don’t answer the phone on Sundays.
There is just no way I can invite Ben, Tricia and Goldie to stay with us. I can’t see how it could be done. I could help them move their tent to the state park where we lived this summer. It’s only $10 a night if you bike or hike in with a tent (as opposed $35 per night if you drive in). But when I checked campground availability I discovered they are fully booked until April. Back to the drawing board.