I have a pressing issue that is dear to my heart that I feel needs to be addressed. Our community is estranged from the realities of homelessness. I’ve seen an influx in the number of homeless transient people coming into town during this time of year. This is not news. For many years the seasonal workers and travelers have come into town and camped out on the Homer Spit.
These folks worked the fish docks and other seasonal employment. The only difference now is that our community is trying very hard to expel the very people who drive our suffering economy. Now with the cuts in IFQs and a dying commercial fleet there is less work on the docks than ever before. The cost of food and housing is higher than ever before, and there is not even one place in town to get water day and night.
I live in a drafty shed without electricity and running water and I’m very grateful for the roof over my head. When I address these issues I by no means have any solutions. I am just a witness to the homeless being removed at all hours from the post office by the police. I am just a witness of the homeless being awakened by the librarians and the staff at McDonald’s, and being told that this is not a place to sleep. This is an everyday thing for these entities.
What is our little fishing/tourist community without these minimum wage workers? What are they worth to us when they encounter consecutive sleepless nights and days without access to food or water? I would hope more people see what they can do for us and what we could do to make their summer stay a little less strenuous.
Thank you for reading my letter and hope you might pass it along.