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
- 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.