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Do you have any homeless people living in your town?

I'm certain you do. Here in Paradise, CA there are homeless even though it's a small town of 25,000. You don't see them, however, because there is no place they can hang out. They're shooed out of any parks. If they ever try to panhandle they're quickly removed from the area. You never see them around businesses or parking lots. They are invisible.

The way the homeless are dealt with here is to not let them be visible at all. Unfortunately there are more and more homeless every year. A few months back our weekly rag in Chico, CA did an article about the homeless in Paradise. The majority of the those they talked to were NOT drug addicts or mentally ill. They were people who had owned homes and had jobs until the economy crashed. They lost their homes and haven't been able to find a job. They live in cars, if they are lucky. Otherwise there are places they find to sleep at night. Being a rural area in the woods, they can find places to do that. They look out for each other too.

Until the past couple years they had no place to go at night when it's freezing cold and raining or snowing. At first there was real push back against the creation of some sort of shelter. Good samaritans bought an old dilapidated home to give a few homeless folks a place to come into for the night during the winter. It got shut down due to NIMBY stuff. Well after some time a place was created called the Sojourner's House on the Ridge (SHOR). It provides Paradise and Magalia homeless people a place to spend the nights during winter. It closed it's doors for the season on April 30th.

What SHOR does, since having any homes dedicated for homeless shelters was thwarted, is get a number of host churches to let them use their halls and rooms after business hours. Homeless people and supplies are transported to these churches on a rotating basis. The homeless get a meal, a warm place to stay the night and (there's always a kicker) "fellowship," which means some Christian proselytizing. Five churches and seven organizations are involved in SHOR. Organizations include CA Vocations (help in finding any kind of employment), the Cleaning Connection (to clean up these places), La Comida Mexican restaurant (which provides meals), and the Rotary and Quota clubs (which both provide meals). More than 50 volunteers were involved in transportation, overnight supervision and laundering towels and blankets.

Sadly the statistics are heartbreaking. This year SHOR saw a 30% increase in homeless women and a 600% increase in homeless children. You read that right. A 600% increase in homeless children. I'll admit I don't know the actual number of children involved because they didn't say; but just that statistic alone, dramatic to be sure, is still totally mind blowing!

Down in Chico, CA they have a problem with homeless folks. They do hang around the downtown area and they do panhandle. A number of those homeless folks are from out of the area and there are some folks who are mentally ill and others who do have drug problems. There is a shelter that can accommodate a few of them. It was recently closed due to a bed bug infestation but has reopened. There is a place called the Jesus Center which provides meals. For five years there was a church that provided sandwiches to the homeless on Sunday's in the park downtown. Chico's new city council became more conservative and with that they made feeding the homeless in parks illegal. That's sad to me. It was just a sandwich. But do that now and you'll be arrested. I doubt they'd really do anything to you unless you kept doing it over an over.

The people who are homeless in Paradise really upsets me because they are mostly all local people who have hit hard times. Once your unemployment ends...and you can't find a job...and you've lost your home...and often times your car if you still had car payments...you are suddenly shit out of luck. A 30% increase in homeless women and 600% increase in homeless children means lots more families became homeless here where I live. Reading the stories about these folks is emotionally difficult. These are regular folks who lived paycheck to paycheck who once upon a time had middle class lives. They were productive members of society who were making their mortgage payments and car payments. Now they have nothing and no where to live.

Good thing trickle-down economics is floating all boats, right?

It's so weird for me to think these people would be in Safeway buying food and part of our local community, but now that they've lost everything they don't exist anymore. The powers that be want them totally hidden from sight. They are kept invisible.

I have no solutions. I have no answers. In an area that is very red politically, there is not going to be any help provided by the town government or the county government. Thankfully, there are wonderful, generous and compassionate people, churches and organizations that help. But this type of charity isn't enough and never will be. The meme we keep hearing from Republicans that all government safety nets must be ended and that private charity should be all there is won't cut it.

Well, you may have seen this video. If not, here it is. It's about how invisible homeless people are. If you don't tear up while watching this, then I don't understand. This is about the "Make Them Visible" campaign. I believe this is the way to go. Homeless people are people. They aren't alien creatures. If they are seen as people they will hopefully be given some help and dignity. There are even those reading this now who could find themselves homeless. We all know it.




What happens to homeless people where you live?

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Our team is here to provide support and guidance to new and existing volunteer leaders of each regional and state group, helping them with recruiting, organizing and executing social and action events.
We invite you to join in this effort to build our community. There are many ways to pitch in.
If there isn't a group to join near you, please start one.

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DC Kossacks Inaugural Picnic Meet-up: Splendor On The Grass


by NinthElegyfor DC Kossacks

NinthElegy held her inaugural meet-up for the new DC Kossacks on Saturday, April 19th. She packed her tony bamboo picnic hamper with a healthy salad and artisan triple-chocolate cupcakes garnished with Eastern Redbud blossoms from her neighborhood tree. Such lovely details to reward her attendees. The timing was perfect for a picnic among the cherry blossoms on the mall.

Some photos of the newly forming DC Kossacks:

webgeniemimi and sashaEdward Adams
L-R: webgenie, mimi & Sasha and Edward Adams

Please visit NinthElegy diary for many MORE photos! Enjoy! You can join DC Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to NinthElegy.

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Photo (bad) Diary: NYC Meet-up with Chacounne! 3/24/14.
With a special appearance by 714day!


by joanbrookerfor New York City

The NYC Kossacks rolled out the red carpet for the visiting Chacounne and also had the bonus of another last minute visitor, 714day!

Here's one photo:

L-R: Sidnora, Chacounne & 714day

Please visit joanbrooker's diary for many MORE photos plus food pr0n! Enjoy! You can join New York City by sending a Kosmail to sidnora.

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Seattle Kossacks Commiserate


by EagleOfFreedomfor Seattle and Puget Sound Kossacks

EagleOfFreedom has resuscitated the Seattle Kossacks. Many groups have been started there but with the support of this series I think we've got Seattle going again. This is the second meet-up EagleOfFreedom has successfully completed. His diary was really fantastic. Their special guest was Ojibwa. If you read the diary and the comments you can see they are all ready to work together on things like GOTV!

Here's one group photo:

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L-R: mlharges, bleeding blue, Ojibwa, Ms. bleeding blue, ReasonableGunsPlz, John Crapper's Girl, EagleOfFreedom, John Crapper, RickEagle, Momomia, N in Seattle

Please visit EagleOfFreedom's diary for many MORE photos! Enjoy! You can join Seattle and Puget Sound Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to John Crapper, the new leader of Seattle Kossacks.

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Motor City Kossacks Welcomed Dave in Northridge,
3/22, Golden Fleece in Greektown (photos)


by peregrine katefor Motor City Kossacks

The Motor City Kossacks rolled out the red carpet for visiting Dave in Northridge from Los Angeles. peregrine kate details interesting information about Detroit, the upcoming host town of NN14, and describes a delicious dinner in famous Greek Town. Prepping all of us NN14 attendees for our July visit soon!

Here's one group photo:

L-R: peregrine kate, Dave in Northridge, Mr. ICanDoThis, Amber6541. Amber's sister, ICanDoThis, ProvokingMeaning, toneilda

Please visit peregrine kate's diary for many MORE photos plus food pr0n! Enjoy! You can join Motor City Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to peregrine kate.

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Baja Arizona Kossacks Meet-Up Liveblog


by Azazellofor Baja Arizona Kossacks

The Baja Kossacks just had their 4th Annual Picnic at the home of Mr. and Mrs. sneakers563. The group is shepherded by Azazello, an official member of DKos since 2009. From his diary and about his state:

More and better Democrats is always a popular subject for debate here in Baja AZ, especially in an election year. Against the charge that Arizona is an incurably red state I often point out that 5 of our 9 US Reps are Democrats. This is true but it doesn't tell the whole story. While we in Tucson are justifiably proud of Raúl Grijalva (Wikipedia HERE) whose first elected office was board member for Tucson Unified School District #1, most of Tucson and all of Cochise County are now represented by Ron Barber (Wikipedia HERE) who is a very Blue Dog indeed. For an example of this Blue Doggedness see this article at Alternet ☛ 5 Million Dirty Reasons for Record Deportations.

He's on top of it and thanks to him for gathering Kossacks together to become stronger.

 Here's the group photo:

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L-R: Back row: pwoodford, DaNang65, Azazello, itzadryheat, rasbobbo
Front row: ItsAMathJoke, drnatrl, sneakers563, chloris creator, Desert Rose

Please visit Azazello's diary for many MORE photos including food pr0n! Enjoy! You can join Baja Arizona Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to Azazello.

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Los Angeles Kossacks: Shanikka's Red Carpet Lunch 3/15 - With Pictures


by Dave in Northridgefor Los Angeles Kossacks

The LAKossacks welcome shanikka to their fair city. Many people attend. Here are few photos:

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L-R: moore musings and shanikka
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L-R: Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno      and      bruinkid

Please visit Dave in Northridge's diary for many MORE photos plus Food Pr0n! Enjoy! You can join Los Angeles Kossacks by sending a Kosmail to Dave in Northridge.

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Event Organizers! Please contact wink from Netrootsradio.com by KosMail to schedule airtime with them to live broadcast your Event. Wink & Justice will then promote it on The After Show radio program!
Dkos Asheville
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Saturday, May 3rd

DKos Asheville Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville

ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. randallt
2. davehouck
3. Joieau
4. Gordon20024
5. SteelerGrrl
6. SteelerGuy
7. GulfGal 98
8. Otteray Scribe
9. flwrightman
10. people power granny
11. eternallyvigilant
12. gulfgal98
13. cultjake
14. Nic Goodman
Maybees:
Audri
Mr Audri
Latest diary: DKos Asheville - Weekly Open Thread
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KOSCADIA banner
Sunday, May 4th

Koscadia Meet-up

TIME: 1:30 PM
LOCATION: TBD
TBD • Portland

ORGANIZER: Send llbear a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. llbear
2. Sara R
3. winglion
Maybees:
Latest diary: Spring haz sprung & so haz I - can u Koscadia?
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Boston Kossacks logo, 550x100 pixels.
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Saturday, May 10th

Boston Kossacks Attend
Singing for the Planet Concert

Tickets are $25; $20 students/seniors, proceeds benefit www.350MA.org

TIME: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: Emmanuel Church
15 Newbury Street • Boston

ORGANIZER: Send GreyHawk a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. GreyHawk
2. HawkWife
3. WarrenS
4. Knockbally
Maybees:
Latest diary: Next BosKos Meetup - Sat 12 Apr at the Cafe Barada
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Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise with SFKossacks banner treatment
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Tuesday, May 13th

SFKossacks Roll Out the Red Carpet
for LeftOfYou & Expat Okie

TIME: 11:00 AM, Early lunch!
LOCATION: Yank Sing
Rincon Center, 101 Spear St. • San Francisco

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. navajo
2. LeftOfYou
3. Expat Okie
4. side pocket
5. Justice Putnam
6. dharmasyd
7. Lorikeet
8. jpmassar
Maybees:
annieli
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Saturday, May 24th

Seattle & Puget Sound Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: 1:00 - 3:00 PM
LOCATION: Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery & Restaurant
1201 First Avenue South • Seattle

ORGANIZER: Send John Crapper a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. John Crapper
2. bleeding blue
3. wise piper
4. flamingogirl
5. John Crapper's SO
6. Grey Fedora
7. TBoneApollo
8. N in Seattle
9. momomia
10. momomia's friend
11. Piren
Maybees:
LeftyCoaster
Eagle Keeper
Latest diary: Seattle and Puget Sound Kossacks - Come Together!
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Saturday, May 24th

LA Kossacks Meet-up with Guest Speaker:
Marianne Williamson, US Congress candidate

TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION:  Casey's Irish Pub
613 S Grand Ave. • Los Angeles

ORGANIZER: Send Dave in Northridge a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Shockwave
2. susans
3. Otoelbc
Maybees:
Chiwere
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]


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Saturday, May 31st

LA Kossacks Meet-up with Guest Speakers:
Matt Miller
, US Congress candidate for CA-33 and Sandra Fluke, California Senate candidate for the CA-05 Senate district. CA-05 Senate and CA-33 US Congress overlap 50%. Both candidates agreed to speak at the same meeting.

TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION:  Casey's Irish Pub
613 S Grand Ave. • Los Angeles

ORGANIZER: Send Dave in Northridge a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Shockwave
2. susans
3. Otoelbc
Maybees:
Chiwere
Latest diary: CA-33; a record breaking and highly visible district
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Cheers and Jeers logo
Wednesday, July 16th

Annual Cheers & Jeers Dinner to Kick-Off NN14, Kossacks Only

TIME: 6:00 PM
LOCATION: TBD
TDB • Detroit

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to RSVP.

RSVPs:
1. Common Sense Mainer
2. Bill in Portland Maine
3. smileycreek
4. paradise50
5. side pocket
6. Mrs. side pocket
7. norm
8. maggiejean
9. Shockwave
10. a gilas girl
11. susans
12. Sara R
13. belinda ridgewood
14. sidnora
15. Mr. sidnora
16. thankgodforairamerica
17. brillig
18. mik
19. K1
20. loggersbrat
21. Dave in Northridge
22. 714day
23. NormAl1792
24. texasmom
25. texasdad
26. a gilas girl
27. peregrine kate
28. provokingmeaning
29. justiceputnam
30. tmservo433
31. Mark E Andersen
32. Son of Mark E Andersen
Daily Kos Staff:
1. Markos Moulitsas
2. Susan Gardner
3. Will Rockafellow
4. Meteor Blades
5. Joan McCarter
6. Faith Gardner
7. Laura Clawson
8. Chris Bowers
9. navajo
10.
11.
12.

33. winkk
34. theRoaringGirl
35. shermanesq
36. Doggie269
37. shanikka
38. jakedog42
39. ramara
40. skohayes
41. DebtorsPrison
42. gmats
43. Adam Blomeke
44. LuLu
45. Chicklette
46. PerfectStormer
47. 4Freedom
48. DemSign
49. vicki
50. Cedwyn
51. jotter
52. aha aha

Maybees: N in Seattle, Turbonerd

Latest diary: Connect! Unite! Act! ATTN: DC, Tucson & Seattle Meet-up Info! +Q: Roll Call, Are You Attending NN14?



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Friday, July 18th

Daily Kos Detroit VA Hospital Service Project

Sara R delivers 65 quilts, hand knit scarves and hats, books, 65 teddy bears, hand made greeting cards, and phone cards from the DK Quilt Guild, WAYWO, the Readers & Book Lovers, IGTNT and individual Kossacks to the nursing home at the Detroit VA Hospital. This is a wonderful project that many people can be involved with even if they don't attend the convention. If you care about veterans in a nursing home this is your project. Please volunteer to help.

DELIVERY TIME: Noon
LOCATION: Volunteer Office of the Detroit VA Hospital
4646 John R St. • Detroit

ORGANIZER: Send Sara R a Kosmail to participate in making the gifts and/or deliver them.

RSVPs to help deliver gifts:
1. Sara R
2. NormAl1792
3. Winifred
Maybees:
Latest diary: DK Quilt Guild: What Inspires You?



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Plenary Session Tables during the rest of the Convention

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to have a seat reserved for you in the main ballroom of the convention center for the big events. These table will be there so we can all find each other as a group. The seating is not assigned. You can float from table to table. I'm counting to see how many tables I need to reserve.

Cheers & Jeers Table:
1. Common Sense Mainer
2. Bill in Portland Maine
3. brillig
4. mik
5. K1
6. loggersbrat
7. N in Seattle
8. vicki
9. Cedwyn
10.
Motor City Kossacks:
1. peregrine kate
2. provokingmeaning
3. 4Freedom
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
SFKossacks Table:
1. navajo
2. Meteor Blades
3. smileycreek
4. paradise50
5. side pocket
6. Mrs. side pocket
7. norm
8. maggiejean
9. Jeff in CA
10. Mrs. Jeff in CA
SFKossacks Table II:
1. a gilas girl
2. justiceputnam
3. Sara R
4. DebtorsPrison
5. tmservo433
6. shanikka
7. Dragon5616
8. jotter
9. aha aha
10.
Los Angeles Table:
1. Shockwave
2. susans
3. Dave in Northridge
4. gmats
5. 714day
6. jakedog42
7.
8.
9.
10.
New York Table:
1. sidnora
2. Mr. sidnora
3. belinda ridgewood
4. thankgodforairamerica
5. Dee Oliver-Velez
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Maybees:
kjoftherock, angry marmot, boran2, Turbonerd, northerntier, northerntier's SO,
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navajo maintains the above event list. Kosmail her if you have any diaries
about your event or if you have changes or additions.
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EVERYONE is welcome, tell us what you're working on,
share your show and tell, vent, whatever you want.
This is an open thread. Nothing is off topic.

Originally posted to Connect! Unite! Act! on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kossacks for the Homeless Person.

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