Written by Richard Dorsett with comments by Don Doman.
It’s a hot one. Living on the streets isn’t just rough, but is often physically demanding. People haul their possessions, work on automobiles, and are frequently without shade or shelter. When it’s pushing 90 degrees in my backyard, the asphalt down in the port is 110 degrees and hotter.
Water, that liquid of life, puts a smile on most any face. The folks I often see are often reconciled to being hot and thirsty, so an unexpected case of water is a welcome surprise. I wish you were along to see the response, hear the “God bless,” and know that while water won’t end homelessness, it can sure improve these lives in being, if only for awhile. Water, it seems to me, is as basic as it gets.
And the vehicular sweep on Milwaukee Way continues. Lots remain, though we didn’t do a count today. But the photos of the concrete blocks are the Port’s answer to the homeless. Up to $300k they are authorized to spend. For now, many of the homeless vehicles are gone, replaced by semi-trailers, camping in many of the same spots. Just more whack-a-mole and I never did get a call from a Port Commissioner to talk about options. The ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) is often progressive about those that are down and out, but I’m don’t know how they are viewing homelessness in the port environs.
Thanks to all who provided or delivered water. We have a lousy system in place, but those that are out and about are doing the best they can. The County has been working on some basic decisions about inclement weather events for a year. I’d think an elected County Executive could hold a meeting and make a decision in about ninety minutes. Instead, I hear the bureaucrats may have things sorted out by August. Too little, too late.
The weather should break tonight (Monday the 27th) and temperatures will drop. But we’re not yet to July and more hot weather is on the way. Stock up on water and keep a case in your car. It’s simple business to give a few bottles to someone in need. Or buy an extra case when you stock up and deliver to my porch. There is no tax deduction, but every bottle of water you provide will get to someone who needs it.
– Richard Dorsett
Although Dick lives in the North End of Tacoma, he visits camps throughout the county. If you would like to deliver a pack of water to Dick’s doorstep, please send me a comment via The Suburban Times and I will respond. I like to keep a a pack of water at my office as well as one in my car to share.
I have worked on a number of projects with Dick, sometimes, involving the Rotary Club of Tacoma #8 as well as St. Vinnie’s. If you know a grocery store, or gas station that sells plastic wrapped cases of water, I would be happy to pick up and deliver to Dick’s front porch if you purchase bottled water for the homeless. Let me know where to pick up and the purchase details via The Suburban Times.
My absolute favorite example of support for our neighbors is St Vinnie’s, the only organization in Pierce County providing emergency hot weather supplies/water to outreach teams without stipulations about where it can be distributed. Last month they purchased 10 cases of water for distribution to an encampment that only serves homeless vets.
For information about programs and assistance, visit: svdptacoma.org/