Few of us are blind to the hardship of homelessness in the Bay Area. But I think many of us develop a small callous on our hearts to it, if only because it is everywhere we go in our cities. Taking in the enormity of it could absolutely immobilize a person.
Some do their part, like my friend Sonia Scott, who made a bunch of fleece scarves & distributed them near where we work in Downtown Oakland. We contribute our funds and cans of food. But at the end of the day, it feels like a Sisyphean task, in which we just keep rolling that rock up the never-ending hill.
Most people in the country know that we in Oakland are Occupied. This past weekend after being prevented from Occupying the vacant Kaiser Convention Center, part of the movement occupied Lake Merritt with a small houseboat. The back wall of the boat has a message that cites the number of homeless people living in the United States and asks why we have closed our doors to them.
By-passing discussion of Occupy & what I believe is a growing impatience for it, the movement has served as a catalyst for discussion about homelessness. And now there is a houseboat in the lake.