Women & Water

Journal

Santa Rosa, California

I found my way to a small park in old Santa Rosa where I met 5 men, one woman, and their dog. They are homeless.

We discussed the fire. I wanted to hear a woman’s perspective and talk about the homeless population being taxed by the influx of more people on the street. The fire has destroyed neighbourhoods, a lot of the homes were low-income housing.

I wanted to know about their reality. They told me about their freedom. They told me about their addictions.

They said that the police have been harder on them since the fire. The police have been giving them tickets. They have no money for tickets….

She, Tammy, has just gotten married to Vinnie. She is proud of that love. So is he. They kiss in front of me. They say: take our photo.

“No one talks to us, they think that we are scum, but you are here. You are here because you have your reasons and I won’t ask what they are.” Says Jason. He is kind. He offers a blanket because he sees that I am shivering.

It is late in the day.

I feel my humanity.

Joanne Teasdale