Yesterday the Oakdale Uturn Project went out and volunteered for the County Annual Homeless Pit Count. I didn’t feel like the time the county did this was right. Once daylight comes, the ones on the street roll up because
1. Oakdale cops don’t play. They are quite good at keeping the streets clear and
2. It’s also the time that most addicted on the streets are out hustling their morning drinks and fixes.
During the time I did the count I saw no one homeless.
I went back after the volunteers went home and I found an extra 6 people once the weather warmed up and they came out. 2 at the river. 1 sitting on the side of the road and 3 at Woodward. I think the real number is important and a lot more energy could be put into getting it. These pictures are a couple of peoples homes In Oakdale. They light little fires in the corner where it’s safe and they can keep warm. None of these people made the count because they weren’t there when we walked through, but they’re there.
Very high percentage of the people homeless have either mental health or addiction problems. Unless we deal with addiction the right way, the streets will not clean up. It’s the way it is. Make access to treatment easier. Hold people accountable for their actions. If There are no consequences, there’s no reason for changes. I am very grateful for every single pair of handcuffs that went over these wrists. Arrest without proper treatment is a waste of time though. It’s a bill for the city and recidivism will continue. Our entire system needs rewiring.