This letter is in response to “Street gangs have taken over our town,” and everyone else.
I have been house free for five years now, the majority of my time spent working in Garberville for various established businesses. I have traveled from San Diego to Seattle to Georgia, Missouri, and Texas. But I always return to Garberville. I wasn’t born here, but it’s the wonderful people I have met through the years, and the fresh air, that make me call it home.
Living outside in Humboldt is not easy. Lots of rain in the winter and lots of traffic in the summer, and it makes it that much harder when the view of the locals (in town and the hills) is such a negative one to the house free. Every year we all sit waiting for the rain to hit so everyone who isn’t serious about being in this community goes on to other things. I think we can all agree about one thing, and that’s respect. We all need it, we all lost it, and now there is a huge fight going on to get it back.
Now this goes to everyone: nobody is going to respect someone who does not give it first. And frankly I have been seeing some lack of respect on both sides.
I would like to address this letter, “street gangs have taken over our towns.” I must say, to be lumped into one group of “...felons, parolees, rapist, child molesters, thieves...” is absolutely disgusting and hurtful. None of these describe me, and you can’t be so naïve to think that all houseless people are the same, or say that every single-housed person living in your community is an outstanding citizen. We’re all humans and life tends to be hard sometimes so why make it harder on each other?
I know it’s so cliché, but...”can’t we all just get along?”
So who is going to start? I extend my hand of peace to this community and say thank you to all you wonderful people who make it what it is. And now, I ask you, please do the same. In order to get respect you need to give it and when you give respect amazing things happen. I think we’ve all seen that. So remember, Garberville, there’s good people everywhere. If you can’t find one, be one.
Anastasia N. Phalen