Uprooting The Homeless: Meet Them and Cheat Them Today, Lose Their Trust Tomorrow

A huge tree fallen across a tent encampment, crushing everything under it
This scene was created by affordablehousingaction.org and is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication
It's a weather nightmare for homeless people in California, with winds and floods sweeping across people and fragile tents.

“When you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose,” sang the Bob Dylan in his famous song “Like a Rolling Stone.” Dylan is renowned for his great lyrics.

But however great they may be, people who experience homelessness tend not to subscribe to those sentiments. True enough, they ain’t got nothin’. But if experience in Sacramento, California is anything to go by, even during the life threatening weather the state has been suffering, many homeless people know perfectly well that they do have more to lose.

Which is why they currently exasperate officials bound and determined to close down campsites for a host of reasons, including the danger of trees falling on tents. At least two people in the state have been killed this way during recent storms.

The following article discusses the problem, ultimately putting it down to the shared distrust of local authorities with too many homeless people feeling they have been betrayed. Here’s the scenario that many describe: a person who is living in a tent is convinced by someone that there is shelter space available for them if they leave their encampment. So, they leave. But for any number of reasons, the shelter is not available. And when they return to their former campsite, all their belongings, everything, is gone. They indeed have something to lose. They lost it, and are all the poorer for it.

Read more about survival that depends on guarding what is little or nothing, and fearing that it, too, will vanish if they leave it, in capradio: Thousands of homeless Sacramentans remain outside during these deadly storms. Here’s why shelter isn’t always an option.