Thursday, January 6, 2011

No soup today

Today the people in Nickelsville still had leftover food after the holidays and Mike was again at the stove with one of his great cooking creations, so I was free to just visit and chat and we agreed that tomorrow is a better day for soup.

Miss Priss has a new outfit, but wants
a kiss more than to show the skirt
Richard was on the guard duty, slightly under the weather, as he has cold and no cold medicine...  I talked with him, Falcon and Gypsy about  how their holiday season went and the general way Nickelsville is run; also played with one of the resident dogs.

 The Christmas season passed rather uneventful  and the neighbors donated quite a bit of food:  there was a nearby church which cooked one holiday dinner, eaten on the tables, Thai restaurant  brought a tasty meal one evening and various private individuals were dropping turkeys and other holiday food.

The capacity of the place is 100, but with the people's stuff spread around in all corners they keep around 90; about 60 f them are men, the rest are women. Keeping below capacity also allows them to respond to emergencies, should somebody need a warm place on a cold night.  Nickelsville can, but nowadays rarely admits children, although some 3 weeks ago a mother with a 6 month old baby-boy stayed in for about a week, until thanks to concerted help of various friends and a nearby church she moved to a more appropriate housing.

Roughly a dozen people come each week asking for admission.  They might be offered a one night stay - Nickelsville's rule is not to leave people out in the cold - and are admitted after reading and signing the rules (17 of them, quite strict, I'll do a separate post on the rules sometimes).
Miss Priss loooves Gypsy (check her new outfit)

 If the newcomer wants to stay and there is a place for him/her, a more in-depth intake follows:
•  the person has to have a photo ID (Nickelsville helps with that by explaining how to get it and directing to a church that issues vouchers to pay for the process)
• the person's name is run by the sex offender's list (sex offenders are not allowed)
- if they are children involved CPS is notified (to make sure that the child is not in their custody or that a parent is not running away with a child from authorities)
• the prospective Nickelodeon (as they like to call themselves) is educated about the goals and mission of  Nickelsville, and sign a page-long statement describing it ('You are expected to participate in the governance of Nickelsville - because it's real participatory democracy and will fall apart if you don't!').
• Read and initialize all of the 17 rules and sign at the bottom of the page that you are staying here at your own sole risk, and 'will hold the City of Seattle harmless from any claim [...] with respect to the condition of the facilities [...]'

Slightly off the subject:  today I visited the websites of our elected city officials for something totally unrelated and discovered that Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata is quite sympathetic to the issues facing our homeless brothers and sisters: his webpage is quite prominently displaying 'Song of Tent City' - a blog of a poet/artist A K Mimi Allin of Tent City 3.  Bravo Nick Licata!

And to end with a national news on the plight of the homeless,  I can't  forget about Ted Williams:  a few days ago a resident of a tent near a highway in Columbus, Ohio; today a velvety baritone of Kraft and other offers are coming...  Not the way a civilized society should resolve the issue of homelessness ('celebrity homeless' - a new low for our broken societal system), but best of luck Ted!  May you never be homeless or hungry again!:
- article about Ted here
- YouTube video of Ted here

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