Tag Archives: affordable housing

The Promised Land on a Horse with No Name

500 women over the age of 50 on the monterey bay peninsula are experiencing what I have as well as people across the country have been writing to me telling me their stories. Cici and I are overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who have sent me kind words, donations and offers to help us.  A special thank you to Melody and Diane, two inspiring women who gave us hope and friendship on the road.



Thank you to Eleanor at Vox and Karen Turner for their kindness and assistance with this article.


We have been featured on some pretty high profile pages, see below.








We also love what our friend Wanda Sue wrote about us in this week’s Cedar Street Times:


Monterey Workshop addresses Affordable Housing Solutions

Ask yourself: Now what was that all about?

Reducing a speech, lecture, or event into a one-line summary isn’t easy, but you’ll be surprised what you discover by condensing a major phenomenon into ten words or less.

If interested, try this: Focus on one specific event, such as the first Presidential Debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump last Monday. Then ask: What was that all about?

When I did the exercise, fifteen hours of contemplation resulted in extracting a comment Hillary made at the opening of the debate. Paraphrased, the most-important message I culled from event was:

One out of two Americans lives paycheck to paycheck

Never mind the fact neither candidate mentioned the H word. Hillary’s statement implied poverty is already a national epidemic. Mass homelessness proportional to disenfranchised Americans of the  Great Depression years seems imminent, even in a paradise like Monterey..

That not-too-distant future is now for CeliaSue Hecht, about whom you’ve read in this newspaper.

The former journalist who’s now homeless lives a nomadic life which is currently reminiscent of Biblical times.

Monterey’s rider on a horse with no name

CeliaSue is a stalwart symbol of bright, sober and mature homeless women with both courage and talent. She is a well-bred middle-class, college-educated former New Yorker, age 66, whom homelessness turned into a living example of the legendary person crossing the desert on a horse with no name. The steed in her case is a dusty white van shared with her dog Cici. It serves as the office from which she freelances as a writer and blogger.

During the six-months in which the City of Monterey was researching the feasibility of adopting five amendments to its Housing Element, each of which might hopefully ameliorate the affordable housing crisis in the city, CeliaSue Hecht went south to avoid becoming a starfish on another cold winter beach in Monterey.

Hoping to find a cozy room at an inn, she found instead, what I would succinctly define as a temporary oasis in The Promised Land for the Homeless, otherwise known as the desert near Giant Rock Airport.


The Promised Land for the Homeless?

CeliaSue has been sleeping in a trailer on a campsite where she helps tend a herd of thirty-plus goats. There is no running water or electricity, but a perk in this region noted for flying saucer sightings is an occasional anomaly above the yucca trees that could be a fortuitous sign or even revelation of future things to come.

Look at the photo and ask yourself: What is this streak all about?  Then try to define it in ten words or less.

As a  help, you might remember the most-beloved Bible story of them all, in which a bright star appears over the manger in which an infant sleeps while shepherds tend their flocks by night.

When I asked myself what this is all about, the answer was: History repeats itself.

If this goat could talk, it might reveal where the homeless go from here by baa-baa-baa-ing, “There’s lots of  land in the Great American Southwest!




if you live on the Central Coast of California or know someone who does and have an RV, camper, mobile home or trailer that is gently used and would like to provide a home for a senior or veteran, please call CeliaSue at 702-225-8206…have a list of those in need of housing. You can also contribute here:


Filed under Adventure, affordable housing, all you need is a dog, California, Dalmatian, dog friendly, dog travel, dogs, Don't worry be happy, donations, farm animals, goat, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Palm Springs, travel with dog, women with dogs

Wonder woofers

This column article is in the Cedar Street Times this Friday… thanks to Wanda Sue Parrott



see cici on page 14, article about wonder woofers
photo by Mark Anderson, Monterey County Weekly

Wonder woofers and owners who won’t live without them

“Housing First!” If you were a homeless woman, or on the verge, housing would be your top priority.

Alas, affordable housing is so lacking in Monterey County, that “housing first” is the slogan all agencies, both public and private, use in dealing with affordable housing across the board.  (Note: Cici and I wish this were true)

A special category of need exists that involves homeless women with pets, a few being cats and the majority dogs. The exact number of Monterey’s homeless pet owners is unknown.

Overnight dog housing needed

Landlords don’t want pets and agency-housing doesn’t usually allow them.

Homeless women don’t want to give up their dogs, so they sleep in their cars or on the street to be with their animals.

One reason for temporary suspension of the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program for Women (I-HELP) was the fact female guests weren’t willing to give up their canine  companions in exchange for food, personal amenities and shelter.

Suggestions have been made that an I-HELP for Pets program be devised through which pets can be sheltered at a designated location, then reunited with their owners during the daytime hours.

Between 400 and 500 homeless women were estimated to live on the Monterey Peninsula before the Soberanes Fire dislocated residents who were burned out over the past three weeks. Of this number, an unknown percentage includes pet owners who consider their four-legged friends as more than just canines. They’re their Wonder Woofers.

A few words about Wonder Woofers

Cici is a poster-dog for this column. She’s a loving Dalmatian-Pit Bull mix seen here celebrating her 10th birthday last month. Cici is a Wonder Woofer. Along with her Wonder Worker owner, Cici is homeless.




Since Cici can’t define Wonder Woofer, I’ll try.

A Wonder Woofer is a warm-blooded furry friend who speaks from the heart in arfs, ruffs and woofs we humans call barks. A Wonder Woofer is on the job 24/7, never complaining.

A Wonder Woofer likes to snuggle and wiggle and lick, as well as serenade his or her human with  love songs sung unconditionally through squeals, whimpers, whines and hums.

A Wonder Woofer’s vocal range is extensive, also being capable of issuing protective warnings by yipping, growling and snarling if danger exists.

CeliaSue Hecht, Cici’s loving owner, is a former journalist who’s so devoted to her pet that she defines herself as a “dog traveler.”

Unlike many homeless women who don’t know where to turn or how to get started to solve the housing crisis, CeliaSue is a 66-year-old articulate activist. Despite having survived breast cancer and being in need of medical care and housing, CeliaSue is seeking solutions to the housing crisis. A current example is this ad in Craigslist:

RVs for Seniors with Dogs





If you live on the Central Coast of California and have an RV, camper, or trailer or know someone that does and would like to provide a home for a senior or veteran, please call CeliaSue at 702-225-8206…we have a list of those in need of housing.

Hundreds of senior women have been displaced with their pets. Single women without children, women who are not mentally ill, not drug addicts, not alcoholics, with low income, not working or cannot find work, veterans, and other seniors with dogs, over 50 years of age, some ill and whose health has deteriorated without shelter. 

Thank you for your kindness.



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Filed under affordable housing, big dogs welcome, California, Carmel, dog travel, dogs, donations, four paws up, K9 travel, keep pets safe, Monterey, news, pet press, pet travel, Uncategorized

Help Pets of Homeless People

Being homeless in our society is being a fugitive on the run, a person cannot BE anywhere…it is illegal to sit on a bench or sleep in a park or public land… people cannot use public toilets and are moved from one place to another, they are not allowed to be in a shelter during the day but there is no place for them to go/be…stores ask them to leave, so do libraries… they can be arrested for loitering… NIMBY (not in my backyard) is all too often what happens.

Sticking people in shelters DOES NOT SOLVE homelessness. And many shelters do NOT allow pets.

The government is in denial, citizens are in denial, everyone is in denial so the problem does NOT get solved. Shutting down our eyes, ears and mouths, turning away, sending someone elsewhere does NOT help anyone. How would YOU feel if you suddenly lost YOUR job and YOUR home and were left to fend for yourself? Maybe you have family and friends who you could seek assistance from but for how long? And what if you don’t?

Imagine how YOU would feel being all alone without a home or food and NO ONE to turn to besides strangers.

The key to ending homelessness is adequate and affordable housing, and to help people take charge of and get help for their financial or mental instability in order to become self-sufficient.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, approximately 40 percent of homeless males are veterans, with many experiencing mental disabilities. Approximately 7 to 9 percent of the homeless population are under the age of 18, and 50 percent are families with children. Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children, and approximately 25,000 homeless women and children received help from domestic violence services each year.

It is estimated by the National Coalition for the Homeless that between 5 percent to 10 percent of homeless people have dogs and/or cats.

There are different types of homeless people. Some are homeless, but live in their car, van or motorhome; others live in camping areas, and still others live literally in the streets. Some homeless people may have mild to serious emotional or mental issues, whereas others had a string of bad luck that turned into homelessness.

Read more: How to Help Pets of Homeless People | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5025227_help-pets-homeless-people.html#ixzz1jAB2Bzn7

Is The US Government Wasting Money on Homelessness?


The Government Accountability Office (GAO) announced that the federal government spent $2.9 billion for federal homeless programs in 2009, a dollar amount typically allocated each year.

In this season of a growing national budget deficit, where lawmakers are fighting over what sort of government spending cuts should be implemented, critics of homeless spending jumped on the GAO report.

Three billion dollars per year, and homelessness continues to soar? Critics argue the infrastructure to end homelessness is imploding. They say that with the national cost of building a home pegged at $200,000 per unit, 145,000 homes for the homeless could be built each year with this money.

That is a lot of homes, a lot of housed homeless people.

Is the government really using its dollars to end homelessness, or is this multi-billion dollar annual investment just another kind of pork-barrel scheme?…

Homelessness is a result of a broken social safety net in this country, a system that spews homeless people on to the streets from the Department of Defense, Department of Social Services, prisons, mental and physical health institutions, and foster care programs.

Throw in unemployment, spousal and child abuse, lack of a comprehensive health care system for anyone living below middle class, and this country ends up with more than a million Americans on the street. (Some even think the number is more.)



if you would like to help people who are without a home … stop/prevent foreclosures… assist people to get housing even squat in abandoned homes… there are 4 million homeless and 40 million (not exact stats.) abandoned/vacant homes in the US…

Make affordable housing a priority in your community…Sticking people in shelters DOES NOT SOLVE homelessness.

Start a group, maybe a non-profit to address the root cause issues practically, and GIVE to the needy/homeless what they need… a Place to Rest… Housing… an Affordable Home…

if u dare… ask your church, local govt what they are doing to help people, volunteer at a food bank or homeless shelter… your eyes will OPEN… you likely will be appalled to find out that the organizations who are supposed to help the needy/homeless people too often turn people away, have VERY limited resources, are bureaucracies, are NOT places anyone would want to stay in and/or abuse/exploit the homeless for money…


you might want to keep a bag in your car to help people u see holding signs… first, talk to the people and find out what they specifically need… people are individuals and have different needs.


This is a suggestion, items are optional but often what is needed.

Keep a BAG in your vehicle. A backpack. Fill it with the following:
1. At least 2 bottles of water
2. A bag of fruit, apples, dried fruit and nuts (trail mix), energy bars, oatmeal, easy to eat but nourishing, or if u can, a gift card for grocery store

pet food… often there is a dog or cat that has been adopted and in need… that may need vet care or spay/neutering
3. A set of plastic utensils
4. A set of clothes. Shirt, Shorts/pants, sox, maybe a pair of shoes, hat, gloves
5. Travel items
Tooth brush
Tooth paste
Shave Cream
Toilet paper (yes they make travel size TP)
clean towel
sleeping bag/tent
prepaid cell phone or phone card

give the bag to the person(s)…

if the person(s) has a pet, or if you just would like to donate to Pets of the Homeless, please paypal your donation to prmatchmaker@yahoo.com and you will be assisting needy and/or homeless folks to feed their pets.

Thank you.

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Filed under affordable housing, all you need is a dog, dogs, Huffington Post, non-profits, pet care, pet food, Uncategorized

free weekly giveaway ends tomorrow… yurts anyone?

ok, you have one more day, the last few days no one else has submitted any entries… which makes us think that we should give people a shorter amount of time… for the next giveaway, you will have a day or two… Internet time is faster than real time…   we have some wonderful new surprises and resources coming up… 

yesterday, while writing about yurts and affordable and alternative housing for my blog for the Seattle newspaper, I came across two cute photos (below)… a dog in a yurt and a couple of llamas in a yurt…since I don’t yet know how to post photos there, and since they are animals, thought I’d post them here for you to enjoy… and if you don’t know and want to know what a yurt is, visit my other blog below (hint: a yurt is a round or circular or dome housing structure used by nomads in Mongolia, Russia and even in the USA)…  am thinking that they will come in handy on some land for the K9 healing center, some yurts for the animals, a yurt for myself, for staff and guests… yurts are in campgrounds across America, there are yurt bed and breakfast inns, and yurts have endured extreme weather such as snow, rain, and heat… they are extremely affordable… portable… and easy to put up, good for emergency relief shelter, nomads, dog kennels, dog weddings, mobile offices, writer’s retreat, artists studio, dog camps, doggie daycare and doggie education centers.  Women writers with dogs retreat and healing center… 

If anyone would like to donate land, yurts, expertise and other resources for the doggie healing and education center, please let me know.  we will need to set up a 5013c non-profit status, grants, and donations… am going to announce a Creative Expression contest this week which will help launch and fund the healing center so get in on the ground floor, for the pups. 








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