Tag Archives: cedar street times

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.

http://www.vox.com/first-person/2016/9/29/12941348/homeless-over-50-statistic

 

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.

 

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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.

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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!

 

 

SAVING LIVES

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:

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Wonder woofers

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

 

http://www.cedarstreettimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/8-19-16-cstweb.pdf

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.

 

cicibug

 

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

 

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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.

http://monterey.craigslist.org/rew/5728749956.html

 

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