Monday, January 10, 2011

I Left San Francisco Last Night

I left San Francisco last night. I was originally planning on leaving today (Monday) or Tuesday morning, but over the last few days I was feeling that I had learned everything I could there. I felt as though I had nothing else I could do there and that everything I had to write was written. And so, a last minute decision was made to up and go. So right around 7PM I jumped in my car, with just under half a tank of gas, and drove the 120 miles south to Monterey.

I chose Monterey for a few different reasons. I’ll admit that some reasons were personal but the over all reason is not personal. I have a close friend that lives here and have been excited to be able to see her. I’ve been here once before and think this area is absolutely beautiful, so the photography is another reason I wanted to come here. The main reason I’m here however, is to bring to light side of homelessness we don’t think of as often; the side that media rarely, if ever, depicts, and that is homelessness in smaller cities. Besides the time I spent in Rapid City, SD I haven’t been in a place with a population around or below 50,000.

These smaller places have a much smaller budget for homeless outreach than the major metropolitan areas I've been in. As far as I’ve been able to see, Monterey does not have a shelter. The closest place is a Salvation Army in the neighboring town, Seaside. I spent today, like every other “first day there” getting myself good and lost and realizing that it’s been a long time since I’ve been here. I went online to figure out what services there are here and what there is as far as temp agencies, so that I can get some work and be able to make the 320 mile trip to Los Angeles in a few weeks.

Besides trying to find work, my time here will be spent shedding light on how living homeless in a smaller town is for the people who live it. I don’t feel like I did a very good job of that while I was in Rapid City, and I hope round two is more of an eye opening experience for me and you.
Thank You

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