When I first read about Blog Action Day over on a blog called Global Themes concerning poverty, I thought it was an interesting idea. But the more I looked around me in Willits, the more I realized that what looks like poverty here is not nearly the grinding hardship found in some nations, with children living in cardboard boxes on trash heaps, plagued with malaria and malnutrition and filthy water. Could I really make a post appropriate to the small scope of Willits Daily Photo that represents poverty in the global sense of the word? Probably not.
We do have persistently homeless people, who are often mentally ill, or drug addicted, or mentally scarred by combat experiences, but I haven't photographed them, nor have I looked for their encampments. Then there are the drifters-by-choice, who may pursue the "freegan" lifestyle, or ramble through this area hoping to find work in the marijuana underground for a season before hitching a ride back home.
But there are other people who rallied their resources enough at some point, and found a travel trailer or camper to live in, and found a place to legally put it, like the folks in this tiny lot. At least it gives them a permanent address for receiving a small social security check, or to write on a job application. There's a permanent building on site that must have the required showers and toilets. The sycamore trees provide blessed shade in the heat of summer, and there's a billiards table on the other side, next to the street, with a compact florescent light bulb dangling overhead. They are situated right across the railroad tracks from the local food distribution charity. Things could be worse, I suppose. But they surely are below the "poverty line", as defined by demographers and eligibility workers here in the US.
 For more information about advocacy for the homeless, particularly veterans, see the comments on this post by admin/Aron.
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