QUOTE: "In a car park across the street from luxury mansions, the evening brings a strange sight. A few cars arrive and take up spaces in different corners. In each car, a woman, perhaps a few pets, bags of possessions and bedding. Across the street from homes with bedrooms to spare, these are Santa Barbara's car sleepers. Homeless within the last year, they are a direct consequence of America's housing market collapse.
In this woman-only parking lot, Bonnee, who gives only her first name, wears a smart blue dress and has a business-like demeanour. A year ago, she was making a healthy living as, ironically, a real estate agent. But when people stopped buying houses, her commission-based income dried up, and, like many clients, she too was unable to pay her mortgage. Soon she found herself with nowhere to live but her 4x4. Piles of blankets are in the back of the vehicle. Personal documents are stuffed into seat pockets. Books litter the back seat. A make-up bag and gym membership card (she washes at the gym) are in the front. With her constantly, are photos of her former life.
She can't quite believe her situation. "My God, America's heart is bleeding," she tells me. Tears fill her eyes."
There are signs all around if you just choose to look about how difficult things are for a lot of people. I get emails on a regular basis from people who basically have nothing but are wanting to figure out ways to take care of their family. Without sounding over-the-top I'll tell you it breaks my heart and I find myself trying to think of ways to help others around us. One way we're thinking about is to try to use our garden here at the farm to help feed others. That is more or less our goal for next year and I'll be sharing with my listeners as our efforts unfold. Perhaps you can take a moment and think about ways you might be able to help your friends, loved ones, co-workers, etc. also if the economic downturn continues to gain speed.