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Finding a site for our homeless neighbors is what Jesus would do
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The herding of some of Turlock's homeless folks continued Wednesday …Cows, you know, are herded.  In Turlock, so are homeless people.

Yesterday's herding was the second herding recently.  A larger homeless contingent was kicked out of the Southern Pacific Rail Road Golden State Blvd. overpass.  Some homeless then went to Broadway Park, and were forced to leave the park this week.  Let's take a look at what's happening during these rainy, cold days of late November 2018

Question:  What is going on in our California Central Valley "Christian" society.  What is behind the driving and herding of our less fortunate neighbors?  Here is what I see.

First, NIMBY or "not in my back yard" seems to be at the heart of the matter.  NIMBY, as I see it, says "I don't want you less fortunate camping in or near my back yard.  Nor in the park across the street.  Not anywhere where I can see you. I'll have the police remove you if you try to live by me."
Nice Christian attitude?  No, it goes against all that Christ stood for.  Jesus said, "When you serve the least of my flock, you serve me."  I guess Turlock does not want to serve Jesus.  Nor treat our homeless in a cordial way.  

Modesto, on the other hand, has designated Beard Brook Park as a spot where homeless can live.  Beard Brook Village now is home to 500 homeless and accommodates 300 tents.  Beard Brook Village is self-governing.

Several of Turlock's missions and homeless shelters are taking in some of the evicted from Broadway Park, on a temporary basis.  So, we can expect small encampments to spring up to house the excess from the overpass and from Broadway Park and from those who did not go into missions and shelters.  The silos at 1st street by the Southern Pacific rail road tracks, campers around B and C streets and along the 1st street approach to the overpass, North across 1st street from Broadway Park, and elsewhere in bushes and alleys and God knows where are temporary spots for the homeless.  The area under the Southern Pacific Rail Road and the Golden State Blvd. overpass has been securely fenced by a chain link, rental fence.  So, the homeless will find it difficult to return there.

Some of the homeless of Turlock must be frantic — with all the disruption and moving their spots about.  Our city manager and planning department and churches could put an end to the commotion if they'd designate a park or area where homeless could camp.  

Follow Modesto's lead.  How hard can it be to designate a spot, rent portable toilets, provide drinking water and dumpsters for a group of 50 with 25 tents and several vehicles?  And, give the homeless some privacy with a privacy fence around the property.  Maybe even parking for those living in vans and cars and RV's.

As Christmas 2018 approaches, let’s focus on a spot for our homeless neighbors.  Let's stop the herding of our homeless.  Jesus would approve.

— Mike Parker