Tuesday, June 8, 2010

habitat ~ 06/08/10 ~ Harvey West Park

Harvey West Park
June 8, 2010

While waiting for Andy to finish a spendy "citizenship test" in Santa Cruz as part of his teaching certification program, I walked over to Harvey West Park and started a very hot, uphill trail that leads to Pogonip. It's a lovely area.

It's also an obviously popular gathering spot for numerous homeless. Just passing through the park to get to the trails, I could overhear conversations. There's a definite sense of community and shared understanding among these people who looked like they could use more than a decent shower with soap, a hot meal, and a comfy bed.

The only other time I've been to this park was to greet a friend's husband while he was passing through during an annual AIDS LifeCycle ride. Today's visit certainly felt different to me without the 3000 matching camping tents, several dozen rented moving vans, semi trucks with bathrooms and showers, gourmet catering pavilions to meet the specific desires of vegetarians and vegans, and numerous cycling support stations offering luxurious massages and top-notch medical care for the participants.

I'm utterly fascinated (and a bit sad and perplexed) by the unexpected similarities of needs and stark contrasts between these two "mobile" populations who use Harvey West Park, the local homeless and the local well-to-do who still ask for donations in the name of charity.

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