Are We Our Brother’s Keeper, Or Our Brother’s Reaper?

When it comes to the subject of life for those experiencing foreclosure, this story is WHY we FEEL the way we FEEL.  I would of course like to believe that we are “Our Brother’s Keeper”, but stuff like this makes one wonder.  This story is about “The Jungle”; one of the largest homeless encampments in California.

To begin with, let me quote from Leo Tolstoy (Russian novelist and reformer, 1828–1910)

“THE PRESENT position which we, the educated and well-to-do classes, occupy, is that of the Old Man of the Sea, riding on the poor man’s back; only, unlike the Old Man of the Sea, we are very sorry for the poor man, very sorry; and we will do almost anything for the poor man’s relief. We will not only supply him with food sufficient to keep him on his legs, but we will teach and instruct him and point out to him the beauties of the landscape; we will discourse sweet music to him and give him abundance of good advice. Yes, we will do almost anything for the poor man, anything but get off his back”.

This is a story that appeared in the LATimes written by; Rong-Gong Lin II, Gale Holland. “The Jungle” was located in Silicon Valley.  It is “just minutes away from downtown and the high-tech giants that made Silicon Valley one of the world’s most opulent locations”. MAP TO THE JUNGLE CAMP

Folks familiar with Soles Of Passion know that we’re doing our best to bring attention to those folks that lost their homes to foreclosure.  Those “millions” of stories have fallen off the front page news over recent months while the MSM attempts to focus on “The Economic Recovery”.  Gratitude’s to these reporters for bringing this story to light, with so many other issues taking up the spotlight these days.

This is a brief description of the “site”, and some background from the writers;

“The sprawling camp has become a major embarrassment, and a potent emblem of Silicon Valley’s homeless crisis. In 2013, San Jose and the surrounding Santa Clara County estimated almost 7,600 homeless people, more than in San Francisco. And 75% of them were sleeping outside, on sidewalks, in parks and under freeway embankments — a percentage greater than in any other major U.S. metropolitan area.

SILICON VALLEY JUNGLE 1Officials have blamed soaring housing costs for the displacement. As Silicon Valley rocketed out of the recession, workers streamed in, driving the average apartment rent within 10 miles of San Jose up to $2,633 in September, from $1,761 two years earlier, according to the rental website The median home price is nearly $700,000.

SILICON VALLEY JUNGLE 2 “It’s a perfect storm of extreme wealth, a booming tech community and people priced out of the market,” said Jennifer Loving, executive director of Destination Home, a public-private partnership to end homelessness in the county.”

It’s easy to turn a blind eye to folks going through these traumas, or even arrogantly profess that folks like this ‘brought it on themselves”, “they should have known better than to take out that loan, or buy that house”, or “they just need to be educated on financial management” so this won’t happen to them again in the future.   How does any of that help those in need? People experiencing these traumas don’t need to be lectured to, what they need is housing, jobs, food, a way up, in fact ‘a Community Lift’.  Meanwhile, the “El-ites” are having their bought and sold politicians “slip” derivative loss bail outs into the government funding bill, so “we the people” can pick up the TRILLLION DOLLAR tab for their financial insanity gone bad.  (CLICK HERE IF YOU THINK I’M MAKING THIS UP). SILICON VALLEY JUNGLE 3 “Wynne, a refugee from Florida’s foreclosure crisis, came to San Jose hoping to sell software, but ended up panhandling on the median of a busy roadway in the Little Saigon neighborhood.

“I’d sleep at the college, they’d bus me here…. Anywhere I went, [police] would harass me,” he said. “Once I came here, they stopped harassing me.”

Other homeless residents at the Jungle are working — doing manual labor, carpentry, catering. They return to the creek bed each night, unable to afford a better place, Bramson said.”

“Robert Aguirre’s path to the camp illustrates how tough it can be to maintain a middle-class toehold in the overheated economy.

A former engineering consultant, Aguirre, 56, advised high-tech companies on meeting international safety standards. When the first tech bubble burst in the late 1990s, his business began to slip. His job functions were largely outsourced to China, and he and his wife lost their house, he said.

Because of his wife’s health problems, including osteoarthritis, they gave up an upper-story apartment for a ground-floor unit. But after they gave notice, their new landlord told them he had changed his mind and planned to move in family members downstairs. Their old place already had been snapped up.

Sleeping sitting up in their car left his wife with edema, Aguirre said. On a doctor’s advice, they got a tent and moved to the Jungle in January.

Still, the couple says, they have it easy: Aguirre’s wife works as a medical clerk, and he picks up day-laborer jobs. They have a propane heater and stove and sleep on a platform mattress.”

HOMELESS GRAPH STATS FOR CA Meanwhile our “El-ite” politicians rack up $Millions$ in hotel bills for just a couple of nights, all at tax-payer expense.


I shutter to think how many of the folks that called “The Jungle” home are VETS? And exactly where are the residents of The Jungle going to go now?

As a nation we surely can do better, and by the grace of God, and a ‘Community Lift’ spirit, we will!

CLICK HERE to read the entire source article.



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