Homelessness Issue & GPW2000

David Crockett Williams (gear2000@lightspeed.net)
Sat, 25 Dec 1999 14:17:44 -0800

I'm taking this occasion to respond on this list to Tom's implied question,
in his kind  offer below, regarding the connections between the homelessness
issue and the upcoming action of Global Peace Walk 2000 departing San
Francisco January 15th for Washington DC and the United Nations.

I am presently subscribed to numerous discussion lists trying to get the
word out on this project and cannot quite keep up with them all so important
responses should be sent or copied to me off list at gear2000@lightspeed.net
.   I will be offline almost entirely between about Jan 7 at least until Jan
21 and perhaps until after Feb7 to take part in beginning days or weeks of
this spiritual walk to bring out the prayer for "Global Peace Now!" as a
universal human resolve and to carry and publicize all survival issue
messages (such as homelessness issue) received and summarized in
letters/messages of support that the walk is carrying to deliver in DC and
at the UN.

So far we have not received any such letters/messages from
advocates/activists regarding the homelessness issue and since I feel it is
an important "umbrella issue" connected to so many others, I am writing now
in hopes of prompting our receipt of such letters on this issue and to
encourage participation and outreach about this important walk to carry
these issue messages.

First, by way of background and personal introduction I should say my
experiences since 1976 have included being homeless myself off and on for a
total of about 10 years or so, due to my wholehearted commitment to peace
and social justice activism in special areas of interest that do not pay
salaries.  This has been mostly by choice and even still these last few
years I am still among the "hidden homeless" living indoors due to family
hospitality as a caretaker of an elderly parent.  I guess my mind is a bit
tweaked by knowledge and experiences that make me feel like this path gives
me a better chance to help correct some of the problems in society these
days which I generally see as due to the distorted view of the nature of
truth and honesty foisted on the population by government and media alike.
This is not so easy as it has me on the outs with most of my family since in
this last cycle, when I quit my chemical safety training business in 1994 to
work full time on initiating the Global Peace Walk project with our walk
from NYC to SF in 1995, I gave up an income that I had built up over a two
year period from $100 per week to over $2000 per week and then spent all
that I had saved to help organize this project which by now has some
"muscle" behind it after 5years activities to perhaps catalyze some serious
progress this next year.

During the late 1970's and early 1980's most of my activism was centered in
the Santa Barbara area primarily at the UCSB bedroom community of Isla Vista
where my gathering of free food and serving it in the park there to the
"street people" (homelessness was not even a word in common usage then until
Mitch Snyder popularized it and I was glad to work with him in SB on a
couple of projects) rewarded me with a few run-ins with the cops who
threatened to arrest me for cooking and serving food, two arrests for
"illegal camping" -- while sleeping in a van I had for a few years -- that
went to jury trial and sentenced me to a year in county jail (suspended with
two years probation), for a couple periods of a few months each I was able
to secure an open-to-all housing situation as well as feed the folks who
came, and I got nicknamed during that time by the "locals" as "dumpster
Dave" (although my favorite nickname, from a 9year old girl, "here comes the
PeaceMan" still brings a tear of appreciation to my eyes).   During those
years I tried to figure out a comprehensive plan that would offer "a way
out" for the folks who wanted not just a home but a good life based on
service to others.   I started a Homeless Recovery Center project in Santa
Barbara in 1994 with some others who have since alone kept its fundraising
going nominally to provide for emergency needs of special cases brought to
their attention by other agencies where they "fall through the cracks", eg,
bus ticket home for underage homeless runaways in trouble on the streets and
subject to arrest for just being homeless and underaged in that town, etc.

After a number of years like this "in the trenches" I figured out such a
plan that I have been trying to effect for many years, some elements of
which are incorporated in the Global Peace Walk project designed to offer a
community for activists initially on the road with the walk and then
afterward settling on land in rural agricultural setting.  Some land has
already been donated in Taos, NM, to the walk initiator, a zen monk and
Rainbow Gathering regular named Yamato.  Of course the Rainbow Family model
of using national lands for such purposes welcoming all comers may be a
workable ideal overall solution for many people and I personally would like
to see this effort succeed.

I see almost all of the peace and social justice issues as connected to the
homelessness issue.   If the government was not spending so much money on
war and preparations for war then there would be more resources to address
this problem.  If there was not such deeply institutionalized corruption in
government and industry whereby the profit motive is deemed supreme, there
would not be such a sense of hopelessness for honest people who abandon "the
system" and wind up homeless as a result.  If there were not such draconian
drug policies in this country and law enforcement including asset
forfeitures while the CIA is still the leading importer of hard drugs and
pot http://www.copvcia.com then there would not be the "machine" going on as
it is now to spit the poor out of their homes so that they can be taken over
for profit by the greedy as referenced on above site documenting HUD
complicity in this process.  If the people who are deemed "mentally ill"
were given proper community support, love, and a way to put their talents
and skills to productive use for the community, this would go a long way
towards solving that problem.  Just about any problem that society and the
environment face, I can see its mirror image in some facet of the
homelessness issue due to my own firsthand experiences in getting to know
hundreds of the various kinds of homeless folks, their stories, and
comparing that info to what I have learned is "really going on" in this

On another level, the fundamental "greed ethic" of the modern materialistic
society forms the backdrop mentality which also pervades the homeless
community some of whose members' "something for nothing" values seem to
infuriate the "hard working folks".

As far as the Global Peace Walk 2000, and most peacewalks I have been on
over the past 23years, some homeless folks who have their "heads together"
always take part and form a "street wise" core group of invaluable help to
the efforts of these walks.  We expect some folks like this to join this
walk from the beginning and along the way as well, and they will be more
than welcomed to come along and help spread the messages across country so
long as they understand the need to focus their talents on fulfilling the
needs of the community of walkers and not just only on their own needs.

For those who care to be involved and help out, please help pass the word to
folks to come and join the beginning of the walk in San Francisco, Saturday,
Jan15 and offer whatever support they can along the way.  (Hollywood Walk of
Fame, Feb5)

We especially need (asap) a few of those who understand to offer their
letter/message of support for GPW2000 regarding  homelessness related issues
so that this information will be included from the beginning in the
compilation of such messages and issues that the walk will be publicizing
and carrying.

This Globe is Our House and Our Altar, we must claim it so.

David Crockett Williams  gear2000@lightspeed.net

The Vision of Paradise on Earth

Global Peace Walk 2000

Urge your Congressperson to support H.R. 2545
Global Nuclear Disarmament & Economic Conversion Act
Details & Sample Email:  http://prop1.org/prop1/letter.htm

Easy indexed site to email Congresspeople & Media
(copy & paste email letters to media and Congress)

An Agenda for Peace

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net>
To: David Crockett Williams <gear2000@lightspeed.net>
Date: Tuesday, December 21, 1999 2:15 PM
Subject: REMOVE HPN@aspin.asu.edu from your list - Dave, help please

>Dave, as a pacifist anti-poverty activist who walks the Rainbow trail, I
>value your work for justice, and I read with interest much of what you post
>But since my listwork for HPN keeps me flooded with posts, I need to ask
>Please *remove/unsubscribe <HPN@aspin.asu.edu> from your mailing list.

>Posts to Homeless People's Network (HPN) from "nonmember email addresses"
>bounce, and only people who are homeless or ex-homeless can subscribe.  So
>every post you send HPN does not get through (because the computer software
>blocks it).
>Thank you, my brother.  For a world without want and war. -- Tom
>PS: I subscribe to FNB list, so I see your posts there.
>If I see anything on FNB list which relates to homelessness, may I have
>*persmission to forward it to HPN list?

But of course, Tom!

>Alternately or additionally, you could send "posts relating to
>homelessness" to <wgcp@earthlink.net> that you wish to be on HPN, and I'll
>repost them there from my address, citing your email address to CC Replies.
>Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1999 15:51:00 -0700 (MST)
>From: owner-hpn@aspin.asu.edu
>Subject: BOUNCE hpn@aspin.asu.edu:    Non-member submission from
> ["David Crockett Williams" <gear2000@lightspeed.net>]
>To: owner-hpn@aspin.asu.edu

>HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn>
>7,000+ POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people
>Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy