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Clearlake CA displaced (#1011)

Clearlake CA displaced (#1011)
Clear Lake (the lake), from a public beach in Clearlake (the town).

Clearlake was quite different from what I remembered from my trip through there in the 1980’s. The image in my mind was of a small town in a relatively flat area that consisted mainly of small cottages and mobile homes, all fairly run down. The town, particularly in the older sections, does have lots of older small homes and mobile homes, with many that looked a little bedraggled, but there are many more nicer areas and the area is much hillier than I remember.

The memory of Clearlake as impoverished, though, had a fair amount of support from the people that were around me as I was taking this picture. As a prelude to what surprised me for much of this trip, I noticed in this park probably 20 or 30 people who looked fairly worn, some of whom were either talking to themselves or from their interactions with others appeared to be suffering from drug or mental health conditions. Most had the clothing, grooming, posture, and visible health typically seen among the homeless or near-homeless; most seemed to be just hanging out in the public space that was available. A scene I had not previously experienced in in rural America. Little did I realize at the time the number of similar displaced folk that I would see on the rest of the trip.

Mike has particularly liked this photo

Seems the more you move into northern California and into Oregon and Washington state the more such folks you will encounter. I see these folks on a daily basis, people sleeping in the streets, on sidewalks (there are some pictures of course.) From what I know of these areas or from what I've heard it's been this way for a long time now. I often wonder the same things, how, what and why. Having been nearly homeless myself once or twice before. Can't believe I'm admitting that but it's true. I've seen far too many people of retirement age sleeping in their cars also. (It may not be immediately apparent unless you know what your looking at but they are most definitely living in vehicles... seems to be the new American dream.) The presumed "safety nets" this country has known in the past are simply no longer there it seems to me. You might be able to get just enough not to literally starve but you'll be so close it won't matter much and of course that comes too, with a price. (Editing this again to say I like the photograph and this series, looking forward to seeing more.)
2 years ago. Edited 2 years ago.
Don Barrett (aka DBs… has replied to Mike
Your comments bring up some interesting personal points. Thinking back to the times in 1970's and 1980's when I was basically wandering, there were a couple of times when I would have been 'homeless' if it weren't for the kindness of friends. There's never been much in the way of social services to carry people over, but I suspect that what has happened in the past decade or so is that more in the population have lost even the basic social support networks that would carry them through, help them through 'bumps' in the road.
2 years ago.