Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Oasis

Tacoma, Washington. It has been given the nickname the Compton of the NW. The residents are primarily black men and white women. Walk the streets of Tacoma Ave - Office buildings and store fronts stand empty. There is also the "Odor of Tacoma". An incredible powerful smell of sewage that spreads for miles. Its impossible to describe unless you have been here. Recently a Drug Lord was arrested in Tacoma with 2 under aged girls he had been pimping out. Police says he made over $700k in past 2 years. On his facebook/twitter page, he had posted a picture of himself with hair rolls done with $100 dollar bills. His caption "I am the King of Tacoma". And he is right. Tacoma is the drug capital of the NW. And the black gangs are the king. And yet in the middle of the rundown buildings, needle pumpers and low income housing filled with single mothers and bi-racial oasis.

A few months ago, I lost the room I was renting. With no place to go and no job, I was lost. So on my way south, I stopped in Tacoma and have not left. I park at 14th and G street. This is homeless heaven. It doesn't get any better than this. I been homeless all over the country and this is Ritz Carlton. On the south side of G street is the Church ST. Leo, where I eat breakfast and lunch. On the North side of the street is the Guadalupe House where I take a shower m-f at 11 am. 2 blocks away is the public library to get your daily dose of stench from other homeless people and charge the cellphone. Across from St. Leo is the Small Business Administration, where I sought out a mentor for my website. 3 blocks down is the YMCA - Free showers, free towels and a sauna. And where I'm parked is a Garden with an amazing view, and this is whats happening in the Garden every Thursday.

Last month, this tiny half street oasis held a block party. In the middle of the most dangerous city of the NW, moments of community. A family of 5. Native women with a white man and 3 daughters happened to walk by. I ended up playing  badminton with them in the middle of the street till the sun went below the horizon. I apologized to them, it was getting dark and they have to take the equipment back to the church. The 6 year old responded "Thank you. That was fun. That is the most fun we had all summer." ......That was the most fun we had all summer. ....Those words still embed in my mind

yesterday, I stood to wait for a shower. This is my view. Tranquility.

But wait, there is more to this oasis! Yes there is more and even more incredulous! Downtown Tacoma is right next to the Puyallup Indian tribe. So what does a Indian tribe do if its right in the middle of a city? It build a casino. Yes, in the middle of Tacoma is a casino. Well Tacoma smells and income is not high. So what do they do to attract people? They have a promotion. The promotion is, if you hang around the casino for 2 hours, we will give you $25 worth of free food. Yes, hang around for 2 hours and you can get any food, any way you want for  $25 and you can even take it to-go if you choose. And we even have a buffet. Yes to make it more convenient, we will price the buffet at exactly $24.95. If a normal buffet not going to get you to show up, we will make the buffet all-you can -eat Lobster on Sunday and Wednesday! Yes All you can eat Lobster! hahahaha.
How ironic. You are homeless but you get to eat lobster! hahahaha. I see a bee line of the homeless people walking casino. They figured no one can sit around for 2 hours and do nothing. These people sit around and do nothing just for a shower! 2 hours is nothing.

Does it getting any better for the homeless?

One homeless guy and 3 catholic workers attempting badminton. LOL

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