Posted on June 24, 2017
PEOPLES' ACTION FOR RIGHTS AND COMMUNITY (PARC)
You may have noticed that we've not asked for money donations for about two months. Fortunately, we were blessed with generous donations from the Veterans for Peace, Humboldt Bay Chapter 56 that covered some of our May rent, partial June bills, and full June rent. A few humble, longtime PARC supporters continue to send donations our way which has ensured that we have toilet paper and other necessities, and we were able to help a small family with rides and bus passes. Now, however, we need to pay rent and partial bills, and we're starting over at $0.00.
We ask that you take our pleas for rent and bill money seriously, and hope you know that you're very important to keeping PARC open. Any amount contributed is vital, matters, and is greatly depended upon.
WHAT'S GOING ON?
PARC has been active in supporting justice for David Josiah Lawson , a young black student who was murdered in Arcata on April 15, 2017 outside a party. Here is the May 2017 Radical Rap from KMUD radio, a free-flowing conversation with the show's host, Verbena, talking with Josiah's girlfriend, friend, and other supporters of Justice for Josiah.
PARC continues to be active with the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition. A lot of that work for the past two years at PARC has been to end so-called “security/welfare checks” in solitary units throughout CA state prisons. On top of the torture of being in solitary, prisoners are jarred every 30 minutes which causes serious sleep deprivation and related physical and psychological suffering. From May 25, 2017 through June 1, 2017, people in Old Folsom Prison ASU went on Hunger Strike for demands including adequate access to courts and legal assistance; meaningful education, self-help courses and rehabilitative programs; permission to have televisions; provision of a food bowl and cup; and an end to the cruelty, noise and sleep deprivation of the welfare checks. Full list of demands here
On Sunday, about 1pm, Sarah will play “Music for the People” at Clarke Plaza (3rd and E St. Eureka, CA) before Food Not Bombs feed anyone who is hungry at 3pm. Music for the People is a frequent Sunday thing, and it's really nice when the sun is out.
Below, someone who has a way with words graciously wrote about her experience at PARC.
Ways to donate are explained at the bottom. Please forward this to more people who might be able to donate. Thank You.
~Verbena and Sarah
* * * *
I was BROKE, financially, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Pain was my constant companion. My smile was as fake as the rehearsed words of so many professionals paid to provide services to the hurting, the hungry, the heartbroken with no where to go and no one to love them. My hope had been stolen quietly and covertly over time by agencies offering rapid rehousing, harm reduction, and safety – apparently without knowing the true definition of the terms they were using. Everything I owned had been stolen for the 3rd time this month by others, seemingly driven to desperation many times because of hurt inflicted on them by the very institutions supposed to help them.
I was exhausted, I was alone. All I wanted was to hide. Harassment by ignorant cops, harsh cruel words and cold stares from those whose privilege gifted them with only fear, was more than I could handle... The coming of another night being cold, hungry and having to walk in endless circles because I had no where to go, loomed ahead.
What to do? I did not know. I couldn't think. The only thing I was certain of was that due to the Avascular Necrosis in my ankle, every step I took would be excruciatingly painful. With an audible sigh I sat down on the half wall of a closed business I found myself in front of. A single tear escaped. Frustrated at my lack of control, I brushed it away.
I don't know how much time passed. It felt like years yet in reality it was really minutes. My thoughts chased each other like children in a playground, but there was no laughter. I was truly and completely lost and at my Breaking Point.
“PARC PARC” I didn't know then if it was God, desperation, or if I had finally lost my mind for good, but it was there - a small yet steady voice delivered by the wind. With no conscious thought I was on my feet (wincing at the pain) and heading towards PARC... They helped me once before after coming to behind a dumpster, bleeding and unable to remember my own name... So many lifetimes ago... last year after the MAC had kicked me out, around the first time I began to question my sanity.
The sign on the door says “please knock”. I didn't know that when I did, it would change my life. I knew I needed rest and food and, for everyone else's benefit, a shower (being more often then not houseless over the last 5 years, I had stopped noticing the smell of the street which I wore) What I didn't know I needed was the love that was so freely given.
PARC gave me food and water. They provided me with a comfy cot to sleep on within the safety of a yard. I was offered clean clothes and a shower. All of this I needed and was grateful for, but that was just the surface stuff. Previously, when I had been at the MAC, I appreciated my time there. With its funding, the food had been larger portions and more often. They didn't have to worry about where the food to feed the next hungry person would come from. Yet the food that PARC shared with me nourished my soul. It was the same with the showers. At the Mission, there was soap, shampoo etc... but there I still never quite felt clean. Soap alone can not wash away rape of body, mind and spirit... It seems as though that sweet smelling herbal shampoo at PARC, stretched and shared among many, along with the honest comment, “you look nice” given from a smiling friend, can begin to make clean what I never thought could be... ME.
A week after I timidly knocked on PARC's door I had: a room of my own, a soft bed with plenty of blankets, a place to cook, a washer and dryer, two dogs that sleep with me, and seven days clean and sober.
The list could go on... Most importantly though, is the fact that two giving, beautiful women who are part of PARC and now cherished friends gave me a safe space filled with love to begin healing.
PARC gave me my basic human needs, and...
The beauty in Sarah's music made me smile and allowed me to cry, and the light in Verbena's eyes and tenderness of her smile boosted my will to press on.
They let me share pieces of me I never could before...there was conversation, encouragement and laughter.
I visit PARC as much as possible because my soul needs it, for the hope, the laughter, and the strength... and because my friends are there!
* * * *
Send donations ONLINE: parc.2truth.com/donate
Come by and drop off cash (or call 707.442.7465 & we'll come to you!)
Address Money Orders to Kimberly Starr
Address Checks to James Decker
and/or mail any of the above to:
P.O. Box 5692
Eureka, CA 95502