The tent city in Sacramento has been all over the news worldwide. Heck, even Oprah went there. Sadly, the media glare that captured the world’s attention was also the impetus for the mayor’s order to dismantle tents, causing hundreds of residents to be displaced.
Ironic, isn’t it. Most residents of Sacramento’s tent city were living quietly and without incident until Oprah came to town.
I have been wanting to get up to Sacramento to check out tent city for some time. Unlike news media, where you will hear a reporter tells a brief, punchy version of the story, I wanted to capture the real stories of the real people who are being forced out of tent city. Raw, unedited, unsponsored and in their own words. InvisiblePeople.tv and Change.org will be bringing you some of these stories over the next few weeks.
First, meet Chris. I first met him as he was packing up to leave. Thing is, he didn’t have anywhere to go. Chris has been homeless for three years and has been living in the same location for the past year. The police told him that morning that if he didn’t move he would be going to jail. Chris has some strong opinions about what is going on and how the issue should be addressed. The statement that he makes that keeps reverberating in my head is this: “The crime is being poor and homeless.”
As for the tent city, the whole place seemed so unstable it was about to explode. I have no idea who the guy is that came up and started talking. Everyone was scared and angry. And, to be honest, I don’t blame them one bit.