THE SPRINGS ECHO
A Street Paper!
by Richard Cordova (December 2019)
It's time for some hard truth, and it goes back to what I said earlier about my street family being my true family. It never fails to impress me that someone who has nothing will give so much or do so much to help someone who is also homeless.
I first camped around South Nevada. I got ticketed and did my time. Then opportunity knocked, and I got a job at a junkyard. The owner and boss let me stay on the property while purchasing a motor home or vehicle and working for the rent and payment. But, unfortunately, in one sense, it was not much better than the other camps because someone always messes things up. I've had dozens of my own camps, and I have seen hundreds more.
From my first camping ticket to the present, I can say for sure that the HOT team, the police, and the citizens have had an incredible battle when it comes to the flood of new people coming into this area every spring and summer for the last seven or eight years. And all of us are not transients! Yes, I plan on living here for the rest of my life.
The fact of the matter is that I support and encourage the Hot Team because I know they’re doing the right thing. Why do I say this? Because I lived it.
I will tell you about one of my last camps, and you will feel the same way.
It started out one Spring. My partner and I swore to one another the summer before that we would stay free and do nothing except just live. By the time summer hit, there were more than a hundred camps all around us. The area was a mess. I have seen people destroying the area so badly that I couldn't believe what I saw. Urine and feces were everywhere, and they didn’t even take the time to bury it! You can bet I said something to everyone about it.
Soon after, I left for a few weeks to work and stay in Peyton.
While I was gone, I heard the camp had burned down. It took some time to get back to see it. When I did, what I saw was horrible. There were half-burned shopping carts, bikes, blankets, motors of many sizes, clothes everywhere, and any and everything you could imagine that might be in a junkyard. Ironic, huh?
I was happy it burned down because I hated what they had made. If this is what they perceive as home and a lifestyle, No Thanks! I would be ashamed. For anyone that lived there, shame on all of you that didn't care or say anything. And I know now I should have done more too.
This is not a problem with all camps, but sadly, with most.