Tuesday, December 16, 2008

EDAR

EDAR stands for "Everybody Deserves a Roof" and is the invention of film producer/philanthropist, Peter Samuleson. After getting laid off from her job, a 27 year old mother of a 2 year-old and 6 year-old son were evicted from her $975. a month apartment. She sold most of her furniture, stored stuff in a car and stayed with family and friends until she learned she could get shelter at Los Angeles' Union Rescue Mission. She and her sons sleep in an EDAR on the 4th floor of the Mission.

I rather like the idea of the air mattress/portable tent, rather than head to toe, side by side cots or mats on the floor. A bit of privacy, keeps the light and germs out. As far as the effectiveness of providing EDAR's for street people, sooner of later the cops will make sweeps and destroy the shelters. Some Long Beach homeless had pup tents or other makeshift shelter along the river banks, out of sight of citizens. The city planned to clean up the bike path along the river, and there went the bushes, shrubs and trees that kept the homeless hidden and the tents went the same way as the greenery.

A place where homeless can legally camp would be a good idea. The problem with homeless camps is people like the 27 year old usually avoid them. Drugs. Alcohol. Fights. Camps are usually off the beaten path, making them especially dangerous for female homeless. Actually some male homeless campers have been brutally murdered through out the United States. I often considered getting a child's size tent on sale, but knew I would not be allowed to set it any of the safe spots I slept. I did understand city regulations. Could not allow overnight tents on the beach or parks, lest they become like Skid Row in L.A.

Christopher Raynor is one of the homeless given a EDAR. His father kicked him out of the house when he was 13 after his stepmother caught the boy having an orgy in his room and taking a broomstick to her throat. He fled Texas and Missouri because the police were after him and lived in Arizona. He says his wife in Arizona disappeared, his father was shot to death and his mother died of stomach cancer. His fiancee in Los Angeles was killed on Pacific Coast Hwy. after being hit by a car. A few weeks later a guy friend likewise died after being struck by a driver on the same highway. He currently lives with a woman who slurs due to "alcohol and a head injury". Raynor "despises most people" and drowns his sorrow by drinking.

My question: if Raynor told the reporters the truth, why is he given a EDAR, rather than being sent back to Texas and Missouri to serve time for the crimes he committed in those states? He is a fugitive from justice.

News Source: Los Angeles Times, Martha Groves, 12/10/08. See EDAR video: latimes.com/shelter

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