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Nov 30

A Citizen's Perspective: Beard Brook Park

Posted on November 30, 2018 at 2:37 PM by Thomas Reeves

Your city leadership team continues to meet daily on the subject of Beard Brook Park and homelessness.  Today I thought I would take a break from sharing what the city is doing to tackle this complex issue in order to share some feedback I received from a citizen.  

Recently, we had an encouraging interaction with a community member who is passionate about serving the homeless members of our community, and with her permission, several of her kind remarks are reposted below.

"My heart aches when others are suffering.  I've always known there are homeless in Modesto, but seeing so many gathered in one place hits my heart on a whole new level.  I pray every day that I can find the opportunity to help give these folks some hope and encouragement to change their life's path. 

It's more than just giving them a hot meal and a warm jacket.  They need to be given hope and some pure love, which are the two reasons they are down and out, never having someone tell them they are beautiful and worth something.  

I believe we can see people restored – mind, body, and soul – and acting as healthy members of society.  Not all in need will accept help and get off the streets, I know that, but some will, and their lives are worth a fight.  Let's come together and fight!

I heard the city agreed to service the portable toilets daily!  Is that true?  If it is true, I have to say that is such a huge blessing to the Beard Brook Park village.  You should all be proud of offering that service!  Working together is key!"

As a side note, yes, we service the porta-potties every day.

"It's easy to point the finger, but it's a lot harder (and takes longer) to move forward and create change that way; pointing a finger means you are perhaps more focused on someone else's actions, instead of your own actions, and we all know you can't really force someone to change and do things your way (what you perceive as the right way).  The only thing we really have power of is our own actions, pointing the finger at one’s self, saying, "What can I do to help bring positive change?” 

Pointing fingers is a distraction; it's a fast way to release frustration about an issue you are passionate about, but it's also false progress. 

I'm new to the Beard Brook Park Village, and new to the workings of the city of Modesto.  I believe the citizens and the city's staff both want to help the homeless.  There may be a difference in opinions of the best way to bring positive change, but Lord have mercy!  Let's just calm down so we can make some bold, focused, ground-breaking forward movement on this issue.

Both sides are beautiful.  Both sides are VERY powerful.

My hope is that together we can move mountains and be an example to other counties on how to make positive change fast and long-lasting. 

It's a BIG deal that the city of Modesto has given a park to the homeless community. 

I know the city is taking a lot of abusive responses, lots of "you aren't doing enough.”  I appreciate your patience with the hostility I imagine you guys get. 

I hope you guys blow our minds!  Prove that you guys know what you are doing.  I believe you guys do know.  There are so many sides to this issue the public doesn't see. 

I've been diving into the community of people helping the folks living at Beard Brook Park, and I am amazed at the compassion and unconditional love being poured out on its inhabitants.  There is a long list of services being provided to those in need.  No one is getting paid to do it and they are using their own hard-earned money - and their time - to do it.  It’s beautiful!
 
And I'm so blessed to be joining in!  I'm going to be joining the Tuesday Crock Pot meal crew!  Yes!

I pray the city will listen to the needs of the volunteers and continue to help as much as possible.  But more importantly, I pray you and your team can implement a long-term solution soon.  Volunteers will take care of the daily needs for now, "hold down the fort,” while you guys find us the best long-term solution. 

No more band aids – we need deep, lasting healing.  In short, I pray I can help more and more to bring that lasting change. 

We are blessed – all of us.  It's a beautiful thing."

It is a beautiful thing, indeed, and I'm so encouraged by the tremendous support – from all sides – as we work together to combat this homeless crisis.