About the first week of March, I was just leaving the Camp Hope office RV, standing at the door, and saw a whirling wind forming in the corner of our camp where our American flag hangs. Suddenly, without warning the whirling dervish turned into a Tasmanian devil as I yelled to camp mates in the corner to watch out. And “whoosh” the fierce winds, like a min-tornado lifted Jesus’ tent, pallets and all, 3 feet in the air and then slammed it down, collapsed into a pile of broken pole and ripped tarps. Then the dust devil jumped over six or seven tents to the last tent in the corner opposite in the same row, which the door had been left unzipped, and “RRRRRRRRIP” almost tore the whole tent in two! This all occurred in less than 30 seconds leaving us all bewildered and shocked. Jesus had been standing right next to his tent with two friends as this all happened, and thank god none of them were inside. The fellow on the other end was at work all day and had to come home to the camp to see the wrecked shelter he had been so comfortable in just the night before, now in ruins.
Sometimes being homeless means having to face elemental challenges all year round, the cold in winter, the winds and dust storms of spring, and the unrelenting heat of summer. I hope we can step our camp shelter situation over the next month or so, to provide real safety from these conditions for all the folks that are living out here. Better quality tents are on the top of my to do list and that means we are going to need as much community support and rally enough funds to accomplish this. The local air-force and army have some volunteers trying to get us some MASH style tents, and we even have an Eagle Scout organizing a shade project. We need canvas tents that can endure, maybe some more tipi’s……….