My Perspective: by Jose
I’m a deaf man who became homeless through a marital separation. Through a deaf widow friend I was introduced to the Delonis Center, Washtenaw County’s “answer to homelessness.” Just like a cow being added into a herd at a ranch, an employee put me “into the system”.
I met Jason, also a deaf man, at a cafeteria room. He was a member of Camp Take Notice. He explained to me what it is like being homeless. And he explained to me what it is like being a member at Camp Take Notice — it is more than just a place to set up a tent – it is a community where people unite together to share their stories, their frustrations, their dreams, and to survive together.
Later Jason showed me the place where the CTN camp was. It was in the process of cleaning up and closing up the tents in response to MDOT’s eviction notice. The community was serene — looked like everyone knew what to do and was doing it, despite of their frustrations. The temptation to cause chaos was great. Jason introduced me to several people there: Caleb, Tate, Ian and Bill, and a few others which I couldn’t put a name to their faces. I was impressed that people conducted themselves peacefully.
Still later – Jason and I decided to go to a community dinner/ CTN meeting on a Sunday. We went to Peggy’s house. There were many CTN members present. The foods were delicious — obviously being catered in from a restaurant, food business or a church. I introduced myself and explained how I became homeless. People were polite and accepted me as a member of the CTN community. To my amazement, the meeting was “rolling smoothly” without disruptions or arguments.