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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Drug War
Regarding the "No Drugs No Alcohol" agreement at The Village in Oakland
Q: "So why is there a 'No Drugs No Alcohol' agreement in effect at #thevillage?"
[not an official statement by the residents/supporters assembly as a whole but a snippet of a convo held elsewhere that reflects some of the thinking and conversations behind this agreement]
A: "Hey, curious what you think about the 'no drugs and alcohol' rule."
B: "Dope and booze hella complicate things. Especially on the street. And most definitely in a high profile, vulnerable gamble such as this.
It's not hating on people struggling with addiction. It reflects a brass tacks strategic assessment specific to this context. I think it's necessary here at this moment.
I envision future camps that can handle or that are even focussed on peeps with addictions once we carve out the political space and precedent....
And ANYBODY can come by, eat, use the portapotty, get any services, participate,etc..... People with habits are NOT banned. Just not eligible for taking up residence at this time....
Supporters and residents of the camp aren't ignoring dope/alcohol issues or copping into "good/bad homeless" respectability b.s. with its violence and evasion . We actually know the gravity of the situation and the folks who actually do work with ppl on the street are about the only ones realistically grappling with it. Or even facing it. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to resources to actually address long term addictions, about the only way to just detox with any attendant care in this town (if ya don't got money) is to get yourself 5150d to John George. True story.
Harm reduction. Subsidized halfway houses. Low hurdle entry for any program. Non moralizing, non-authoritarian, peer to peer dope counseling and support. Having something to actually live for or some community to help cope with the crushing weight of this system.These are the things that actually make a difference and just don't exist in Oakland.
But one plain foundational fact is that addressing your addiction is fractionally easier when you got a place to live. So if there is anybody out there who is ready to throw down on real dope work and is somebody who has actually been through it, shit, gimme their number. Let's start building that real talk, peer to peer support crew
And straight up, ppl out there got 199 problems... Not only is every aspect of survival a daily problem to solve, not only is 2/3+ of the homeless population living with a disability.... but the depth and constancy of trauma, abuse and hatred that they have to somehow bear is staggering.
The camp is already facing all that head on.... Taking on addictions right now in this charged and fragile project is just past our capacity."
P.S. a few notes in addendum:
- A resident has already expressed interest in hosting NA/AA meetings at the village. If we can stabilize and not get evicted, these meetings become an option. We've already had people reach out to help bring a meeting to the village.
- Agreements can change if they don't fit or the situation changes. The village is feeling it's way.
Apologies for the choppy, cut and paste nature of this post but the editors group felt it a priority to address these concerns.