So ... yesterday, like a mere hour after I posted my Help Yourself story about the lovely person putting food out for our people living on the streets, I randomly met the lovely woman walking down Lincoln. "Momma Eileen", a Venice elder and longtime resident, stopped me on the street as she recognized me from social media postings. She had no idea I had just posted about her humanitarian efforts, and when we got to talking (after she hugged me close knowing what I've been dealing with in regards to my Mom's hospitalization), I figured out that she was the benevolent party telling people to "Help yourself!" She was upset. Neighbors had complained, and asked her to put away her food. WHAT?!
In the food's place, there is now a new chalk message, apologizing to our homeless, and urging them to seek help at St. Joseph's. Her jerk neighbors (Developers, of course) complained that the food would attract rats - which to them I assume means human beings that need food. All of the food was in sealed packages, aside from fruit that grows in nearly every Venice yard - that rodents already know about. If it's in a tree or on a fence makes no difference. The only difference here is in the size of the hearts in the parties we're talking about.
I'm seething mad about this, and in that kind of mood where no one should get in your way because you can't take much more. What is WRONG with people, that they would complain about someone helping others? Momma Eileen was even concerned with backlash, and that these heartless wretches would target her in some way if she didn't comply with their complaints to take the food away. Let them try. Not on my watch. The good news is that she gets to keep being her wonderful self, while those fools have to live with their rotten souls, not to mention their karma.
It's time to vote out any and all parties from the Developer/Nimby camps in the upcoming Venice Neighborhood Council elections. It's time to take a moment to examine your own biases and agendas, and come to the realization that we're all in this together, and cruelty gets no one anywhere. It's time to look out for each other, and reclaim our beautiful - and strong - Community for the creative, humanitarian, artistic vortex bubble we've always been proud to be a part of. It's time to join people like Momma Eileen in sharing what we have, no matter what some dickhead neighbor says. If EVERYONE joins in on efforts like hers, the few remaining selfish parties' complaints will cease to matter, because they will be look like the petty, lost souls that they are.
Help the Helpers ... before it's too late (and by that I mean a brewing class war that no one wants, and that no one can win). Thank you, THANK YOU to people like Momma Eileen for trying to make the world a better place every day. I have your backs, and celebrate your very existence.