Now my hates been turned off from my job
I’ve been laid off oh what am I gonna do
Well is the shape I’m in cause of my dark skin?
Well I know that can’t be true.
Since we are all down here together gotta work to make it better
Well that’s for what its worth.
But you know the rules are bent
When you have to pay your rent
Just to live on Earth
We’re talkin’ about Justice
– Victor Wooten, Justice
How do a group of citizens end up living off the grid in a tent city? Encampments are popping up everday in the news and it is disturbing whether it is a large group residing or just one (as we discover from this article in today’s Daily Herald).
Our goal for this weekend was to uncover the back stories of the residents in the tent city established in “Lower Debt.” We learned that Wendell has committed a crime against the wrong organization and has become a refugee along with her sister Val, who has her addiction hindering her from making a living, and Val’s husband, Claude, who stinks of booze and whose temper is too short for the world. They come clear across the country, on the run and in need of a safe place to lay. Luckily, Claude’s cousin Damon patrols the area of the empty lot in which they come to lay, but there is always a price to be paid even when family is involved.
We meet Ames who has been travelling with a large weight on her shoulders, in search of clearing a debt she owes. She seems too smart to end up here, but maybe what is here is what she’s looking for. Freedom, or is there something else to lose?
Rash, a cab driver, rolls in with his sickly wife, Leah. He’s the only one earning a living around this tent city, but if there is a cure to be found for his love’s disease, he’s going to save every penny he can to find it.
Bumm (more than just his name) has such joy in his life even though he hasn’t got a thing. At times the funniest character, and at others, the most prophetic, Bumm thrives in community and has more to teach the residents than meets the eye. He’s seen the world, if only through the eyes of alcohol.
Patricia, our social worker, is here to help. She’s offering everyone a better lot in life, there are services that she can provide. Can she prove there is another way to this bunch of beaten down individuals who have accepted they have nowhere else to go?
Which leaves us with Copywriter… Oh, we wouldn’t want to give it all away. You’ll have to come to our showcase on Monday, October 19th to meet him, to see how he got here… We look forward to seeing you.