A Place To Call Home

A Place to Call Home is a special series of a dozen programs on homelessness in Mendocino County. We kicked it off with a special half-hour report on the Marbut Report, drawn up by homelessness consultant Dr. Robert Marbut. From there, we interviewed currently and formerly homeless people, mostly in Ukiah, about their experiences, their insights, and what's been changing in their lives. Some of the half-hour episodes feature one person, while others feature two, three, and sometimes even four people, saying what they have to say about their lives.

Special Report On Homelessness Consultant

Dec 1, 2018

May 18, 2018 — Today, we’re kicking of a special series on homelessness in Mendocino County with a look at Dr. Robert Marbut, a consultant whose recommendations about addressing homelessness were recently accepted by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and the Ukiah City Council.

A Place To Call Home: Chris and Cheri

Nov 30, 2018

May 31-- This is the first in a weekly series of interviews with people about their experiences being homeless in Mendocino County. We'll air it every Thursday afternoon at 1:30pm.

The two people we'll hear in the first episode talk about how they found themselves living on the street, the greatest dangers of homelessness, and their day-to-day lives.

I am grateful to everyone who has shared their stories and their time with me. 

A Place To Call Home: James Hoffman

Nov 29, 2018

June 12, 2018 -- Today we'll hear from James David Hoffman about his experiences being homeless in Ukiah. Hoffman, or Jimbo, as some people call him, is from the Redwood Valley Rancheria, is profoundly hearing impaired, and has struggled with addiction since puberty. He told me his story on May 11, shortly after he got out of jail. He spoke about a searing trauma in his youth, the beauty of sign language, and how he believes the spirit of his lost daughter has guided him away from death. It was a privilege to be the recipient of his story.

A Place To Call Home: Donald Damp

Nov 27, 2018

June 16, 2018 -- In this episode of A Place to Call Home, we'll hear from Donald Damp, an ambassador to the homeless community. He is formerly homeless himself, and now volunteers at organizations all over Ukiah, working to help currently homeless people get medical attention, basic necessities, and sometimes just a friendly or informative word. 

Tune in to hear him tell his story and discuss his philosophy about where life has led him.

A Place To Call Home: Fires

Nov 25, 2018

June 23, 2018 -- In our latest episode of A Place to Call Home, we'll hear from three people who are homeless because of the fires. The first half is the story of a young couple who came to Ukiah from Lake County, where they were burned out twice. In the second half, a woman talks about what life has been like since she was indirectly displaced by last Ocotober's firestorm. 

A Place To Call Home: Three Stories

Nov 23, 2018

In this episode, we'll hear from Sean Jarstrom, Michael Trent, and Yvonne Smith. Jarstrom was staying in a room when I spoke with him, though his situation changed later. Trent was in severe pain from a foot infection, using a piece of bent metal as a cane. In a later episode, we'll catch up with him to talk about how his situation changed, too.

And Smith spoke about how she and another homeless woman are doing the best they can to care for a third homeless woman, who has trouble walking and bathing herself.

A Place To Call Home: John McCowen

Nov 21, 2018
Jeffrey Parker

Mendocino County Supervisor John McCowen has very specific ideas about how to address homeless encampments. One day, we went with him to find out more.

A Place To Call Home: Four Stories

Nov 19, 2018

July 17, 2018 -- In this episode of "A Place To Call Home," we'll hear from four people about their experiences with homelessness. Karla Sylvester had gotten a job as a live-in caregiver, right before I met her. She talks about her work in the forests and on crabbing boats, and how hard it is to rely on other people for half of one's living expenses.

A Place To Call Home: Michelle Sides

Nov 17, 2018

July 27, 2018 -- As part of our series of interviews with people about their experiences with homelessness, today we'll hear from Michelle Sides. She was homeless for a little while when her sons, now grown, were children. She talks about how preparing good food, practicing yoga, and paying attention to other people's struggles have helped her heal. She says what people living on the streets most need is love, and encourages us all to take action to be kind. 

A Place To Call Home: Rod O'Meara

Nov 15, 2018

Aug 24 --  In this episode of "A Place to Call Home," we'll hear from poet Rod O'Meara, who's been living out of his car in Fort Bragg for about a year. O'Meara is an avid and attentive reader, and makes notes in small, tidy handwriting. He wants to find a small cabin where he can embark on a long healing fast and pray for divine intervention.

A Place To Call Home: Michael Trent

Nov 13, 2018

Sep 7, 2018 -- In this episode of A Place to Call Home, we'll hear two interviews from one man. I first talked to Michael Trent in late May. He told me he woke up that morning under a bridge, in pain from an infection in his foot. He was proud that he'd previously gotten a job and gone through wildland firefighting training while homeless, but he wasn't in any shape to do anything at that point.

A Place To Call Home: Angel Histo

Nov 11, 2018

Today we'll hear from Angel Histo, who lived in a trap house using drugs and having violent encounters. When I met her, she was recently sober, cured of the hepatitis that had laid her low, and was volunteering at a needle exchange. Her insights about the exhilaration of a lifestyle where it's normal to be extreme are riveting and eye-opening.