For the last several months we have been preparing for the Nov 1st opening of the winter shelter. Deuteronomy 15:11 is always in the back of my mind as this time approaches. It says, “the poor will always be in the land. So, I tell you to be free in giving to your brother, to those in need, and to the poor in your land.”
My ears perked up when I heard my home town of Encinitas mentioned on a national news broadcast. A thirteen year old boy had been attacked by an 11 foot shark off Beacons, while diving for lobster. Then I saw an interview with my nephew, Captain Larry Giles, who is the head of the lifeguard service for the city. It brought back memories of my youth since I lived 2 blocks away from Beacons during the early years of my life. The north section of Encinitas was called Leucadia back in the day. Locals still call it that.
There are many stories of how Beacons got its name. In 1944, our family moved to the corner of highway 101 and Daphne street behind our floral business. I could see the beacon light flashing at night from my window. It was used as a reference point for aircraft for many years before it was torn down in the late 1940’s. During WW2, the homeless issue during the great depression of the 1930’s, was not an important talking point. My dad told me stories of what that was like, but I didn’t see much evidence of it during the 40’s and 50’s. Because the railroad tracks were across the street from our business, I did see hobo’s hopping on or off the slow-moving freight trains traveling between San Diego and Los Angeles.
But homelessness is a huge problem today, and unlike the 1930’s where it touched everyone’s life, there’s a great divide and frustration between those who have and those who don’t.
I’m very grateful to those of you who partner with us at Bread of Life to help our neighbors without homes move from homelessness to hope.