Homefulness #2 - A Formerly Houseless child helps to build the future


Tiny - Posted on 27 July 2020

Author: 
Tiburcio Garcia /POOR Magazine Youth Poverty Skola

I am Tiburcio Garcia, a formerly homeless youth who goes to school at Deecolonize Academy. I am someone who is able to gaze along the spectrum of class, walking a fine line between privilege and poverty. I have privilege in so many ways, a loving, kind, mother who constantly supports and educates me, a community to lift me up immediately when I fall, friends who have my back, and a healthy relationship which on my part is due to the mannerly way I was raised. However, in the eyes of this government and many others, I am seen as someone with hardly anything, struggling to survive. That’s why the project that was started by my mother, grandmother and everyone else at POOR Magazine is so important to me. That project is called Homefulness, and it's what's making sure me and my mother aren't homeless to this day.

Homefulness is a poor peoples solution to homelessness, and we are starting another one. July 21, a day that is divisible by 3, was the day that we decided to start on the second version based off of the template of the original Homefulness, only two blocks down. I can still feel the grass snaking around my ankle and the weeds and vines getting stuck to my gloves. The air was saturated with pollen, and the sounds of weed whackers in the background were blending with the noise of cars passing by and multiple conversations. After a couple of minutes of hard work, pulling up grass and snipping particularly vicious fennel, I started to feel the sweat from my hair run down my back, and the hairs on my arm crisping. It was a “I need water right now even though I had a cup 5 minutes ago” day, and all of the students of the summer camp we were attending were working hard next to other residents of homefulness and members of POOR Magazine.

This land that Homefulness resides on isn't an ordinary plot, and those weeds that we were cutting were going to disappear eventually because without our intervention that innocent half-pavement, half overgrown lot would have spelled doom for our community. We originally found out about this land while doing our Hoarded Mama Earth and Community Reparations research, and we later found out that land would have become 20 luxury condominiums, bringing in a hoard of gentrifiers that would have completely changed the ecosystem of this environment, just like it did in the city I was born and raised in, San Francisco, and eventually had to move out of due to eviction caused by that gentrification. 

I am formerly houseless, and in the eyes of the system, I am not privileged in the slightest. I don't see that. I know I am one of the most privileged people on this -planet, because I actually get to shape history as it progresses. I am young, but I get to be a part of a project that will house thousands of families just like mine all over the world one day. On that day July 21, I got to lay the groundwork for Homefulness 2, the second homeless peoples solution to homelessness that will very well house and give privilege to kids just like it did for me. 

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