Wintertime Rural Homeless Encampments in Ithaca's Jungle

It’s been almost a year since I have gone out with Carmen and Deb to visit Ithaca’s infamous homeless encampment called “the Jungle.” About 20 to 25 people are homeless living in tents or homemade shacks. When I looked at the weather, it read 21 degrees feels like 8 degrees. It’s hard to even fathom people live outside in this cold.

I currently have a pulmonary embolism with multiple blood clots in my lungs. A few weeks ago, I was in the hospital. I am getting better, but it may be a few months before the clots dissolve. I am sorry about the breathing while walking. Except for the hospital and grocery shopping, this was the first time I have been outside of the house connecting with friends and helping homeless people. I needed to do something to help others, and Carmen and Deb and heroes.

Carmen Guidi and Deb Lockwood Wilke are more than volunteers. Both help support homeless people with basic needs and help people navigate a broken social services system. It’s refreshing to see Christians take tangible actions to show the love of Jesus through actions, not words.

Carmen and Deb and their families have adopted the homeless people living in the woods. New people ending up homeless outside because they don’t have anywhere else to go. Sometimes the system works and they get into housing. Sometimes the story doesn’t have a happy ending.

Helping homeless people has become a lifestyle for Carmen and Deb and the other volunteers that help Ithaca’s homeless people. If we all worked to help our neighbors, we could end homelessness.

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More Ithaca stories:

Tour of Ithaca’s Tent City Where Homeless People Survive in the Freezing Cold

Ithaca’s Tent City “THE JUNGLE”: Living Homeless Sucks!

Homeless People Living in Freezing Cold in Ithaca’s Tent City, The Jungle

#homeless #ithaca #coronavirus

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There is a direct correlation between what the general public perceives about homelessness and how it affects policy change. Most people blame homelessness on the person experiencing it instead of the increasing shortage of affordable housing, lack of employment, childhood trauma, lack of a living wage, or the countless reasons that put a person at risk. This lack of understanding creates a dangerous cycle of misperception that leads to the inability to effectively address the root causes of homelessness.

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