This article from the Press Banner is the best ever about this particular topic, which was an issue that concerned Felton League back in the summer of 2015. The main text is pasted below, but without the excellent picture or the interesting comments. The chronology of the comments can be difficult to follow, but each comment is outfitted with the date and time at which it was posted. Of course, some of the comments were deleted.
July 30, 2015 – Press Banner – Suellene Petersen
It would have been nice if a table had been available for the food, but Jonney Hughes explained that the maintenance people from the Santa Cruz County Department of Parks had removed the one that used to be in that spot.
said they were going to fix the table and bring it back, but we could
not see that anything was wrong with it,” explained Hughes.
picnic was spread on a cement area under the trees and the hosts sat in
canvas folding chairs around a spread of sandwiches, salads, fruit and
desserts. “Those of us who can, pool our money and food so we can share
with others,” said Hughes.
what it was like to be homeless, Teresa Fitzpatrick said “I am not
homeless and not all of us are. Some of us have jobs, but don’t earn
much –– not enough for rent and food,” said Fitzpatrick. “We all have
different stories. Some of us are retired and get social security but
it’s not enough for everything so we get stuck in this wilderness,” she
“We are people who have raised
families. We are good people who have fallen on hard times. It happens,”
said Fitzpatrick. “The picnic table that used to be here was like a
social center where we met to eat, sew, and visit,” said Hughes. She
said “we have even held memorial services here for friends who have
The New Life Church in
Santa Cruz provides some help to these folks. Richard Franconi
distributes food to people that has been donated by the New Life Church.
He walks around the park and hands out burritos. He said “I have been
doing this for 15 years. I used to give about 30 and now it is only
about 10.” He gives the food to hungry people even if they are not
people at the picnic were all wearing neat, clean clothes. Lise
Lafontaine said that she was one of the homeless. She is a licensed hair
stylist who cannot find work. “I cut hair for these people for free,”
she said as she gestured at the circled of people. “I never thought that
I would become homeless because I am a professional haircutter,” said
Lafontaine. “Sometimes we get to shower at the Presbyterian Church,” she
said. Otherwise, they have no access to water in order to stay clean.
told their stories and when it was time for lunch, the circle of people
bowed their heads while Hughes led the group in a thank you prayer.
Lunch was good. It would have been nicer if the picnic table had been
The good news is that Alan
Galran from Santa Cruz County Department of Parks said that the table
will be replaced within two weeks.