Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Arrested & Jailed
Three days after the Bridge closed its courtyard for sleeping and the subsequent police sweeps began, Sherry Parker and her boyfriend, Sarge, were arrested for ‘criminal trespass’, which in this case meant sleeping in public on private property, and spent ten days in jail. I had heard about this through the ‘grapevine’ when I went looking for them in early December and couldn’t find them.
The police report of their arrest says they were ‘warned.’ They say not. Sherry had a clean record; Sarge had just worked off some tickets through community service. They were told by the arresting officer that this offense would put a Class B Misdemeanor on their records.
Both Sherry and Sarge work full time, but their hours prevent them getting into shelters to sleep, including the Bridge, as they often work evenings.
Sherry, like many women on the street I’ve spoken with, used to sometimes seek shelter and safety on the Bridge campus.
I ran into them in late December and sat with them on some steps to get caught up, at which time Sherry handed me the following new poem from her journal. It was cold on the concrete steps, and they had just been robbed. As luck would have it, an Anonymous Angel had just filled my car with coats and blankets.
Does adding a Class B Misdemeanor to people’s records help them get out of homelessness? What do you think?
to some lost place
Where the winds moan softly —
Surrounding me in the emptiness…
in the same swift race
Speeding up gradually;
Enjoying the chase —
to some promised light —
That beacons out brightly —
Saving souls in the darkness —
Always returning —
Eternal — to me —
A lost soul — seeking solace —
Thoughts left bound in their brightness.
copyright Sherry Parker, 12/28/09
You may see some of Sherry’s other poetry by clicking on the category “Street Voices” at right.