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This is sad. I know nothing of this except for what is written in the article. But I find myself speculating as to the circumstances that led to this man's death. It appears to me he froze to death during one of these past 3 or 4 nights. For one thing, one shouldn't sleep in a car or camper shell without proper internal heat. Otherwise it literally becomes like a refrigerator or freezer. Also, why hadn't the pickup been checked by a patrolling deputy or police officer for being parked in the lot overnight? If that was the case, I blame budget cuts and under staffing. It just strikes me as wrong that people may be freezing to death in our streets. I hope not. It may be just a case of death by "natural causes."
I'm curious how do you properly internally heat a camper shell? Run the car engine? I guess electric heaters if they won't drain the car battery and you keep them away from the blankets. Seems dangerous! Anything with gas heat would be bad. Lots of warm sleeping bags and other bedding seems like the best thing...
My guess is that the cause of his death are relatively mute. The larger problem is that this person could not/did not know how to find help. That is the failure here. There is help available to prevent this. This is the larger problem. There is a stigma about going to your employer and asking for help. Your employer may be your best resource. I sincerely hope that this does not happen again.
I agree with Seawolf My husband and I were driving home Sunday night and it was freezing outside. He said he wondered how many homeless people they would find dead from freezing. Now, I believe it's true. I wouldn't know where to start but shouldn't we loving people in sonora start thinking about warming tents or get some of these public churches opened up in severe weather? Shouldn't we help the least of these so they don't die before their time? I would help. The pastor of the Red Church use to do this for the homeless and hungry. I miss them. I haven't seen the doors open there since their passing. What a shame. I miss them and the man that died in the cold. He will be missed too. So sad. Sonora, wake up!
Moderator: see comment by Lbrambl about the Red Church
This story is incredibly sad. That anyone would die alone in the bed of a pickup truck breaks my heart. There are so many in our small town without housing or the basic necessities. I don't know what the answer is. It's just wrong in so many ways. Drug addiction and mental illness are contributing factors to the homeless problem. But what solutions are there? Treatment facilities are not accessible to everyone who need them and most cost money that the homeless do not have. Salvation Army is an awesome program but is not a good fit if mental illness is involved.
If this is the same gentleman that has been living in parking lots for quite a while, he moves to different parking lots. Most recently by Staples and Big 5. I don't know that I had ever actually seen him, but he would move it around occasionally. Very sad.
This tragic death is part of a much larger problem. The tragedy is that people are unemployed and homeless and hungry in the greatest country in the world. We should be ashamed that we cannot take care of our own citizens while sending billions in foreign aid to third world countries. Most working Americans are just one paycheck away from homelessness. We must do more to ensure that tragedies like this don't happen by ensuring there is some sort of safety net.
It's very sad that anyone should be living in their car in 21st century America, but it is more common than you might think. I have heard through the grapevine that there are around 200 seniors living in vehicles in Tuolumne County alone. Fortunately they have places to go during the day, like the Senior Center, but it is a serious blot on our allegedly affluent and compassionate society that we aren't able to look after these folks better.
@Seawolf im pretty sure it is legal for people to park over night and sleep in their vehicles in the walmart and junction parking lots...i see campers there all the time. but yes it would have been nice if a patrolling officer would check on them, that would be caring about our community, too hard for people who get paid too much anyway, regardless of budget cuts!
Having slept in the back of my truck with a camper shell many times getting cold is not usually a problem... they tend to overheat even on really cold nights and I would have to open a window for sever minutes many times a night to let the heat out (yes even when it was below freezing out. You just need a blanket or something under you to keep you off the truck bed.
Really Seawolf? You gotta find SOMEONE to blame? It's not the SPD's job to check inside vehicles in private parking lots. If they did that someone would throw a fit about unlawful searches. Maybe they didn't know he was there. An employee at Walmart did though. If Walmart and other stores are going to let people live on their property, maybe they should be held responsible for their squatters wellbeing.
As for the poor soul in the truck, who knows why he died. Could be anything from a heart attack to an overdose. I seriously doubt he froze to death. We'll just have to wait for the coroners report.
How sad! Does anyone know anything about this man - his name, his story, does he have family? I hope he didn't suffer. I will say a prayer for him - I hope others will as well. RIP....
This is AWFUL. We need shelter for these people. One of these days it might be you or me.
The way the economy is,...who knows who might be homeless next.
It seems to me, that if you're sleeping in your truck in the shopping center, you're not exactly planning on it, and probably have no other place to go. Why don't homeless people save? Why don't they plan better?
Because they're homeless! They are trying to survive. I agree Seawolf, where are the cops???
But it's not a budget problem, it's a discretion problem. I'm sure they are not so busy, they just can't notice this.
Does the man from this article at least deserve to be dignified with a name and age? Anything?
Heartbreaking. All the good people of faith in this community and still this happens. This hurts my heart.
Sabrina, Being an avid outdoors man, and spending many nights stuck out in the woods. Sleeping in either the cab, or the bed when i had a camper shell. If the camper shell is properly sealed, and you have a decent sleeping bag you will remain warm. I used to carry a electric space heater that i would plug into my 5 in 1 power source It would run for 4-5 hours before the power source would die.
leaperman how true...
I have slept more in the back of a truck in Montana than most have slept under a roof....unless this guy couldnt afford a sleeping bag,he didnt freeze to death!!!There is a woman living in Chevy pickup off of Old Wards Ferry near the Bridge...all you loving folks go help her....
wethehonestppl,and wolf...the parking lot is private property...I want the cops to welfare check my property too,but that aint happening
This economy has put many in situations that they would otherwise not be in and it's deplorable that we offer our people few solutions. It's heartbreaking. I know of a woman's shelter in Sonora, but is there a men's shelter? Is there any other shelter at all? Some men are unwilling to allow others to help them and this unfortunate man may have tried to be as independent as possible. If we don't already have one, we need a large shelter that will accommodate men and women. Now, that's a tax I'd be willing to pay. For a lot of people, homelessness is but a week's paycheck away. Perhaps our Supervisors will take this project on. It's a worthy one.
Where he died is sad, but where he lived is sadder. Alone, homeless, and with no one to call for help.
Leaperman is right, we need shelter for the homeless. That way they are safer and have access to other help, such as substance or alcohol abuse resources. How about taking some of that county money, buying a big foreclosed on home and putting bunk beds in every room? Can this be done minus too much govt?
If it wasn't for Interfaith, the homeless would really be up the creek. In case people don't know, you can donate clothing, blankets and household items to Interfaith. They have a building where they can go to get food and whatever they need for free and they offer showers and hair cuts too. Thanks to all of them and the awesome volunteers for helping the less fortunate in our community.
Senseless..... one act of kindness might of saved this poor guy. Maybe we should all stop and just look around once in awhile, myself included. Years ago we had two homeless sleeping in the apperatus bay during the winter months. Sleeping on the engine in the crew compartment. We gave them some wool blankets and a tarp. We tried to get them into a shelter but they wanted nothing to do with that.
This is so sad!
Lack of heat is unlikely to have been the problem. The local Salvation Army Service Extension Committee have been purchasing, and donating to various agencies and other venues who have been giving away sleeping bags to the homeless for years.
CO poisoning from a small camping heater, natural causes or poor life decisions are more likely the cause.
p.s. That LOCAL Salvation Army Committee is where your local Red Kettle money goes, and they figure out where to best use it to help those with the most need.
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