Why We Will March on Tuesday

Barbara Brust
Sunday May 12, 2019 - 06:33:00 PM

A few days ago I heard of Eric Sibbald’s death… He was one of the resident’s of the old 9th St. Shelter, and one that we interviewed while trying to save it. You can watch it on FB at https://www.facebook.com/ConsiderTheHomeless/videos/453801608448409/ 

Eric was lucky enough to get one of the few spaces that were available for the 9th St. Shelter’s residents. The reduced size was only capable of sheltering one-half of what they were able to do on 9th St. Last week, an ambulance was called to the new Vet Bldg Shelter, as Eric was having another heart attack. Eric died at the hospital. 

Sadly, he was one of three residents I had met while on this campaign to Save The Shelter that have died since shelter moved to ½ capacity. 

Last month I was informed that Frank Bomba died. I did not interview Frank but knew him as one of the un-housed workers at the shelter. When 9th St. Shelter closed, he lost the job there, and ended up back on the streets battling his personal demons. Sometime, in April of 2019, Frank lost that battle and died of an overdose. 

Another guest at the old 9th St. Shelter that I had the opportunity to meet and interview was Mary Evans and her husband , David. Both were sick, and in need of regular care. At the time, Mary was doing a series of kemo trearments and was worried about what they would do after the shelter closed. Both Mary and her husband were also lucky enough to get space to remain with the Dorothy Say House Shelter when it moved to the Vet Bldg. I am not sure of the circumstances of Mary’s death, I only know she crossed over in February 2019. 

I saw NOTHING in the papers about these three friends and am sadly reminded that officially, there is NO count of how many un-housed die every year.

I spoke with our Board and was granted permission to have a MEMORIAL/VIGIL for all I can find that have died in Berkeley in the last 12 months. I already know of FIVE more. Many CTH Volunteers will remember KK… died June 2018, and Michelle Larson, died October 2018. Some may remember hearing about Lisa Blowers, found dead on Telegraph Ave with her wheelchair and her dog back in May 2018, about a week after her encampment was raided…. About a month later, her partner RICHARD died. I have also heard that within the last month a woman was found dead in her tent, her name was MELINDA, I am gathering more details on her.

Consider The Homeless! will correct this oversight.

CANDLELIGHT MARCH from City Council meeting Tuesday, May 14th to Civic Center (time TBA)
VIGIL Civic Center steps until MEMORIAL Wednesday, May 15th at NOON with speakers and the press. 


Contact me to help or for more information. Barbara Brust 510-717-0181, Barbara@ConsiderTheHomeless.org