As a member of the small group of "homeless" people who visit the Oakhurst Community Park, I would like to respond to recent events and criticism.
While I have my own opinions regarding the "Friends of the Park" organization, I also feel that nobody should threaten another under any circumstances. If Mr. Flint was threatened, I do believe there are legal avenues that can be followed to deal with such and urge him to do so.
I have been told personally by a sheriff's deputy, "If you homeless people wouldn't threaten the church people, we wouldn't have to come here so much." My friends and I are now apparently guilty of something we know little about.
During Mr. Flint's time involved watching the park, the fact remains there would often be many more people with their children visiting after he left.
Another thing I have noticed is that people don't seem to be particularly scared of us, nor should they. Although we are not all angels, we are certainly not all devils either. For the most part, we avoid the general public and behave ourselves.
As to the recent "Take Back the Park" public event, the question is exactly who or what are they taking it back from? This gathering began a little before 5 p.m. This time is when most of us "homeless" have departed or are leaving anyway. If these people want to make the "homeless" leave, why not come during the time of day when we are most likely to be there? More importantly, if they want us to leave, where would they like us to go?
I would like to close with an observation.
There are things in our life which we don't like and would not condone. But we still have to deal with them because that is part of living in our society. Or, the smaller part of it called "community." And that is what this whole issue is about. The Oakhurst "Community" Park.
Jim O'Keefe, Oakhurst