Human Interest

Independence Day?

Independence Day, July 4th, 2011.  A day characterized in Lodi by family gatherings, barbecued hotdogs, water balloon fights and fireworks; a celebration of freedom and hope.

However, in day-to-day life, “independence” and its associated freedoms come in different forms and mean different things to different people at different times.  For example, to a teenage girl it may be getting her driver’s license.  70 years from now, independence may mean keeping her driver’s license.

To an unemployed family man, independence is getting a job and avoiding foreclosure.  To the homeless, it may be finding food and a place to sleep.  To the infirmed it may be a new wheelchair.  To the dead … a resurrection.

To a 19 year old graduate of the foster care system, chronically abused as a child, unmedicated, hungry, swapping empty cans and bottles for cigarettes, tragically self-aware, angry, depressed and afraid,  “independence” is neither a freedom nor something that offers hope.

About LODI360 Editor

Keith Colgan is the Editor of and owner of Keith Colgan Photography


3 thoughts on “Independence Day?

  1. Our Church at the Park was nicely put together and well attended last night at Lawrence Park. There was a BBQ with sausages and side dishes, potato chips, dessert and plenty of water. The younger crowd, the foster care group that is slowly becoming a part of the homeless community here in Lodi seemed to be hiding from the heat and though few were present, it was an evening of spiritual togetherness and a time when everyone can have a special time with the Lord Jesus Christ, a nice meal, beautiful Christian music, testimonials from our homeless friends and a time for all attendees to connect and have social conversation, ministering and to allow those who are less fortunate to express whatever is on their minds, just plain talk or vent, address their personal needs and wants and address the many problems they encounter with law enforcement and city officials. These wants, needs and problems are addressed each month at our A Hand Up, Not A Hand out monthly meetings at the Uptown Thrift Shop on the second Wednesday at 4PM, of which I am a board member. Everyone is invited to attend and the meetings will end by 5PM. Please feel free to attend if you would like and input from the public sector is always welcome.

    Posted by Doug Chaaney | July 6, 2011, 10:15 am
  2. Keith, what a great snippet of information and a subject that drastically needs to be followed up on concerning the plight of the homeless, especially those younger people who are emerging from the foster care program who have few job opportunities, or none, and have no source of income and no shelter. This website would be an ideal place to inform Lodi area citizens about what difficulties the homeless face in this town. Keep up the good work!

    Posted by Doug Chaaney | July 6, 2011, 9:59 am
  3. How insightful and thought provoking in these difficult times we live in!

    Posted by ddh | July 5, 2011, 10:44 am

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