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Living in her car, Lodi’s Candy Warmuth believes community can do more for homeless

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Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 12:00 am

Candy Warmuth and her ex-husband Bill Atnip spend their days at the Lodi Public Library and at Burger King, using the Wi-Fi for their laptop and the space indoors to stay out of the summer heat. Warmuth checks her Etsy page to see if she has any orders for cigar label decoupaged bangles. Atnip endlessly searches job listings for something that will give him a stable income as an operating engineer, driving heavy equipment such as cranes.

Warmuth and Atnip are homeless. The two were hit hard by the recession and lost their jobs, homes and contact with relatives who could help them. They strongly believe the one thing that could make a difference in their lives is if at least one could find a job that lasts more than a few weeks or months.

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  • Joe Lund posted at 9:22 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    JoeLodi Posts: 1

    I appreciate the story and telling it from their perspective with less filtering. However, there is more that is needed to put it in context. For example, why does Lodi have proportionally more homeless than Stockton? Are the services better? They mention Turlock being more friendly yet they don't live there? Also, if they have hours of waiting, what is the couple doing to help others in the same situation such as volunteering at the Salvation Army? We're all in this together and perhaps the storys could better help us realize that.

  • Robert Marty posted at 9:13 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    rmartygeo Posts: 32

    Blaming? I don't believe "blame" is correct for what appears to be of their own doing. How about personal responsibility...

    Suffering? We all suffer in some way -- most of us have been through very hard times at some point in our lives. Making good, thoughtful decisions throughout life is the way to avoid unnecessary suffering. And, no, it sounds to me like they want the government to provide more and more and more and more. Maybe you could spot them a Franklin so they could avoid having to eat that horrible Salvation Army food (of which, I donate some of it...and have eaten it myself). Personally, I believe being stubborn is a luxury -- one that some cannot afford.

  • Kenneth Huntley posted at 8:30 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    Ken Huntley Posts: 42

    I do agree with Robert Marty about separating from the union and paying the dues if you're not working. How can a union that you pay to represent you does not have him in a job? This makes me thing this particular union is shady at best.

    If these two qualify for food-stamps, they should also qualify for Medi-Cal so they don't have to pay anything for medication. There's also programs the manufacturers have so you don't have to pay or pay little for.

    Previously I lived in a homeless shelter in Idaho. You had to eat what they served you. Sure there were some nights that you got a meal that was heavenly tasting such as spaghetti, but most of the time they serve you food that you're not exactly going to like but you eat it because its all you have.

    Again, I do suggest these two try out Gravity Church or any church for that matter. They sound like they need God in their life.

  • M. Doyle posted at 3:55 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    M Doyle Posts: 185

    Blaming the poor and homeless gives you the moral high ground, doesn't it, and makes it very easy for you to turn your back on people who are suffering. It sounds to me like these folks just want the opportunity to work so they can get back on their feet.

  • Robert Marty posted at 12:29 pm on Wed, Aug 13, 2014.

    rmartygeo Posts: 32

    It sounds like a series of bad choices - over a number of years - has put the couple in this situation. Divorce, bad purchasing decisions (variable rate loan), family alienation, etc. Perhaps the couple should re-locate to a more economically-advantageous area - there are plenty of jobs and work out there (North Dakota, for instance), just not always where you "want" to live (e.g., California).

    The reporting also leaves too many questions unanswered -- including: 1) why is Ms. Warmuth estranged from her children and siblings - this seems strange that there is no family to help out with expenses or provide a hand up; 2) why continue to pay the union dues when there appears to be no return on investment ? (perhaps another poor business decision); 3) why not downsize the home immediately (or declare bankruptcy) before the bank "steals" it? (a reference to the original letter to the editor). There are many more unanswered questions which could enlighten the audience to the true genesis of the situation.

    The article (or at least the way it is presented) also has echoes of entitlement -- they don't like the food from Salvation Army (oh, my, I guess the SA should invest in some filet mignon?) or the atmosphere? (SA -- you'd better focus on ambiance or the homeless might stop showing up); or "Atnip waits for calls about jobs or from his union" - his time may be better spent actually knocking on business doors or looking for day work at construction sites. The article makes it sound like he is sitting around waiting for the job to come to him (I'm not implying that is what he is doing - it is just he way the article is written). And, as far a Church food -- well, if you want their meals, you may have to sing and pray a little for it.



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