Monday, January 6, 2020
This land is my land
I made a few one-night stops in the ensuing years because it was conveniently on the way to somewhere else. A waypoint rather than a destination. Because I’d done the Slabs thing. And because both the place and I were changing.
The population of Slab City has probably doubled in six years—partly because it has become increasingly well known, but mostly because of the same forces that are driving homelessness all over the country.
It seems as if a greater proportion of the new Slabbers are determined homesteaders, building more substantial abodes. There are far fewer sleeping-bag-under-a-bush types, far fewer snowbirds in large RVs—because there’s less room for them.
The homesteaders not only take up ground for their structures, most of them also lay claim to their compound with fences, walls, containers or anything else that says, “This is mine.” There are private property signs, even though no one owns the ground they’re living on. The state does.