VALLEJO UNITES TO PICK UP TRASH
David Bosuego, DeDe Scrivner-Bosuego lead cleanup event at Sacramento and Wilson
Vallejo’s David Bosuego has lived in all types of communities, and no matter what state they are in, he takes great pride in them. On Saturday in Vallejo he joined about 25 others to prove that point.
Vallejo Together, partnering with the City of Vallejo Public Works team and other volunteers, hosted a cleanup day at Sacramento Street and Wilson Avenue near a homeless encampment. Bosuego, along with co-organizer and wife DeDe Scrivner-Bosuego, said that more than 200 bags of trash were picked up during the day. Items loaded up included dirty clothes, food, televisions and other types of furniture that had been built up during the last decade and a half.
David Bosuego, who used to be homeless himself in Vallejo, was happy to be part of a solution.
“I like doing this because I know what it’s like to not have anything,” Bosuego said. “Just visiting here to see how hard it is for these people to take care of themselves, I know what that’s like. I wanted to start this (the cleanup) a long time ago and I’ve been talking about doing this for about a year. This whole day and this event is way bigger than me.”
Scrivner-Bosuego said that initially she and David wanted to help out the homeless by having a cleaning event at the site where
the old Kmart store used to be on Sonoma Boulevard, but those plans changed.
“There was a lot of trash in that area and we were ready to help out, but the homeless people living there were evicted from that area on Jan. 22 since it’s private property. Those people had to leave or else they would be fined,” Scrivner-Bosuego said. “So a lot of those people came out here (Sacramento and Wilson). There’s about 26 tents with around 40 people living here and the trash just grows every day. We have come out and started a garbage service for them. We supplied the garbage bags and told the people if you can bring the bags up to the top of road (Wilson Avenue), we’ll have Public Works pick it up twice a month. And they’ve been very thankful for that today and a lot of the people are also helping to clean today.”
Bill Burrage, who was helping out on Saturday and works as Operations Manager for Recology, was overwhelmed with just how much garbage was in the area.
“We’ve been digging stuff up all day and it’s like a minilandfill here,” Burrage said. “I drive by here all the time on the way to rotary meetings and until you really pay attention you don’t realize just how much stuff is here. I understand people live here, but we all need to take pride in how our city looks.”
David Bosuego said that for all the sites and piles of trash you could actually see just by standing on Wilson Avenue, there were plenty more just as big but hidden from view all over the surrounding area. Boseugo said the items he was finding the most was dirty clothes.
“A lot of one-use clothes.
People would have a 15-pound bag of clothes that would become a 45-pound bag full of clothes because the clothes hadn’t been washed and they had gotten wet,” David said. “I mean, there is no laundry mats out here in this encampment and a lot of people are afraid to leave this site to go have their clothes washed.”
Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan helped out during the morning and continually expressed thanks to all the volunteers and organizers, telling them it was great how much pride they had in the city. Sampayan went on to say that it’s not just the homeless that are to blame for the amount of trash in the area.
“It’s very disturbing how much some people can’t take pride in the own town,” Sampayan said. “So many people have driven by this area and they just dump their stuff here, because it’s an easier thing to do. There has been
televisions, microwaves, car parts just dumped right here. This exit is kind of an entrance to the city and there is nothing like first impressions.”
Sampayan went on to say that he wants to create a homeless program that would provide a place for the unsheltered to go to.
“We need to give them a place to go to the bathroom and a dumbster for their trash,” Sampayan said. “A lot of people that live here, they are afraid to leave for fear of their stuff being stolen or their animals taken away from them.”
Scrivner-Bosuego agreed with Sampayan.
“When you talk with some of the people that live here there are two main things brought up with the first being a concern of ‘Am I going to be displaced today?’ The second thing is they are afraid to leave stuff for fear of being ransacked,” Scrivner-Bosuego
said. “So it becomes this survival mode. They need more shelter. It’s not just tents. The people that live here pick up wood and pallets to try and build around the tents, because the tents aren’t enough.”
Scrivner-Bosuego said that Seafood City helps out by picking up baskets, while volunteers such as some from Starbucks were also at the event. A few churches in the area also did their part to help and the Littership program was also deeply involved.
“I have to give two big thumbs up to Dede and David, the organizers, as well as all the volunteers and people who came out to clean the area today,” Sampayan said. “This area needs a lot of work and a lot of people came out to show a lot of pride in their community today.”
Tim Rohn, of Fairfield, wheels garbage from an area off of Wilson Avenue as he helps Vallejo Together and the city during a community clean up day on Saturday in Vallejo.
People help to clean trash out of a homeless encampment during a community clean up day put on by Vallejo Together and the City of Vallejo on Saturday.