Evan Morrison of Santa Cruz Free Guide
Evan Morrison of the Santa Cruz Free Guide.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: ‘Right mindset’ for homeless response, neighbors with chainsaws and that chill

Hello again, all. It’s Tuesday, Jan. 24, and another sunny day is ahead of Santa Cruz County, with temps warming into the mid-60s in some spots.

If it’s a solo jaunt through the day’s new Lookout content you’re after, step this way.
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A mindset grounded in empathy is at the core of how Evan Morrison and his fledgling Santa Cruz Free Guide organization are approaching local homelessness, and Mark Conley caught up with Morrison for a Q&A. “The people that we work with have to know that they matter,” Morrison told him. “Because they absolutely do matter.”

In the Santa Cruz Mountains, meanwhile, the New York Times missed a key angle of life when one of its reporters talked to Daniel DeLong amid the wave of storms that battered the county earlier this month. The Ben Lomond resident breaks it down in a Community Voices opinion piece. (Hint: There are chainsaws involved.)

And if you’ve been a little colder than usual this time of year, you’re not imagining it — and Max Chun dug into why January’s rainy weather compounded that chill in our bones.

The day’s headlines also include more information on Monday’s mass shooting in Half Moon Day, so let’s go there now.

‘They need to know they matter’: Why a humanistic approach is core to this new homelessness group’s work

Evan Morrison of Santa Cruz Free Guide
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Evan Morrison’s four-month-old Santa Cruz Free Guide, which has been running the Safe RV Parking program at the Armory, has caught the attention of others who keep a close eye on homelessness response efforts. It’s why the City of Santa Cruz called on the Free Guide to pop up an emergency shelter downtown during the worst nights of winter storms. Morrison believes successful homelessness response begins with a specific mindset, grounded in empathy. Read his Q&A with Mark Conley here.

MORE LOOKOUT Q&As: Hear from local newsmakers in their own words

What NYT omitted about life in the Santa Cruz Mountains: Neighbors with chainsaws

Daniel DeLong loads his kids and his chainsaws into his truck year-round. That's life in the Santa Cruz Mountains, he says.
(Via Daniel DeLong)

Daniel DeLong lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where packing a chainsaw is often just part of mountain life. His young daughters are as familiar with the gear – ropes, helmets, wedges, mini sledgehammer – as they are with their own backpacks. Unfortunately, The New York Times reporter who interviewed him last week during the storms, was not. “That reporter omits the most important aspect of rural mountain living: preparation. And having neighbors who look out for each other,” he says.
. Read his Community Voices op-ed here.

MORE FROM THE MOUNTAINS: Devastated by storms and denied by insurance, Lompico residents navigate uncertain recovery

Housing Matters PROMOTED CONTENT ROADBLOCK (Strength in numbers: How data is helping solve homelessness)


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That’s plenty to start off this Tuesday, and there’s more on the way from Lookout. That includes another edition of Lily Belli on Food, arriving in inboxes later on — and you can sign up for here for that and all of our newsletters, plus breaking news alerts. If you’re out there on the socials, give Lookout a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with all that’s going on around Santa Cruz County.

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Have an excellent Tuesday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz