July 10, 2013
It’s oft said that for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. That action: the recent push by a multi-agency “task force” to eradicate the growing number of homeless camps along the bluffs in Kessler Park. The reaction: an influx of “new” homeless people now occupying vacant houses is on the rise.
One Indian Mound resident noted three such instances behind the Wilson Road Price Chopper alone in which ousted homeless from the bluffs and the Northeast baseball fields have now taken up residence along South Bellaire. With the glut of abandoned houses on any given block in Northeast, the problem of new and often unwanted neighbors is a mounting concern. Much to the city council’s chagrin, too, is that most of those found in camps and squatting in abandoned houses want nothing to do with the touchy-feely, warm fuzzy programs offered up by the well meaning staff at Hope Faith Ministries or City Union Mission. Why? Because there’s freedom in that 40-ouncer, that’s why. Why conform to the structure of a program when you can have all the malt liquor you want and a free roof over your head to boot! Some folks have even advocated for a centrally located “drunk house” that would offer those in the woods shelter without all the structure of a touchy-feely program. This news-dog isn’t sure how workable that idea is but we do know that a majority of those living in the woods want to be there because they enjoy the freedom of being off the radar of the real world for whatever reason, criminal or otherwise. This curious news chewin’ pooch wonders when the house-to-house eradications begin.