Out of control

Last week, the second fire in as many weeks broke out in a large transient encampment in the wooded areas that border the I-35 corridor. Last week’s fire was near 1st and Lydia in the Columbus Park neighborhood. No injuries were reported in the fire initially. However, a woman this Newsdog spoke with indicated she had accidentally started the fire when a sleeping bag that was being used as part of a shelter ignited in the campfire, then caught the tarps and blankets of the makeshift tent on fire.

 A fire, one week prior, in a camp on the bluff near the Riverview apartments caused a column of smoke that was visible for miles. Both fires bring to the forefront the public safety concerns of the burgeoning transient population that has increased exponentially in the wooded areas bordering the Historic Northeast community.

 We’ve talked at length about the safety issues that often accompany the transient population. Now add to that mix the safety issue living next to a vacant house that gets lit up by someone trying to keep warm, case in point, last weekend when two fires erupted in vacant homes. One fire, in the 3000 block of East 6th Street, resulted in a fatality.

 That situation doesn’t look to get better any time soon, especially on the heels of reStart shuttering their emergency shelter. That’s ninety additional people, often with substance abuse or mental issues or both, turned loose on the streets to fend for themselves.

 All of this begs the question, where does it end? When is enough, enough? This critically thinking Newsdog thinks it’s high time for some systemic changes to the way we deal with the transient population and that means addressing what seems to be the elephant in the room, that being the mental health issue that pervades the population for any one of a number of reasons, substance abuse notwithstanding.

 Maybe it’s time to restore some of that mental health funding to the budget and start taking care of our own.  We’re not talking like a hundred years ago when you could get your weird Uncle Fred institutionalized with nothing more than a signature, we’re talking some common-sense line item budget funding that allows agencies such as reStart to adequately staff and run an emergency shelter or any one of a number of agencies that will effectively house and care for a population that largely, is unable to care for itself.

 Not doing so only continues to kick the proverbial can down the road, putting the public safety issue on a back burner, no pun intended. It’s an election year and its budget time in Kansas City. The time for change is now. 

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Missing In Action

    October 14th, 2020

    Oh-where-oh-where has Jean Peters-Baker gone, oh-where-oh-where can she be? Where’s Waldo? This civics minded News Dog would certainly like to […]

    Braggin Rights!

    October 7th, 2020

    Once again we here at the House of News have been honored by our peers in journalism for our editorial […]

    Voter Registration Deadline for the November Election is October 7

    September 30th, 2020

    State representative Ingrid BurnettGuest columnist This is the last week to register to vote in the General Election on November […]

    Follow the process

    September 23rd, 2020

    Diane EustonGuest Columnist I’m an historian who focuses on Kansas City’s unique and fascinating past who was one of the […]

    Time for action

    September 2nd, 2020

    We’re done. This News Dog is sick of the ongoing lawlessness and criminal actions of the vagrants who continue to […]

    Rearranging the deck chairs

    August 26th, 2020

    If you’ve driven by the intersection of I-435 and Winner Road/US 24/Independence Avenue over the last few years you’re more […]

    City council gone rogue

    August 12th, 2020

    If ever there was a reason for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department to remain under state control, your gone-rogue, […]

    And the cop hate continues

    June 30th, 2020

    This community-minded News Dog normally likes to steer clear of neighborhood politics and operations. As a former neighborhood association president, […]

  • A Department Gutted

    June 10th, 2020

    Last Thursday, in a carefully orchestrated and timed bit of political theater, the Jackson County prosecutor and the Kansas City […]

    Another Blue Ribbon Commission

    May 27th, 2020

    Last Wednesday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced the formation of another blue ribbon commission deployed to “study” the upward […]

    When you’re on your own, we are there with you.

    March 31st, 2020

    This week, the Dog is yielding space for a much more important message from The Missouri Press Association and the […]

    Support community journalism

    March 25th, 2020

    Over the last few weeks, this community-minded Newsdog has seen an outpouring of support on social media for local businesses […]

    I’ll take panic and hysteria for $500, Alex

    March 18th, 2020

    If anyone would have told this Newsdog a month ago that the United States would be living through what we […]

    Journalism, the Northeast News through an intern’s eyes

    March 4th, 2020

    Kalie StrainEditorial Assistant I made the decision to major in journalism on a whim and it has been a wild […]

    Cut, cut, cut

    February 26th, 2020

    The new City budget is out and, for all intents and purposes, it should have come with a pair of […]

    Community journalism, why it matters

    February 19th, 2020

    Last week, McClatchy, the company that owns the Kansas City Star, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, transferring control of the city’s […]

  • Northeast Newscast

  • Faces Of Northeast

  • Remember This?

  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.