I’m Back: Homeless return to Bronson Park
I informed you yesterday that the City of Kalamazoo had thought they worked out a short term solution to the homeless people who have taken over Bronson Park in Kalamazoo Michigan. The problem was, when the homeless went to their new outdoor accommodations they did not like them.
They said they did not like the site because they believed that the site across from the city-owned vacant fire station at 116 West Cedar Street was inhumane due to:
- exposure to the sun
- overflowing toilets
- no access to running water
- nightly noise from nearby bars and a proximity to dumpsters.
Well apparently the ones that signed the agreement with the city have broken that agreement.
Mlive is reporting that many of the homeless have moved their tents back into Bronson Park as of Wednesday and plan to illegally occupy the park overnight.
City Manager Jim Ritsema was quoted in the article stating:
I don't know what I'm expecting any more…We've been trying to work with them since last Friday, in good faith, and will continue doing that.
According to city law they can be arrested for sleeping in the park overnight, but who follows laws these days, right.
City Manager Jim Ritsema said that for the time being, the overnight campers will not face arrest. He was once again was quoted in the article stating:
We're going to take this day by day right now
The homeless were offered a shade tent, tables and portable toilets that would have been brought to the new site. Also the Gospel Mission and Ministry with Community have offered the homeless the ability to shower at their sites and receive meals, indoor beds, laundry and other services. They even extended that offer to those who had previously been barred from entry, I assume they were barred because they broke the rules.
For now City Manager Ritsema said:
We're working toward solutions with them…That's going to be our message right now, we want to work with these folks and address their immediate needs.
As I stated in the last piece I wrote about this; the real question is; are there enough beds in shelters to help the homeless? If there are not then how does the city of Kalamazoo address this problem?
If there are enough beds to provide shelter for the homeless then why are they not taking advantage of those opportunities?
If they are not taking advantage of these beds due to their own reasons then why is it on the taxpayers of Kalamazoo to provide the shelter, food and rules that they want to live free by?
Many of you called into my radio show the other day and wondered why do homeless people believe they get to decide where they want to live and our laws be dammed.
We need to find out why they are homeless and if it is due to:
- mental illness then we need to get them help
- not having the ability to find work, we need to get them ready to work and help them find employment. I assume all of those who are not homeless and protesting on their behalf can help them find work or allow them to move into their homes if they have an extra room or basement.
- the fact that they are working but are not making enough to rent a small studio apartment, then we need to help them find one of many government programs that can help, i.e. section 8 housing, training to increase their skill, welfare.
- the fact that they do not want to work, we need not worry about helping them since they do not want to help themselves.
- the fact that they are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction we need to get them into programs that will help them escape their addictions.
- the fact that they do not truly want help to kick their addictions then we need to move on to help people that do.
Would you consider all of the above thoughts humane or inhumane?