This is a world class city? Brad Wong's PI article, City Helps To Warm Homeless, makes me want to scream, or cry, or perhaps curl into a little ball and sleep for a very long time. My favorite quote came from Union Gospel Mission communications staff Sharon Thomas-Hearns, who said the agency helped 100 people with blankets, hot chocolate, and other warm things over Saturday and Sunday.
"People were so cold that they wanted two blankets."
What is this? Fucking Dickens?
According to Wong, the city's opened up the Frye and City Hall to max out their overflow mats. Tents at Nickelsville have snow on them. Mars Hill had 125 people lined up around the block for a sandwich and a coat. And so forth. Real Change even got into the act this weekend and sent a truck full of coats and blankets over to Nickelsville. We neglected to alert the media.
This Tuesday night, a small encampment will be held at City Hall, where some intrepid souls will stay overnight to manage our survival gear giveaway. The stuff's been pouring in, but we've been giving it away almost as fast. Desperate people keep coming in the door saying they're cold, and that the City's stolen their blankets, tents, and sleeping bags and such.
This is too sad and pathetic for words.
Wong's story, I think, is supposed to be about a generous city reaching out to help. Is this the best we can do? Blankets? Hot chocolate? A hundred extra mats on the floor?
It's nice that the homeless people on Wong's story are so grateful, but I think more would probably get done if they were surly and pissed off. God knows they have a right.