By Max R. Weller
I beg to differ with the premise of this letter-to-the-editor of the Daily Camera. In the Real World, when there are too many wild critters grazing on too little grass, nature reduces the excess number by starvation and/or disease. Predators, of course, then attack the weaker animals and literally rip their guts out while they’re still clinging to life. Far better, I think, to shoot a few bison and make use of the meat and everything else — just as the Plains Indians did for centuries. Personally, I’d love a juicy bison burger with all the trimmings and I’m certain that most other homeless people would, too. The challenge would be to find cooks who can prepare the donated bison in such a way that it’s both tasty and safe. Usually, homeless shelter/services providers and other groups who feed are dealing with donated food items requiring minimal culinary skills; anybody can make sandwiches or scramble eggs.
It’s about 8:15AM as I’m writing this, and my host family is sleeping in. I would, too, if I wasn’t so used to waking up much earlier. Maybe I’ll take a nap later . . . I feel a bit of a chest cold coming on, something I could endure sleeping outdoors with the proper camping gear. I feel guilty for taking advantage of my friends like this, and I’d feel much worse if they were to catch whatever bug I have.
BTW, Terzah took it upon herself yesterday to phone the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and try to find out what happened to all of my stuff: tarps, sleeping bags, blankets, a camp pillow, $50 or so worth of food, etc. Hell, the vultures even took the tent pegs I’d bought to hold down my tarp in the gusty winds here. My theory is that it was a work release crew from the county jail who wandered onto private property and took everything I had there, while they were also picking up trash in roadside ditches which are public property. The lone witness I spoke with is one of the chronic inebriates who panhandles on the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 — he wasn’t entirely believable about the details of who it was he saw, just that he saw ’em “raid” my campsite. Anyway, after passing the inquiry from one BCSO department to another, nobody in authority had any answers. My means of survival is now in the landfill. Kudos to Terzah for making the effort, but I know from experience how little regard is given to property belonging to homeless campers, regardless of how well-behaved they may be.
Society’s answer for homelessness is to warehouse everyone in cramped, bedbug-infested quarters where behavior deteriorates to the lowest common denominator: farting, belching, hacking and coughing and spitting everywhere, puking in the bathroom sinks, stinking up the facility with body and foot odor, yelling and fighting while others are trying to sleep, stealing, etc.
The concept of “tiny houses” for the homeless seems to me to be a workable solution, one that offers PRIVACY and DIGNITY as well as being far more cost-efficient than the $6 million plus 31-unit Housing First project being built at 1175 Lee Hill in Boulder, CO. See this report from WMTV in Madison, WI — UPDATE: First tiny home for homeless complete. Different groups across America have differing approaches for the tiny house solution, and costs vary greatly.
I’d be thrilled with a tiny coroplast house:
There are hundreds of single adult homeless men and women in Boulder, according to the most recent MDHI Point-in-Time Survey. Only 31 of ’em will be housed in brand new apartments at a cost of $200,000 per unit.
My perspective is far removed from that of the powers-that-be running Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and Boulder Housing Partners.
I’ve enjoyed making new Facebook friends as I reconnect with folks in my old hometown, by means of I Remember When . . . Lexington, MO. Overall, it’s been good for me to face the ghosts in my past and put them to rest.
Time for fruitcake!