Not to get all local on those of you who happen to be checking out the site from various parts in the United States (especially you die hards in Ft. Collins, Colorado), but there is something afoot in my fair city that I have to address.
The Tampa city council has decided to postpone the vote they had planned for today as to whether or not to allow for the formation of a tent city in order to help with the ever rising homeless population in my shining city on the hill.
The camp, proposed to be run in conjunction with Catholic Charities, is intended to provide a place for down on their luck Tampons to find a place to lay their heads without fear of being chased off by the police. "This is absolutely doing what's right," stated Commissioner Rose FerLita, "People don't choose to be homeless. People don't want to be victims of homelessness and not have a reason to live."
Yes, because knowing that you will have a pup tent in the worst part of town is a reason to go on living.
The vote on the matter was postponed because of vocal complaints from residents near the city owned field off Harney road and Hillsborough Ave (on the outskirts of the real nasty parts of town.
What amazed me is not that people pitched a stink about the proposed act of quote unquote compassion but that in some fucked up universe this is the most magnanimous thing that we can do for fellow citizens who are currently down on their luck. It's not like this is summertime and the county does not have access to gyms and municipal buildings that could be used to make temporary digs for people in need.
It is estimated that there are some 10,000 homeless people in Hillsborough County, which is among the highest counties in the nation.
Other cities have allowed for these "Tent Cities" to pop up in thier communities, most of them met with a similar public outcry against the move. In the interest of full disclosure, I have no idea if these similar types of plans enacted in different places actually worked.
For thier part in the mess, Catholic Charities has claimed that their program would be modeled after a similar program being run in St.Petersburg which only deals with referrals (not walk ups), and demands that any homeless people who land there have to meet with a social worker and begin a 90 day plan to get out of the tent and back on their feet... which is all well and good mind you. Just have no idea why we cannot accomplish all of this from inside a high school gym or something (which is what the State claims they would do in the event of a storm emergency).
It is when I hear stories like this that I realize why my father, who is just to the right of Adolf Hitler, just shakes his head whenever we discuss politics. We liberals make some stupid fucking leaps at solutions to the ills of the world. Only a liberal would see the spike in the homeless population and make the ever so illogical conclusion that the best way to give these poor souls hope and dignity is by handing them a pup tent and a dream. It's like giving a rape victim a bar of soap and a cigarette.
No... Who wants a roof over their head and the security of a locked door when you can get a pup tent and the increased odds of getting ass raped by some cracked out weirdo that just happened to be walking by.