I had a very good conversation with Brian Simcox today.
I know my leftist friends are likely going to be angry for me saying this.
I don’t need to get into the controversy of Brian. It has been talked about extensively. Particularly by me. Let me just say that he is a controversial figure. I would say many people would think the same of me.
As I drove back to the west side from Middleberry this afternoon I felt like I was leaving Joseph Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness.￼ ￼￼￼ It is chaos and insanity. The deeper I dig into it the more I can feel my own sanity shifting. Those people live in a pressure cooker. They are being pressed from every possible angle. Drug dealers, cops, parole officers, slumlords. There is no escape from the terror and pressure. It is true horror.￼
You can say whatever you want about Brian Simcox. But I’ll tell you one thing, he’s right about dealing with mental illness and addiction. I’m not going to state his beliefs. He did not give me permission to share them and so I won’t.
Let it just be said that what we are doing right now is not going to fix the problem.￼￼￼￼
Earlier this week I had a police officer tell me to not talk to him. I live in a position where no one in authority will talk to me. They may not like what I’m doing. But the experiences I’ve had doing this work has created a unique perspective on the situation of homelessness and addiction and mental health. I don’t know how you could disagree with that fact.
I will gladly work with anyone that wants to work with me on thinking about homelessness. I’m talking gangs, police, neighbors, clergy. Anyone that wants to talk about homelessness from any perspective is cool in my book.
Police are stuck in the middle. They can’t talk about leadership in politics, they can’t talk about anything. All they can do is their job.￼￼￼￼
Without a shadow of a doubt I can tell you that the problems we have in Akron are not the police. The heart of our problems reside in the leadership in the administration and city Council. No one else can be blamed for the nightmare that Akron citizens have to live with every single day.￼
I was deeply thankful that Brian came and talked to me today. I imagine that must’ve been difficult for him because he knows what I have said about him in the past. If Brian Simcox wants to talk to me about homelessness and addiction I will gladly talk to him any day of the week.￼