I wish I could say that at least I'm benefiting from the euphoria and great sex meth produces. But I'm not. I don't do meth. I'm just surrounded by people who use meth... like A LOT of meth.
Let me fill you in on the methscapades of the last week.
Here's a picture of the ethernet cable that provided free internet to homeless people in the Houseless Movement Garden:
I hung that cable up as high in a tree as I possibly could because I knew it was going to be a target for the meth brain.
This weekend, a guy put together a long pipe, about 15 feet tall and tore down the cable.
He admitted to doing it. He said it was a mistake. But I know he's paranoid people are listening to him. So the more likely story is that he thought that cable was listening to all his super-secret plans.
And then there is this:
That's a Blessing Box that some amazing people put up. Then people would come by and put all sorts of really great items and food in it.
I've asked around and no one knows what happened to it. (I believe them. This is the kind of thing they'd tell me if they knew. Many homeless people were super pissed this happened.)
I'm not sure what happened to this. Options could be:
My vote is on 2 or 3. And honestly, #3 is my personal favorite for being the truth of it all.
I am now paying a homeless person to put the electric back together in HIS OWN TINY HOUSE. (He is very capable of doing this work.) He believed that the electric was run incorrectly. He believed it was a 220 line going into a 110 outlet. That is absolutely not the case. But there is nothing I can do to convince him otherwise. But the promise of a laptop (which he probably will eventually end up trading for meth) is inspiring him to put it back together.
I pay a guy to clean his own room because he just throws all his trash on the floor. I've had to clean out his room twice before with a snow shovel. I also regularly provide him with expanding foam and blankets to cover up all the holes in his room because he thinks there are cameras and people are blowing pubic hair into his room.
Make no mistake. I'm not some soft, squishy liberal that just wants to love and cuddle the meth right out of these people. This shit pisses me the fuck off!
I get so mad at these people.
Some of these people are so fucked up on meth, other meth users are over them. They will often say, "I do meth every single day, but that guy is taking too much!" It's true. Most people are responsible meth users. (Although, the paranoia often seeps through even the most systematic meth user.)
I fantasize about just throwing all their asses out and starting over. Nothing would bring me more joy.
But I rarely do that. (If you try to chew off someone's ear [because you took too much meth] or burn down someone's tent, including your own, [because you took too much meth] I'm sorry, I'm going to make you leave.)
When I tell a person they can stay in the Houseless Movement Garden I have just made a personal pact with myself. I've made a covenant to be responsible for that person for as long as they want to stay with us.
If we took the most evil pedophile or serial killer and treated them like we treat homeless people, the entire international community would be in a global outrage. There would likely be sanctions against the United States.
Withholding basic shelter, water and toilets is nothing we would do with terrorists, murderers or sex abusers. Yet we do it with our most poor every single day in the United States, the richest most Christian country in the world.
On 2 separate occasions, by 2 separate homeless service providers:
told me that "the streets are motivating."
What they mean by that is if we are too soft on homeless people then they won't want to get into the housing these guys provide (and make money offering).
So, they don't want "do-gooders" providing tents and food and general human kindness to these people. Because then they'll just "want" to stay on the streets forever.
This is a cornerstone of what the entire Summit County Continuum of Care believes. Here is an excerpt from the Op-ed the C0C submitted to the Akron Beacon Journal. It was published on July 11, 2018:
As a community, we have paid much attention and directed significant energy to the Second Chance Village with the best intentions. This attention comes from local politicians, reporters, faith-based groups, students, well-wishers, and service providers. In our community, we pride ourselves on making a difference and lifting people up in downtimes.
Our best intentions of delivering a meal or other resources meet the moment's needs but do not provide a long-term solution. Long-term solutions encourage people to lift themselves up while providing other critical support. It is important to focus on the root cause or the issue that has led to the homelessness episode.
The title of the piece lists its authors:
"Mar-Quetta Boddie, Rebecca Callahan, Keith Stahl and Fred Berry: Second Chance Village is not a solution to homelessness" That is no longer available on the ABJ site but I have published it in its entirety on this blog post.
A tent and a toilet are not luxuries. They are fundamental requirements to live as a human being. Our evolution has made it so. Additionally, what kind of savages are we that we somehow have rationalized the practice of withholding (and repeatedly stealing with camp sweeps) the thin fabric tents people use to protect themselves from wind and rain?
Who are we? What have we become?
Yes. Meth heads (I know that's not politically correct, but hopefully you can understand my frustration) are SO FUCKING ANNOYING.
But being annoying is no excuse to push a person further and further away from society by taking their tents and withholding water.
I will not stand by as homeless service providers and government officials use these barbaric, cruel and torturous techniques to push away someone because they find them annoying.