Hey, city of Tucson and Tucson city government council offices, what a way to show compassion to some of our most vulnerable citizens. “Bravo!” to shutting down Bravo Base camp. I say “Nay, nay!”
You don’t want homeless camps? How about opening some of the vacant buildings in Tucson and making them shelters? What about the vacant school buildings in Tucson Unified School District? Why haven’t we joined the tiny-house revolution and established communities for these folks? Why isn’t Tucson at the forefront on this issue like other smaller cities around this country for addressing and solving it? Our homeless are refugees in their own city.
Is it a crime to be homeless or houseless? No. Have correlations to increased criminal activity been linked to homelessness? Yes.
It should be on our conscience that it is a crime to let our citizens starve and freeze to death. It is a crime to take away dignity and security. It is a crime to be subjected to degrading treatment or punishment.
City of Tucson, you have the duty of providing a remedy. This is only a band-aid to appease a base of constituents. I foresee hospital waiting rooms filling beyond capacity for hot meals and a warm bed where resources for critical patients will be stretched thin; the jail will have more inmates, as it is easier to commit a crime and be guaranteed a warm place and food than it is to wander the streets seeking the same.
I see downtown being inundated with exactly what you don’t want to see because the services available for these people are centralized.
I have to wonder if this has anything to do with Proposition 407 (the Tucson park bonds that passed) or, as usual, the upcoming Gem and Mineral Show. Looks like we’re trying to hide the reality of our city’s homeless population.
I invite our elected officials to spend a week on the streets of Tucson with just the clothes on their back simply to see and feel what it is like to navigate our current system. Go ahead and sleep on the sidewalk for a night ... in the elements ... without proper restroom facilities. Heck!
A pregnant woman can’t even go into the Circle K on Congress and ask to use the restroom facility let alone a known homeless person.
We can easily read the city’s protocol on homeless camps but it only “informs” campers of resources available. Pima County’s protocol is similar in “informing.” Access to these resources is limited by several factors. And what about the people who don’t want Section 8 housing or don’t fit the demographic that resources are allocated for in the limited shelter beds we have?
Many questions. Not enough answers. But shutting down a camp that has stability within its perimeter and among its residents will now cause chaos when other solutions could have been put in place. This includes a new question: What has the city done to work with this camp and its people to get them up to code without having to displace an entire community with a 72-hour notice to vacate? By the way, this was a 100 percent donation-based and resident-run shelter.