Feb 5, 201411:35 AMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Our obsession with the homeless
(page 2 of 2)
Occupy Madison got tiny-house religion after touring villages of them on the West Coast. Common challenges, Konkel blogged, were governance, alcohol and drug abuse, theft, and smoking.
The mayor and city employees didn’t have to visit the western camps. The squatters came to them after being ousted from the Capitol lunchroom, now padlocked. Municipal employees testified that they endured drunkenness, obscene taunts, and urine in the elevators. City police were issued mug shots of six of the occupiers “for officer safety.”
Mayor Paul Soglin personally witnessed two women duking it out over a favorite bench. “Frankly, I see no sense in spending public money for buildings, shelter, day centers, or housing for individuals who either refuse to use them or will be banned for behavior reasons,” said the man The New York Times Magazine once described as Madison’s “hippie mayor.”
Out on the winter streets, a volunteer reported: “We checked on the woman throughout the night. She will not go into the shelter. ... She really just wants to be left alone. I give her survival gear and check on her. That’s the most we can do.”
The mayor proposed involuntary commitment. “When I raise the issue, I’m a heartless sonofabitch.” But then, no one said compassion would be easy — or that we could agree on what constitutes true compassion.
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