I recently published an article about how the city of Ft. Wayne was going to be doing a sweep of the homeless belongings left under the Wells St. Bridge on Tuesday (tomorrow) May 3rd, at 8 am. The article has drawn some attention to what the city of Ft. Wayne is doing to help it’s local homeless population and what other measures could be taken so that those who are homeless do not lose what little belongings they possess, while also protecting the assets that many local organizations from Allen and surrounding counties donate to those they are trying to help.
Some of the ideas being shared ranged from a designated “camping” area for the homeless. sort of a safe zone for the homeless to protect them and their belongings. Another idea mentioned was one that the Indiana community of Muncie has seen a local nonprofit take charge of: the use of “Tiny Houses” to house the homeless. Wowo.com ran an article today about this project in Muncie and what it entails.
This article references the use of 6 tiny houses to house homeless. These houses would be built near each other and formed into a small village, complete with a community garden and shared kitchen and restroom spaces.
The article is interesting in that it does offer a solution to homelessness for those transitioning from the streets to a somewhat normal living situation, but would this idea work in Ft. Wayne?
I do not see this being a viable solution to something that is much bigger in scope than what a city the size of Muncie has to deal with. Ft. Wayne has a much larger homeless population. Yes, the houses could be built–no problem there, but when we are talking about needing upwards of 1-200 of these tiny house spaces you start having to deal with the questions of where to locate them? Who will take care of them and be responsible for them, and how do you deal with the shear number needed while keeping this a safe environment and making it work for the city? I just can not see how this could be a viable option in the near future.
I do think that something more can be done than what is currently being done–which isn’t much, specially when it comes to the city and how they are handling (or not handling) things.
I was also reminded this week that many of the officers taking part in these sweeps are not doing so voluntarily–as a matter of fact, most would disagree that this is a good way of handling things. They are getting a bad rap for what amounts to something that their superiors are saying has to get done. I was told of a couple of recent events where officers helped out a couple of the homeless individuals–one to get food and the other for medical help.
We should continue to pray about this situation and that a good resolve will be found for everyone and pray for those having to do a job that differs from their personal beliefs. Pray for the “Sweep” tomorrow and that those involved will be safe and find the supplies they need replenished to be able to survive wherever they find themselves.