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All of Us Are One

City-County Authorities

City-County Authorities
From Ronnie Barbett

The beautiful parks are about to reveal their true selves after the Spring thaw. The ice will melt; our bodies warming up as the sun rises over Lake Monona. The water fountains will be turned on and the Spring season begins…lovers, campers, fishermen down at the lake. Portable toilets for the ones needing them to be put back into place soon. Now the reality sinks in.
There is an increase in people without homes so the parks, the streets, under bridges, and the city itself will see evidence of living conditions where there really should be none. The people of this city did not get together to vote positively for change. A building complex provided for the many people that are homeless was ignored. The housing programs in place are not suitable for some, and a problem on some days for others. An outside alternative does exist. All the problems associated with the outside homeless experience can be at a minimum with available apartments and of course funding of a down-and-out complex that assists people in getting up. The powers-that-be know what’s going to happen during the coming months.
I want all of our homeless supporters aware of the following written conclusive study done by the Homeless Issues Committee appointed by the city/county board. I only hope that the authorities (parks, police, mall area cleaners, business owners) are aware too.

“Now therefore be it resolved that inherent human dignity in every Dane County resident and commits to ameliorating the difficulties experienced by unhoused persons when carrying out basic life-sustaining activities.”

This conclusion was reached by city-county authorities in place. The words are plain and simple. Somebody out there knows what the homeless are doing though, yes?

“Unhoused persons in Dane County have few accessible spaces available to carry out life sustaining activities like eating, drinking, sleeping, washing and going to the bathroom. Res. 292, 11-12 Dane County recognizes housing as a human right to ensure no one is denied access to shelter and acquire additional daytime shelter space. These are long term solutions however, and will take time and resources to develop. In the meantime, unhoused persons should not be pushed out of public spaces that are desperately needed for shelter, and accessing water, harassing, ticketing and removal from Dane County property solely for engaging in life-sustaining activities, including resting, eating, drinking, or accessing public showers or restrooms is unnecessary and unproductive.”

It was also stated:

“Dane County ordinances and policies governing the use of public spaces, while originally well-intentioned and reasoned, when applied to unhoused persons, exacerbate their insecurity and create additional and unnecessary barriers to fulfilling basic needs, including accessing shelter from the elements and clean water for drinking and washing when resources are limited and long term solutions are being pursued, existing public spaces and amenities can be maximized and made available to unhoused persons to carry out basic life-sustaining activities.”

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About Operation Welcome Home

OWH is a group of homeless people in Madison, WI and their allies organizing around the root causes of homelessness- racism, poverty, and criminalization. We are fighting for housing, jobs, and an end to the criminalization of poverty.

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