Thursday, April 26, 2007

Umoja up in flames

Just after midnight a candle tipped, and in short order the Umoja experiment in housing came to a fiery end. Thursday afternoon the big dumpsters were arriving, and the charred remains of the squatters’ village looked damp and forlorn.

Many friendly neighbors came and expressed sorrow to the homeless who had been sheltering there for months. These are people whose lives have been the hardest. They may not be very well. They may be disturbed. They are so tired. What next?

The Herald reports that by mid-afternoon Thursday the bulldozers were at work, and several residents had been arrested for refusing to leave the site.

Your blogger saw the Citrus Health Network, a non-government agency specializing in mental health and primary care, helping some people find shelter. They seemed to be doing good work.

Umoja called attention to the disparities in this country. How, with all our wealth, can someone running a hedge fund make $1.7 billion a year (yes, billion) and others not have a safe place to sleep?

Link to Herald story.

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