Under the bridge – first post

Here’s a little picture of a homeless camp I found under a bridge in the Emory area. The person who lived there wasn’t home at the time that I showed up, so I left a flyer for my group, the Mad Housers, and I’ll probably be swinging back by in a week or so.

It’s a small camp, I’d say an individual or perhaps a couple, no more. By bridge-living standards, it’s a neat and well-run, indicating that the resident is fairly settled in.

Atlanta has a large homeless population, in spite of consistently being ranked as one of the meanest cities in the U.S. for the homeless. This isn’t too surprising, really – we’re a large city with a mild climate, but so sparsely built out that there are lots of nooks and crannies to hide in, and the cost of living is relatively low.

Proposals for fixing the homeless problem have come and gone — the most recent effort being Mayor Franklin’s commission on homelessness — but the only thing that people really seem to agree on is that they don’t want homeless folks around. Sadly, the homeless can’t stop existing for our convenience.

Now, I honestly believe that we have a good mayor who is actually concerned about homeless folks — after all, her own father was homeless for periods of time. But, politically speaking, it’s hard to generate public support for a group that most people associate with nuisances such as aggressive panhandling and public urination, and it’s not like the homeless themselves are a powerhouse voting bloc.

What can be done?

2 Comments so far

  1. gttim (unregistered) on November 30th, 2004 @ 12:28 pm

    Very cool group, the Mad Housers. I may have to volunteer.

  2. Amber (unregistered) on December 6th, 2004 @ 12:10 am

    Mad Housers sounds like a great group. I signed up for your email list and hope to volunteer soon. I’m not very handy with tools, but I’m willing to learn!

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