We are seeing lots of pictures of the destruction of tent cities, but none of where the displaced people went. Did they just disappear “poof” because they were an eyesore? I totally agree, they were messy and in the way and there were thieves and drug addicts among them, but we cannot solve the problems of homelessness and drug addiction by destroying their shelter.
In Duncan, Mayor Michelle Stapes has a goal for everyone to have a home. They have created “It takes a Village Project”. In it, they have made small houses on community land where toilets, showers and a community cooking pit is provided. There, the people can access medical and social services.
Homelessness is a socio-economic problem where we are seeing housing as an asset and not as a human right. Drug addiction is a mental health problem and requires recovery intervention. We need real solutions. Moving the problem around is not the solution. Maybe we can learn from Duncan.