Once upon a time, I was homeless on the mean streets of a major crime-ridden city. I took the help offered, got back up, accidentally landed here in town and haven’t left.
I’ve tried to stay out of the controversy of homelessness in Durango because I’ve been without resources or a dollar or a roof or a meal. But when I can no longer take my dog to the river because bums are congregated at the best put-ins day drinking in groups, well I’m done!
We’ve all seen it: the guys flying signs on the corners, then taking a smoke break while they stash more fast foods bags behind bushes or signs. Groups of obviously homeless crowding out the best tables and open spots on the river trail or parks day after day. The able-bodied youth with a hand out while someone with a disability struggles to ride the transit to work.
While I was homeless, we had unwritten rules – don’t hassle the local residents, keep to small groups (3-4) and stay clean. Even high school students aren’t allowed in stores in large groups; why are the parks and river users tolerating it?
What I don’t see is the number of fishermen I used to, or park users. Durango has got to be one of the best places in America to be homeless. Programs here do so much and folks are being too nice.
Well, homeless folks, please show some consideration back! Respect those with homes.