Thursday, April 09, 2009

Man's Inhumanity

Yesterday, our Neighbourhood Association sent out a notice that made me angry.

Round Rock has a small community of homeless people. I have not been one of the good people who help them out with food, odd jobs, etc, as my own poverty level is pretty severe. However, they appear to be least, there has been no crime wave associated with them, or anything like that.

On Tuesday morning, some folks went by to check on them, and found them to have been burned out. Yup. Some mean-spirited individual set fire to all the accumulated gear of homelessness. Clothing, tents, blankets, food; things that people have scrounged and scrabbled for. In fact, literally everything they had is gone.

I'm thinking this is a very crude way of saying, "Move on," but many of these people might be local folks who have lost their homes, and not transients who have just fetched up under our bridges? I'm not saying that some of the homeless are not transients--I'm saying that I don't know, and neither does the person who burned them out.

Something like 90% of us are about three months away from homelessness on any given day. These days, many of us have no savings at all. What happens if we lose our jobs, can't pay our bills and can't make our house payments?

I'm willing to bet that our community resources are stretched pretty thin right now.

If anyone has any old tents, clothing, blankets, etc., that they would like to donate to help these folks out, my email address is listed under my picture when you click on my full profile. If you are local, I can pick stuff up. I don't want to put the contact person's address out there, as she might become a target of the arsonists.

If you don't want to help, at least think about these homeless folks in a more sympathetic light, OK?


  1. That is one of the worst inhumanities I've seen in a long time. To burn up the meager things of someone who already has nothing is beyond my comprehension.

    Ronni, this is a link to a site called "Homeless Tales" The admin there is named Matt and he puts up stories relating to/and written by the homeless. He is as compassionate as they come. He put up a story for me about a woman searching for her homeless mother and followed up nicely with us.

    I'm sure this story from your town is not an isolated incident and he may be willing to publish something for you. These atrocities need to stop within our society!

    If you are 3 months from being homeless you are doing pretty good by most standards right now! Paycheck to paycheck is more the norm!

  2. Umm, just a note of caution here.

    Not knowing anything more than your post, I don't know of the evidence pointing to a deliberate act vs an accident. Having been a firefighter previously, I can state that uncontrolled fires at homeless encampments aren't un-common and that almost always they were caused by some activity of the inhabitants. Smoking, fires for warmth or cooking, etc. Actually, I don't recall any deliberate ones.

    If there is an indication that this was deliberate, have someone contact the local fire marshal. There is a name for fires set deliberatly to cause harm: arson.


  3. Russ, the email message I got from our Neighborhood Association said it was arson. I am assuming the appropriate authorities have been contacted.

  4. Let me check on whether we still have a tent. If we do, I'll gladly donate it. I'll let you know. Thanks for posting about this.

  5. OMG,that is so terrible,my heart goes out to them,being one of those that are living day to day barely keeping a roof over my head,I know how devastating it is to lose everything,if it wasn't for Eric I would be living in my car. I wish there was something I could do,but I don't have much left myself. people can be so dam cruel, they don't stop to think it could be them next. I feel pity for them that harbor such meaness inside them.

  6. Nothing quite like kicking people when they are down to make someone feel superior.

  7. Julie, if you have a tent, email me. I can come and pick it would be so much appreciated!