They Are Human Beings, Not Trash.

I finally visited my homeless friends in Indianapolis again last night, after a couple of months of dealing with my health issues. I was dismayed to find that the city officials have yet again ordered a homeless camp to be dispersed without giving them an alternative place to move to. Thankfully, for our friend Tony, his shelter is farther down the hill toward the river and cannot be seen from the road, so he was given permission to stay, and the officials were kind enough to help him relocate his garden from the street level down the hill closer to his shelter. But many who were camping on level with the road were told to move, with no alternative location to move to, and their belongings will be swept away in dumpsters. This has been the pattern whenever enough complaints have been lodged to pressure the city officials to “clean up” the city. Then the homeless people are treated no better than the trash along the road that needs to be swept up and taken out of sight.

Homeless people are human beings, and it’s not right to treat them like trash. They have needs for shelter and basic sustenance, just like you and me. It’s a really sad commentary on our society when we treat animals better than we do fellow human beings. The right thing, the humane thing, if you do not want them to be camping along the road, would be to offer them an alternative place with adequate resources for them to move to and form a self-sustaining community. With all the wealth apparent in the expensive, gated subdivisions being built everywhere, can we not give these folks a permanent “subdivision” of their own where they can rest and call home, instead of sweeping them here and there like trash?

Tony with sign

Thuan Q. Duong (Tony), who has been living in a shelter along the White River, holding a sign protesting the inhumane treatment of the homeless by the city officials. Photo credit goes to our friend Lisa Daniel.

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