• Darcy Reed

War on the poor

I want to write about the people who have nowhere to live. In our nearby city, the mayor orders these homeless sweeps and takes all the sleeping bags, tents, and belongings of our city’s homeless and has the nerve to campaign on his accomplishments about affordable housing. He thinks affordable housing is buying a cheap condo for $2,000 a month.


Denver was the most desirable place to live because our state is one of the most beautiful states, but mainly because we were the first to make marijuana legal. That brought a lot of people here. Not homeless people, but affluent people who created homeless people. Landlords had fun raising rents. At one point, it was nearly impossible to get a new rental house. You had to pay an application fee just to see it, then you had to pass a credit check, then you had to pay twice what you were just paying for the same thing.


The neighborhoods, of course, also went straight to yuppie hell with gentrification wrecking the historical beauty of the city and driving out the middle class and working poor. Now the homeless sleep wherever they can, often by the river which has no trash cans or restroom facilities. There is no right to rest in Denver. If you are homeless, you are just out of luck. Our recently departed governor doesn’t care. He thinks he’s earned the right to be president. One wonders if the mayor greases his pockets with the cash of developers and real estate tycoons. This is no longer our city. No, I won’t live there now.


I have heard that there’s a housing crisis everywhere in the world. That is scary. What will the affluent ever do, having to see trash and sleeping people struggling? Why don’t they contribute their wealth to those they displaced? Because they are too busy being cool hipsters riding around on those stupid scooters, getting in the way, hoping you get out of their way as they look down on you with their half-caff coconut lattes.


They don’t even think their over-priced one bedroom apartment is a symptom of the problem. They’re all from LA or New York where by comparison, the rents here are maybe about the same now that Denver is masquerading as a world class city. It is not a world class city. Do not come here. Go somewhere else. Of course, saying that is similar to what folks say about the homeless, so it’s just a matter of ongoing discord.


The people moving here don’t give a crap about our city. They just keep coming and reviling the homeless folks their presence here helped to create. If this is the same everywhere in the world, then we have a serious problem. Eventually, it will just be the haves and the have-nots. Of course, then the affluent will destroy the poor completely – jail them for their debts or for loitering or for being mentally ill. That seems to be more convenient than setting up homeless cities with tents or small houses.


If we as a society took only a small fraction out of what we spend on weapons and used it for the homeless, we would be worth our stay in these luxury cities – only then. Without mercy for the poor, we cannot call ourselves humane humans. We are not. I would like to suggest one obvious solution, which would happen if we had an effective mayor or city council. Help arrange homeless shelters in vacant office buildings which stand everywhere – buildings that are just dark, awful windows of vacancy, wasted space for nothing. Denver recently had an issue for people to vote on. It was called The Right to Rest. It let people camp out without harassment. It lost by a huge amount, of course, because the haves have, and the have-nots don’t.



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