I hope there isn’t anyone in the movement that didn’t see this coming. Denver itself has over 10,000 homeless folks. The Ships Chaplain has been involved with the homeless in Denver for years. It’s a problem since there is only 2 male shelters with maybe 60 available beds every night. There are a few more for women available. In winter, when it gets bitter cold, the city bus’ homeless folks to a warehouse facility set up with cots. They also get fed, at the shelters. That takes care of about 1/2 % of the homeless population in Denver on any given freezing cold day. It’s a sad sight to behold.
The movement has a point. In that intermingling with the homeless in the camps is sending a mixed signal to the media and to the 1%. Quite a dilemma. #OWS folks will have to provide the solution to it as no one else will. I suggest feed them if you can and then tell them to move on from the camp. Won’t be easy, some of those folks carry weapons and some folks have never returned from the planet Zot.
This is going to be an ongoing problem for the movement as the longer the camps remain fixed in place the ants are going to ruin the picnic. I strongly suggest a re-think of encampment strategies. Safety of the occupiers is important. Go no where alone at night and that includes going to the Porta potties. If you get someone who is a few cans short of a six-pack giving you grief ask one of the cops to assist you. That’s right, ask one of the cops. If they won’t help, get badge no.s. We’ll make them famous. Other than that, there is not much else you can do. If you try to form your own security teams to patrol the tent areas make sure they are big guys or better still military types. That will reduce intrusion.
Last comment on this issue is remember. They have nothing to lose, they have already lost it all. The stories you will hear will break your hearts. They are not the great throw away society the 1% gloat at. They are folks beaten down to the point of helplessness. It is an unfortunate comment on American society that this issue exists. Perhaps their banner of despair can be raised alongside of the #OWS banner. Certainly is a worthwhile cause. Peace.