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The City of Akron Is Shutting Down Our Adopted Camp

To be clear : THIS IS NOT TALKING ABOUT Second Chance VILLAGE. This is about a Camp site we have been helping remotely near Haven of Rest. 

I just got word yesterday that the city of Akron is shutting down the outreach camp we’ve been working with.

It’s absurdly comical that officials shut down camps in the middle of the winter.

Second Chance Village was started because a group was kicked out of the space where Freedom Trail was being built. I’ll never forget the day. It was January 7, 2017.

Kabir Bhatia from WKSU was one of the first reporters on that story. This one was posted on January 8, 2017:

Homeless People In Akron Have Some Ideas After Being Asked to Leave the Freedom Trail | WKSU

The picture in that article is of our basement on that day.

 

 


Less than a year later it looks more like this:


Sage Lewis talks to residents at one of their mandatory weekly meetings at the Second Chance Village in Akron. The goal of the Second Chance Village is to provide a viable path for the chronically homeless to become self sufficient. (Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal)


 We started with just an empty basement.

And through work ENTIRELY done by the “useless”, forgotten, invisible homeless, we now have:

  • Laundry
  • Shower,
  • Computer lab
  • Clothes closet
  • Food pantry

And for the record, we are working incredibly close with the fire inspector to get the building approved for people to use as a day center.

And ALSO for the record, no matter how cold it gets, no matter how much people beg, we are not allowing people to sleep in our building as an emergency shelter. We will be shuttling people to Haven of Rest and other places.

There are people in the world that are great at pointing out problems. But don’t have any solutions.

We are the product of that frustrating system.

We are a solution. And all we hear is all the problems we’re causing.

And now the city has so wisely found another problem.

They’ve found a tent community that is too cluttered. Is too unseemly.

So how do they solve that problem? How do they fix the glaring homeless epidemic that is America today?

They “solve” the problem by kicking people off land but offer no other solution. Do they think for one minute what will happen with those people? Do they not have one sliver of a heart? Do they not have even a mild curiosity for what happens next?

Well let me tell you what will happen next:

  • These people were right behind Haven of Rest. When the temperature falls below 25 degrees Haven opens their doors to anyone. So these people had a quick way of getting out of the cold. That support is now gone. (And I’m the one being accused of threatening them with hypothermia and death.)
  • The Haven of Rest offers lunch and dinner to the public. Now that is gone.
  • People brought them firewood for their barrel. There is no way they can carry that. So that’s gone.
  • They knew who their neighbors were so they knew who to trust and not trust. So that’s gone.
  • The are scattering even as we speak. So people we could work with and support have disappeared. It’s likely we’ll never see some of them again.
  • St Bernard Parish also has a bagged lunch program Monday-Friday from 8:30 A.M.-9:30 A.M in the Bill Corbett Center (Bologna House). That will now be gone.

These people will run like scared cats deeper into the woods. They will make themselves more isolated. More alone.

Don’t you see that actually seeing the homeless is what we want? It means they are willing to be vulnerable and open to society. They are willing to take help.

Now we’ve terrified them and they are running away. You’ve just made a bad situation 10 times worse. IN DECEMBER!!!

All the bonds we’ve made have been broken.

You think making them disappear is a good thing. But it is a wound festering and undermining your entire city.

You want these people back in society yet you have absolutely no understanding of who they are and how to work with them.

You likely have a better understanding how to work with a feral cat than you do with a homeless human. And the only reason is because you’ve never taken one minute to think about who they are and what they need.

But ya know what? We’ll handle it. We’ll take care of it.

Throw your homeless under a bridge. Then go to that bridge and throw them out of that place. We’ll sweep them up.

Your homeless situation will never get better with this cycle. It will only get worse.

But congratulations. You made some incredibly poor, incredibly damaged people disappear.

Good job.

6 thoughts on “The City of Akron Is Shutting Down Our Adopted Camp

  1. The picture looks very similar to the area of the Freedom trail. Is that camp on the trail section techincally under construction, but not completed?

  2. I just wonder what the city is thinking?! It’s all about perception and it all boils down to money. This is extremely sad. I know the plight of the homeless first hand. My brother-in-law was homeless and through organizations like this, he is now living in and apartments, has a job, is attending meetings to better himself , & is self-sufficient. My heart breaks every day for people who live on the streets. You really should be ashamed of yourselves.

  3. God will judge us for what is done ……..Do unto others as you would for your self the least of these ……
    Animals are treated better for the love of God !!!!!! Shame on Akron
    Anchor house. Budd. Dean Nelson Anyone who has a heart

  4. This makes me cry/ I will take a stand in front of any authoritative eye. No one owns the Earth…our society has created a homeless home and to dictate who can live in it comfortably is arrogantly playing a role of a false god- one who embellishes materiality and ownership over a fruitful free world. I’m ready to fight for what is rightfully ours…real freedom and a free land! When and where can I meet to resist this imprisonment and slaughter that our country has caused?!

  5. I am so ashamed of you and you should be ashamed of yourselves
    As you go home to your warm toastie beds
    SHAME ON YOU when you sit down to dinner and eat like a beast….while others are searching for crumbs in their pockets Shame on you…how can you sleep tonight …AND KNOWING YOU SELF CENTERED FOLKS WILL SAY. YOU WILL JUST TAKE A VALLIUM OR XANAX WHATEVER …JUST STAY NUMB ..ASK YOURSELF ONE QUESTION TONIGHT BEFORE YOU CLIMB INTO YOUR COMFORT ZONE …..AM I ON THE NAUGHTY LIST OR THE NICE LIST …AND KBOW GODS ANGELS ARE TAKING NOTES ALL THE GOOD YOU DO
    AND ALL THE BAD THAT YOU DO

    JUST HOPE AND PRAY YOU WILL BE FORGIVEN ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT…GOD BLESS THE HOMLESS AND GOD PKEASE BLESS THE CLUELESS. For they know not what they done or do they .👎👎

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