Governor Bullock’s Plan For The Homeless In Montana: Get Sick And Die

by William Skink

Partisan scold Don Pogreba wants you to know that while Montanans are dying, Montana Republican legislators are posting deadly misinformation.

It’s important during this pandemic that we identify every possible way one party is making things worse (Republicans) while continuing to ignore and minimize every possible way the other party (Democrats) are failing our most vulnerable populations.

For example, Governor Bullock’s plan for homeless people is to make sure they get sick and die.

How can I say that? Easy. When you exempt everyone without homes from the requirements issued by the state to maintain social distancing you are vastly increasing their chances of getting sick and dying.

Governor Bullock has options if he gave a shit about people without homes in Montana. You don’t have to be a fucking rocket scientist to realize that empty hotel rooms + homeless people = solution. Just ask Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom:

California state government is procuring hotels and motels to shelter the homeless as part of the state’s effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Sunday.

In addition, the state is sending 450 travel trailers to locations around the state to help shelter many of the 108,000 unsheltered homeless people living in California, Newsom said.

No, this isn’t good enough for our Democratic Governor. It’s better to let homeless people congregate in over-crowded shelters, get sick, and die.

Governor Bullock and Democrat partisans should be concerned about homeless people because before they die they will spread the sickness to others.

Fun fact: did you know homeless people look just like you and me? It’s true. The stereotype most people have in their mind is the dirty homeless man on the street corner panhandling while muttering to himself, but that’s not the norm.

So, if you think you’ll be able to visibly identify the people Governor Bullock has exempted when you’re shopping for groceries at the Fresh Market on Broadway, think again.

Just because Governor Bullock and political partisans like Don Pogreba are choosing to ignore what those without homes will be facing in a state that would prefer to see them sick and dying at the Poverello Center instead of sheltering-in-place in a hotel room, that doesn’t mean you have to ignore them as well.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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7 Responses to Governor Bullock’s Plan For The Homeless In Montana: Get Sick And Die

  1. TC says:

    FYI – the City of Missoula has made arrangements with a local hotel to house homeless at risk. Granted it is intended for quarantine for either those testing positive or those awaiting test results. It does serve as a low level social distancing alternative.
    The issue that has arisen is that those housed in this hotel refuse to remain in place. Those housed have been coming/going at will and inviting others into their rooms. Kind of defeats the whole purpose. MPD or private security could monitor but then it raises the question of to what level enforcement to apply. Do you jail offenders when there is a push to release misdemeanor offenders?
    Long story short – there are not easy answers. When solutions are provided it is a two way street. The homeless are not helpless, innocent children with no agency in their own outcomes. If solutions, however imperfect, are provided they must be willing participants.

    • here is link worth checking out:

      Security staff will be essential if there’s trouble getting people into quarantine. Overcoming “service resistance” has always been a challenge in homeless services. We justify involuntary civil commitment of the mentally ill if they are an immediate danger to others; anyone infected with COVID-19 is similarly a danger to the community. Many agencies and homeless-advocacy organizations have put out planning protocols for coronavirus, but these are notably silent on what to do about people ordered to quarantine but who don’t want to go or stay there. Breaking quarantine orders may trigger fines and jail time, but are those credible threats for someone who’s been cycling for years through the criminal-justice system? Service-resistance challenges have emerged early on for Washington’s King County. At King County’s isolation hotel, one homeless man wandered off while awaiting his COVID-19 test results. He ignored a security guard, went to a convenience store, and “allegedly shoplifted a doughnut then jumped on a northbound Route 153 Metro bus.” He was only the second client to be placed in the hotel.

  2. TC says:

    Thank you William. I think that article is right in line with the complications seen here in Missoula. The legality exists for Ellen Leahy to mandate a true lock down. She can’t do that on her own however – she would require MPD/MCSO to enforce her mandate. What can she do if both LEO refuse to carry out her direction (which they both have by the way)? It is a very complicated issue – i really dont think the plan is to let the homeless “get sick and die”. I think the “homeless” in Missoula have about a dozen avenues to secure help. I think the vagrant/transient have the same dozen avenues but refuse to be part of any social contract. So for that population – yeah get sick and die – that will be their choice

    • I appreciate the comments, TC, and no, I don’t really think the plan is to explicitly let the homeless get sick and die, but I fear that will be the result of state exemption because local resources are already stretched thin, yet the state is punting the problem to local municipalities to deal with.

      I’ve been thinking a lot about how communities might have to compel people who don’t really understand what’s going on into compliance with things like social distancing. I don’t like where this line of thinking usually takes me, but it’s one of the things we really need to be thinking about.

  3. dpogreba says:

    Thanks for reading!
    Hope you and the family are doing well in all of this.

    • if you decide to branch out from your partisan scolding to something like book reviews may I suggest My Dark Vanessa? it’s about a teacher who has an inappropriate relationship with a student, I think you’ll like it.

  4. Eric says:

    Or Pogie could give some scolding to Eric Lehman – the Helena drug-dealing teacher.

    Or his wife, Melissa Romano, who Pogie supports.

    But then again, neither she, or the other Helena teachers knew anything about it… RIGHT!

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