by Travis Mateer
What will they call the Temporary Safe Outdoor Space when it’s no longer temporary? Considering April is poetry month, maybe they can call it the Permanent Outdoor Encampment, or POE for short.
Somehow I missed this NBC Montana article from last week about the possible change from TSOS to POE. Thankfully a reader of the blog sent me an email alerting me to this change. And I’m glad he did because this quote from Susan Hay Patrick, ED of United Way, is priceless:
“We gave our word that it was temporary. We do not go back on our word as an organization or me as an individual, so to consider doing so to extend this solution that has worked is a very emotional decision for me and all of us involved,” said Hay Patrick.
She adds the current landowner says they can stay in their current location, but they are looking for other properties.
After Hay Patrick squeezes out her figurative crocodile tears she mentions the “current landowner”, but not by name. For some reason the connection this land has to Blue Line Development’s CEO Nathan Richmond isn’t being reported by mainstream media sources.
Missoula’s homeless landscape is in a period of seasonal transition, with official locales, like the Johnson Street shelter, extending their ability to serve people through April, while unofficial locales, like the encampment around the Reserve Street bridge, continue causing concern.
That latter location will be seeing a cleanup effort later this week, which I will be a part of, and hopefully I’ll be able to write in more detail about WHY getting this cleanup proved to be such a challenge for the organizer.