The Work At Reserve Street Continues…

by Travis Mateer

Last Friday I helped add to the tons of trash recently pulled from the Reserve Street encampments. With the river ready to swell as warmer temperatures hit later this week, the scramble to get as much trash into bags is on.

Because I understand how important media framing can be–and because I’m not too proud to beg–I was able to get this important detail into the article:

Travis Mateer, a volunteer, said one of the residents at the camp just got done working an overnight shift and was trying to catch some much-needed sleep, so volunteers were trying to avoid as much disruption as possible.

I was appreciative this detail was shared with me by the people leaving the site, and I am appreciative it made it into the paper. If I’m going to have any continued role in finding some common ground out there, I need the help of local media to not repeat what they did in 2017 with an article that concluded like this:

When asked what they plan to do for the winter, Steve and Tina only shook their heads and Tina began to cry.

“I guess we’ll build a shack out of pallets,” Tina said. “I actually like the cold.”

“It’s hard because it really was kind of a Shangri-La,” Steve said of the camp. “You should have seen it. Now it’s all blown up.”

Realistically nothing is going to stop people from going out to this area, but that doesn’t mean some statewide entity might not try.

Especially if it means spending tax money.

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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