by Travis Mateer
The lure in the KGVO headline is that NEW DATA is going to “reveal” something about homelessness in Montana, but when it comes to drilling down on the four main causes of homelessness, well, it kinda feels like something is missing.
Before we get to the four reasons, we must endure some commentary on the season. The only problem is the reporter makes struggling sound like a chic phenomenon. From the link (emphasis mine):
Winter is here and with it, we are experiencing sub-zero temperatures along with several inches of snow.
Winter can be harsh in Montana, and even harsher for those that don’t have sufficient housing or shelter. “Pop Up” neighborhoods have become popular over the last few years in places like Bozeman and Missoula, as people struggle to deal with the high cost of housing by living in RVs, campers, and personal vehicles.
Ok, so what are the reasons for homelessness according to the World Population Review? Here they are:
- Affordable Housing
- Low Wages
While I don’t doubt these four things contribute to people living in “pop up” neighborhoods, the glaring omission of anything ADDICTION related makes this “reveal” nothing more than a headline-grabbing joke.
What’s NOT a joke is allowing people to live in meth-fueled outdoor hoarding pits, like what was going on around the Reserve Street bridge area before clean-up efforts this spring got serious about NOT allowing an environmental crisis to continue threatening the river and surrounding riparian habitat.
Last week the Authorized Camping Site near the Walmart on Mullan street officially closed. Will the illegal “pop up” encampments get reestablished in the same area? And what will the response from the NEW Sheriff be? This week I plan on taking a little stroll around the area to see what I can see.
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