The Currency of Homelessness

Red's Wrap

I heard our local police chief refer to homeless people as an eyesore. An eyesore. Like a junkyard, like old wet carpet piled at the curb, like boarded up, burned out buildings on main street. Living breathing people seen as an eyesore.

He wasn’t speaking about his department’s official policy toward homelessness, as in, their mission was to reduce community eyesores. He was just talking off the cuff, albeit to an audience of a couple of hundred people, influential ones to boot. We all heard what he said. The word came out of his mouth like he’d used it at roll call the day before. There was no pause, no searching, no thinking Do I mean eyesore or do I mean tragedy?

I wanted to follow up with him but I didn’t. I wanted to think the chief didn’t really mean it. The police here are pretty decent with…

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