They dwell by brooks in bushes, the forlorn destitute.
Bent on escape from rules, demands,
From expectations and self judgement.
I've known one or two and see their intent need
To be beholden to no man; or God.
But guilt that we have what they do not
Inspires the many to house and feed and care. But downtown.
Arms length feels right, that their spirit of dependence and want
Does not creep too close, lest we are all brought down low.
And then there are the disabled. Severely broken in body and housed
By State and County and Us.
We're glad to do our part to help. Until
The county moves them right next door.
Forced into missionary status,
Obliged by the state to redefine our bedroom community
To mean anything the state declares it to mean. No recourse,
No remands, no dialogue. Just forced.
The Americans With Disabilities Act.
The Lanterman Act. They declare that I am a bigot
If I believe the destitute must not be foisted upon my street.
They declare that state hired caretakers of
Wheelchair bound government dependents
Must be deemed Parents; this house is now a Family.
I declare. A family is not that convenient.
A government, not that powerful.
I know homelessness is more complicated than that. Admit, tho, there are many who just refuse all help. We know them. They need a process with a long and patient life rope. Non profits offer this and succeed. The government? Not so much.
In the case of the house next door? No non-profit rep sought our cooperation. They took the way of an impersonal government entity: to foist.
That is counterproductive.