No Matter How Loud You Whistle, the Graveyard Is Still There

So let’s see if I got this straight.

We’re two weeks away from the unhousing of more than 1,000 Vermonters when tighter eligibility standards take effect on the motel voucher program, and six weeks away from unhousing another 1,500 or so. On Monday night, the Burlington City Council considered a resolution to study the city’s existing camping policy. In the end, they approved a watered-down version.

Of a study.

Of an issue that’s about to become a humanitarian crisis.

And on that textbook definition of legislative timidity, they barely managed to act.

The blame goes to the nominal Democratic majority. They feared the resolution might send a message that more city lands could be open to encampments of the unhoused.

Do I need to make that clearer? They were more concerned about a perception than they were about preparing for an explosion of homelessness.

It’s just the latest chapter in the Democrats’ complete mishandling of the voucher program and their seeming obliviousness to the scale of tragedy that’s about to unfold.

The original resolution, offered by Progressive councilor Zoraya Hightower, would have directed the city to study “camping options when shelter capacity has been reached.” That mild bit of preparatory work was a bridge too far for Mayor Miro Weinberger, who didn’t attend Monday’s meeting but sent a memo to Council outlining his objections.

Weinberger opposes any expansion of the current policy, which allows encampments only in city campgrounds. He wrote that further study would be a “waste of staff time” and would “send the wrong message to the public that this option is under serious consideration.”

In other words, his constituent base among Burlington homeowners would be spooked by the very idea of the unhoused inhabiting nearby public spaces.

After much debate, Progressive councilors agreed to a rewrite of the resolution that omitted the “camping options” phrase with its pearl-clutching potential, and instead called on the city to look into “other Chittenden County sheltering options,” because God only knows what kinds of unused shelter space might be available in, say, Williston or Colchester. I’m sure the good people of South Burlington would be pleased as punch to make space for Burlington’s unhoused so the Queen City can remain uncontaminated by tents and cardboard boxes and the disposable humans who inhabit them.

Message to those about to be unhoused: We don’t know where you can go, but please make it somewhere else.

I continue to be thunderstruck by the Democrats’ fumbling around on this issue. They just don’t get it, at all. They seem to think that this will somehow be taken care of in a way that doesn’t require any sacrifices by them or their constituents. They aren’t quite cruel enough to use that damnable phrase “self-resolve,” but the sentiment is the same. They think that shelter operators and other nonprofits will simply roll up their sleeves, work a little harder, and figure out where all “those people” can go.

It’s not going to be that easy. The helping community is already overextended. They’re dedicated enough that they’ll probably drive themselves into nervous breakdowns trying to mitigate the disaster, but it’s profoundly unfair of us to demand that level of sacrifice. We, all of us, through the mechanism of state and local government, ought to be taking care of this problem.

But we’re not, because our political class refuses to do so. Instead, we’re just waiting to see exactly how bad this will be. And it’s going to be bad. We’ll have to whistle a whole lot louder if we’re going to ignore this graveyard.

8 thoughts on “No Matter How Loud You Whistle, the Graveyard Is Still There

  1. Rama Schneider

    The common refrain from within our state government is to talk about financial sustainability and present the rhetorical “what will we do next year?” Our state “leaders” are talking macro economics.

    Meanwhile people are wondering where will they find a bed right now.

    It’s such a total disconnect of understanding that is made obvious in the language.

  2. gunslingeress

    The mindset of the Dems and Progs who are jamming the Unaffordable Heat Act down the throats of working-class Vermonters and seniors who will not be able to afford to heat their homes, are the same people who could give a fig about the homeless. Did you ever think that perhaps the liberal philosophies you embrace are not that compassionate when put to the test? Maybe you should try some other philosophy. Judeo-Christian morality? Conservative-ism? You said that maybe they want us to wait to see how bad all of this is going to be. You got that right. And it will get bad in numerous areas, not just the problem of homelessness. The liberal supermajority political class is using us Vermonters as their agenda experiments while ignoring the real people in front of them. And what they are doing doesn’t just affect people who are homeless. Why don’t you ask these clueless legislators to talk about carbon credits to people living in tents or on the street?

      1. gunslingeress

        John, the evidence that radical liberalism’s policies do not work for Vermonters is right in front of your face, and all you can answer is with a snarky comment about conservatives. Looks to me like you have less compassion for the homeless than you do allegiance to the failed policies of socialism/ Progressivism. All kinds of us Vermont people are being hurt by our runaway liberal Legislature, and you will not abandon the uncompassionate and self-serving policies of their liberal agenda. You cannot blame conservatives or Republicans for the almighty mess in Montpelier. They have not held majority power for decades.

  3. zim

    One third of Canadians fine with prescribing assisted suicide for homelessness –

    I am sure in Vermont, particularly in places like S. Burlington, Charlotte, Vergennes, Montpelier, Stowe…its probably more like 80-90% – probably even more if they the homeless were black. Would not be surprised at all if this becomes mandatory residence requirement – become homeless and the state reserves the right to put you to death for interfering with the nice white vibes and bucolic landscapes of the green mountains.

    Don’t you just love all those moral giants who post messages of ‘gratitude’ on Vermont’s FPF while their nation’s military murder millions of human beings around the world – Cost of War Project:

    Not a peep in any of this in any of this in the sewer of public discourse in Vermont. Just focus on how special we are, how great it is to live in a state that pay you to do the ‘right’ thing: Buy that EV, buy that heat pump and buy that little electric lawn mower but please, please ignore the mass murder necessary to secure that affluent, middleclass ‘lifestyle’.

  4. Dr. Phil (Scott)

    This bears restating of Vermonters.

    Vermonters are psychopaths.

    “Not a peep in any of this in any of this in the sewer of public discourse in Vermont. Just focus on how special we are, how great it is to live in a state that pay you to do the ‘right’ thing: Buy that EV, buy that heat pump and buy that little electric lawn mower but please, please ignore the mass murder necessary to secure that affluent, middleclass ‘lifestyle’.”

    1. gunslingeress

      One of the more recent ways Vermont participated in the “mass murder necessary to secure an affluent, middle class lifestyle” was to enshrine in our state Constitution the right to kill developing unborn babies up to the moment of birth. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, said that the poor and minorities were “human weeds” (yes she did!) and we should prevent them ever being born. When we do not care about the smallest, most helpless among us, why should we care about the born homeless and poor? All the almighty socialist State in Vermont can say is, “Let them eat cake.”


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