Day Two of The Great Unhousing passed with far less fanfare than Day One, but the human toll was just as high and the consequences just as shameful. Our area of central Vermont was hit by a tremendous rainstorm yesterday afternoon, and I had to wonder how many of the newly-unhoused were being thoroughly soaked and their possessions destroyed by the downpour. Too bad the state’s “Adverse Weather Policy” is only designed to minimize the number of people who actually freeze to death. Dangerous heat and severe storms? Eh, that’s okay, I guess.
(The image above is taken from a video posted on Twitter by Brenda Siegel. I used a screenshot where the person’s face is obscured because I want to be illustrative without being exploitive. We do need to be reminded of the humanity behind the statistics and the policy debates without reducing our fellow Vermonters to political props. I appreciate Siegel continuing to bear witness; somebody’s got to.)
There was little media coverage on Day Two because there wasn’t anything “new,” just another day of unnecessary misery. Just another day when people who were living on the edge come closer to falling over. Just another day when the bland professions of our political class ring hollow. Heck, the only thing that’s got them hot and bothered is a bit of vandalism on their doorsteps.
At this moment I have a hard time ginning up any outrage on their behalf. We’d all like to feel secure in our homes, and I understand that. It’s just that some people don’t have homes at all, and our leaders played an active role in making that happen.Continue reading