Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Battle For the Homeless in Plano, TX -- Updated

The battle is over and the homeless have lost.

I just read a post on the Plano blog for the Dallas Morning News that the Samaritan Inn, the only homeless shelter for Collin County in Texas has sent a letter to the Plano city council formally withdrawing its zoning request for the site the facility would have been built on but will continue to pursue the funding to purchase land elsewhere for a second homeless shelter for families. 

I was not able to make it to the meeting last night, but I have not only read about what was said at the meeting but the city of Plano actually puts video of the council meetings online in their entirety.  I was proud of the turnout last night, as the vast majority of the people in attendance were there to support the proposed shelter.  Only one person, one, spoke against and that was against the location only, not against the proposed shelter itself.

The city council's decision?  Table the proposal for the time being.  Apparently the council felt there were zoning issues to be dealt with.  Were there any zoning issues?  I personally do not know, but I do believe that the council made the wrong decision here.  There was community support, both at the meeting and elsewhere.  There was land available at a fraction of the price for the proposed facility, but the decision made, to me at least, was a political one.  Do the "right" thing that will allow you to be re-elected.

It was a wrong decision.

Yes, the battle to protect the neighborhood from the big bad homeless families was won last night by the businesses and neighborhood associations as well as the Plano city council.  They will no longer have to worry about the homeless six year old, the homeless moms and dads bringing down their real estate values, nor any dips in their profit margins.

And apparently they no longer have to worry about their humanity either.


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