Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Free Movie Tickets, A Plan To Hide Homeless During DNC?

Organizers Deny They're Trying To Sweep Away Homeless Population!

From the Denver Channel:
When thousands of delegates converge in the Mile City in August, downtown Denver won't look exactly like it does now.

Free movie tickets and passes to Denver's cultural attractions will be given out to homeless people just in time for the Democratic National Convention.

Several groups that help the homeless announced Wednesday that they are making changes during the DNC. But the plan is seen, by some, as a plan to hide the city's homeless, estimated to be roughly 3,800 the summertime.

A DNC advisory committee devoted just to handling the homeless issue has been working on a plan for the past four months with the help of Denver police, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, the Denver Rescue Mission and other shelters.

The homeless will be offered free movie passes, tickets to the Denver Zoo, museums, and other cultural facilities.

Some shelters will open their doors during the daytime and have more cots available at night. A spokeswoman for the Denver Rescue Mission said the shelter will almost double its overnight capacity. Some shelters will also have big-screen TVs so the homeless can watch convention activities without being out on the busy streets, caught up in the chaos.
And here are some of the various, conflicting, and yes, peculiar explanations being given as to why the homeless are being offered all these amenities:

Organizers say it's not an attempt to sweep away the homeless but it's more of an effort to educate them.

"If anything, we're trying to educate the homeless population on what is available, what entertainment they can go to, you know...," said Denver Rescue Mission's Greta Walker.

Isn't that wonderful? They're providing the homeless with free education!
The committee thinks this is a way to make sure the homeless aren't harassed by police or Secret Service and aren't unknowingly caught up in the activities and protests in the area.
I suppose it wouldn't reflect too kindly on the DNC to have homeless people protesting the festivities. Nor would it reflect too kindly on the DNC if the Secret Service started harassing these people. So, out of the goodness of their hearts they've decided that some shelters will remain open during the daytime and that additional cots will be made available at night. Wow! If ever there was a magnanimous party, it would have to be the Democratic Party.
During the week, a voter registration drive will target homeless shelters and low-cost or free health clinics.
Seems only natural. You give the homeless a helping hand, you certainly have the right to squeeze them for what their worth!

But if you're still puzzled as to why these homeless people are being offered all these amenities, there's an additional explanation for that:

From the LA Times blogs:
The special measures are planned because advocates say they fear the convention might traumatize the homeless, many of whom are Vietnam veterans suffering from mental illness, according to Jamie Van Leeuwen, head of Denver’s Road Home.

“Homeless veterans get very scared when there are lots of helicopters and lots of guns,” he said. “And there’s going to be a lot of that here.”
Yes, indeed, the homeless get very scared when they see lots of helicopters and lots of guns!

Thank the Lord for the DNC and their all-caring Messiah, Barack Obama!

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