Canadian City Uses Feces to Repel Homeless
BY SHANNON MORIARTY
PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 01, 2009
We have seen cities go to great lengths to clear the streets of “unsightly” homeless people; sit/lie ordinances, feeding restrictions, unfriendly benches. But the city of Surrey in British Columbia has taken cruelty towards the homeless to an entirely new level, which can be summed up in two words: it stinks.
City officials had rancid bird droppings spread around the perimeter of a city social services building and trees in a nearby park to deter homeless people from loitering in the area. According to the Vancouver Sun, the move was the brainchild of members of Surrey city government, RCMP (that’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police, FYI), and representatives from the area business owners association.
Pardon the pun, but you just can’t make this shit up.
It’s tough to believe that anyone — especially a city official — actually thought this was a good idea. But it’s downright bizarre that a plan so ridiculous, so “bird-brained” was actually implemented; city officials located the dung, transported it, spread it, so on and so forth. It was only after the negative press that the city manager had it cleared (and deodorized the area, apparently).
To many, this bird dung story will be kind of funny, really nasty, or completely outraging. But to me, it’s just really sad.
Sad for the people who usually sat outside of those city buildings, most likely because they had nowhere else to sit. Now the whole world knows what city officials really think of them, perhaps even what they equate them to.
Sad that it takes an extreme story of such hate and ignorance to bring the issue of homelessness to the front of people’s minds.
And sad because this story really isn’t about homelessness at all. Because homelessness should be about not having a home, not the indifference ignorant and uninformed people.