Amarillo Globe-News recently published a story which included a quote from Amarillo City Councilmember Freda Powell related to “Tent City,” - “City Councilwoman Freda Powell said she didn’t want the camp moved until its residents have somewhere to go. ‘I’m not an advocate of just moving the homeless out without another place being secured,’ she said. She said she thought it was important to keep them near the resources downtown.” (Another route to refuge: Some use tent city as alternative to homeless shelters, Jan. 6, amarillo.com.)
These are the words of a person who is concerned about the welfare of her city’s residents.
We were so encouraged by her expression of compassion, that another member of the ACTION Coalition and I emailed Powell, requesting a meeting to discuss how we could see that the needs of the campers were met.
Unfortunately, these words of compassion were not matched by actions. She never responded to our requests for meetings.
In the two city council meetings since the issue of the camp arose, she never said a word about delaying enforcement of the ordinances or finding a place for the campers.
The rest of the council matched her lack of compassion by failing to put the ordinances on the agendas.
The city is going to find itself in a pickle. They have enacted an ordinance which makes guests of RV parks who stay for more than three days subject to fines. Their guests are subject to the same fines, as are the parents of children who choose to camp out in their own yards for over three days.
Food not Bombs Amarillo/ACTION Coalition