Homelessness is on the rise in the US, and this is bringing with it many social and well as infrastructure-related problems. In one example of this, a massive homeless camp in Austin was consumed by fire, prompting the local government to consider how to handle the matter in the future.
A fire broke out at a large homeless camp below the eastbound frontage road of Anderson Lane, between IH-35 and Cameron Road Monday morning.
“We come down here for medical calls a lot. We always feared there being a fire — well there was a fire. Upon arrival there were no residents of the camp that we had to deal with and rescue.” explained Battalion Chief Matthew Cox, of the Austin Fire Department.
Cox, said firefighters were worried about spaces, small fires — and possibly, people they could not reach in the catacomb like camp.
“It is definitely a very unsafe situation for our firefighters as they’re gonna have to dig through this stuff for hours.” he said.
The camp spans roughly three football fields. Cox described, “couches, tv’s, propane tanks, padlocked areas, mattresses, trash and literally hundreds of needles.” (source)
It is important to remember that how government deals with the homeless is often a reflection as to what they plan to do concerning ‘average’ citizens, for the homeless, children, and elderly are simply weaker members of a society, and the actions of government and citizens towards each other are many times able to be seen in the future by how these groups are treated in the current times.