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Stabbing Near Tent City Not Surprising

The stabbing that took place near Tent City should shock no one. It was predicted months ago that violence would happen and that someone could be killed at Tent City.

For those who don’t know what Tent City is, let me explain. A while back the City of Lubbock passed an ordinance that prohibited people from hanging around the library and Civic Center late at night and early in the morning. This was aimed at the homeless because there were complaints from staff and citizens about the homeless using the library as a bathroom.

Carpenter’s Church, a community organizing group, thought this was mean spirited and wrong. Even though Carpenter’s Church doesn’t allow the homeless to sleep outside their building, they thought the City should allow the homeless to cause havoc outside municipal buildings. The so-called church then threatened to sue the city and decided to protest by giving out tents to the homeless and organizing them to sleep on public land at Broadway and Ave. Q. Eventually, Tent City was moved to 13th and Ave A where Link Ministries owns land.

That brings us to late Tuesday night. Two men who live at Tent City were walking back from a nearby bar (shocking!) when the two got into a fight and one of the men stabbed the other sending him to the hospital with life threatening injuries. I hope that he will pull through, but I think this is just another sad example of the failure of Tent City.

In one media report, the director of Link Ministries said that Link is there to help them, but the people must help themselves. That’s nice to say, but there is a problem with that statement. The problem is, the environment at Tent City isn’t one of  “helping yourself”. The environment that has been created is one of mooching and being lazy. Tent City is a place with no rules and no expectations.

The people who run Tent City don’t care if the residents move out or stay forever. They don’t care what the place looks like, and they don’t care what happens there. All they ask is that you don’t bring drugs or alcohol into Tent City. However, they have no security and really no way of knowing who is doing what. They go on the honor system and sorry, that doesn’t count.

With the environment that Tent City has created it’s not surprising that violence has broken out. In fact, you can bet more violence will happen at Tent City or around Tent City that involve residents.

I know many will think that I just hate the homeless and that I don’t care about them. That’s not true. I care about the people who want to make a better life for themselves. I feel bad for those who fall on hard times and have no where to go. I am sure that there are some of these people who have found themselves at Tent City.

However, it’s the people who don’t care that I simply don’t care about. It’s the people who don’t want to make a better life for themselves that I don’t feel bad for. The people who just want to live in tents and not play by the rules, which is a majority of the Tent City residents, I don’t feel bad for. Those people are bums and deserve nothing. I wish people would spend more time trying to help those who truly want to help themselves than the bums who have decided that they will live in a tent for the rest of their lives.

Tent City is a failure because of the environment it creates. The environment is one of laziness and defeat. Not one of opportunism and success. It should be about bettering yourself. Tent City should be a place that says, ‘Come as you are but leave in a better place’. Instead it’s, ‘Come as you are and do whatever, it’s alright’.  Why should we be shocked when we hear of tragic events taking place there? The majority of residents have chosen not to live by the rules and this is the sad outcome we will see.

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