Well, it finally happened. Yesterday morning, they closed the last two phases of Tent City. Dallas was able to evict its largest homeless project. For the sake of control, it had all been done incramentally. One phase at a time.
For the most part, it went without too much hassle. Well, if you are willing to overlook a stabbing, it went without too many difficulties. Dislocation is a messy business. Maybe, out of the fact that the numbers of homeless actually did reach up to 400 people, maybe the fact that there was
only one stabbing during the operation is a low number. Just as I don't envy the people who were being evicted, I do not envy the police who have to enforce this either. That is why for so long I wanted to be able to get an interview with the Dallas Police Department. This time, they finally acquiesced, I got an interview with Dave Hogan.
Caught in the horns of a delima, he gave a good interview. The City did try to find homes for as many as they could. They did. Sadly, not knowing what would be done with the information and unwilling to see themselves painted in a wrong light, Dallas refused many approaches for an interview. I couldn't talk to cops who were risking themselves and there health by entering into an area where a homeless man had TB so that they could take him to get aid... I wasn't supposed to film that. Councilman Adam Medrano, whose office led the proposal and fight to evict the residents of Tent City, promptly responded to all of my e-mails. He may not have told me what I wanted to hear... but he responded, and who knows, he might have an interview later.
At such a huge event one should expect trouble. One couple, who I had met earlier in April, had cianed themselves to a pillar. Of course, the cameras were there to film it. Some were even let inside. This
husband and wife had left the comfort of their homes to bring food and aid to the homeless. Living out of a tent, they tried to always have a fire on the grill. Fresh water to provide. They were looking for
some kind of land, some kind of housing, some kind of solution for the homeless. Anything. But the negotiator went in. The vigil ended. And as the
crowd thinned, the bulldozers began to roll. The last scattered remains and abandoned tents were placed into piles and prepared for destruction. The problem of homelessness in Dallas was solved. Well... maybe not...
Less than a mile down the street, under the same highway... but just a little bit further down... some had gathered.
It was a new encampment. It would have its own
spokespeople. The cycle would begin again. Mabye this time it would be different. But when Tent City began, it was small as well.