Lawrence’s unhappy camping problem

People are camping across Lawrence in the blistering heat of summer. Why isn't the city doing something more to help?

By

Opinion

September 1, 2021 - 8:49 AM

Lawrence strives to be a compassionate community. That’s an admirable quality and a good goal that we should smartly try to build upon.

Thus, it seems this question is reasonable: How is it compassionate to have at least 200 people living in tents or tarps all across the city, defecating in the woods, going days without showers and wearing unlaundered clothes during the middle of a heat wave? And thus, this next one is perhaps even more reasonable: How is it compassionate to have that situation exist, while the City of Lawrence has nearly $200,000 in portable trailers with bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities and other hygiene needs sitting locked away in a city parking lot somewhere?

That’s what is happening right now. Many Lawrence residents are well aware of the camping situation. All you have to do is take a walk on one of the hike and bike paths the city is so proud of, and you have a good chance to walking past a camp in the woods.

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