It’s nothing new for local news to give us a good dose of fearmongering. Usually, it’s weather-related, but when that’s going slow they’ve to dig into social topics. For instance, FOX 25 (a.k.a. a local Sinclair propaganda affiliate) recently produced a biased, unhinged report about homelessness in OKC that’s full of enough spite and conspiracy theories to fuel a thousand heated NextDoor threads.
Yeah, this one is a doozie. If you like misleading news stories that build a false narrative based on half-truths and anecdotal stories that are hand-selected to scare the rubes, this one is for you!
Via FOX 25:
“Word is spreading”: Is Oklahoma the place to be if you’re homeless?
Oklahoma City, Okla. (KOKH) — Oklahoma is working to lower the numbers when it comes to its homeless population, but last year’s count showed an increase.
FOX 25’s investigative team started looking into the population after getting several tips that more and more homeless people are coming in from out of state to live in the city.
“Word is spreading through the grapevine. It’s like networking,” said Jerry Bailey, a homeless man who moved to Oklahoma City from Mobile, Alabama.
Bailey said he moved to the Sooner State to turn his life around for himself and his 16 kids.
First of all, kudos to Channel 25 for finding the homeless dude with 16 kids for this news story. I guess that proves you don’t need a home to get some action.
Second, where did they get these “several tips” about the rising homeless population? Carol Hefner? Janet Barresi? Sinclair Corporate? For some reason, they never tell us.
“They’re (the homeless) migrating here to get a better life and establish something in life for their kids and stuff,” Bailey said.
Bailey said Oklahoma’s services for the homeless and its business development are attracting more people just like him.
“Oklahoma has got businesses. People are talking to people on phones and relaying messages, so now they’re coming here,” Bailey said.
So homeless folks and others are moving to OKC to find work and get a better life. That’s actually pretty cool! Naturally, KOKH then goes to the triggered angry neighbor to spread some unchecked fake news and false information:
“They come here because they’ve been paid to come here. They were promised things when they get here. Then they don’t get it. They’re around here stealing now,” said Sarah Sanchez, an Oklahoma City resident.
Sanchez lives west of downtown. She said the homeless population has only grown over the past 15 years, leaving lasting damage behind.
“We just went through a rough, rough year last year. It was heartbreaking to see my neighborhood destroyed. It is literally destroyed,” Sanchez said.
Tents, grocery carts and trash surround the streets she lives near.
Sanchez isn’t far from the Jesus House, a shelter for the homeless on West Sheridan Avenue, where the homeless goes every day for food.
“If they do MAPS 4 to help the homeless, help them home, please. Not here. Go somewhere else. Not here,” Sanchez said.
Geeze. Oklahoma City must be growing incredibly fast when we find NIMBYs whose backyards are harsh industrial areas. If you’re house isn’t far from a homeless shelter you probably shouldn’t complain about your homeless neighbors.
Anyway, unless you’re the heir of an oil billionaire, odds are good that you’re one appendectomy or car accident away from going broke or being homeless..
All of this is to say, nobody is homeless because they just LOVE IT and want to wreck your ugly pre-fab home community. People become homeless because the flimsy capitalist system we live under makes it to where certain people can hoard money like dragons, a few other people get poker chips frisbee’d their way, and the rest of us are clawing for the leftover crumbs.
Have some kindness for people living on the streets, don’t treat them like they’re garbage cluttering your front yard, and vote for people with progressive policies.
Editor’s Note: There are lots of ways to help and support OKC’s homeless population. One that we encourage is to buy The Curbside Chronicle.