Inside an abandoned warehouse on the northern end of downtown Houston is an encampment where approximately 20 homeless people stay each year. The ground is covered with cardboard, old newspapers, and plastic bottles of water coated in grime. On one wall, a mural reads: "Look for the Beauty Within the Most Frightening." At the moment, there's no one here.
The people who live in this "community," as retired Houston Police Sergeant Steve Wick describes it, have been asked to clear out for the occasional hazmat sweep of the area, which he says can cost up to $60,000 each time. They've done two such sweeps in the past year, and the last one was a multi-day effort to remove accumulated debris.
"You have people that are sleeping on the same ground they're going to the bathroom on," Wick says, noting that it's a major health risk, especially for fecal-born illnesses like hepatitis.
[For more on this story by REBECCA GALE, go to https://psmag.com/social-justi...sness-among-veterans]