Cudahy has been in the news lately because their Plan Commission rejected an attempt by a volunteer group to open a homeless shelter. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that one of the Commissioners (unidentified) called homeless people “Stinky” and “Drunk” and suggested they be sent to Milwaukee.
Cudahy is a south-side suburb of Milwaukee with a preponderance of white, Polish, Christian, blue collar residents. In 2009, a couple of drunken brothers, Cudahy residents, shot a military-grade green star cluster marker flare into the Patrick Cudahy Meatpacking Plant in 2009, causing $50 million in damage, making hundreds homeless and putting more than 1,000 people out of work. Both got a suspended sentence, three years of probation and 500 hours of community service. But if someone is a mentally ill substance abuser, AND sleeping under the freeway instead of a house they (or their parents) paid good money for, well — that’s a different story. Not in my backyard, pal.
The good news is, local churches rallied together to set up an informal revolving life-line of “All-Night Prayer Meetings” to give people a place to sleep (and maybe pray) during our notably hellacious winter storms. I worked for a Methodist church in New Jersey that regularly participated in round-robin homeless hosting, and I’m glad to see the idea touching down here in Wisconsin — It takes guts to do what’s right, just because it’s right. As an atheist, I’ve faced that issue for many years, and I hope this Holiday Season will incite others to donate time, money and effort to the churches involved, including Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church, and Nativity of the Lord Jesus Parish