Spoof Awards 2021: The Monkeywrench Award
This award goes to the members of the Waynesville Task Force on Homelessness who were hell bent on not doing anything to solve the problem of homelessness in Haywood County.
When the Town of Waynesville established the task force two years ago, its purpose was for the group to make some meaningful recommendations on how to address the problem. However, some appointed members saw the homeless people as the problem while others saw our societal systems as the problem. Coming at the issue from those two different viewpoints created a lot of gridlock during the process. It felt like the members who saw homeless people as the problem wanted to sabotage any efforts that would actually address the issues that lead to homelessness, preferring to monkey wrench any attempts at progress.
By the time the task force made its final recommendations this September, it was uninspiring to say the least. While some task force members — especially those that work in the nonprofit world — wanted to see a no barrier shelter created, the only real recommendation members could agree upon was for the town to hire additional staff — a CARES coordinator. The other recommendation didn’t have much teeth — just a goal of expanding shelter capacity in the county and pursuing other affordable housing options.