Spring is here, and the abandoned homeless camp in the middle of Omaha isn't.
Abandoned anymore, that is. When we visited the site in February, it appeared that the person or persons using the primitive flop had wisely flown the (ramshackle) coop for the winter.
Nestled in the treeline between a park and the Keystone Trail -- and across the Little Papillion Creek from an apartment complex and supermarket -- the rough lean-to shows signs of life. And liquor.
Bicyclists ride by and joggers plod past the wooded flop without noticing what, and who, might be yards away. Ditto for the skate-park skateboarders and the softball players.
Because you don't notice a shelter that isn't much of one, however, does not mean it's not there. And because we long ago stopped noticing those among us who are cash poor but -- oftentimes -- flush with addiction, mental illness or both, it doesn't mean they're not lurking among the trees and brush of the urban greenscape.
Or perhaps a downtown bus shelter.
Or a park bench.
Maybe beneath an overpass.
Or a van down by the river, for all you know.
We want "something done" about the problem when the homeless start to annoy us.
When they don't, it's all good -- we go back to worrying about the zombie apocalypse . . . which doesn't actually exist.
The spiders, after all, aren't in our clothes.