Scott Bryan was beaten to death. At the time of his alleged murder, Mr. Bryan was homeless. The question many of us are left asking ourselves is whether he was beaten to death because he was homeless. I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know the fact that the question needs to be asked speaks volumes about the climate surrounding homelessness in our community.
Every person who lives in the Flathead sets a standard for how we treat one another. Your words and actions matter. Your charity, your scorn. The look you give, the look you don’t give. How you talk to your family, your friends, your neighbors, your constituents. Are you contributing to a culture of compassion? Or are you contributing to a culture of cruelty?
Mr. Bryan’s death is a painful reminder that homeless people are far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than the perpetrator. At the Flathead Warming Center, where I volunteer and we work to help the homeless, our motto is “we take care of each other in the Flathead.” I hope our community’s reaction to Mr. Bryan’s tragic death proves that motto true.
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