Homeless Alliance Reacts to Man’s Alleged Plot Involving Explosives

KTUL - December 25, 2022 10:03 am

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Oklahoma City Police uncovered a potential sinister plot of a man who they believe made bombs at his office workstation.

Twelve improvised explosive devices were found in all.

Earlier this month, News 9 uncovered new court documents that detailed alleged conversations that man, Troy Lee, had with his boss in which he reportedly opened up about violent acts he had planned, and one he already committed.

The Homeless Alliance’s Executive Director Dan Straughan said in the last decade he’s noticed Oklahoma City residents’ attitudes have had a positive shift towards the unhoused population and points to the city curbsides as a catalyst.

Dan also said the unhoused are a vulnerable population on two fronts.

“You’re more at risk from Oklahoma weather and you’re more at risk to be a victim of crime. 41%, so three out of every five people said they had been attacked or beaten up since becoming homeless,” he explained.

Hurting homeless people is something Lee said he has tried in the past. Per those previously mentioned court records, he told his boss he set fire to an encampment about a month ago.

Those documents also show Lee told his boss the only way to deal with unhoused people is through violence.

“Of course that’s wrong. We know the answer it’s to have more truly affordable housing, and it’s to support the kinds of services that enable people to stay in their housing,” Straughan said.

He likens the affordable housing shortage to a game of musical chairs, when the music stops.

“Everybody sits down except one person, and it happens to be the person who’s on crutches. Did the crutches cause her to be chair less? No, it’s the lack of a chair,” Dan explained. He added, “it’s not about mental illness, it’s not about substance use, it’s not about developmental disabilities, it’s not about physical disabilities, it’s about the cost of housing.”

The gap will only get wider.

In November, Rent.com showed Oklahoma City saw one of the biggest rent hikes with a nearly 18% cost increase.

Dan Straughan also said people have also caught on to that idea as well.

“You kind of saw that the Maps 4 vote. People really came out to support human services people for less fortunate people in the community,” he said.

One reason for that vote, Straughan believes, is the 12,000 copies of the Curbside Chronicle sold each month.

“And maybe that person would never have interacted with a person experiencing homelessness before that. When you have 12,000 of those a month, over time it changes the way people see the issue, and see beyond the issue to the person,” Dan explained.

Lee is being held without bond. Straughan said the Homeless Alliance and all metro shelters could use any and all winter clothes donations.

 

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