The staff and board of the Texas Homeless Network wish to express our condolences to those who had this tragedy inflicted upon them Sunday morning in Brownsville near our partner agency, the Ozanam Center. We also want our friends (staff and clients) at the Ozanam Center in Brownsville and across the Valley to know that we grieve alongside you and are ready to support you in any way we can.
Currently, the motive of the driver that killed and injured 18 pedestrians is unknown. However, the fact that we are uncertain whether this act was intentional saddens us. This tragic event compels us to express that hate-filled rhetoric about migrants and people experiencing homelessness continues to lead to violent acts against people within these marginalized and demonized groups. Unfortunately, examples of this are not hard to come by. Just last week, Jordan Neely, a person experiencing homelessness, was choked to death in NYC in a senseless act of violence.
We condemn dehumanizing, hateful, or violent rhetoric and encourage our partners, advocates, and any caring person to always push back on the deliberate misinformation spread throughout our communities, social media, and even by some of our leaders. When we allow others to strip our unhoused neighbors of their humanity and encourage a fear of them based on their very existence, those with hate-filled hearts often turn to violence. So, while we grieve, we are steadfast in our determination to stand up for those like the victims of this tragedy who, solely by existing, are targets of hate, fear, and exclusion. We encourage others to support these individuals, not because they are migrants or people experiencing homelessness but because they are our fellow human beings worthy of our love and support.
Please feel free to contact THN at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.