The rush and flurry of excitement can be heard on the news when large events come to your town. Everyone acts like your mother who has long awaited company coming over. Your room needs to be cleaned, and all the family accomplishments are on display accompanied by an environment imbued with sterility. Your meals are impeccable and come from recipes that usually are never eaten, but company is coming so you shrug off the charade knowing it will be over soon. I am using a well known metaphor to speak about what happens to your city when these events come.
You cause unneeded strife
Most will assume I simply do not enjoy the extra amount of traffic, street closings, and amount of police added, but the real issue at hand is that people do not follow the campsite rule. One should leave a place better or in the same condition as it was before they came. You come to these cities and you leave trash everywhere, and you know that homeless people are pushed outside of their environment to keep the city looking “clean,” yet not once do you stop by to drop off supplies or volunteer your time to these people. You also are rude when you are the city that is home to so many. Instead of inconveniencing those that live here day in and day out, find ways to help and ensure you are not abusing those who work service jobs. Also, I am not going to invalidate sex work. Sex work is real work and should be protected as such, but everyone that seeks out these services needs to be vigilant that they are not participating in sex trafficking. Large events such as the Super Bowl attract those who exploit people for sex work. Do not play into the victimization these women and children!!!
You can call this number to report sex trafficking: 1 (888) 373-7888
Where you go
There also is an uneven distribution of where the extra income goes in the city. A lot of people stay near their hotels or in downtown, but the issue is that this misses a lot of lower income communities with business. Even in the case of Denny’s, more would go to the Denny’s off of 610 near hw 90 instead of the one off of 288 and Southmore. The issue being that it is considered the “hood,” and other business in these areas do not have the capital to spend on advertising. Make sure when you visit a city that you consider all options for dinning, gas, and entertainment. Support the arts while you are here! Go to a museum or check out some local art galleries. I am pretty sure people also miss the theater district which is home to the Sundance Theater, Houston Opera, multiple theaters for plays and musicals, and the Houston Symphony. If you think, “that’s too expensive!!” Do not despair there are community theaters, universities, and high schools that may have concerts going on as well. Help to keep all parts of the city thriving and alive.
Things to do around town:
Parks other than Discovery Green:
Buffalo Bayou City Park
HOUSTON ARBORETUM & NATURE CENTER
Things to do in the Heights
Main Street Theater
Up Stage Theater
The City’s Role
The city should also ensure that they are not taking part in this toxic paradigm. City officials spend money on preparing for these events and push out the homeless population. Everyone knows no city is perfect. Instead of giving off the appearance of not needing assistance make that a foundation of your efforts to prepare for these events. Instead of pushing marketing for only financial gain, also have non profits and service projects mentioned as well. In fact, I would assert that community service should be required in order for you to attend such events. If you can spend at times thousands of dollars to be here you can give an hour, some funds, or supplies to organizations serving people.
Ways you can help
There are numerous organizations around Houston that need help. Here are a few to get you started.