BOZEMAN — "We need to wake the f*** up here in Bozeman," is what one resident and business owner is telling folks when it comes to our homeless population and what’s being allowed.
Dane Fletcher owns The Pitt Training Facility in Bozeman, but in the past, he played football for Montana State University, the New England Patriots, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He says the Bozeman he left behind to pursue professional football in 2010 has changed drastically.
“All these campers, and people living for free, meanwhile our city is bumping up our taxes,” said Fletcher.
But he says his main concern is safety.
“It first came into play when I was thinking about our middle school kids that walk from Chief Joseph to come to work out,” said Fletcher.
These middle school kids are walking by campers lined up down the street.
“They’re dumping their waste into these parks, and people come out daily with needles in them," said Fletcher.
The thought of anything ever happening to a child?
“It makes me sick,” Fletcher said.
This is what led him to post a video voicing his concerns on Facebook.
“I guess the reason why I did post that video was to bring attention to it and see how many people react the same way I do,” said Fletcher.
The video has garnered more than 1,900 reactions and 50,000 views so far.
Many folks took to the comments section. Some were upset over Fletcher’s video, but most were in agreement, hopeful for a change.
“We have to get the right people in place, take over these positions, and take back Bozeman,” said Fletcher. “It’s not responsible what they’re doing, and they need to lose their jobs because of it.”
On September 19, city commissioners will vote on whether or not to pass an ordinance that would include a 5-day limit for camping on any one street, and restrict camping near residences, businesses, schools, parks, or daycares.
The ordinance would also create sanitary and personal property requirements, something Fletcher is in favor of.
“We need to step up as a community, vote more wisely, and get the right people in here that are gonna make the right changes,” said Fletcher.