David Costello’s Nightmare

David Costello, an advocate and builder of free homes for the homeless, recently realized the nightmare that is the Des Moines city council. The man is retired, and although short on cash himself has embarked on a mission to single-handedly fight homelessness in the Des Moines area. City Council has ruled the structures against fire code, and has promptly destroyed the homes built for free for those that have nothing else.

They ruled that the huts that he had built, free of charge near the Des Moines River were to be torn down after an accident involving one of the homes burning and a man getting minor burns. The homes were torn down on Thursday of last week, in the middle of an Iowa Winter. I don’t know about the people reading this blog, but winters in Iowa are very cold. The huts, which were constructed from pallets and scrap lumber had windows, manufactured doors, and wood-burning stoves. Anyone who has camped knows that tents are really cold, and don’t offer much protection against the elements. Regardless, the City Council declared the shanties fire hazards and decided to bulldoze them.

David Costello stands among rubble

David Costello hugs Primary Health Care worker Deirdre Henriquez as homes are torn down. Photo courtesy of JOHN GAPS III/THE REGISTER

David, the man who freely built these homes was caught crying as the homes were turned to rubble. “There is so much need, and there is so much waste” said Costello as the homes were destroyed. Dwight Mericle, one of the homeless living along the river said “This really sucks, A whole lot of hard work went into this. We weren’t hurting anybody. It’s a lot harder living in a tent, but I was in a tent before I got my hooch ( the word described for the free homes ), so I guess I can do it again.”

John Menting crying after being told he will have to leave

Above: man weeps after being told by city authority he must leave JOHN GAPS III/THE REGISTER

My question is, why is the city council ruining everything that was done freely for the homeless? Must they waste money on bulldozers and putting these homeless up themselves when kindhearted people are doing it for free?

The Des Moines Register Article

The above video shows David Costello explaining the situation. JOHN GAPS III/THE REGISTER