After dark, it has another identity.  City Park in Twin Falls is a great place for families, concerts, and walking dogs.  Before sunset.  There are worse parks in the city.  Some have had shootings and constant drug dealing activity.  City Park is more popular with the homeless in need of a place to bed down.

You may also know there are some pricey new townhomes going up across the street from the park’s south-facing side.  These have price tags in the neighborhood of $400,000 and the cost may be dated as we’ve seen incredible housing inflation.  People new to the city may like the view of the park, the three neighboring historic churches, and the modern library.  Most buyers aren’t shopping at 2 o’clock in the morning.

But here’s an unusual twist.  The new buyers may greatly improve the quality of life in the park and around the clock.  I was on the street looking over the new homes with a government official.  He commented that he was awaiting the first calls from the Karens moving into the neighborhood.  It’s a nickname for sheltered women who get a sudden surprise about how the real world sometimes operates.  This will happen when a new homeowner for the first time spots a homeless guy crawling out of his sleeping bag and wearing nothing but his underwear.  A squeaky wheel gets the grease is an old saying many of you have heard before.

A new chorus of neighbors will bring about a response from the city and the homeless can then be approached and moved elsewhere. This is how gentrification works.

When Karen also sees prostitutes working the street near the library, it may bring about another quality of life improvement.  In the meantime, who needs a TV with so much entertainment in the park?

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