On October 1, 1995, Robert Overacker rode a jet ski over Niagara falls to raise awareness about the homeless. He was killed when his parachute failed to open.
“Robert Overacker, a 39-year-old man from Camarillo, California, went over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls at approximately 12:35 p.m. October 1st on a single jet ski.
Entering the Niagara River near the Canadian Niagara Power Plant, he started skiing toward the Falls. At the brink, he attempted to discharge a rocket propelled parachute that was on his back. It failed to discharge. His brother and a friend witnessed the stunt.
At first it seemed that he had survived the plunge, but the rapids have a strange way of flailing a corpses’ arms around, often giving the appearance of a person swimming. Robert Overacker was later retrieved from the water, taken to Niagara General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
His body was recovered by Maid of the Mist staff. Overacker, married with no children, became the fifteenth person since 1901 to intentionally go over the Falls in or on a device.” (Source)
Homelessness is fundamentally the result of economic and social systems that do not provide adequate access to affordable housing, decent jobs, health care, and a social safety net.
Think about it, currently American workers are losing their jobs, becoming homeless and destitute, leading to their ultimate death…
Why does America, the self-proclaimed “greatest country in the world” with it’s laissez faire capitalist system have a huge number of homeless people compared to the countries in the world that practice Democratic Socialism…? Hrm.
Because of capitalism, people go hungry, homeless and without healthcare in this country.
Is it acceptable for people to be homeless in 2010, considering the United States is one of the richest countries in the world? Is it conscionable for the sick to be untreated because they lack the money to pay for surgery/medication? Due to the current system in place, those with untreated mental illness are amongst the most vulnerable of our society. Tragically, the mentally afflicted comprise 25% of the homeless population.
Clearly we have a broken system. Bertrand de Jouvenel wrote “A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.” As United States citizens we assign the officials to represent us, we make the government. It starts with the voters…we are not mindless sheep!