To the editor:
Once again, this community has turned its back on the dire needs of its homeless population! Although $1.5 million of federal HUD funding will be allocated to our community, only $15,000 is to go to the Community Drop-In Center, jeopardizing its morning hours -- with no hope of providing people with the dignity and services needed, out of the elements, for the rest of each day.
Moreover, the Lawrence Open Shelter was denied all funding! The 30 to 40 people whom the Salvation Army will not shelter, will have no alternative but our streets for yet another year. Once again, the Oread Neighborhood has raised the cry of "NIMBY!" ("Not in my backyard!") to help defeat the hope of a year-round, 24-hour shelter, though its fears would surely be allayed IF homeless people had some place to be other than their streets, and IF we funded the services necessary to help people climb the rungs to recovery.
The city's Neighborhood Resources Advisory body has voted to ignore the most basic unmet needs of our homeless citizens! Our city commissioners are set to vote on their recommendations Tuesday at their regular meeting at City Hall. If you believe, as I do, that a more compassionate approach to the festering problem of homelessness in Lawrence is required, let your voices be heard! These federal dollars have come into our community to support our greatest low-income housing needs.