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Archive for Friday, February 27, 2004

Success story

February 27, 2004

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To the editor,

There is much about which we can feel happy in addition to winning one by one.

The federal grant of more than $300,000 received by the city of Lawrence will be used to house 15 homeless people.

Some time ago, the Coalition on Homeless Concerns, then spearheaded by Hilda Enoch, was trying to devise ways to provide suitable housing for low-income families, as well as the homeless. She was urging that owners building complexes be required to build a certain percentage for low-income people.

Hilda urged established apartment owners to use one apartment to house a homeless person. An apartment owner attending that meeting remarked, "It's worth a try."

When his first apartment became vacant, he sought out a homeless man. The conditions were these:

"I am going to let you live in this apartment, with all utilities paid, as long as you 1) keep the yard neat, 2) keep the apartment neat, 3) keep yourself neat, 4) make a sincere effort to turn your life around and 5) make a sincere effort to find work."

A few days ago this tenant came to his landlord. Not only had he kept the first three conditions, he had found work, and had saved money to pay all past utilities. He asked if he might become a regular paying tenant.

Let's hope the 15 people chosen for the new housing project will become equally fine success stories.

Mary Siegrist,

Lawrence

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