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Archive for Wednesday, July 6, 2005

LINK enablers

July 6, 2005

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To the editor:

It is time for the First Christian Church to realize that they are enabling many to sit around and do nothing all day. The church is like one married to an alcoholic. They are enablers. The time is now for the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen (LINK) to close. It has outlived its usefulness.

The only people "benefiting" are those preparing the food. It makes them feel good. Perhaps, they wouldn't feel so good if they were to clean the urine off the steps of the church, clean up the old clothes and trash behind Trinity Episcopal Church, assist the police on a daily basis trying to get someone up from the lawn of the church with urine-soaked clothes and vomit on themselves.

Perhaps they would feel good when they observe the able-bodied men and women sitting on the porch of the Drop-In Center while others in town are working overtime to pay their taxes to support this folly that has become known as "homeless" in Lawrence, a.k.a. drunkenness and laziness in any other community.

LINK needs to close. The owner of the Drop-In Center needs to pull the lease and rent the building to a business that will complement downtown and the Oread Neighborhood (hardly a neighborhood but big as a city!). More ordinances are only smoke and mirrors and yet another attempt to diffuse the issue.

David Holroyd,

Lawrence

Comments

Richard Heckler 9 years, 5 months ago

How much are taxpayers willing to pay? Homeless:

Jail will be very expensive to the taxpayer: $200-$300 per day? I am not sure whether or not Commissioners know the cost per day.

Taxpayers are you ready to spend more tax dollars for additional jail space? Jail space should be reserved for those committing serious violations: murder, rape, spouse abuse, meth lab owners etc.etc.

If the city has money to jail non violent offenders then we have money for a homeless shelter/camping area. We could afford 2-3 staff members supported with volunteers.

Do we need to further congest the courts agendas coupled with the cost of a court appointed attorney. Remember everybody has rights.

Who will define laying down? What is aggressive panhandling? Do you want to leave it to the discretion of a police officer? Will each police officer interpret the same? There is not a way for officers to record events during a shift so that the next shift can bring matters up on their computers. Neighborhoods have requested this capability for a few years which has yet to surface. I see many complications and lots of tax dollars being wasted.

Perhaps it is finally time to explore the city and county coming together on a Douglas County Vo-Tech Campus? I would rather see tax dollars spent on training for those who are capable of such. If not what will the offenders do once released?

A state/county mental health facility instead of using jail space?

mefirst 9 years, 5 months ago

How do you determine if someone is "ablebodied" simply by looking at them from across the street? Ablebodied encompasses more than two functional arms and legs. I sometimes get frustrated by what I see at the Drop-In Center, but I have to remind myself that I do not have insight into those people's lives and that my perception is not necessarily accurate. Why not try a little compassion, Mr. Holroyd. It might make you feel better.

Ragingbear 9 years, 5 months ago

As formerly homeless, and a current homeless advocate, I would like to say a few things. First of all, yes, the churches and churches ONLY fund the LINK project. No tax dollars of yours go to it. The closest to it is if you donate money to a church that donates money to LINK.

Secondly, a vast majority of the "able-bodied" supposedly loitering at the Drop-In Shelter are in fact not able bodied at all. I know several who have either bad backs, or disabling mental conditions. And since the mental health facilities in this area are all but non-existant, the possibility of these individuals becoming functional to society are low.

Although I do agree on a few subjects. Both LINK and the Lawrence Community Shelter (Formerly the Drop-in Shelter, and the Lawrence Open Shelter) need to step up in personal policing, and maintenance/upkeep of thier area, as the littering, drunkeness, and so-forth are quite out of hand. However, since thier funding is highly limited, a majority of that work would fall onto the shoulders of volunteers, who either won't or can't do those particular duties.

If you want things to change, walk over there and offer to give a hand. Offer to lead a group of people over clean-up. Offer to assist in one of the hundred ways they desperately need. Because just moving the homeless won't solve anything.

ryanjasondesch 9 years, 5 months ago

Drunkeness and laziness = homelessness. Seems to me if that were the case there'd be a lot more homeless people out there. It's really sad to see that closemindedness is an excuse to lable people without knowing what happened to them to cause their current situation. I'd rather be drunk and homeless than be an illogical predjudiced jerk. It's funny, I often see those what would jesus do? stickers, but I NEVER see anyone actually doing that. I mean, didn't the man hang out with the destitute and displaced? Your brave new world (replace shelter with "good business") is a utopian impossiblity.

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