Letters to the Editor

Shelter support

April 11, 2010


To the editor:

This past winter has been the most relentless, if not one of the snowiest, on record in Lawrence. Imagine if, under these conditions, you had no home, no haven to retreat to. This circumstance faced our homeless citizens over those months, what I call the “long winter of the poor.” Now a glorious spring has replaced that winter and still we are faced with the reality of an overcrowded shelter, a circumstance that could be remedied by building a newer, better shelter. Keep in mind that an emergency shelter is not an end in itself but, as the motto of the shelter reads, “a path to a positive future.”

The new location, a stone’s throw from the Douglas County Jail, while not ideal, is the best one we could expect Lawrence Community Shelter and its dedicated staff to find. Indeed, no other neighborhood (among many under consideration in Lawrence) would embrace a shelter and, consequently, its guests. Some people want homeless people “out of sight, out of mind.” Some people consider homeless people as dangerous; on the contrary, the vast majority are vulnerable. In fact, the world has largely let them down and has denied them their rightful place as citizens of this community.

We see the full flowering of spring outside today. If only we could let our own misunderstanding and prejudice thaw and let good well and kindness show itself above the ground and bloom. Only then will the “long winter of the poor” end.


Alison Carter 5 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for your efforts on behalf of the homeless in our community. It is a very complex situation and we appreciate those who are focused on finding relief for our homeless citizens.

Liberty275 5 years, 7 months ago

Dear Homeless,

It stays pretty warm in New Orleans and they have cool street parties like Mardi Gras where people will give you free beer. It's only two days away by thumb. What are you waiting for?

Stay out of Florida though. Florida is full of rattlesnakes and copperheads.

mr_right_wing 5 years, 7 months ago

Maybe we can just send lots of those homeless folks over to the library we're ready to spend so much money on. So how about that? We can either finance a better shelter and keep our existing library, or fix up the library and send all the homeless folks over there!

I"m willing to guess a majority of us don't have the spare change for both!!!

IndusRiver 5 years, 7 months ago

There are a lot of homeless in Lawrence who won't live at The Shelter. They refuse to register at the Shelter, call the Shelter, visit the Shelter, do anything that involves the Shelter. They seem to be the folks who care for it the least! In Lawrence we have social service agencies that have this habit of bringing in people from out of town to participate in their programs (DCCCA is one) but when the programs end those people are abandoned. And where do they go? Go figure.

IndusRiver 5 years, 7 months ago

When we talk about the homeless something actually does happen. What happens is there's a new government-funded agency that gets created to "deal with the issues of the homeless."

Now Lawrence has The Community Commission on Homelessness. And there is the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Recovery program that operates out of the LDCHA.

If we keep talking about the homeless then more agencies will be created and more LDCHA and Bert Nash staff will fleece money via HUD that they then share (LDCHA gets $100,000 from Bert Nash and so on: SOURCE: CCH Meeting Minutes Jan. 2010).

Because the thing about poverty is that it generates a great deal of wealth, just not for the honest and the hardworking, and especially not the homeless.

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