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Letters to the Editor

Shelter support

November 14, 2011

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To the editor:

Today, I was made aware of an on-going campaign within our town: the campaign for a better tomorrow for several residents who have been without a home to call their own — the campaign for the Lawrence Community Shelter.

Because of the overwhelming need for support, the Lawrence Community Shelter has outgrown its facility and resources and needs our help to fund a new one.

This new building will enable the expansion of shelter programs such as housing, employment, benefits and intervention support. The new facility will have bed spaces, sick rooms, showers, laundry and storage — all things we take for granted in our own homes will be available to those without a home.

Contributions to the Community Shelter will be matched by the Mabee Foundation, but they must raise a minimum of $815,000 to even receive matching funds, and they have $339,175 left to raise before the Nov. 24 deadline.

Now is the time for year-end giving. All contributions made to the Lawrence Community Shelter are tax-deductible. Consider making a three-year pledge to the community shelter today. Visit the website, www.lawrenceshelter.org, to make your tax-deductible donation.

Your pledge or donation will ensure the well-being of Lawrence residents who have nowhere else to go, provide resources to those who want to improve their lives, or simply give a child a bed to sleep on for a night. We have until Nov. 24 to help the shelter reach its goal. Please consider what you can give today.

Comments

justforfun 3 years, 1 month ago

I think I will just wait untill the Lawrence Community Shelter folks go to city and county meeting and ask for the rest "aka Lawrenc Community Theater" So just sit back good people, because you will pay oh yes you will pay.

skinny 3 years, 1 month ago

I'll offer Shelter support, ya right out of town!! I am tired of all the crime the downtown shelter has brought to this town! Most of those in the shelter aren't even from Lawrence. They come here because they know Lawrence caters to all homeless people from across the United States.

I will I'll give to the Lawrence Community Theater though!~

parrothead8 3 years, 1 month ago

The old "move the problem somewhere I can't see it and it doesn't exist" solution. Works every time.

januarygirl 3 years, 1 month ago

$339,175. just to get started, but year afer year this request will continue. the opperation cost still has not been discussed. I don't think that most of the people that are being asked to donate have been given the whole story yet.

januarygirl 3 years, 1 month ago

$339,175. just to get started, but year afer year this request will continue. the opperation cost still has not been discussed. we closed schools, srs office, I don't think that most of the people that are being asked to donate have been given the whole story yet.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

When the Salvation Army gets out of the business of supporting those who need subsistance and shelter, you know something with the way homeless operations are ran in this town is not done correctly.

We don't need another homeless shelter, we need a complete revamping of those who run the shelter, and the other places like Burt Nash who make their living off of those who can't or choose not to pay their bills instead, let the taxpayer do it for them.

You can add to the pile of money pits, when the funding comes for the old depot. No wonder there is no money.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

"When the Salvation Army gets out of the business of supporting those who need subsistance and shelter, you know something with the way homeless operations are ran in this town is not done correctly."

That makes absolutely no sense. The SA is an independent organization. What does their choice to cease running a homeless shelter have to do with how anyone else handles the homeless issue?

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

I'll tackle that question, giving personal observations of a person who has worked with homeless adults in the past. The very nature of the homeless has changed over the past several decades. Who they are and what they are about, in broad general terms, has changed.
As a whole, what was once a group that found themselves down on their luck and needing a hand up has changed into a group that has adjusted to homelessness as their chosen lifestyle. There was an assumption that those who were homeless years ago would successfully leave the ranks of homelessness once given the hand up. That assumption no longer applies today. Just the opposite, there is the assumption that homelessness, poverty, services needed, will become a lifelong companion without a commitment from the individual to try everything they possibly can to pull themselves up.
Yes, give a person subsidized housing, food stamps, free (for them) medical, and some private non-profits trips to food banks and clothing racks, maybe add in a little under the table work or drug dealing and you have little incentive to change. That option and that attitude was not tolerated years ago. Today, they are victims of circumstance.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

I'm sure there is a segment of the homeless population about which this is true.

But no matter how rosy a picture you want to paint about homelessness, it's still by and large a grim existence that no one in their right mind would "choose" for themselves.

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

Lot's of people make choices that lead to a grim existence. Yet they choose it all the time. Homelessness is just one of those choices. Maybe we need to re-define "right mind".
People choose to drop out of high school. People choose to ignore medical issues. People choose to plant their 400 pound selves in from of a T.V. while eating chips and dip. People choose to have children they can't afford. People choose to have relationships with others who then turn out to be terrible choices. People themselves choose to be those same terrible relationship people. People choose to quit jobs without having a job in hand. People choose to show up for jobs late, unbathed, not in proper attire, etc. People choose to use drugs and alcohol to excess. People choose to wake up with hangovers, leading to showing up to work late, unbathed, not in proper attire, etc. And after all this, and sometimes much more, they find themselves homeless. None of this could be defined as "right mind" behavior, yet it happens all the time and it has consequences.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

My post above mentions several different choices a person might make. Each and every one of those things I mentioned is a choice a person can make, or a choice not to make. And each of those choices has consequences. And sometimes, those consequences are homelessness.

tomatogrower 3 years, 1 month ago

That's all fine and dandy for those who "choose" to be homeless. But children don't choose this. What do want from them? A little child labor? Not all these people choose what has happened to them.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

That one is easy, neuter the parents, make the parents go to work, and make sure the kids are taken care of.

parrothead8 3 years, 1 month ago

Do you also advocate lobotomies for those with obviously insane ideas?

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

"Not all of these people choose what has happened to them". Some have and some have not. The problem is that those that are best qualified to determine the difference have a specific disincentive to do so. What is needed is a whole new approach, one where those who receive charity from society meet certain expectations that the givers of that charity have a right to demand in return.
And while single parenthood no longer has the social stigma it once had, to the benefit of the parent, it has had a huge negative impact on the children. Perhaps we need to think less about the self-esteem of single parents and consider the impact it has on their children.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

"What is needed is a whole new approach, one where those who receive charity from society meet certain expectations"

You mean like living in a prison camp doing labor for considerably less than minimum wage?

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 1 month ago

Your paraphrasing skills started out bad and are getting worse. I said nothing about prison camps or working for less than minimum wage. Those statements reside in your imagination. Please don't confuse your fantasy with my reality. They are nothing alike.

conservative 3 years, 1 month ago

Not a penny for the shelter till they get someone new in charge. Someone who will require ties to the community, require participation in programs to get you back on your feet and self sufficient, and who will not tolerate substance abuse in the shelter. Henderson has promised and promised and promised to change how the shelter is run and never follows through.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

"Someone who will require ties to the community,"

Polka-dot dies? How about bow ties? Or will only "conservative" blue ties do?

kernal 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree with conservative. I've heard nothing to convince me that things will change when, or if, the move takes place. I would prefer to see a more concrete plan from Mr. Henderson and details as to how he plans to carry it out.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

What kind of change to do you want? A plan to do what?

Deb Engstrom 3 years, 1 month ago

It's really easy to sit in your nice warm home with all modern conveniences and make comments about "those people". No matter what their circumstances, they deserve something better than what they have now. If you don't want to contribute money, don't, but spend at least 1-2 hours a week at the shelter helping to make their situation better and observing first hand that which you are so eager to criticize. If you think there's a problem, be part of the solution.

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