|To the Editor: It's time to help homeless|
|Written by Barbara Brunner|
|Wednesday, 08 August 2012 08:51|
I read an article in the Sentinel about the Wood County Homeless Task Force learning about the Family Promise program, where churches open their facilities to house the homeless. I did some research: in 2010 over 50,000 homeless were served by over 140,000 volunteers at 171 affiliates in 41 states, including one in Toledo. I haven't heard anything since about either the task force or Family Promise, which really concerns me, because homelessness seems to be increasing at an alarming rate. I have been volunteering at the local Salvation Army for about a year now (and only one afternoon each week), and I have seen an increase myself. On some days, over 50% of the people we see are homeless. Just last week a young man and his girlfriend (who has Aspergers Syndrome) walked in. They were from another state, hadn't eaten in three days, were hungry, dirty, and had been sleeping behind Kroger.
I gave them each some peanut butter crackers and a cup of water. A woman waiting to be seen for assistance herself went out to her car and brought back a fruit bowl she had just purchased at Kroger and gave it to them. Her heart, and mine, broke for this young couple. I thought, "This happens in America?!"
So what are the task force and the local churches doing these days besides having meetings (no doubt in their comfortable air-conditioned offices, and probably with coffee and snacks, I might add.) I don't mean to be critical, but time is wasting. It is past time to stop talking and start acting. Now.
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