What Can We Do About Our Homeless Problem?

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(Homeless Problem?)

One Reader Shares Their Thoughts

This week we asked our readers what they think should be done about the homeless problem in our valley. One reader really had a lot to say about this, so we are going to print their response. 

“Homelessness is an epidemic spanning all across the country, more and more homeless communities are popping up everywhere. Your average homeless person isn’t the one who is sitting on the corner of the street. There are an immeasurable amount of Homeless people living out in nature. All measurable data doesn’t even begin to tell you the truth about homelessness but we will use some of the data that has been collected. NCHV.org (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans) has estimated that there are over 40,000 homeless veterans in american right now. Although, they clearly state that the number could be much higher than that. These are people who have sacrificed for their country, paid into a retirement, have insurance, but can’t get help. Often times they won’t qualify for Financial Aid or Food Stamps, or they don’t even know that they can get those things. Possibly there is no one around to help them get it. MentalIllnesspolicy.org estimates that 25% of homeless people suffer from a severe mental illness in america. That includes everything from Depression to Schizophrenia, people with such disabilities often also deal with Self-Sabotage and have no way of getting themselves out of the hole they dug. Not to get political, but as a society we are so focused on helping everyone in the world out over our own people. Personally I don’t see a problem helping out Syrian refugees or immigrants from Mexico, but our homeless society should be a focal point too. In our valley in particular, we don’t have a shelter that they can go to at night, or during the excruciating heat of summer. I know that can be expensive, so here are some low cost things we could do as a community to passively help out the homeless people in our valley. For starters we need a couple “water spots” around the city where they can fill up a couple of water bottles to last them throughout the day. Even if you have a limit to one gallon per person. Secondly we can stop planting meaning less ferns/trees around the city and begin to plant Self-pollinating fruit trees (Trees that grow fruit with very little to no maintenance) around the city and at our parks. These types of trees include; Apricots, Nectarines, Peaches, and Cherries. This would supply the homeless with some food naturally and also help them get some nutrients. Other good trees that supply great fruit with little maintenance are; Plums, Pears, some types of Apples, and Grapefruit. Planting a variety of these around the city and at parks for all to enjoy would make a huge difference. All in all, I think the fact that we are having this conversation is great, but it’s time to put words into action and start taking care of our people.” -Anonymous  

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