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Facility will allow homeless to be treated with dignity

Vox Pop

There seems to be some doubt about providing shelter for the homeless in Taylor County. We must consider: what is homelessness? Do we judge homeless folks as being unworthy, addicted to something or perhaps unwell in mind and body?

I suggest that homelessness is a process that happens financially to people, but not because of laziness, or addiction. It is a state of ennui – neither here nor there – that anyone can find themselves in. A lack of occupation because of downsizing, or medical debt, or illness can find anyone in a homeless state.

When we lived on the north shore of Chicago there was a serious national financial recession- including a real estate recession. We saw some homes being foreclosed on by the banks, folks lost jobs, illness beset many, as well as depression, and with all that came a feeling of powerlessness. Where people had felt powerful in their lives, paying their bills on time, sending their kids to decent schools, their homes – their most valuable asset - became worthless.

Some had friends and relatives to help them through these terrible times, others did not. I am sure the same sort of thing happens here in Taylor County. Here there are some for whom that old feeling of powerlessness envelopes them like a cloudless night and all they need is a place to rest their heads and help from others to see them through these hard times.

As a community living in comfortable homes, I think we can afford to be charitable to those less fortunate and support the acquisition of somewhere the homeless can safely lay their heads. Recently I heard a story about someone sneaking into an under-construction church, finding a sleeping bag, and a candle, and eventually being identified as an intruder. An intruder? How about a lonely figure needing the comfort of a church – and a place to lay their head?

A place for the homeless in Taylor County would treat these souls with the dignity they deserve as a member of the human race. How rewarding that would be both for those that help but also for the person(s) who regain a bit of pride in who they are and eventually can repay the community that helped them by finding a job, a place to live, maybe helping others that were/are homeless. Best of all they would learn a powerful new lesson: others do care in a time of need, regardless of background, race or ethnicity.

— Sue Roupp, Rib Lake