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Homeless Not Hopeless



Commenting on "It's Time for an Opportunity Village," by Jim Hight, Nov. 6, and the "AHHA Talks Housing for the Homeless" blog post by Linda Stansberry on Nov. 17:

I attended both the Nov. 17 Woman's Club meeting and the follow-up on Dec. 6 at Jefferson Community Center. As a 40-year Democrat now completely disillusioned with the whole liberal/progressive tax-and-spend agenda, I'm impressed. I heard zero talk of new laws or spending more tax dollars to "fix the homeless problem." I did hear about use of existing resources in innovative ways; about housed people stepping up to help unhoused people directly, person-to-person; about working with local government to create areas where unhoused people can legally rest, sleep, eat; and some inspiring data on what largely self-governing tent cities and tiny house communities nationwide have already accomplished, with little more than goodwill and regulatory "easement" on the part of local governments.

My hope that more local citizens of all political stripes will step into this spirit. I especially want to see more home owners, business owners, people who want clean, safe streets and are fed up with the way it is now (like me) joining this dialogue. Our concerns deserve to be spoken respectfully, taken seriously and incorporated into the citizen-powered action plans that are being shaped right now.

From what I've read and heard, I believe that the majority of people now going unhoused in Humboldt County are capable of responsible citizenship given a decent chance. If we pull together and work with the models now working elsewhere, the most likely outcome is that not only will "the homeless problem" get measurably better, we will get better at making our commonalities more important than our differences.

Bob Olofson, Eureka

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