I keep seeing a lot of posts in different groups about homeless people. People are upset because they are sleeping in front of businesses or squatting in abandoned houses or making camps in areas. The question becomes where do they go? We do not have a shelter here. We have no shelter to get them off the streets and into housing. We lack in affordable housing here and haven’t funded the programs to get them out of the streets. Several years ago my opponent fought the opening of a homeless shelter. A shelter that still has not opened and still has not started getting people off the streets. If we lack in the entry point how are we supposed to start working to solve the problem of homelessness?
I see the posts about the substance abuse problems that people are also dealing with in their areas. I understand. I see the used needles laying on the streets here. I know that we have problems here but we do not have a needle exchange program here to start getting them into treatment. A lot of people also do not have the insurance to go into programs to get the assistance that they need. I know that we are number 1 in the state in Hepatitis A, B, and C and that it is all connected to our substance abuse problems. We need to start funding programs that work to solve these problems, we cannot keep arresting our way out of these issues. It is not working and things are not getting better.
I want us to open a homeless shelter. A low barrier shelter that takes in single adults and works with them on whatever they need to get off the streets. I want us to work on the substance abuse problem we have here but we also need to work to expand the programs that we have here so that they can bring people in and help them get sober. These are difficult problems to tackle but if we don’t actually start with the programs to take care of them, they will never get solved.