Garner: Opinion

Editorial: Meeting a human need

As Garner’s poplation grows, so too will its homeless population. They represent an opportunity to bring our community closer together.

Reporter Jonathan Alexander met some of those homeless folks last week and profiled the challenges they face particularly in times like we’ve faced in the past couple weeks when the temperatures bottom out and snow covers the only places they have to sleep.

There are already organizations in place to help homeless people who need to get inside when the weather gets particularly bad. But they are under resourced and can’t meet the full need.

Many of those organizations, understandably, serve the homeless population in Raleigh, where the need is greater.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t help the homeless people in Garner who can’t easily access those resources.

Garner folks are a giving people and, as we’ve seen in our time in the community, they’ve invested a lot of civic pride in making Garner a great place to live.

It should also be a place where those without homes know they can get the help they really need. We’re not talking about enabling bad habits here. But we are talking about showing compassion to people who have a very real, very tangible need.

This kind of effort strikes at the core of faith organizations and other civic organizations who can bring their resources – both financial and brick and mortar – to bear on a resolvable problem.

Vacant buildings can be put to good use and churches and civic clubs can combine their resources and manpower to provide a safe, secure place for people who need to get out of the elements.

Such a program could, perhaps start out small, with shelters opening up only when they need is greatest, as it has been over the past two weeks. Over time, we suspect the true gravity of the problems facing our homeless population would most likely encourage people to provide shelter at other times of the year as well.

Doing so would very much be a Garner-like thing to do.