Originally Published: March 4, 2017 6 a.m.
The homeless need help, and the greater Prescott area is not turning its back on them.
Some would say homelessness is a choice, but that applies actually to only a fraction of the population. Far too many people without a home are there because of a lost job, failed marriage, even mental illness, or other reasons such as addiction.
Efforts locally in the past few months have centered on the Coalition for Compassion and Justice’s efforts to provide a safe haven for them. For example, CCJ’s soon-to-be social justice center will include a community shelter.
The Madison Avenue facility bought on behalf of CCJ in October 2016 opened a month later as an emergency shelter for no more than 55 homeless men and women – the largest such space in Prescott. On most nights, it has between 45 and 50 guests between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m.
This is a step forward in helping the homeless connect to the services they need so they can live in a permanent home with dignity and purpose.
A host of nonprofits are assisting in this project, chipping away at the problems and challenges of those who need help.
Another homeless-aid came recently in the form of no-frills SAFE sleeper “cottages,” suitable to house one or two people. To most of us they look like a shed, but for a homeless person an 8-by-8-foot plain wood-sided, pitched roof structure is much more.
“This is just an unbelievably beautiful place for someone to sleep,” CCJ Executive Director Paul Mitchell said.
The way it happened is the United Way of Yavapai County teamed up with CCJ in December with a pledge of $1,500 to build one of the cottages. Bagdad High School stepped up to the challenge, with plans to build more on commission.
Rather than judging our fellow (wo)man – we must reach out, if only to provide a hand up.
We would like to imagine a world without homelessness, wouldn’t you? Visit this editorial at dCourier.com for links to how you can help.