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My letter on the homeless situation in Redding at least brought the problem to the point of discussion, which is good. Obviously there is a problem for which a response is needed for the health of the Redding community and the homeless.
The article regarding the Salt Lake solution was good and presented guidelines that can be part of the Redding solution. Every community has their unique problems and, as such, will have its own solutions. However, there are several basic issues:
- Short-term homeless
- Long-term homeless
- Mentally ill or emotionally needy
- Habitual drug addicts and dealers
•Respectful housing or facilities that can provide for shelter, food and personal needs
•Oversight/support for individuals
Funding for the above may include donations (as with Salt Lake City… churches, businesses, individuals) and possibly taxes. Yes, we are all against added tax. However, with the current problem we are all paying a price in one form or another.
With due respect, not all will be able to be served as capacity and resources may be limited, depending upon the community response.
Public awareness and dialog is a good beginning. The answer will require action and a multifaceted approach involving public, business, churches and individual cooperation. Key aspects may include counselors, mentors, administrators, volunteers, some city ordinances, law enforcement and a person who is solution-oriented to help lead the way.
Please accept this letter as encouragement to come together and help restore lives as much as is possible utilizing the resources the community has to offer.
Now, who will take the lead?
Dennis Mihalka, DDS, Retired