IBJOpinion

Let's find ways to house the homeless

April 16, 2011
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

I read [Mickey Maurer’s] column in the April 4 issue. There is not one way to describe “the homeless.” The city has not yet faced the issue of adequate jobs for the working class, let alone adequate housing. “The homeless” are indeed a mix of persons with multi-layers of issues. We should not minimize the fact that many have serious mental health conditions and are in need of more active and involved mental health services. Some patients are placed in public housing without follow-up. The patient needs professional service and a regular visitation schedule to make sure [they take] the medications that help them maintain their ability to stay housed.

Second, the homeless with drinking and drug issues cannot improve if we go to them under a bridge and pray and give them food. While this is a nice gesture, it does not help. We cannot allow this population to sink further into despair and not give them alternatives. This group needs some boundaries and a place to go to get help with their disease. Alcoholism is a disease and should be treated like one.

I am amazed at the money that this city has put out for sports arenas—both current and the torn-down facilities that we are still paying for. Why can’t we find an apartment that houses people in need? To help people who want help, there should be a housing situation where the homeless person can be housed while he works in the building to maintain the structure, and those who have a job could pay an affordable rent until their job gets better and they can afford a higher rent. Affordable-housing programs are available though various community-development corporations, but most have income levels based on low-income standards of the federal government.

Housing the homeless would give them the environment that would possibly change their lives. This would give some an opportunity to bring dignity into their lives and hopefully give them the ability to leave the program for a better-paying job so that they can repair their lives.

____________

Leah Orr
Historic researcher and sculptor
 

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  1. "bike lanes, specialized lighting, decorative signage, public art, grass medians, trees and rain gardens" These are all nice things to have, but can we freaking get the hundreds of potholes all over the city fixed first?!?!?!!?!?!

  2. When a criminal with multiple prior convictions serves five days of a one year sentence and later kills a police officer with a weapon illegally in his posession, residents of Boone County need to pay a tax to drive to work... PERFECT Progressive logic.. If, on the other hand, a fund were to be set up to build more prisons and hire more guards to keep the known criminals off the streets, I'd be the first to contribute.

  3. Not a word about how much the taxpayers will be ripped off on this deal. Crime spirals out of control and the the social problems that cause it go unheeded by an administration that does not give a rats behind about the welfare of our citizens. There is no money for police or plowing snow (remember last winter) or or or or, but spend on a sports complex, and the cash flows out of the taxpayers pockets. This city is SICK

  4. Sounds like a competitor just wanted to cause a problem. I would think as long as they are not "selling" the alcohol to the residents it is no different than if I serve wine to dinner guests. With all the violent crime happening I would think they should turn their attention to real criminals. Let these older residents enjoy what pleasures they can. Then again those boozed up residents may pose a danger to society.

  5. Where did the money go from the 2007 Income tax increase for public safety that the Mayor used to stir opposition and win the election and then failed to repeal (although he promised he would when he was running for election)? Where did the money go from the water utility sale? Where did the money go from the parking meter deal? Why does the money have all these funds for TIF deals and redevelopment of Mass avenue, and subsidy for luxury high rises, parking garages in Broad Ripple, and granola chain grocery stores but can not find the money to take care of public safety. Commuters shouldn't have to pay the tax of failed leadership in Marion County by leaders that commuters have no say in electing. Taxation without representation.

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