Letter to the Editor: Questions about options for the homeless


Many options are known to aid those experiencing homelessness if they want help. All of the constructive, documented options have positive effects on specific persons, which points to needing multiple options. Yet not all options or even enough are available locally for adults. Then, one option may get lost in the mix because our greatest attention in winter focuses on adults.

The “forgotten” one deals with prevention that has been documented in longitudinal studies with pre-schoolers. Robert Lynch, in “Pre-School Pays,” is the short list of the research and the results for a lifetime. Not just any pre-school program, please note. In the high-quality programs, the results in most lives are nothing short of amazing and the cost goes down as the years pass while savings go up as high as billions.

At the adult end of the age spectrum, a team in the Drop-in Café at Calvary Episcopal Church met 37 adults this winter from Sept. 4 to Dec. 30. This underestimates the persons they met as some were so short term that the team does not record the work. The point is that all 37 and others do want to work. The disabled are in this count.

We all know that we need more services and more rehabilitative housing. We recognize the efforts of the House of Hope to provide that while they know, too, that the community needs more spaces and services.

Then we have others and some with significant disabilities out in the cold for lack of space and services, what then? A timely example is one male who has been accidentally saved from hypothermia once and a threatening nearness to comatose over his diabetic condition three times just in 2018. Not only is the physical condition a stressor, the emotional wear and tear produces deep depression and worsens the outlook for these folks. In the moral and ethical sense, every life matters. In the economic and social sense, it is a cost to us all that could be lessened if we had more housing and services established.

Linda J. Allen, Front Royal