The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Opinion

August 4, 2013

Local support needed for homeless shelter

Greenville is in need of a homeless shelter.

That much is clear. With hundreds of individuals classified as homeless living in Greenville, homelessness is an issue that we can no longer avoid.

We agree that the homeless shelter must be carefully planned. A Greenville shelter must do more than simply provide people with a roof over their heads and a hot meal.

There needs to be a comprehensive plan in place to meet the mental, physical and emotional needs of the local homeless, as well as a program to help re-establish them in the work force, if possible.

But the project is already in capable hands, thanks to a partnership between Melissa Bishop, Salvation Army Sgt. Wes Trueblood and other members of the Greenville Coalition for Homelessness. The Salvation Army is well-known for running quality and effective shelters that combat the root cause of homelessness.

The coalition has continued to have regular meetings to discuss possible locations, funding options, planning strategies and a timeline.

The group is continuing to build support through the community and has appeared before the Greenville City Council once already, with a second appearance scheduled during the Aug. 13 meeting.

We also support the organizers’ desire to pattern the Greenville homeless shelter after the Samaritan Inn in McKinney, a shelter whose program teaches self-sufficiency and life skills to the individuals they serve.

There are certainly some major questions that need to be answered. Where will the shelter be located? How will it be funded? Who will staff it? But the project is still in the early planning stages, and off to a great start.

We encourage local non-profit organizations, churches and Greenville residents to support this project and keep a close eye on how it develops. This is a community problem that can only be solved by our community.

This is the opinion of the Herald-Banner editorial board. The board can be reached at editor@heraldbanner.com.

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