The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX


July 28, 2013

Fine line between helping, enabling

GREENVILLE — If you build it, they will come. There is a fine line between helping and enabling. Homeless people do not need handouts, they need life skills and employment. They need counseling and ongoing aftercare support to re-enter society as a productive member.

Providing a shelter is a good idea if the motive is honest and the intent is to help. Too many communities have suffered greatly due to enabling under the guise of helping, crime increased and shelters that only open from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. flood the streets with homeless to fend for themselves during the day.

Some shelters only open during cold months and are closed during the warmer months. A shelter will invite people seeking temporary refuge who have no intention of improving their quality of life. Drug addicts and alcoholics, domestic violence offender’s needing a place to sleep while the spouse calms down and they can return home, etc.

One can only hope that a local shelter will have in place a thorough screening process so those truly in need receive the help and guidance they deserve.

When thinking of a local shelter some important questions come to mind. Will this shelter be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? Will this shelter provide counseling? Will this shelter help provide employment? Or will this shelter be another welfare system entrapping people who become dependent and not independent and self-reliant?

I am not against a shelter for the needy, homeless. I do believe this issue needs in-depth review prior to consideration and this City Council needs to do follow-ups to ensure the shelter is attaining goals that are truly helping people. Our government thought a welfare system would be a good idea; and if one looks closely at that mess, you can clearly see the outcome of enabling and billions of dollars wasted, not to mention the fraud involved.

I hope the City Council asks the right questions before considering any shelter for homeless. Homeless people suffer enough and the last thing they need is to be enabled to stay stuck, poor and feeling helpless. Our Department of Fish and Game will be the first to tell you not to feed the animals as they become dependent and will lose their instincts to fend for themselves. People are the same, and if not given opportunities they simply become dependent and will lose their ability to fend for themselves.

It is said that if you give a man a fish you fed him once, teach a man how to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime.

So true that is and a shelter should be a place to teach people how to fish. I have seen good intentions gone bad. I have seen many organizations jump on the bandwagon for a short ego trip and initiated shelters, all for the false pride; and in that process they hurt the very ones they claim to care about and wanted to help.

If this shelter really is going to be a tool to help the homeless, then those involved need to be up front and totally honest with this community. What are your goals? What is the method you are going to utilize to attain those goals for the people in need?

Do you understand what is involved and the amount of resources you’re going to need to accomplish this? Or is this simply some grandiose sound good idea you pat yourself on the back for and at the expense of hurting people already hurting?

Mitch Vaughn


Text Only
  • This is ... summer?

    Just sitting here, wondering what season this is again ...
    — Seriously, this is summer? In Texas?

    July 20, 2014

  • Why no to YMCA?

    Sometimes the lack of news can be just as disturbing as the daily barrage of bad news.

    July 5, 2014

  • Service members deserve our thanks

    More than two million active and reserve military personnel serve in the United States Military across the world: from just down the road in Fort Worth to the Forward Operating Base Jackson in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, U.S. men and women endure harsh conditions, potentially fatal missions, rigorous training and heart-aching separation.

    July 5, 2014

  • Texas should not have to face surge alone

    Texas political leaders recently announced an increase in funding and personnel to secure the Texas-Mexico border.

    June 27, 2014

  • Closer to Cliff than Homer on any Father’s Day

    It is Father’s Day, the one day a year when sons and daughters (hopefully) remember to thank Dear Old Dad for all he has meant to them over the years.

    June 15, 2014

  • Lives depend on how we drive

    Local roads and highways have been the scene of six motor vehicle accident fatalities over the past week.

    June 11, 2014

  • Summer’s here, ready or not

    Too late, summer’s here ...
    — The occupants of the Kellar Estate once again find themselves preparing for the annual onslaught of heat and humidity which is summer in Texas.

    June 8, 2014

  • YMCA 'ball' now in city's court

    The YMCA/event center project is now back on track, thanks to a $1 million pledge from L-3 Mission Integration. It has been more than a year since Greenville voters approved a $15 million bond to build to new Y.

    June 1, 2014

  • In just a flash, she's turned 15

    Shaking my head in disbelief once again ...
    Jaylynn is 15.
    Let that sink in for a minute.

    May 25, 2014

  • No one should let ‘no’ stand in way of accomplishing their goals

    “No” – a word that is so simple, yet so powerful when used in answering a question. This two-lettered word can create a world of hurt for someone who has big ambitions and is denied the opportunity to see their goals flourish.

    May 20, 2014

Featured Ads

Does Dallas head coach Jason Garrett need for the Cowboys to make the playoffs during the 2014 football season to keep his job?

Who knows with Jerry Jones as owner?
     View Results
Must Read

See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide