It was disheartening and disturbing to learn the manner in which a homeless encampment in Woonsocket was dismantled and bulldozed earlier this week.
Homelessness is a serious problem that affects our community in many ways. Homelessness, mental illness, and substance use disorder are often intersecting issues. Many individuals turn to drug use to cope with their seemingly hopeless situation. However, because individuals have fallen on hard times does not mean that they are unworthy and undeserving of sympathy. Bulldozing camps and destroying a person’s only respite from the elements is cruel and does not solve the problem of homelessness. Furthermore, pawning off homeless on other municipalities is grossly unfair. Equally concerning is the health of the city workers who were put at risk in a hazardous situation for which they may not have been adequately prepared.
Despite differing opinions on a myriad of issues, there are many things upon which we can agree: No one should sleep outdoors. Homelessness is not only unhealthy for the affected individuals but also for our businesses, neighborhoods, and community. Homelessness is a burden on our first responders and the health care system. Compassion is nonpartisan.
The problem of homelessness can only be fully addressed when wraparound services like mental health care, substance use and prevention, and programs that promote self-sufficiency are offered in tandem with housing. It is time for policy makers and service providers in our community to come together to work toward more dignified and lasting solutions.
Step 1: Secure the border and enforce our immigration laws instead of saturating our country with poverty. This will ensure we have more affordable homes for American citizens who need them.
Oh sure..USA's homelessness problem is because of a border thousands of miles away [beam]
Could you possibly be any more out of touch with reality?
Here is some of that reality. How could they possibly have gotten here???
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