Homeless shelter is long overdue


The following is a response to the Jan. 17, "Lincoln City taps reserves for housing project" article.

My wife and I would like to thank Judy Casper and her fellow counselors for advocating for the opening of a long-overdue homeless shelter Lincoln City. We live on Northwest 26th Street, and many of the neighboring homes on our block are either vacation rentals or are investment properties that go years without seeing a resident or even a visitor.

In this same prosperous city, where vacation rentals and empty investment properties artificially inflate real estate values, there are many people who either live in substandard trailer-park housing, in their cars or recreational vehicles or in the trees behind Safeway. When chronically ill homeless people are discharged from the hospital, they are given a pat on the back and led to the nearest bus stop. Whether the city's promoters want to admit it or not, homelessness is a systemic problem in our community, and it is only becoming more acute. 

Hotel owner Jitesh Desai states that he doesn't want the homeless shelter to be the "face of Lincoln City," but every morning when I drive to work along Highway 101, I see homeless people sleeping in rain-soaked doorways. Is this a better "face" for the city than providing a centralized shelter and rehabilitation center to the region's struggling citizens? 

Before Jesus was hijacked by the Trump administration, his words of wisdom were read, believed and put into practice by his followers. "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me." (Matthew 25:40).   

Michael Edwards 

Lincoln City

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