Suppose your car was giving you trouble. You put it in the garage and put a little of gas in it everyday. You think if you put new tires on it that it would run better. It doesn’t work. You have new wipers on and that didn’t make it run better.
Your car is broken, as are the homeless. They are broken bodies emotionally, mentally, socially, and have a low self esteem. They show no responsibility because they don’t have to do anything. They show up to eat and they are fed.
Some show up at a shelter and have a place to sleep with no responsibilities. Some cause a disruption so they are taken to jail and have a place to eat and sleep for three days.
People feeling bad for them give them clean clothes which they leave on the streets. Blankets and sleeping bags are handed out and they leave them in the woods and get more from a service or thoughtful people. They sleep in our parks, on our beaches, baseball dugouts and a bench on the street. They urinate and have a bowel movement on the street.
I might sound hard, but I am a former social worker who worked very hard for the lower income and homeless for their rights and to educate them to better themselves.
We need to get the homeless out of town. People will not come to Oak Harbor for a pleasant day in a small town if the streets are filled with homeless people who could be a threat to them as recently happened in Seattle.
We have free bus lines and they could have a center point where they could get help outside of town. Just like the broken car, we need to fix homelessness correctly.
Putting a band aid — free food, clothes and sleeping gear — won’t fix the broken lives. It will only bring more homeless to Oak Harbor.
Start teaching them a little responsibility by requiring each person to bring a bag of trash before they can eat. Just bringing in their own trash would help keep the city clean. Have them bring dirty clothes before they get new clothing. They will get it because they will get hungry and want either cooler or warmer clothes.
There are many things they could do to realize life isn’t free. Money. Right!
Isn’t there a proposed low income housing project slated for the beginning of Pioneer? Where would they spend their days? On the streets causing trouble by drug deals and drunkenness.
We are having a $3-million park being built. Where did the money come from? Let’s have all the service clubs, churches and volunteers work together for the betterment of all mankind.
Like the good book tells us, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will have food for life.”