I am thoroughly pleased with the number of responses attributed to last week’s article regarding the homeless in Patterson. A lot of wonderful and insightful ideas were spread about, and I’ve also received a series of phone calls considering the need to illustrate and promote certain organizations or ideas.
Many advocated for HOST house, a nonprofit organization that helps homeless get off the streets and integrated into society, which seems like an exceptional idea. But HOST has been closed since March 31 after they were unable to obtain funds to run the program during the spring or summer months.
According to Project Manager Kurt Gross, HOST spends roughly $5,000 per month on utilities, bills, and various needs for the community members they house. The grant, which would have awarded HOST $40,000, would have helped secure stable funding for the home as well as outside projects to help struggling community members.
But many alluded to the fact that HOST only helps those who are willing to give up substance abuse while attempting to attain steady employment and housing.
Many homeless are not willing to do that at this time, which would not put a large dent in the population.
However, I still feel it would be a nice addition to the community to have a resource like HOST at our disposal.
If we should get behind one project with our funds, it should be HOST. Their presence will continue to inspire those who are seeking help, and will have a positive impact surrounding our community. Those that do want help no longer need to steal or dig through trash, which will minimize the amount of debris left around town.
I gladly endorse HOST. They are attempting to open their home back up come fall and are hosting a steak barbecue on Saturday, April 26 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. according to the Boy Scouts community calendar, to raise funds. I expect everyone who commented to show their support for this helpful organization.
Another resident also suggested paying the homeless in voucher tickets for food instead of cash for their labor. Businesses may work out the details for themselves.