Adam Madison, The Triplicate

County officials will have blood on their hands

As many people know from recent newspaper articles, Our Daily Bread Ministries' proposal for a life-saving emergency shelter was denied recently. The county's decision was based on NIMBYisms (not in my back yard). Some of our neighbors' "concerns" about the safety of our neighborhood if there was a shelter were valid, however, most were unfounded. There were homeless people and alcoholics in this area before we moved into the neighborhood.

I could go on and on refuting arguments, but my main concern remains the legitimate concern for our clients' lives. To be bluntly honest, people in our community need to know that we live in an area where many, if not most, of our officials and people in authority don't care if (and may be even relieved if) a homeless person dies from the extreme cold we are experiencing. I have tried to refrain from making these allegations and even thinking this way, but this fact is now crystal clear to me.

Not only has our attempt at sheltering at Harrold Street been denied, but several attempts at other places have not succeeded. We have tried to rent other buildings in the city and the county, and have been stonewalled everywhere. We have even been told in a city office that a shelter would never be allowed in the city. The county wants at the very least another month to even consider any other location.

Well, that doesn't do a lot of good for anyone when it's freezing outside today. I understand the need for permitting a yearly shelter, but what about the temperature now?

Recently my husband got a call from one of our clients. This woman was crying and terrified. She had just become homeless, and was out in the freezing cold. She said she felt like she was literally freezing to death. She was in terrible physical pain from being frozen, not to mention scared out of her mind that she might not survive. How many of us have been there? Not enough, I guess.

May God have mercy on our county officials that were more concerned about taxpayers' comfort than human lives. Truly, and I am completely confident in saying this, they and others will have blood on their hands after someone dies from the elements this month. I don't know how that cannot eat at them when they lay their heads down in comfort.

Rachel Justice

Our Daily Bread Ministries

Let's check on our elders to make sure they aren't abused

I'm writing in regards to our local social service workers for our in-home care providers. Recently my mother's social worker came to our home while I was gone and told my mother that she had received a complaint that I (her daughter and care provider) had been neglecting the house and that there was no food in the house.

The social worker did her walk-through and checked the refrigerator and cupboards for food. She was happy to see the complaint was not true and was on her way.

My reason for writing this is to thank her and all the social workers for going out of the office and following through on complaints about the neglect of some of our city's elders. Makes me wonder how many calls are not being made for the elders that are really being abused, stolen from, living in bad conditions, and malnourished.

It is the season, folks, to watch out for your neighbors. Let's check on our elders around us and make sure they aren't being abused. Again thank you, not only to my mom's social worker but to all of them for their time and concern.

Patti Dampman

Crescent City