Opinion

Vacant houses could provide shelter

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To the Editor;
Our community should consider renovating vacant houses to provide homeless citizens safe, affordable shelter.

According to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, people around America are becoming homeless more and more each day due to poverty, abuse, mental illness, lack of affordable housing, unemployment (Dover-Foxcroft doesn’t have many job opportunities). Renovating vacant houses could help people leave an abusive home without the fear of being homeless, and the fear that they won’t have no place to go.

In 2018, according to the US Department Of Housing and Urban Developments Annual Homeless Assessment Report, around 553,000 homeless people in the US on a given night, or 0.17 percent of the United States population and we could stop that in our town from increasing.

Dover Foxcroft doesn’t really show homelessness, because you don’t see people on the streets the way you see them in cities, but because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there. Being prepared is something we definitely can do though. You never know when someone could be kicked out of their homes and have nowhere to go or to stay. I see people in cities like Bangor, Auburn, and Lewiston going or sitting around with signs asking for money. I feel so bad and I want to help them, but I can’t, so I pray for them. If this is one way I can help in this crisis, then I will do it because there is only so much I can do to help and praying doesn’t hurt. I don’t have enough money to renovate houses on my own, or give everyone a home, so I’m hoping to at least start a conversation about possible solutions to this problem.

This topic means so much to me because, when I was a little girl, my mom, brother and I were homeless in the middle of winter. We slept in a car, and no shelters could take us in because it wasn’t safe for children our ages at the time. I would never wish homelessness on anyone.Imagine how cold they get, how hungry they get. I get hungry not eating after a few hours. They deal with not eating for a day to days sometimes. All I want is to go around seeing people not spend their days asking for money. I want to see happy families out and about, and at home enjoying themselves. So can we all take one small step and get this idea into action for the better of the future?

Amber Merrill
Sebec

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