Homelessness is an utmost need within our state and Scott County. There are over 7,000 homeless people in the state each day with over 16,550 public school students homeless at some point each school year, according to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

The statistics follow the same pattern in Scott County; however, we don’t see homelessness the same way. Many who are homeless move from house to house, spending a night or week with relatives. The stark reality is they have no home or place to go to that provides supportive care and stability to find permanent housing.

The hidden truth is Scott County is already spending money on the homeless including social services, food shelves and other services that provide stop-gap support.

The proposed Jordan center for a homeless shelter is a first step in helping those in need. This same approach was done by the city of Minneapolis as a first step leading to placing people in permanent housing.

Housing is the foundation of stability for the individual and families. People can’t thrive without access to permanent housing. Jordan’s City Council’s objections are worthy of discussion; however, Councilman Jeff Will objected without any substantial discussion of options.

This approach of objecting without problem-solving is like kicking the can down the street, but in this case, it’s the real lives of people in need. Most, if not all, would rather be an integrated part of society.

It’s part of our social fabric to help others. The challenge is to help all in need no matter their situation. There is a viable solution to homeless needs in Scott County. The need is real, and the use of a facility like the SCALE Region Training Facility located in Sand Creek Township is a starting point.

Objections without solutions will not help those in need. The call to action is to be open-minded about homeless needs and to find viable and sustainable solutions for those in need.

John Stadler is the chairman of the Scott County Local Advisory Council on Mental Health.


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