Sunday, August 08, 2010

Battle For the Homeless in Plano, TX

I live near the city of Plano, TX and I came across a story in the Dallas Morning News online about a homeless shelter being proposed to be built in the eastern part of the city of Plano.  Now, this is not in my neighborhood, but I am not too far from it. 

The area in question is on the edge of a technology park, almost in a lower income neighborhood. There are a number of agencies in this area as well as a public transportation stop that will quickly help the homeless but there is much opposition to this.  There are several businesses who are worried about what having a homeless shelter will do to this area.  Will it drop the property value?  Will it bring an increase of crime?  Will it be a detriment to businesses in the immediate area? 

Already one business, a self-storage place is complaining that two of their clients have said that they would pack their storage and leave to find another place to store their belongings as they are afraid their items in storage would be stolen.  It is a sad fact of humanity that this perception exists.

What price do we place on a human life?  When do we stop worrying about property values and start worrying about people who are in dire straits?  We are talking about human beings who do not have a roof over their heads, who do not have an air-conditioned place to relax in.  We are talking about not just individuals, but whole families who are homeless.  Moms, dads and their children who have to worry about where they are going to sleep and what they will eat.  It seems that all people can care about is "How will this affect the value of my home/business?"

What if it were them?  What if something horrible happened to them and they became homeless?  What would they think then?  I know what I would think.  You see, I've been homeless before.  It's not fun.

The Plano City Council will be meeting tomorrow, Monday, August 9th to decide whether or not to spend 700,000 dollars of federal money to purchase the land to build this shelter on.  I plan on being there to offer my support for this.  I hope that if you live in this area, you'll show up as well to offer your support for those who are not as fortunate and don't have a place to sleep tonight.  Perhaps in the future they will.


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