The Herald Bulletin

November 22, 2013

Viewpoint: Donations to shelters will help get homeless off the streets

By Linda Anderson
Pendleton resident

---- — Did you know the homeless in the homeless shelters and out on the streets of Anderson, Indiana really do need our help?

The Christian Center in Anderson needs $5 a day, $35 a week, to help shelter someone. Some homeless do have some income and contribute to this. Others help by volunteering at the shelter. No one is turned away, nevertheless, $35 a week is needed to help give shelter and food to a homeless person.

Stepping Stones for Veterans (a transitional housing facility) provides shelter to veterans and other homeless people. Their cost is $80 per week. The people may live there up to two years and programs are provided to help with substance abuse.

I have chosen to donate $35, one time a year to the Christian Center, and $80 one time a year to Stepping Stones. I have seen signs on the road that says, "sponsor a highway." Well I am asking that any and all that can help "sponsor a homeless person for one week" once a year. If all of us that could, could do this, it could go a long way in helping the homeless get off the streets.

There are still those who are out on the streets that will not go into shelters for various reasons. Many are afraid to give the homeless money for fear that they will use it for alcohol or drugs. My solution to this is to give gift cards for restaurants that are open 24 hrs a day. The homeless can use these and get in out of the weather, eat, clean up, and use the restrooms. I have done this myself and the homeless have appreciated these very much. Just the other night an older man said, "thank you, thank you, thank you, I am freezing, when I handed him a McDonald's gift card and asked him to please go there and get in out of the cold.

Together we can make a difference.