Over the next few weeks, we are going to hear a lot about how we can help others who are in need. The holiday season always brings out that information.
Sometimes, however, we don't realize just how many people in our county truly are in need.
Times are hard and many people have fallen on destitute times. There are people who were once white collar workers now struggling to keep their homes.
Others have lost their homes and simply need any kind of employment.
There is no question that Wayne County is a very giving place. People step up all year around to help those who are in need. The behind-the-scenes efforts of those folks go unnoticed — except by those who are so grateful to get the help.
But what are local governments doing to help those in need?
Wayne County has no homeless shelter. Nothing.
Some might say there isn't a need but that is simply not the case. There are homeless people in this area, that is the reality.
If it weren't for programs like those operated by Grace Episcopal Church in Honesdale, these people would have nowhere to go to simply seek shelter.
Then that begs the question of what is the role of local governments?
Is that role simply to operate various programs and not focus on those who have the most needs?
Should drug addicts get more help than someone who has lost their job and has nowhere to turn?
Page 2 of 3 - We also know there is no specific shelter for battered women in Wayne County.
Thanks to the Victims Intervention Program, help is out there, but shouldn't there be more?
Shouldn't our elected officials be focusing on issues like this?
Do we just bury our heads in the sand and say there aren't any homeless people or battered women?
Some do because they don't want to face reality.
But the reality is we have both and the numbers are rising. The poor economy is not helping, either.
People are living in places we don't even know about. People are struggling. Children are going without proper clothing and food, let alone toys.
There is a huge need for people who are struggling. And don't think theses are just drug addicts. There are people in this area who have lost their jobs and have nowhere to turn.
They are not bad people, in fact, they are good people. They are people who have fallen on hard times and that's when fellow humans have to step back and think about priorities in life.
As we said in the beginning, we will have a lot of information in the coming weeks about how you can help people in a variety of ways.
We hope that, if you can, you will help in any way possible. And don't forget, help is needed all year around.
Holidays are important, but each day is important and for some, each day is a struggle.
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