You might wonder where the expression ‘hearth and home’ comes from? Or the phrase, keep the home fires burning. Our world has changed dramatically since homes were built around a fire pit! But the need of a warm and welcoming place has not. Way, way back in the 1600’s sort of as a forerunner of property taxes, the household paid tax on the number of hearths figuring the more hearths the grander the home, the more money available for taxation. Some thinking doesn’t change.
Homes continue to get bigger and certainly more expensive. And this leads to the very real message that not all people can afford or manage a home. We’ve gone way done the consumer tunnel and only to find out it is the simple things like a bowl of soup, a grilled cheese sandwich, a hot beverage along with an encouraging word and expression of interest may just be today’s version of a hearth. People gathering, end of the day chatter, and a spirit of respite.
Some people remain on the street this holiday season because there are few places to go, others remain because they are wary of what might be expected. But their being on the street is not illegal. Sleeping at the bus stop or on a public bench is not illegal. If someone who lives on the street or lives in a home and is doing something illegal right now then call 911 and ask for police assistance.
Otherwise if you want to help yourself and the person on the street then use the City’s Homeless Outreach Program! Call 570-4550 and be ready to provide the location of where the homeless person tends to stay and other specific details. You can leave your name and number if you want a follow-up call.
At a recent Meet and Greet with Council Member Pearce, Commander Mike Lewis mentioned that on average it takes 10 months to get someone off the street. With the City’s well-developed homeless outreach program each person identified is assigned a a case manager and a team to work with them to increase their likelihood of a successful move. Homelessness is not a police responsibility. Calling the police will not help solve the issue. Please use the program that has been put in place for all.
And with that, Rose Park Neighborhood Association wishes that this season – whatever it means to you and however you celebrate it – is one of care and contentment. We have made it one more year!