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How can we help the homeless?

March 29, 2018

 

Last week The News Star reported that the DeSiard St. Shelter was likely to run out of money to operate in the coming weeks.

 

This shelter is Monroe’s only overnight homeless shelter and provides services to 30 or more men per night but can only house up to seven women per night. That was already not enough to help all those in need in the area, but following the closing of Monroe’s Salvation Army shelter last August, the places that homeless in the area can stay are slowly dwindling to nothing.

 

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2016 survey, on a given night 549,928 people across the United States were homeless. That number includes people from all age groups with 22 percent being children.

 

Homelessness even affects those like us on college campuses across the United States. In 2013, nearly 58,000 students identified as homeless on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

 

With such prevalent homelessness across the nation, it is a shame for shelters to be forced to close their doors on those who need help the most. Something has to be done and that something can start with students.

 

Most people would consider the job of helping the homeless as one for the government. After all, the government is meant to help the people and has the resources to do so. But many times that is not the case.

 

Even with government intervention, it can be difficult to aid the homeless adequately and, in most cases, these people cannot wait for a law or budgetary spending motion to be passed. They need help now, not in several months. Although it may seem like a problem too big for students to fix, we most certainly can lend a helping hand.

 

It is of the opinion of The Tech Talk that students should reach out with both their time and money to help the less fortunate and homeless.

 

There are several groups that students can donate to in the northeastern Louisiana area that will help these people such as the United Way, the HOME coalition and the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team.

 

Even though many of us complain about our lack of money and $0.02 account balances, we can still give our work as volunteers. We encourage you to seek out local shelters, food banks or charities and find out if they need volunteers. The work may be unpaid but the real payoff is helping those who cannot help themselves.

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