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The plight of the homeless is not only prevalent in our community, but abounds almost everywhere else, too. In a world that has become callous to the less fortunate, how is that right here we have become immune to what is in close proximity?

Not one definitive answer. Our homeless are not there by choice. However, there are some that choose to remain so. For many, we must look at the root of the underlying problem. From there, it stems into either a bunch of thorny issues or buds into a beautiful new bouquet. Alcohol and drugs have a significant role, throw in mental health, i.e. dual diagnosis, and you wind up with a cluster of branches that touch and impact our community and our state.

Some progress has been made. The ones who want treatment and work on their recovery are more likely candidates for affordable housing. People and places are more apt to want to help when they see firsthand that those seeking assistance are working an honest program, not just milking the system. With anything, you have to have a base, some kind of groundwork to establish solid footing. Not much can be implemented without funds and resources.

This is a 365-day problem that doesn't discriminate. I know; I was once there, myself. When you look at these people, look in their eyes. There you will see your mother, father, son, daughter and grandparents, lost and weary souls. Some have gotten out of prison and feel they don’t stand a chance, hopeless. It is our moral obligation to give them back hope.

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Jennie Bodine

Billings

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