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Letter: Gainesville, Hall should unite for homeless solution
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I would like to let myself be heard concerning this homeless situation in Gainesville and Hall County.

I was raised in Gainesville, daughter of Jack and Pat Prince and granddaughter of Jesse Dickson Jewell. I moved away from Gainesville in 1988 and raised a family in Nashville, Tenn. After my mother’s death in May 2014, I moved back to Gainesville to care for Dad due to a promise I had made to Mom on her death bed.

I have been reading in the paper that a great many homeless people living under the Queen City Bridge are about to be misplaced. That brings up a great many questions concerning the well-being for all residents of the Gainesville-Hall County area. The main question I have is why are there are so few organizations that help the homeless in this city. My hometown! The Salvation Army cannot do this alone.

I spent 27 years in Nashville, a city that knows how to take care of its homeless residents. I think this city, which I understand is much smaller, can learn from some of their programs. Take a look at some of these links: Nashville Homeless Shelter Directory; Room in the Inn; and The Contributor. If we as a community know what our options are, then maybe we can join together and make a difference in our city. There is also a new objective that I think could be something that might be very useful.

I understand these things cannot all be implemented by the city itself, but if the city would join forces and give its blessing, more people in this community would want to help. No one knows there is a problem unless it is brought to their attention.

I’m not asking for a great deal of time or effort. Just a few ordinances and provisions so those of us who are trying to make a difference can do so. We can not only make a difference in homeless adults, but in the lives of men, women and children. I understand there are somewhere around 900 homeless people in this city and 300 families, which mean there are multitudes of children out there, too. I find this deplorable.

I am begging the city council to please lend its help to our cause. If it doesn’t start here, how can it ever start? People’s lives depend on it.

Rebecca Louise Prince Burnette
Gainesville

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