September 7, 2018 10:45:12 AM
Homeless shelter needed
In recent months I have been approached by several people claiming to be homeless in our city. I have seen people beg for money then get into nice vehicles and drive away. One particular instance, a woman approached me in the Walmart parking lot claiming to be deaf and mute selling sign language cards. When I was leaving the store I saw the same woman yell at another person across the parking lot. I am always leary when these people approach me because I don't know if they are truly homeless or panhandlers. And in this day and age, they could very well be someone with the intent to rob me.
A few months ago I was approached while pumping gas by a young lady who told me she was pregnant and asked for money for food. I rarely carry cash but happened to have a five dollar bill on me that I gave to her. She told me she had reached out to some area churches for help but was turned away. I made suggestions of a couple of organizations for her to contact to see if they could help her. While talking with this lady, she told me the nearest homeless shelter is in Tupelo but she had no transportation to get there.
Why doesn't Columbus have a homeless shelter? I thought we did at one time. I know situations can happen in a person's life where they are down on their luck and need help to get back on their feet. With all of the industry in our area, there are opportunities for people to get jobs if they had a little help.
My daughter has mentioned to me several times that the old Lee Middle School building would make a nice homeless shelter. I agree with her. I don't know what the plan is for the old school building but I'm sure there are other empty spaces that could be converted to a shelter. Our city is beautiful but instead of making it more pleasing to the eye, there are people who desperately need help. I think that money would be better spent helping them get on their feet so they can contribute to our community in a positive way.