Toxic Charity

Homeless      We do not need another homeless facility here on the Westside-Hilltop! Especially it being 62,000 square feet of unfinished warehouse space on five acres. The shelter is located at 595 Van Buren Drive near Harmon and Mound. This structure has stood empty for two years. As you recall the other emergency shelter on the far west side at Lincoln Village ended up having to “bus” homeless people from other areas of the city to the facility. So here we go again! We will again have to have busing to this new facility. Why can’t emergency shelters be built in other areas of the city? Why do we have to absorb this population or allow people to have to be bused from areas of the city that they “reside” in to our side of town? Seems that a better model would be to have smaller emergency shelters in all quadrants of the city. Why does the Westside-Hilltop have to become a warehouse and/or dumping ground for the City’s unwanted situations? Homelessness is a problem for all of society and as I mentioned before just providing a shelter does not alleviate the problem it just contains it and doesn’t address the underlying issue. In my opinion it just moves the problem to our side of the city because we have weak leaders and we are complacent and we get so excited because a use has been found for a two year vacant structure. I say NO! Let’s put shelters in all quadrants of the City of Columbus, ESPECIALLY one downtown since it is centrally located. Putting a 62,000 square foot facility on the Westside-Hilltop is central in what way?

I encourage residents to speak up at one of the two meetings being presented next week.

This is just another band-aid. We all feel good about providing food, clothing and shelter for “people experiencing homelessness” and granted just as the phrase implies there is a need for this but we do have a substantial population of homeless people who do this by choice or more importantly people who need help either because of health or not having the ability to secure jobs because they are already in this tier. I would like to hear more about providing services to get these people off the street permanently instead of building more facilities to house them.

Paraphrasing from a good read: We fault the government for decades of failed social programs, yet frequently we embrace similar forms of disempowering charity through our kindhearted giving. Free food and clothing distribution encourages ever-growing handout lines, diminishing the dignity of the poor while increasing their dependency. We converge in our communities to plant flowers and pick up trash, bruising the pride of resident who have the capacity (and responsibility) to beautify their own environments. Giving to those in need instead of their own initiative may well be the kindest way to destroy people. – Toxic Charity by Robert D. Lupton
From: Sara Loken []
Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 1:54 PM
To: Hooie, David E
Subject: new shelter announced

The Community Shelter Board plans to open a new emergency shelter next year in the West Edge Business Center. This shelter will provide a warm, safe place to spend the night for men, women and families who are experiencing homelessness. It will also provide outstanding services – to help people move more easily and quickly into stable housing. The new shelter is located at 595Van Buren Drive near Harmon and Mound Streets.

We would like to introduce the project to nearby neighbors and businesses, and we welcome your input. Initial public meetings have been scheduled. Please see the attached materials.

Thank you,
Sara Loken
Community Relations Director
111 Liberty Street, Suite 150
Columbus, OH 43215
614-221-9195 x106
Attend this meeting and make your voice heard!


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