It is with great sadness that I sit to write this letter in the conference of my home, as it addresses just that. There are many in this community who do not know the pleasures of having a place to call home. We pass these people on our journey, work in the same buildings with them, and even call some our friends. But we do not take the time to see the pain they endure by not having the simple necessities of life.
I know we want to think that homelessness is not an issue in our community, but the reality is it is all around us. Homelessness by Meriam Webster’s definition is “having no home or permanent place of residence.” How many people we know that depend on if a family member will have them for the night, sleeping on floors or chairs, people who are living in places not meant for human habitation, in emergency shelter, or in transitional housing. These people too are considered homeless. Homelessness in Fairfield may not entail sleeping in the streets, but does that mean the problem does not exist?
We have a big problem that is not being addressed in this county. I challenge our elected officials to take a stand on this issue. Why should people in our community, who have fallen on hard times, be forced to leave and travel to Columbia to find housing?
What we need is a shelter right here in Fairfield County that will house men, women and children who are homeless. Although many may think that we have such a shelter, we do not. There is no place in Fairfield County for a person who is homeless without a drug or alcohol problem to sleep for free for the night.
This is sad, Fairfield County. We must do better, and the first step is admitting we have a problem. The Grieving Needs Foundation of Fairfield County is gathering resources to help the homeless in our community. For more information send an email to email@example.com.
Shamieka B. Johnson Sims