Homeless problem is a concern for all

Published 12:06am Thursday, November 21, 2013

Some good-hearted students at Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Natchez campus recently put their comfort where their heart is — all to raise awareness of a problem most of us probably ignore.

Last week, several dozen Co-Lin students, staff members and local residents participated in a Sleep Out event to raise awareness of homelessness. Participants sleep outside as a way of putting themselves in homeless shoes, as it were.

We don’t often stop to think about homeless people living among us because, quite honestly, many of them are sort of out-of-sight.

Unlike in large cities in which homeless persons may effectively live in the streets and remain quite visible if we choose to pay attention, in more rural areas such as our community, homeless people often take on a different shape or form.

Homeless people in our community may live in their cars, or they may bounce from one friend or relative’s house to the next, staying only long enough to not wear out their welcome.

Regardless of how visible or invisible they may be, homelessness is a problem that we as a society must work to help solve. One of our most basic needs is for shelter and a sense of security.

Living in the street or bouncing from one Good Samaritan to another isn’t a good way to live. The mental wear and tear this can cause can be difficult to sustain.

The aim of Co-Lin’s event was to simply get us all thinking about the problem, but also to let the community know about a homeless survey planned for January. At that time, researchers will attempt to collect data on the homeless population in our area.

That data may prove valuable to resolving the problem and providing a stable roof over all needy heads.