HomeOpinionEditorialsIt’s Time Finally to Address Homeless Issue

It’s Time Finally to Address Homeless Issue

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Homelessness in Augusta has been and will likely continue to be a problem for years to come. After multiple conversations in the last few weeks with several Richmond County commissioners and civic leaders it appears as though there is momentum to finally address the issue.

Socioeconomic factors ...

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Seriously, what makes you think “Local Government” is interested in solving homelessness? The local politicians show us regularly they are primarily are interested in how to make money for their family or friends from any largess that comes along.

  2. I would suggest you back up the statement about the failure of the Church to take the lead in helping the homeless. The Church is made up of people who give money, time and effort to supply the needs of the under-served in our community. Why don’t you dig around and see what we are actually doing? I’d feel better about the destination of CARES Act dollars if the Church spent the money.

    • I think the point we were trying to make was that the Church is mandated to deal with certain physical needs. For example, shelter for the homeless, feeding the hunger, clothing the naked, and helping widows. Had the Church at large been doing its job on those issues the government would not have to step in and address it. The problem isn’t money. Churches in this area are some of the strongest financial organizations around. Yet they don’t use those resources to carry out the biblical mandate I mentioned above. I am not calling out any one specific church of course but rather the Church at large. Unfortunately individuals tithing their money to a church is not resulting in money helping the needy. Therefore government must get involved. Some churches do more than others to help the needy. But at large the Church has utterly failed on this issue.

      • So how far does the Church need to go? Do the Burke County, Columbia County, Wilkes County churches need to pay for the Augusta/Richmond County homeless problem? What about the churches where the homeless came from by rail, according to the local homeless counting group. Or is this just the rich and poor people from Richmond County who need to step up and pay for through their respective churches? Oh Yea, what about all the population who no longer go to church, how do we get them to pay their fair share, if not for taxes and government handouts! Follow the money, and you will see, from L.A. Ca., and so many other places, it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at the homeless, there will be additional homeless to replace all the ones you get off the homeless tract. They are mostly drug addicts and worst, who can’t keep a job or stay sober long enough to maintain a family relationship.

  3. Perhaps we need to examine how we define “homeless”. Churches and other volunteer organizations in our area expend enormous effort trying to fulfill the needs of families, children, and the elderly who are suffering or disadvantaged. The United Way, Family Promise, Restart Augusta, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Mechanics Ministry (free cars for working poor), Columbia County Cares, the Salvation Army, and many other tireless groups work hand in hand with the churches to meet the daily needs of our friends in need.
    The other side of the “homeless” problem is the more insidious. Mental illness, coupled with alcohol and drug addiction, were traditionally the assignment of the state. Throughout the nation, Progressive ideas about group homes and an individual’s liberty led authorities to believe that the disestablishment of specific state institutions would better serve society – and – save a lot of money. Many places, such as our Gracewood State School and Hospital, are now just skeletons. Our leaders must admit their mistakes and begin to reestablish the programs that worked for many generations. Yes, the old system may have been lacking in many areas, but it seems we have thrown out the baby with the bath water. New ideas, when tried and tested, must hold up to their promise, or be discarded.

  4. Way out of line with the Church comment, Mr. Edge. Most churches in the area, from the largest to the smallest, try in some way to feed, clothe and help homeless people. However, many churches are not equipped with enough staff to run homeless shelters. And that is a job that cannot be left up to untrained volunteers who you infer should just open their doors and wave people inside. Despite the appearance that homeless people are all docile and grateful for all you offer, in reality, that is not the case. Homeless people also will tear up a facility and can become violent inside of shelters. Not all homeless are like that, but just a few can make groups wary of just opening up a campus. It’s a problem to be sure, I do not disagree. But to slam churches for “building large campuses, increasing their social media following and adding staff to payroll than using their resources to help the homeless, hungry, and poor,” is frankly insulting.

    • Mr. Wylds. This is not an attack on the church. In fact I doubt you will find anyone that is a stronger person in favor of the church than myself and I wrote this editorial. But I do feel this was my honest assessment of the church. They have utterly failed on this issue. I challenge anyone to prove my assessment wrong. But please don’t take it as an attack on the church. It should be interpreted as motivation to help the church do better.

  5. Weird that there is SIGNIFICANT Care $ available but no one can tell how much it is. Let’s use the upcoming splost water park $ millions to help homeless… personally I think it is a community/govt problem not a church matter. Just think govt priorities are off base….waterpark vs homeless shelter. My Catholic church is stretched thin with clergy and $$$ for whatever reason. Give homeless a place to sleep and eat then let them go out during day to panhandle for drugs and whiskey.

  6. Agree that the homeless problem needs definition – by individual. The goal should be to get that individual back to being a responsible citizen. A caseworker will be needed and resources available. For instance, an alcoholic will need AA help while those with mental health issues will need access to a psychiatrist/psychologist. The caseworker will need to maintain close contact with the homeless person to be sure appointments are kept and behavior is in concert with the treatment being provided.

    Just feeding someone or providing clothing does not result in the solution of returning to normal society. Of course, not all cases will have a good conclusion but hopefully the numbers of homeless will be reduced to a much smaller number.

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