Homeless in Moab...
Dec 26, 2012 | 1777 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To varying degrees, there is a homeless situation in Moab. You have a few of the chronic who, because of substance addictions and emotional issues, choose to live outside of society and then call it having a fiercely independent spirit and liken it to living as our forefathers.

They are the same people who take all of the help the self-proclaimed homeless advocates are willing to give – and they give so much. The cost in dollars can and does reach into the thousands. They are provided with food, clothing, transportation, medical care and lodging. They are given opportunities for employment and then choose to go back to their camps beside the creeks and use what little income they gain to feed their addictions.

The camps themselves are chosen with an eye to be hard to detect and are strewn with alcohol containers and the debris of that lifestyle. There are no sanitary facilities and a bath or shower is an every two or three week event. They also prey on each other, stealing whatever they can find and assaulting one another on a regular basis.

No tax dollars are spent for the help that is provided. It all comes from community donations, and the most valuable commodity is the volunteer’s time. The tax dollars spent in this area are spent in relation to the costs incurred from incarceration, jails, courts and medical care.

There is a need for a more coordinated and comprehensive program that addresses this issue. Moab as a community needs to have the facilities, the counseling and counselors, job training, housing assistance and the concern and care of the community to help the majority of these people fit back into society.

In one sense, hope is the absence of despair. By showing we value them as people, with no harsh judgments or condemnations, we may give them the hope to put forth the effort to rebuild their lives.

I know both sides. I’ve been there. Those few who, day after day, did not give up helped me enter a rehabilitation program that gave me back my life, my spirituality and my sense of self-worth.

—Patrick Baker

Lakewood, Colo.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.