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Editorial: Homeless programs

Monday, September 17, 2012

A few programs have been announced recently to help the homeless.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced that Cape Girardeau County was selected to host an event, called Project Homeless Connect, which is a one-stop shop for services aimed at helping the homeless. The event is scheduled for Oct. 5 at the Osage Centre. Organizers are expecting as many as 400 people to attend and 300 volunteers to be on hand. At the event, homeless individuals will be matched up with volunteers who will guide them to services they may require.

A spectrum of services is expected to be provided, ranging from health programs sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Public Health Center as well as on-site care from area dentists; or help in obtaining items such a birth certificates and photo identification. Services as simple as haircuts and clothing are expected to be offered, along with lunch for the participants and transportation to and from the event provided by the Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority.

A branch of the Project Homeless Connect is the Veteran Stand Down event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the VA Outpatient Clinic. It's an annual event for veterans' agencies to provide resources and services to veterans in need of housing, employment and education. The phrase "stand down" comes from exhausted combat units who were removed from the battlefield to a place of relative safety and given time to rest and recover.

There has been and always will be a homeless problem in our society. Oftentimes a series of bad choices, a lack of education and addictions lead people into homelessness. But sometimes war and a poor economy can cause immense hardships on individuals and families as well. We hope that all homeless individuals find employment and a better life. Our hope is that these programs will help put them in touch with resources that will make that happen.

Here's a salute to those who show their compassion through volunteerism, monetary contributions and emotional support to help the homeless.


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