My Turn: Reflections: Project Homeless Connect

Several weeks ago, the Juneau Homeless Coalition sponsored Project Homeless Connect. This event is designed to bring service providers and those experiencing homelessness together, to survey those who are homeless, and to demonstrate community support for Juneau’s efforts to end homelessness. While I believe all three goals were addressed, I want to talk particularly about community, and what it means to be a part of one.

In my academic life, I have been considering the difference between being a consumer and a citizen. Consumers use their resources to obtain services or things they want. Citizens, on the other hand, are members of something larger. While these definitions are not all-inclusive, I think they speak to the way we look at ourselves and others. As citizens, we have rights and responsibilities. I believe that as citizens in this community, we need to look at our rights and responsibilities critically, and ensure that our values are represented.

The Project Homeless Connect was, for me, a tangible demonstration of what the community of Juneau values. We value creating and maintaining relationships with other people. We value providing a safety net for each community member. We will step up if someone, anyone, goes without.

I heartily thank everyone who was involved — whether providing services or accessing them. It takes courage and dignity to ask for help, and courage and dignity to provide it. If you are interested in helping next year or want more info, please visit the Juneau Homeless Coalition website at http://www.jedc.org/housing-coalition.shtml. I feel proud of Project Homeless Connect and look forward to what we, as the community of Juneau, manifest in our creating and maintaining relationships.

• O’Neal Cole is Program Manager at AWARE, Inc. and currently serves as co-chairwoman of the Juneau Homeless Coalition.

More

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 20:01

My Turn: Does Alaska have a spending problem? Benchmarking is the answer.

The governor, some in the Legislature and even some prominent Alaskans don’t believe Alaska has a spending problem. They say that Alaska has a revenue problem and argue that Alaska needs to implement more revenue options, i.e. taking your money to fuel big government. Their tired refrain is simply to argue, “you can’t cut your way to prosperity.” On the contrary, we all know that you can’t spend your way to prosperity!

Read more
Mon, 02/27/2017 - 20:01

Outside Editorial: If Trump really wants to ‘drain the swamp,’ here’s his chance

Ann Ravel, a Democratic member of the Federal Election Commission who resigned earlier this month, has given President Donald Trump a golden opportunity to prove he meant what he said on the campaign trail about the corrosive influence of big-money donors on elections.

Read more
Mon, 02/27/2017 - 20:01

My Turn: Mental health patients have rights

In the state’s ongoing effort to manage the rising costs of treating the disabled, it is the disabled who pay the price. In too many cases, there is no state standard of care for the disabled, even in regulations; when the state wants to save money, the first and easiest place is to encourage private facilities to reduce the quality of care and treatment for disabled psychiatric patients.

Read more
Mon, 02/27/2017 - 20:01

My Turn: Trump’s looming assault on the separation of church and state

The president’s recent spate of executive orders; the continuing debate surrounding his immigration ban; the fallout resulting from his contentious interactions with two of our most trusted allies (Australia and Mexico); and his shocking defense of Vladimir Putin, a criminal, dictator and human rights violator, succeeded in deflecting attention from his fiery pronouncement to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits churches from engaging in political activity at the risk of losing their tax-exempt status. What the distractions failed accomplish, however, was diminishing the importance of safeguarding the principle of the separation of church and state.

Read more
 

CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING