I recently looked at the Empire online poll regarding Juneau's homeless. Sixty-four percent said they supported the city funding solutions for the homeless.
My question is where is the money going to come from? Are we going to dig in our pockets and help? Problems can't be fixed unless we make it a group effort, and homeless issues are not our only problems. How do we change things?
By ourselves it's not possible but as a community we can. We as a community rallied together with donations and exceeded what the Southeast Alaska food bank asked for just to cover Thanksgiving needs.
Why just help during the holidays? The demand for help doesn't stop when the holidays are over. How do we change? Whether it is homeless issues, teen drinking and drug use, domestic violence, or whatever else you can think of, together as a community we can change these issues.
What happened to people caring for their neighbor as they would themselves? One thing I live by is the golden rule, "treat others as you would want to be treated" I know I would want the help if I had no place to rest if I had swine flu and was homeless. I've been in their shoes so I know what it's like to be looked down on, as I was while I lived in Anchorage and worked two jobs.
Stereotyping is a big factor in the way we live. In Anchorage, I'd be going from the post office to the bus stop and people who didn't know me would stop me to tell me that knew a good AA meeting I could attend. Just because I was downtown and an Alaska Native, automatically they assumed I was a drunk. As a result, I developed a sense of humor about that situation. It happened two times while I was a school bus driver. Their intentions were well-meaning but misguided.
So, if we stick with the golden rule, I feel there will be less hard feelings and room for more good to come.