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Even in this economy there is hope. There's always that.
The HOPE Thanksgiving Dinner and Auction annual fundraiser for Hope Center occuring the same day as news hit the papers of a possible new home for a seasonal homeless shelter in Waukesha. If the overflow shelter, just two blocks from here in the former West Suburban Christian Academy school at Northview and Grandview, gets a green light next week it possibly could be put to use as early as this winter.
Hope Center on East Avenue has provided a day shelter and meals for the homeless, but with the ending of St. Matthias' winter shelter it was uncertain if there'd be room at the inn at night for the 300 or so homeless we have living among us here in Waukesha. Hebron House's shelter reopening soon on East Ave. helps. City and county leaders coming together to discuss the problem helps. Judy Fuller of Pinnacle Realty's offer of an underused office building on Sentry Drive for shelter space helps - even though it would take a year of rehabbing and bureaucratic hoop-jumping to accomplish it.
We may not always have a large homeless issue, but with jobs and the economy the way they are now, it's an issue we think about lately every time the cold returns to Waukesha. Would I want to be treated like a second class citizen if I lost my job? Well, I did lose my job in April and, happy to report, was treated well by everyone I met or talked to by phone. I found work and can depend on a roof over my head this winter . . . not all are so fortunate.
It's a dilemma. Do we encourage other communities in the county to share in the shelter responsibility even though most of the services for the needy are concentrated in the city? Then there's that little transportation and NIMBY issue. I think other communities can still help with other things even though the shelter wouldn't be located there.
Even though there would be opposition to the seasonal shelter's possible new location, there always is, I'm hopeful it will succeed. For our fellow citizens, brothers and sisters, and you or I "...but for the grace of God."