According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, on any given night in the United States of America 633,782 of our neighbors will be homeless. About 50% of the homeless population is families with children. The same report goes on to say that only 15.8% of this population is chronically homeless, while the rest experience situational or transitional homelessness. In light of all this, I would like to put out this idea as a possible solution. We have the perfect building available to suit the needs of all of our neighbors with issues of inadequate shelter. I have heard that the Old Stokes School is for sale for $800,000.
Consider this: in Boone County there are 21,631 households. If each household would give $37, it would be enough to purchase this building to provide shelter for those in need. After the initial cost of the building is secured, I believe that if every household in Boone County were to give $10 per year, we could sustain this loving care to our neighbors for years to come. If you see this as a Christian response to Jesus’ command to love thy neighbor, or if you see this as a humanitarian endeavor, I think that this year’s cold weather calls us to consider the possibility and the opportunity. Peace.
The Rev. Scott D. Mauch is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lebanon.