There are more than a dozen local food pantries. There are churches and charities to help with utilities and furnishings. There are government programs for health care and mental health and substance abuse and housing and food.
So many programs, so many places to go for help.
Why would aid for the poor be housed in an office called “intergovernmental grants?” Wouldn’t that be where cities go to get money?
Why would townships be entrusted with handing out vouchers for hotel rooms to get homeless people off the streets for the night?
Now imagine being someone who doesn’t manage their life very well and walking from resource to resource to find what you need, only to find they have limited hours or you don’t qualify for their services or you are in the wrong place for that kind of help. Navigating all the agencies and rules would be daunting for someone at the peak of their abilities.
The proposed Hospitality House in the basement of Belleville’s Salvation Army sounds like a step in the right direction.
Homeless people can get cleaned up, stay cool or get warm, eat and use a computer. Counselors can help needy people find the resources they need to get off the street and get the care they need.
Still, there are more steps possible.
Consolidating more of the government resources and charitable efforts would reduce the complexity of the maze and deliver more service to those in need. Coordinating the good we do makes it more efficient and ultimately helps more people.
Charity should not be a prize for figuring out a system, especially when those less capable are left with less as a result.