The editors of the BND remind us that “ignoring the homelessness problem won’t make it go away.” I agree. Jesus said: “The poor you will always have with you.”
Other truths: Ignoring our potholes and aging infrastructure won’t make them go away either; closing St. E’s won’t kill Belleville; not in my backyard; out of sight, out of mind.
With these last ideas in mind, I suggest rehabbing an abandoned building in East St. Louis. There are plenty of those. Establish a homeless shelter in East St. Louis and call it the St. Clair County Shelter. Buy a couple of buses and transport all the homeless to this shelter each night. Hire laid off employees of St. E’s Hospital to work in the shelter.
Alternatively, reopen St. E’s as a homeless shelter. But this brings me back to “not in my backyard.” So look to East St. Louis. “Out of sight, out of mind.”
David J. Busse