Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Monday, January 26, 2004


What a shame it is that, in a community that claims it offers a complete set of governmental programs to help the needy, a man should become so despondent and hopeless that he would rather sit in front of a train and die than to face another day here on earth.
What a shame it is that, we spend so much time looking at our programs, we forget to look at the people we are supposed to be helping.
Even as recently as this past week, papers were circulated to try to put a number on the homeless situation here in Williamsburg so that we could create another program, another way to spend our tax dollars while still creating cracks large enough to lose whole groups of people in them. Has no one other than me wondered whether Cowboy would still be alive today if the paper-pushers had been out dealing with people one-on-one last week instead of pushing papers around their desks?
Shame on us, Williamsburg! Cowboy meant a lot to a lot of people on the streets. He had his faults, just like you and I have ours, yet he was known for being a faithful friend. But we pushed him away so consistently that in the end, he meant nothing to himself! A friend called me last night after reading the article on Cowboy and said "he wasn't a threat to society, he had a drinking problem. There are people behind gates in houses and people throughout the community that have drinking problems." I can't help but wonder who's next? Whom else have we rejected that soon will see no way to face another day? Do we even care? If we continue being as we've been, soon we might well have no homeless. Then Williamsburg will be able to declare in all sincerity, "We have no homeless problem." Will we be happy then? Will we be proud of ourselves for having cured the problem?

OPPS, This was a seperate email sent:

I hope we are not beyond feeling shame for how we have treated the poor that surround us, but I see little proof to the contrary. Cowboy's blood is on our hands, as far as I'm concerned, and yet all we have done up till now is hide our bloody hands behind our collective backs and shrug, child-like, and say, "Not my fault." What a smudge on our "pretty little postcard perfect town."
I, for one, am sickened by this and want to see some real, substantive change. We've millions to spend widening roads, building auditoriums, and arguing over what kind of kind of shutters are allowed in which zones on which streets, etc. Would it be so difficult to take a few million over the course of the next few years, put them in the hands of a capable, non-greedy person, such as Patti McKenzie seems to be, and really help out these poor, suffering souls? Five million to put a roof over an outdoor auditorium to keep the rain off of people at a concert once in a while, or five million to put a roof over the heads of people who need that roof every day? Is that so hard to answer? If our community pride weren't so misdirected at hiding the homeless, we could become known as people who truly care for the less fortunate. We could gain reknown as "the town that found a solution to homelessness." Then we could be proud of ourselves for what we are doing instead of priding ourselves in buildings that were built by people who've been dead for hundreds of years. Two hundred years from now, I want people to look back at the Williamsburg of 2004 and see that we did something this year other than maintain antique buildings and build new edifices to our pride. I want those future history students to see that we were not content to live in the past, but chose to live for the future. Preserve the CW? Yes. Most definitely! Preserve the people? Even more so.


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