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Thread: Homeless at the library

  1. #81
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    And I still think itís an awesome article. 😄

  2. #82
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I have followed this thread and admire the compassion being expressed as well as the concern. As one poster noted, mental health facilities are needed. It is a very complex issue. What is needed? by whom? When? Why now? Who used to do this? Is it new? If yes, why? What contributed to the situation? What aggravates the situation? What is the desired outcome according to the individuals, the facilities and resources impacted by the situation? Individuals include those needing mental health services, providing those services, use of facilities involved by ordinary patrons, also individuals who are refusing mental health assistance but accessing the facilities...

    The question then becomes - is that the role of the library? Is that the role of public facilities in general? How can the situation be managed by the community at large benefiting all its members?

    I don't have any idea at present. I do know that offering methadone clinics in my small community has resulted in a large number of the impoverished with health issues roaming the streets of our downtown. More of those needing methadone are moving here.

    This negatively impacts the general public's comfort in walking downtown and finally shuts down small downtown businesses. This is not sustainable longterm in any community. It is a huge problem.

    The library may offer one aspect of the solution based on its original purpose but it is unrealistic to expect it to be the solution however, well intentioned.
    How did we get into this situation?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #83
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    I remember reading how the libraries were a godsend to people during the Depression. It was for the same reasons: a shelter from the weather, restrooms, and no one would bother you if you didn't bother anyone.
    I do agree it is unfair to put that burden on an institution that was not supposed to have that as its primary purpose. But if communities continue to ignore the needs of the addicted and mentally ill, it will continue.

  4. #84
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    When the mental health hospitals/institutions were shut down in favor of treating individuals in the community is when this all occurred. Reagan started it and it might have worked if it was well planned and if there had been enough community services. However, neither of those things happened and it’s a total disaster. Add to that skyrocketing rents and the situation is unsustainable. Poor people used to live in crappy weekly motels downtown. Now they are all being torn down and replaced by very expensive condos for Californians. Lots l seniors living only on SS are displaced. Of course downtown looks better but at a big human cost. We need to build more affordable housing. The average family income is 52k and a one bedroom apartment is 1300. 2 bedrooms range between 1700-2000.

  5. #85
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    In my view, libraries should be referral sources - we can refer needy patrons to the appropriate agencies. We provide information; our mission is not to provide counseling, shelter, food, and so on.

    Unfortunately, many librarians have nowhere to refer people. That doesn't mean they should take on the responsibility for all society's ills themselves.

    I read in the news today that a librarian was shot by a patron after she banned him from the library for being disruptive. sigh.

  6. #86
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    I too wonder why we have so many troubled people wandering around. The topic of affordable housing keeps coming up but who is going to pay for that if many of these folk are unwilling or unable to work? Too bad we can't divert the money from the border wall to assist all of these down and out Americans instead. The future looks pretty ugly if we don't get a handle on the reasons why and the way out.

  7. #87
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    It would be great if social services provided a list of resources for the library to hand out to people.

  8. #88
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    PT, because we used to lock them up in institutions. They were not seen. There is plenty of money. Big tax cuts the wealthy just got is a place to start. Money going to wars and other countries is another.

  9. #89
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Eliminating Pentagon waste and diverting the resulting billions toward infrastructure (including low-income housing) would go a long way toward easing the problem. As would reversing Trump's recent tax cut, which we clearly can't afford.
    https://www.thenation.com/article/he...-really-going/

  10. #90
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    It would be great if social services provided a list of resources for the library to hand out to people.
    Why do you think libraries do not have such lists?

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