The city of Kalamazoo has been dealing with people living in tent cities for a few years.  Now we find through reporting by MLive that last Monday the Kalamazoo City Commission voted to approve a grant in the amount of $250,000 to temporarily move people who live in those tent cities into hotel rooms.  That quarter of a million dollars will come from the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence.

Whenever you are dealing with this issue you must always attempt to deal with the underlying problems that are the reason for people being homeless these days.  If we were to be upfront honest and not try to sugarcoat the underlying reason they usually are addiction, mental illness or escaping abusive relationships. Some are due to a loss of one’s job.

Will Kalamazoo be addressing these issues, I am happy to say it appears so.  The reporting states that when these people are admitted into the hotel rooms there will be program staff that will determine the individual needs of each homeless person and the program will connect them with resources needed to help them.  Right now I would assume and that the help would directly address the underlying issues of why they are currently homeless.  We will see if that is actually what happens.

If they do not address those issues then the money spent on temporally housing them will be spent in vain.

According to a city packet on this program, each person enrolled in this program will be fed three meals per day and given laundry services. We are informed the hotel they will be living in is located near a bus route, and “taxi services will also be provided when needed”.

MLive reported that:

“The city’s grant to the United Way contributes toward the total projected program costs of $665,330, which include room rates, three meals per day, regular laundry service, essential transportation, COVID-19 precautionary measures and 24/7 staff and security”

Let us all hope that this does help give these people a hand up and moves them on a path towards being happy, self-sufficient and productive fellow human beings as I am sure most of them want to be.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595

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