Our neighborhood has a blog! I love to check in every once in a while and read about garage sales, weird stuff people have on their lawns, church fundraisers, etc. This week the blog suddenly became useful, however, when we got a letter in the mail that a church near us is planning to be a site for an organized homeless group. What! There was a very heated discussion about this that we had to miss, and tomorrow is 'opening day'. So we both checked out all the details on the wallyhood blog, and found out that a lot of our neighbors were doing the same (the first blog post on this topic had 116 comments!). It turns out that for the most part, it should be ok - it's not a huge group (like the famous Seattle Tent City and Nickelsville groups). There will only be 15 people/night, they have to sign in and out, they will be supervised, and they have to be in by 9 pm and out by 7 am. But, unfortunately, an unregistered sex offender was hanging out in the last one for a while before he got caught (they don't have time to do background checks on everyone). And, weirdly, the church that is hosting this shelter happens to also host a daycare (not OUR daycare, thank goodness, but you can see why this is controversial).
But, what can we do? We have to try to help the homeless, right? And how can you help them if you don't let them sleep anywhere? This program keeps SO MANY people from sleeping outside. And problems in the nearby neighborhood are VERY RARE. So, I don't see any good solid reason to shut it down (other than the daycare issue, which as I said is very weird). But, I have to admit, I'll be a little nervous for a while as the neighborhood adjusts to its new neighbors.