I haven't been as active as I probably should in the issue of homelessness in Howard County. Especially as many homeless in Howard County have alcohol and other drug addiction issues as well. Then again, with only 168 hours in every week a man, even a Marshmallow Man, can only do so much. Need to rely on our institutions to provide aid to those of us with less than others as well.
Enter this article by the heretofore unhealded Blair Ames. In which the county, having purchased a mobile home community property as part of the US1 revitalization, with the intent on converting the property to apartments for the homeless, is facing opposition from the North Laurel community for the move.
This is not a good situation all around. First off, I know a few current and former residents of mobile home parks who are none too happy they have had to be displaced-- in one case I know, about 50 miles! Many residents of mobile home communities have been hit hard by the recession and the distance creates an additional hardship.
But also, and of course, providing a homeless person with a home creates stability and helps get that person back on the right track. Creating this facility is a worthy goal and it needs to happen. Question is, though: where?
Since the county has bought the land of the mobile home community and I believe, has already begin the process of clearing that community out, I say, put the facility there. Understand the concerns of the North Laurel Civic Association but to 99.9% of people who will pass by the property, they will have no idea that the property is a facility for homeless people to get back on their feet. So I reject the "devitalizing" argument.
And if not there-- well, it's not like the county has Scrooge McDuckian piles of money with which to buy property. Perhaps the North Laurel Civic Association would like to assist in purchasing an alternative site? If they're not sure where to get the money from, well, I bet the county has a similar predicament.
Here's hoping this issue doesn't go full NIMBY on us all. But somehow, I think it might!