Editorial: Homeless project could be a life-changer
The persistence, complexity and scope of homelessness can have a paralyzing effect. How to address a problem that has been with us for centuries? Perhaps the answer is this: one step at a time.
To that end, we can only applaud the intentions of John Moretto, director of the Open Hands Resource Center, a Christian nonprofit with an office in Concord and plans to convert a former bed and breakfast in Loudon into a residential farm for homeless men.
Moretto has signed an agreement to buy the former Lovejoy Farm, where he proposes to move with his family.
There he hopes to run a disciplined transitional program: eight hours of work, five days a week; morning devotions; evening Bible study; no drugs or alcohol.
“My faith says that I should be more worried about the people around me and the people that need help than myself,” Moretto told Monitor reporter Laura McCrystal.
As Moretto acknowledged, the program he envisions won’t fit everybody. And whether his plans are an appropriate fit for the neighborhood is a question for Loudon to decide.
The fact that Moretto intends to live on the farm suggests that half-hearted management won’t be an issue. Still, we’d encourage Moretto to remain open with the community about such practical but important questions as how he’d screen applicants, whether he’d accept former sex offenders and others with criminal records, and how he’d deal with misbehavior.
The notion that structure and direction can be answers to poverty is not new, and the approach is not magical. But for motivated men in need of an opportunity, Moretto’s farm could be a life-changer.