Letter: Homelessness is a statewide issue

Published: 11/8/2018 12:01:01 AM

It was with a sense of disappointment that I read the second Monitor front-page article on Franklin homelessness, published in nearly as many weeks. While this is an issue for the city, we are not alone and are doing what we can to ensure that those who are currently homeless in Franklin are getting the help they need.

To state that the issue “is seldom discussed” and to imply that the city council is unaware is wrong. Dez McLaughlin, the laundromat owner who has been an important part of helping the homeless, has also been in contact with the city manager and welfare director on this issue, and the relationship is a positive one. So, too, is the rapport between the homeless and the police and fire chiefs, who routinely do welfare checks on all of them. However, it is up to the homeless person to want and to take assistance. Many have turned it down, and there is nothing the city can do to force assistance on someone.

Currently there are two homeless people still living in the known homeless area. They have been offered assistance and declined it. Franklin is working hard to support all of our citizens as we work to improve our schools and downtown business sector. For the Monitor to continue to single out Franklin on issues that are shared by all communities and to imply that our city leadership is unaware of these significant social issues and doing nothing about them is wrong.

Homelessness is a major statewide problem and needs to be addressed at that level. Perhaps the media could facilitate that process. Franklin citizens are working hard to bring back our mill city, and they deserve better than this.



(The writer is city councilor for Ward 1.)


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