It is encouraging to learn the Bradenton Herald managed to assemble a task force of wheels who are concerned, in various ways, with the ever present homeless folk in Manatee County.
It seems there are two groups: First, working people who do not make enough to pay the current high prices of renting an apartment, or make payments on the deluge of new homes favored by ambitious developers.
At a recent League of Women Voters meeting, it was suggested contractors be required to build a percentage of modest-priced houses as well as their $300,000-plus models. Lots of luck with that!
However, in a recent news story a beneficent contractor from Sarasota plans to buy a local motel in disrepair, renovate it and make affordable efficiencies available. His plan is to provide additional services and reports he will still make a profit. Sounds good to me.
Never miss a local story.
In the second category, folks with almost no income. Here's an idea: Some years ago a program called Family Promise, under the auspices of Manatee Religious Services, was promoted by some local churches during which several families, screened for need, where housed for a week in our church, slept on comfortable folding cots, fed dinner and breakfast and given a packed lunch and then taken to school or daycare, if a child, or to wherever they spent their day, if an adult. Family Promise was discontinued in Manatee.
Here's an idea. Ask Manatee Religious Services to coordinate willing local churches to contribute some of their missionary finances and buy a building. There are a number of abandoned ones; renovate it to accommodate truly homeless persons, and with the financial assistance of the county and city, help these people get back on their feet.
Contact your city, county and/or state representative and voice your concern for these people who could use a hand up.