Writer: Approve Shepherd’s House expansion

To the Editor:

I consider it a great blessing that across my 70 years I have never been homeless. I cannot imagine what homelessness would be like.

On the other hand, as a pastor for more than 40 years, I was often placed in a position of dealing with and seeking to be of some help to many homeless people. One thing that I learned is that the cause of homelessness is very complex. It is very easy for us on the outside, who have never personally faced their dilemma, to casually cast blame. While it is obvious that some are responsible for their situation, many are also victims of conditions completely beyond their control. And, because homelessness is a complex issue, there is a tremendous need for resources that not only attempt to provide a place to stay and some meals, but which also seeks to help individuals and families to get on their own feet. Those needed resources are very scarce.

The Shepherd’s House has progressed far beyond being a resource that only provides a bed and some meals. The leadership has faithfully and creatively sought to grow and develop into a community resource that helps people deal with their issues and move toward health and independence. They continue to seek to learn and refine and improve the services they render.

And, they do it out of love for people and as an expression of the grace of God, a precious gift desperately needed by all of us.

I encourage the citizens of Mount Airy to re-consider the matter of not only giving the approval but also our blessing for the expansion of The Shepherd’s House.

Roger Gilbert

Mount Airy