To the editor: I applaud the work the city and borough have done to keep our general population safe at this time. But what about the homeless, home-insecure and food insecure among us? What about the out-of-work population who might lose their residences in the near future if business closures continue?
I know for a fact that the Rescue Mission has increased its efforts to provide a degree of security. I know that Breadline has, overnight, converted Stone Soup sit-down facility into a take-out restaurant. Ten guests at a time get a warm place, a friendly face, bathroom and take-out meals of hot oatmeal (with condiments of brown sugar and cranberries in tiny containers), a hot meal (corned beef hash on St. Patrick’s Day), coffee and freshly baked goods.
What has the city and borough done for the less-fortunate among us who now have no place to go since the library, Morris Thompson Center, warming center, and bus transit station are closed? Look around. Park benches and picnic tables are snow-covered; port-a-potties are nonexistant; coffee shops for a quick sit-down are closed. All these closures present another public health crisis: Where are our homeless going to go to the bathroom?
I know that our elected officials have a lot on their plates right now, but what about our less fortunate friends whose plates are empty?
I call on the city and borough to open one of our closed public buildings like the Big Dipper or Carlson Center and work with willing and able nonprofits to provide a safe place to rest, eat and go to the bathroom.
I call on the more-fortunate among us to join me in calling for our city and borough officials to open their eyes are really see our invisible Fairbanksans. I also call upon you to increase your donation to the nonprofit of your choice.