Letter of the Day (Jan. 24): Homelessness

  • Updated: January 23, 2014 - 7:00 PM

It’s dangerously cold here, and this is a wealthy country, so let’s act.

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I am furious. This week my friend Anita encountered a homeless couple living in a commercial dumpster in the alley behind her house. Both were badly frostbitten, and both were frightened. As I waited with her while she called for an ambulance, I thought of how we are the richest country in the world, yet lack the voice and will to end homelessness.

Can Minnesota be at least as good at Utah, which has reduced homelessness by 78 percent since 2005 by giving people homes and accompanying social services, saving money in the end ($11,000 a year for housing vs. $16,670 for emergency-room visits, detox, shelter stays and jail)?

Please call Gov. Mark Dayton today to ask for $100 million in bonds to invest in affordable housing (his current bonding proposal is for half that). Use your voice for those who can’t, the ones reduced to living in dumpsters this bitterly cold winter.

ETHNA MCKIERNAN, Minneapolis

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