Unofficial Homeless Drop-In CentersApril 3rd, 2009
by Doug Huggala
As budget cuts slash our country’s publicly funded safety net, more and more newly employed and recently homeless people are turning to public libraries for help. The New York Times wrote about it Wednesday.
In San Francisco we’ve been seeing this for years. San Francisco Main Library substitutes for a quiet place to nap for those unable to obtain a shelter bed the night before, General Hospital becomes a warm and dry place with a television to watch, even the 24 hour Safeway at Church and Market provides a bathroom and a place to be.
None of these places are drop in centers with trained social workers in place to provide adequate care.
“Until this country develops a sound housing infrastructure and a sufficient homeless service network, then hospitals, law enforcement, emergency services, and libraries will become the de-facto homeless service system.” Said Joel Roberts, CEO of PATH Partners, yesterday on his blog.
St. Anthony’s provides basic services for those who’ve fallen through the safety nets of personal and public support. As our numbers grow and our resources are strained, it’s no surprise that the numbers are growing in other, less equipped places as well.