Supporting shelter easier than starting one

As a founding member of the nonprofit HeartSafe La Plata, I didn’t think it would be difficult to start another when I moved to Kentucky in 2011. Durango has a very helpful and active shelter and soup kitchen that has served La Plata County for many years. After moving to Kentucky, I picked up a hitchhiker and when I found that there was no shelter available in Hopkins County, I decided to change that.

I remembered the work the Volunteers of America started in Durango, and that was part of my motivation. Nearly two years later, Samaritan House of Hopkins County has nonprofit status, a motivated board of directors, and we are making significant progress toward having a shelter open in the county sometime in 2014. The wheels turn slowly with a project like this, but the public is getting behind our cause, and the local city and county leaders are voicing their support, as well.

This undertaking is much more difficult than the defibrillator program that became HeartSafe La Plata, but we will succeed soon.

My point in writing this is to thank you, the people of Durango, for having a facility to serve the homeless and to encourage you to support it whatever the cost. It is much easier to support it and keep it open than to deal with the issues that come from not having the resources for folks in need of shelter.

Mark Rich

Dawson Springs, Ky.