The Herald editorial of May 16, “Los Angeles is spending big on homelessness with not much to show,” is sobering but fails to address the opportunity and need to solve the problem locally.
The editors failed to rally our community to build more affordable housing and provide the essential shelter for those in need. Rather than lock people out of the post office or other public buildings, we as a community must provide dedicated shelter for the homeless and support services for those in need, especially during the winter months.
Durango and La Plata County have the needed support services in place but lack the leadership to provide shelter, permanent supportive housing and jobs. Community Compassion Outreach, a local nonprofit, aims to do just that, and needs the support of individuals, corporations and local governments.
CCO is building a coalition of service organizations, architects and developers to build the Village of Hope, the first step toward housing for the homeless and affordable housing for working families. It needs the city and county to provide the land, or local banks, landowners and foundations to provide the funding to acquire acreage near town, to break ground on a project that will be self-sustaining a few years after development.
Visit their website, www.communitycompasionoutreach.com, and contact Executive Director Donna Mae Baukat to offer your land, funds or help. It is time to rally around the vision and leadership of Community Compassion Outreach and unite all the existing nonprofit service providers to get the job done.