The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Let’s Zero In On Homelessness

On September 23rd, 2013, posted in: Uncategorized by

It’s time to change the overall well-being of our city. I’m tired of the “it is what it is” attitude that has allowed apathy to supplant empathy. Sadly, when we label something as “impossible” or “too difficult,” we are in essence giving it the death sentence. Very few people fight through the dissonance to change the direction of those issues that carry such a label. Not SLCCU.

We’ve had it with this stale idea that times are too tough to take people with a less than low income (maybe even poverty-stricken) and help them move to a better place. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s just a matter of getting the right people in the room who have an attitude of success, not a “woe is me” feeling of defeat.

Homelessness is a problem. One that makes those of us with a home squirm uncomfortably. I would suggest that the average guy on the streets only deals with the homeless cohort at a stoplight where a poorly constructed cardboard sign implores the drivers to “please help.” We usually look down, or pretend to be busy as he or she passes by our window shaking a half a Hardee’s soda cup. Staring blankly through the windshield hoping that the “panhandler” will go away and that the problem will solve itself isn’t doing anything other than creating a certain uncomfortableness that keeps you guessing as to who you really are.

Given our city’s size, you’d think the problem of homelessness was more pervasive than it is. But there are people in City Hall devoted to its elimination and, as a result, we only have 80 chronically homeless people. I’m extremely impressed by this less than robust number, but I’m even more impressed by the fact that the goal is to eliminate the 80. Zero is the goal, and the Credit Union is pleased to be a part of it.

You don’t have to be ashamed of what you have; you should consider offering a help-me-up to those less fortunate. Get involved. Turn that apathetic viewpoint into something meaningful toward solving the problem.

The city’s BEACH Project is in place because 80 people in a homeless state are too many. The program was formed to eliminate chronic homelessness. Not reduce it – get rid of it. That’s a goal that is as far away from apathy as heaven is from hell.

The Credit Union has joined a handful of other caring business men and women in the city to provide services and help to the least of us. Legal assistance, mental health professionals, job placement services and housing expertise are just a few of the skilled professionals who have joined the fight to eliminate chronic homelessness.

SLCCU joined the effort in order to provide financial education and financial services. Having an understanding of how to be responsible with money will help. And having a destination for the money will be even better.

What we’re doing is good for the city. And, if it’s good for the city, it is good for our members. It doesn’t take a lot of our resources… it takes an attitude and a commitment.

What can you do from your corner of the world? More than you think!

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