My Turn: Lend a hand to help those in need - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: Lend a hand to help those in need

Good Shepherd Executive Director Katrina Knight clarified that the affordable housing is not an overnight shelter that provides meals, it’s a rental property. (Source: WECT) Good Shepherd Executive Director Katrina Knight clarified that the affordable housing is not an overnight shelter that provides meals, it’s a rental property. (Source: WECT)

Not in my backyard. It's easy to start thinking that way when you are trying to protect the value of your property. You worry about what your neighbors might do and how it could hurt your investment.

That's a concern right now with some folks in the Sunset Park area of Wilmington. The city is close to finalizing a plan for homeless housing assistance and creating a new housing area. It's not a shelter, but that's what some seem to feel they are getting in their neighborhood.

The project organizers have been working on this plan for some time and they appear to be pretty buttoned up. This isn't a temporary shelter…these are rentals targeting low income elderly or veterans.

In my opinion, they have answered all the potential concerns for the community. And I don't think we should be turning our backs on lending a helping hand to those who need it. This is a great step forward in the city's long term plans to help the homeless in this area and this project needs to move forward.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.

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Emailed comments from viewers:

Would they say "not in my back yard", if it was an expensive apartment complex going up? Having worked with homeless individuals myself, most don't choose to be homeless. The individuals that will be served by this housing development will most likely have a small Social Security check or VA petitions. This amount can be from $720.00-$1000.00 a month. This housing complex is filling a need. It will enable individuals to pay rent, utilities, food and medication. I have no connections to this project, but it being a rental property, I am sure they will have to pass a background check as you do with all rental properties. Individuals are held to lease rules and regulations and the landlord who ever that may be, is required to maintain the property. With this housing project being designated elderly and veterans, what I hear when they say "not in my back yard" is.... Not my grandmother, Not my mother, and Not my brother who served his country.

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I can understand homeowners being careful of anything that could hurt their property value as they DO spend a lot of money on their investments in order to have something of value to pass on to their loved ones.

However, they should consider the other side of the coin. How would they feel if they had to sleep in the cold, how long it would be until they had their next meal. Even more disturbing, it could be their own mother, father or loved one sleeping on the street.

The majority of the homeless in Wilmington are former vets who served our country valiantly only to come back and fall on hard times. We should be more than happy to provide a warm and safe place for them as they fought to keep us in a warm and safe place.

People wake up and try to imagine what it would be like if you had to LITERALLY walk in their shoes. It's easy to say no when you have all the creature comforts and not worry about the things we take for granted...eating regularly, sleeping in a warm bed......We need to take care of each other.

That's just my opinion.


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