“We truly strive to provide something for every citizen in the community whether you’re a reader or a user of technology or simply looking for a place to stay during our open hours,” says Sonja Eyler, Director of the Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Public Library.
“This is simply the library doing what the library does — providing learning opportunities and resources for the whole community,” said Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries, in a news release. “It just so happens that this is a once in a generation event, right in our backyard, so it’s been a fun and rather unique chance to share in the experience.”
“It’s like if you don’t go into an area that’s poor, you don’t understand or appreciate the area that’s poor,” City Councilman John Garland, a native Roanoker, said during the kickoff meeting at the Jackson Park Library in Southeast Roanoke.
“It’s pretty important to the Kansas City library that we’re welcoming of all our patrons, everyone who chooses to be here. It doesn’t matter if they’re housed or not. That’s not an issue. Every citizen can use the library,” said AmeriCorps worker Emily Luedtke.
“A big city library has turned around the way it deals with some of its most marginalized visitors. The Dallas Public Library has committed to not just tolerating—but welcoming—every homeless person who walks through the door.”
Boston’s new anti-poverty program is producing positive results. It’s called Family Independence Initiative, or FII, a non-profit that started in San Francisco. “What we’re trying to do, is to say, ‘For the last 60 years, there’s been a war on poverty, and things have only gotten worse,’” Jesus Gerena, head of the Boston FII office, said. “So what can we do different and what did people do prior to be able to get people out, and help them to get out?”
Burlington Public Library builds community by hosting Help Me, Help Someone, a support and networking group for people facing difficulties.
“Homeless people will die in your community this year.
Plan to memorialize them on December 21, the first day of winter,
the longest night of the year.”
Read about the National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day here.