Charles Durrett: County’s defeatist attitude when it comes to homelessness | TheUnion.com

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Charles Durrett: County’s defeatist attitude when it comes to homelessness

At the annual Mayor's Breakfast for Human Life last Thursday, I heard a lot of words about what we are trying to do: we want to solve our homeless crisis, we want to provide low-income families with secure housing, and the list goes on.

As I walk around our county, I see that there is much to be done. Sadly, as is too often the case, the chasm between word and deed is vast.

In relative terms, I was in Durham, North Carolina last week to work on housing with affordability as a focus, and will be in Tulsa, Oklahoma this week doing the same. We have a very, very affordable housing project getting under construction in Napa County this month designed for folks who are either homeless or at high risk of being homeless, and where 22 of the 70 units are saved specifically for homeless veterans.

The two common features of these communities are that they have heart (like we do), and they see "sticks and bricks" in their future. Two already have dirt (sites), and the other is close. Dirt is essential — volunteers will do the rest.

Because I have the opportunity to see firsthand so many other communities acting on what they feel is necessary, Nevada County's defeatist attitude about solving these issues can really be disheartening. We are talking a lot about what we can't do — let's start talking about what we can do instead.

Charles R. Durrett

Nevada City