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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

December 18, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Homelessness in Ithaca

Dear Editor:

Imagine being chronically hungry, continually longing for a bite to eat in order to temporarily satisfy your empty stomach. Top that off with being constantly exposed to the brutal Ithaca outdoors, with several old, worn layers failing to retain the warmth of your body. Winter is already here in the 14850. Why are we standing by as the poor and powerless right in our backyard suffer?

There is an Ithaca homeless crisis. Homelessness in Ithaca is at an all-time high and there have been several deaths that have accompanied this tragedy. Last year Mike Foster, the manager for The Rescue Mission, the homeless shelter in Ithaca, reported 2016 as one of the worst years for Ithaca’s homeless crisis. Now, Foster reports that 2017 is 3 to 4 times worse than 2016.

I refuse to do nothing and allow the death count to rise. I’m taking action. I’m mobilizing efforts to help the homeless in our community. We have BIG plans. We’ll be announcing a campus-wide drive for winter clothes to benefit the people living in The Jungle, an outdoor tent city where many fend for themselves in the frigid, unforgiving outdoors which is especially apparent during this time of year.

What can you do to help right now? Venmo @IthacaHomeless. Go on our fundraising page givebutter.com/ithacahomeless. Any little bit helps. Get clothes together for the drive. But most importantly, help spread awareness for this epidemic so my homeless friends suffering receive the basic necessities we all take for granted: food, clothing, and staying warm throughout winter.  

For Liberty,

Chris Biehn