“I’ve seen of lot of them [homeless people]. I think the Winter Sanctuary’s a good way to help them, and I think if they could keep the sanctuary open longer in the season. Yes, [I think it should be open year round], because I know they help them try to find jobs and find a place to stay and things like that.”

Nancy Smith, Mount Vernon

“They could probably build more shelters and just … Donations and everything, everyone’s doing that already, but I guess I would take care of more of the people in my county than other countries.”

Phillip Spearman, Fredericktown

“Well, I’ve actually thought about it quite a few many times and I can’t come up with a solution. I mean, there are food pantries … [I] actually work in the mortgage business, and I do think that maybe there should be some grants to help stabilize some homeless people in order to get them on track to purchase a home. I think a reallocation of some funds for, it’s not that I don’t necessarily want improvements for the city, but I think some reallocation for some things — trying to put them on a track for a healthier life … more benefits for them to get jobs. There’s not any hard stop for them not having a home, because I know that whenever you go to apply for a job and you don’t have an exact home, not having a physical address makes it difficult.”

Briana Bowers, Mount Vernon

“That’s a kinda in-depth question. That’s not gonna be something simple. Well, there shouldn’t be really homeless. There should be made, I know there’s like hut houses and things like that, you know certain places for people who can’t afford to live. But I know there are some homeless people, that’s what they choose to be. But if it’s because — cause I know it’s like a hole people fall in to — if you don’t have an address you can’t get public assistance, you can’t get medical cards. Well, there should be something done for them, though, where they can obtain what they need to have a normal life. There’s so many places out there, and I know cause my wife’s a nurse, she sees how the system is abused, but there are some people that actually need it, and those homeless people need it more than anybody.”

Raymond Pifer, Fredericktown

“I think we need to create awareness. I think that once we have awareness we need to ask ourselves what we can do about it and do what we can, what we’re capable of to help. So whatever capacity that is. So whether it’s donating or giving our time. I think there are people that are doing a lot but I think that awareness would make a big impact on other people contributing, too. So no [I don’t think enough is being done and] I think we can do more. Myself included. … Recently, there’s a few churches that have really taken this on as well as MVNU and they’ve started to create a lot of awareness and I’ve just seen it first hand. And I know United Way was doing some things too. So I think we’re off to a good start.”

Katie Wilson, Mount Vernon

“Well, I think we need to stop giving so much aid to these illegal immigrants and start helping our own people. Build the wall.”

Janet Banbury, Mount Vernon



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