Try 3 months for $3

So you want a "Tent City" for homeless folks. Okay, here's how to get one built that could serve 100 folks for up to 90 days. First, quit asking the government to build it. It's simply not feasible. Instead, if you feel this is really needed, put some skin in the game. Make an investment personally. Get 500 like-minded folks to pony up $50 bucks a month. There's 106,000 residents in the county, so it shouldn't be too hard if people really do care and that's $300,000 a year. Next ask each city in our county and the county itself to kick in a total of $100,000 a year. Say $5,000 or $10,000 from the small cities and Longview maybe $20,000. The county would make up the balance.

Purchase two or three acres outside of any city limits but close enough that a bus route providing, say, three trips a day could be made. Rent or buy four portable buildings. One would be an office; one for use as a kitchen and storage area. Two portables would be for housing families. You could add additional portables annually, obviously.

Put in a well and food grade water storage tank. Build some shower stalls each with their own water heater. Contract for port-a-potty service and rent a dumpster. Purchase military grade tents that would sleep six to eight folks. Add electricity and area lighting. Build a roofed picnic area with a few tables and equip it with microwaves. 

Truth is, most folks don't fret over the homeless much. Most folks haven't been homeless. But, there are good, decent and compassionate folks who might just be willing to take some ownership of the problem and make such a project possible. 

Jim Hill


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