North Texas Daily

Denton needs to focus on building more homeless shelters

Denton needs to focus on building more homeless shelters

Denton needs to focus on building more homeless shelters
December 05
11:27 2019

With the spirit of the holiday season in full effect, it is easy to take everyday necessities like having clothes to wear, food to eat and a roof over your head for granted. Especially when Thanksgiving is about having an all-you-can-eat buffet at home and Christmas being a time we shower relatives and friends with gifts. It is also easy to be going about your day and spot someone less fortunate outside of department stores, to the side of a highway or near stoplights asking for money or food.

This is not to say that there is a clear, cut and dry picture of homelessness, because there is not one. Homelessness can affect individuals and entire families. There is a cruel stigma against homeless people because they are often thought of having a drug problem or not wanting to work, and this isn’t always the case. Sometimes life just takes a turn that people don’t expect and even if those stigmas I mentioned were indeed the case, who is anyone to judge them?

Unfortunately, there are also students at UNT who face homelessness. I’ve heard stories of students who have to sleep in their car or a friend’s house. While most UNT students are stressing about finals, there are students who worry about where they’re going to sleep on top of their academic concerns.

According to the 2019 census taken by worldpopulationreview.com, Denton has a population of 138,541. The number of homeless people in Denton usually fluctuates anywhere from 500 to over 600, but there could be a higher amount of people who aren’t accounted for. It was shocking to see that there are only three major homeless shelters in Denton, which are the Monsignor King Outreach Center, the Salvation Army and Giving HOPE.

One reason we should have more homeless shelters in Denton is because of the inclement weather we face each year. Winter is around the corner and according to the almanac, rain and snow are predicted in the long-range weather for Denton. While cold winter days rarely fall below 22 degrees, there have been recorded deaths of homeless people freezing to death on the streets. Two years ago, a man was found dead behind an LA Fitness after a cold night. He already had a history of health problems and he was not strong enough to endure the freezing temperatures.

We should also have more shelters for the homeless to protect them from violence. Last year, a homeless man was convicted of murdering a homeless woman by stomping her neck after he believed she was wearing his wife’s or his mother’s clothing. According to the article, they had just met.

If the lack of homeless shelters were not bad enough, there is only one soup kitchen in Denton, which is called Our Daily Bread. With more than 500 homeless people in Denton, there should be more soup kitchens available for those in need so we can make sure there is enough food to feed as many people as possible.

Denton might be a small world of its own, but it’s important to remember there are others outside of the main community. There should be a focus on opening several more homeless shelters, and churches should open their doors for those in need.

It is a basic human right for an individual to have access to food and shelter and the city needs to do everything in its power to come to the aid of those who do not have access to them.

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

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Adrian Maldonado

Adrian Maldonado

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