The Northland Assistance Center in North Kansas City helps supply food and prescription needs to a clientele of approximately 15 homeless males, including Mike O’Brien, who is featured in The Star’s article (5/19, A-1, “Homeless people migrate to Northland”).It is my experience that these men are not a “threat to public safety” or a danger to children. Many of these individuals have mental health issues that combine with and lead to substance abuse and dropping out of society. Our clients will not seek shelter downtown. Even they are afraid of these shelters.
Rousting these individuals from their camps and destroying or confiscating what little property they have is not the solution.
I have witnessed the compassion of the Northland community. I hope leaders in the community work together with nonprofits and social-service agencies to provide shelter and adequate care for this growing population.
Rita D. Pearce
Executive director, Northland Assistance Center
North Kansas City