TheVoiceOfJoyce Everyone talks about the growing homeless population and no one has solutions. The homeless are finding their own solutions and they’re smart. During the day, all over the Country, they’re going to the Library, they read books, use the computers and with the trained library staff , they’re getting help from social services and hygiene kits. With the proper attention and social services many would leave the streets for housing. What to do about the homeless population in your city? Treat them humanely and find a solution. Perhaps it’s time to reopen our Church and Synagogue shelters, install more Community Refrigerators and start helping people reintegrate into society, as capable.

People who have access to shelter beds still will leave to read books and use library computers, Dowd said.

In recent years, libraries have also become the frontline for connecting unsheltered people with basic needs.

The Las Vegas-Clark county library district provides hygiene kits; almost 30 of the greater Las Vegas area’s libraries are designated Safe Place sites for homeless youth. Outreach staff in downtown Chicago host meetings to connect case managers and unsheltered people, helping the latter to get public benefits and fill out housing applications. A Salt Lake City library offers free clothing and for homeless people, many of whom reside in encampments along a nearby river.

“Many libraries have added social workers to their staff,” said Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, the American Library Association president, citing a trend that started in the past decade.

Public libraries are “the first point of contact in helping people with serious needs”, she said, which includes referring homeless patrons to other community agencies. Pelayo-Lozada said library services and facilities are for everyone, the housed and unhoused, and staff addresses all patrons needs “without judgment to the best of their ability”.

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