Many locals seem to be worried with the direction our country is headed. I, too, am highly concerned, however not with one man but with American citizens as a whole. We must engage. Active involvement and hard work is what is needed to address challenging goals. I'm talking compassion, sweat and tears.
With the recent Tri-County Vulnerability Index done in Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties, I am left wondering about the people who are cold and hungry with no shelter in our communities. How many of their homeless pets are in need of food or care but will not receive it due to their circumstances?
What we need is a community-based approach that will leave a legacy for the children of this community. By establishing a project that vitalizes and uses vacant space, we can create a refuge for many. For example, the old wastewater treatment plant in downtown Glenwood Springs should be looked at. Connections abound from this central site, making the possibilities for collaboration limitless and project success highly likely.
I imagine a homeless garden that fosters community integration, with a compost facility that utilizes existing infrastructure to reduce city waste significantly. This is a movement that can only be achieved if the town's members are willing to support an initiative that cultivates change on the local level.
This site is also a perfect location for the homeless to bring their pets with them, as many resist help due to the fear of leaving their beloved pet behind and possibly becoming separated from them. The human-animal bond must be supported to successfully encourage healing. This project would embrace all beings in need, acting as an outreach, services and job skills center that awakens the lost through sincere care.
This community-based solution will take professionals and others willing to donate their services and time throughout the year to support these people and their pets in need. This sustainable project will allow future generations to address similar issues they may face, by empowering the homeless while reducing community federal and environmental impact. Through long-term support and collaboration, it can be done.