Fridays announcement of a new initiative to help the Charlotte regions homeless get housing help more quickly is encouraging and welcome. With as many as 7,200 homeless in Charlotte alone, and half of those children, this kind of aid is desperately needed.
Moreover, this coordinated effort aims to establish a five-county safety net that would foster a regional approach to tackling this daunting problem.
With the communitys housing agencies working collectively to determine the best program to fit a homeless persons needs, this Coordinated Intake System holds the promise of making a real dent in homelessness in our region.
Thats a result this community has been working hard to achieve. But more than five years after Charlotte and Mecklenburg governments endorsed a 10-year plan to end homelessness, were still far from a comprehensive strategy to truly fix the problem. With a $200,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation, this United Way initiative could provide one strategy to get closer to that goal.
The initiative will provide a unified database that will eliminate duplication and make housing programs more effective, housing leaders said. The intake system also will enhance housing for the homeless and housing stability to prevent people from falling into homelessness.
A new $20 million rental subsidy endowment created through a partnership with the Foundation for the Carolinas and the city of Charlotte will definitely benefit from the new system, officials said.
United Way executive director Jane McIntyre said the system will fundamentally change how our community serves the homeless.
If that happens, and our communitys homeless get the help they need in a timely fashion, that will be good, long-awaited, news indeed.
A good woman stops school shooter with words
The oft-quoted dictum of National Rifle Associations Wayne LaPierre that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun got a sound rebuttal this week in the person of Antoinette Tuff.
On Tuesday, Tuff, a bookkeeper at a suburban Atlanta elementary school, did stop a bad guy with a gun a mentally unstable 20-year-old armed with an AK-47 style assault rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition. But she did it with words of compassion. Her courage and calm demeanor likely saved her life, the gunmans and the lives of some of the 870 children who scampered to safety.
Tuff, who persuaded gunman Michael Hill to surrender while simultaneously talking to a 911 operator, admitted her fear after the ordeal was over: Ive never been so scared in all the days in my life, she said.
Law enforcers and other experts said Tuffs reaction is something from which others in volatile situations can learn. Tuff was one of three staffers at her school specifically trained to handle potential shooters. That training served her well.
Other school systems should provide similar training. Turns out, something other than a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with one.
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