Letter to the editor: Walden students sleeping out to end homelessness
On Saturday, Dec. 7, we as Walden students at Vergennes Union High School will once again participate in the John Graham Shelter’s sleepout to end homelessness. We are participating to raise awareness and collect donations.
A lot of people — even in our own towns — see homeless people on the side of the road or on the town green and just think to themselves, “They must be really lazy,” or “They just want handouts and they’re not willing to work.” However, in reality, there are so many hardworking homeless people who just got unlucky in this unfair world. They may be working but their pay isn’t enough to afford the high cost of an apartment. We know multiple people — some of them our own age — that live or have lived at the John Graham Shelter and we know that the Shelter is really dedicated to giving people the help and the services that they deserve.
Seeing these good people get a second chance is what really inspires us to help raise money for the John Graham Shelter. We know the Shelter firsthand. One of us — Summer — has been involved with the Shelter since fifth grade. She would bake cookies and deliver them. She raised funds and received an award from the United Way of Addison County at Days of Caring. She and all of us want to continue this work and help provide better living situations for the people of Addison County.
Homelessness is a really big problem and it is so important that we try to help the people around us. The John Graham Shelter is doing a great job of providing a way to do that. Please consider donating to the cause and join us for a fun-filled frigid night in Middlebury.
We are passionate about helping any effort to further the work of the John Graham Shelter, a shelter dedicated to providing a safe place and a sense of community for those in need. We believe everyone deserves a fair shot at life in Vermont, regardless of their past or present situation. Homelessness is a growing problem in Vermont. Basic services like housing, heat, food, and water are becoming increasingly dire as the homeless rate rises. Coming together as a community is the first step to aid in recovery and reach out to those struggling. Compassion can go a long way, especially on a cold winter night.
What does home mean to you? For us, home is a place to regenerate, home is a place to grow, a place to learn and be accepted. Home is community. What makes a community a place to call home? It is the support, and empathy, courage and the strength to work together to create an environment that allows every individual to grow. Today in Vermont and in Addison County, there are too many who suffer each night in unimaginable conditions. That is why we think it is necessary to fight for everyone to have a safe place and community to call home.
If, like us, you believe in creating a home in our community, please join us at the vigil and sleepout on Saturday, Dec. 7.
and Aidan Scott
for the Walden Sleepout Team
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