The Eagle Angle

Editorial: The editorial board calls for Allen emergency homeless shelter

The Editorial Board

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Many are lucky enough to not know what it’s like to face a setting sun with nowhere to go. To be alone, with next to nothing and no one to turn to. Sadly, this is reality for people in every state and every city, even in a city as superficially perfect as Allen. In order to provide security for those struggling in the Allen community, the editorial board believes the city of Allen should establish an emergency shelter for the homeless.

People of all ages can need a temporary place to stay for a variety of reasons: economic difficulties, spousal conflict, family conflict, safety concerns–the list is long and often deeply personal.

Often, when an emergency situation arises, people in need are able to rent a hotel room or stay with relatives or friends. However, financial difficulties can make renting a room challenging, and nearly every hotel in the U.S. has an age restriction for room rentals. Guests usually must be 18 and older to rent a room. Also, isolation is a common effect of abusive relationships, romantic or familial; staying at a hotel or in someone’s spare room is often not a possibility.

The nearest homeless shelter that provides emergency service is the City House in Plano. It is located about seven miles from Allen and only provides emergency shelter for those under 18 years of age. Other homeless shelters such as the Samaritan Inn, located in McKinney offer housing only after certain qualifications are met and an interview is conducted. While programs such as the Samaritan Inn can be helpful for homeless individuals and families long term, they do not provide immediate aid. Other emergency shelters, such as the Austin Street Shelter and Shared Housing are miles away in Dallas.

If someone is in need of aid, there are limited places to receive it, and it is quite possible those who are in need of aid will not have access to transportation to go to the available shelters. There is currently no bus or other public form of transportation in Allen, and taxi-related services are not feasible due to economic restraints.

Without an emergency homeless shelter in Allen, citizens can and will be left without a safe place to sleep. They will be forced to spend one night or several in conditions that are dangerous for them and their families, or they will be forced to return to an equally dangerous home.

Although this issue is not as common in Collin County as it is in other areas of Texas, there are still those who have the potential to suffer due to a lack of preparation and awareness of this issue. Allen, and all cities in Collin County, should provide an emergency shelter service to those in need. With this resource and others, many people will be able to return the life they’ve lost, or begin a new one entirely.

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