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No place for elderly, medically fragile individuals

Why is there no place to go for a blind person – Joan, age 75? She has serious medical problems including lupus and severe spine issues requiring a walker and she is highly anxious for a glimmer of hope. Why can’t I find housing for her in Southwest Colorado where she can be in a relatively isolated environment to protect her immunosuppressed condition?

This poor woman is willing to accept the location I found for her, but she will need a tent and sleeping bag to live in the forest. How sad that we have come to this point of hopelessness. A campsite would be the worst place to send someone alone in her medical condition.

Because of past abuse, my friend says, “Humans are dangerous.” However, she needs human help in picking up groceries, cleaning and medical care. Nevertheless, this woman who has lived her life following God’s commandments is trying to save her dignity; she does not like accepting charity.

Unfortunately, Joan is not alone. I was helping two other elderly people in the past week. The homeless shelter is often too full, and housing people in motel rooms is an expensive Band-Aid for a major problem. We need a stable, permanent solution to homelessness.

I can empathize with Joan, since I just had spine surgery and am wearing a back and neck brace. If my husband were to die before me, might I end up homeless like her?

Donna Mae Baukat

Durango

Editor’s note: The author is the executive director of the nonprofit Community Compassion Outreach. Inc.

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