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Kudos to Herald for bringing awareness to homelessness in county

 Thank you for bringing much needed awareness of the problem of homelessness in Williamson County. Kudos to Kerri Bartlett for her well researched article, “The Homeless: Standing in the shadow of Williamson County,” in last week’s Williamson Herald.

She did an outstanding job bringing to light this critical issue that too many people do not even realize is a reality. Because the homeless in Williamson County do not fit the stereotype of people who are homeless, they are invisible to the majority of people in Williamson County. Unfortunately, there is a stigma in being labeled homeless, so many who find themselves in this situation reject the label.

 There are some heroes who have been making a difference to combat this growing problem in our county:  For 15 years, Linda Crockett-Jackson and her staff at Bridges Domestic Violence Center have been helping women and their children who are homeless due to domestic violence. Tina Edwards and her staff at GraceWorks and Stephen Murray and his staff at Community Housing Partnership have been in the trenches helping homeless families and individuals for years. I am thrilled that our local United Way has formed the Williamson County Homeless Coalition so area nonprofits, social workers, counselors, and educational leaders from the Williamson County Schools and Franklin Special School District can come together to work on this issue.
 
 One of the most encouraging things I read in the article was Stephen Murray’s declaration that his goal was to build a homeless shelter. (Bridges is the only shelter in Williamson County and is only for women and their children.) I love Franklin and Williamson County. Having worked at Mercy Children’s Clinic and now at Hard Bargain Association, I have seen first-hand the generosity of those who call Williamson County home. Our county is filled with caring and compassionate people who offer financial support and volunteer to help others in need. I hope our beloved community will get behind the building of a homeless shelter so that homeless people in Williamson County can get the help they need, right here at home.
 
Brant Bousquet
Executive Director
Hard Bargain Association

Posted on: 9/18/2013

 
 

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