Sometimes I have to sit back and try to understand why good Christians only seem to be good on Sundays at church when I hear about the protest for a new rescue mission at the old Salvation Army center in Boise. We know there is a homeless problem in our state capital and we know there is a mental illness problem within this group, but does anyone do anything about it except say, “not in my backyard”? Where are the solutions and the compassion of Idahoans to help these people get back on their feet and fix their problems to become productive citizens again?
Unless you have been homeless sometime in your life as I have, you don’t have a truly personal perspective on the benefit of homeless shelters that offer medical and mental health services. I agree with the residents of the Boise community that this current place being suggested may not be the ideal place for a shelter. Unfortunately, these supposedly compassionate protesters have not offered any real alternatives as to where this shelter could be situated. The State of Idaho is one of the worst when it comes to treating the mentally ill and you can bet that these homeless have many mental problems that need to be taken care of by qualified physicians. The people of Idaho passed a referendum to have Medicaid Expansion in Idaho that is going to cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of their tax dollars.
What I don’t see are any of those promoters of this expansion ringing the alarm bell for mental health or trying to solve the homeless problem. If it were not for the Boise Rescue Mission we would have thousands more homeless roaming our streets and suffering from little or no medical treatment and this mission receives no government funding. My question to the people who live in the proposed shelter area is if you don’t want it in your backyard, find a place that will accommodate the shelter or talk to your mayor and ask her why she is not offering any solutions to this problem. You can’t solve a problem by complaining about it you have to find solutions and alternatives if you truly care about fixing the problem.
Where is the voice of Mayor McLean on this shelter? Where is this outspoken Mayor who cares so much about those who are discriminated against and is supposed to be a champion of diversity? I don’t hear her clamoring to our state representatives asking them to do something to fix this problem? She had no trouble standing up for Antifa and BLM but appears to have no interest in helping the homeless. We are currently in a gubernatorial imposed emergency to protect the people but I have seen no movement to protect those who are the most vulnerable. I have not heard one word out of our governor’s mouth on what he is doing to protect the homeless during this emergency. He had no problem closing what he called non-essential businesses and ordering no more than 10 persons to gather in one place but I guess the homeless are not on IACI’s to-do list so the governor doesn’t care.
The citizens of Idaho need to find a way to solve the homeless situation and fix our mental illness problem on a permanent basis. If we as a state can afford to spend 2 or 3 hundred million of our tax dollars on Medicaid Expansion, why can’t we find the money to give the homeless and mentally ill an opportunity to improve their lives and become productive citizens? So I ask our governor and legislators to fix this problem instead of arguing about blatantly unconstitutional rules like Rep. Greg Chaney’s proposed changes to House Rule 64 that would curtail our freedom of speech at committee hearings. It would also restrict what type of logos or sayings you can have on an article of clothing along with the right to search any bags you may be carrying in the capitol building. How about doing something that makes some sense by fixing our homeless and mental illness problems instead of trying to put more restrictions on Idahoans in their own statehouse.
Idaho hospitals are receiving millions of dollars from the CARES Act, but I don’t see them doing anything substantial for the mentally ill. The Governor has handed out over 1.2 billion federal dollars from the CARES Act but where has all that money gone? Certainly not to fixing our mental health problem. Idaho Ranks 48th out of 51 states including the District of Columbia in treatment of the mentally ill. Isn’t it about time we started addressing this serious problem affecting our state? Our representatives should be working on this problem yet what I hear is a deafening silence coming from the halls of our capitol. Little claims to be a leader, but the only people he seems to worry about are the IACI lobbyists who pay for his election campaigns.
By the way, Governor Little, when do you intend to keep your election promises from 2018 and reduce the taxes for Idahoans? Where is the repeal of the grocery tax? You’re living up to your name… Little is doing very little to help the people who elected him to office.