Some folks at the Augusta Planning Board meeting Tuesday night were concerned for their children’s safety with regard to the proposed Bridging The Gap services at the Emanuel Lutheran Episcopal Church on Eastern Avenue (“Augusta neighbors worry about homeless, mentally ill under social-service plan,” May 9). The effect on the neighborhood would be minimal for the following reasons.

Attie’s Attic clothing bank will serve single mothers and families in need of serviceable clothing, hardly the kind of people who will wander the surrounding streets endangering others. The same can be said about the Everyday Basics Essentials Pantry. Should neighborhood parents be fearful of fellow Augustans who are just trying to accumulate basic home necessities? I would hope not.

This leaves the Warming Center, which, it should be noted, would not open until December and would close in April. It is not a homeless shelter, and would only be open from during the day on weekdays. I would ask worried parents if they really think Warming Center clientele will be out on the street in the December weather. In fact, I wonder whether children will be outside during the day on school days in December and January.

I trust that we all will not attribute evil intent to people struggling with unmet needs, and that we will come together as a community that cares for all its residents.

Bob Dodge


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