Supporting Tedford 

I write in support of Tedford Housing’s plan to build a facility that will combine adequate shelter beds with key onsite resources. What should have been reviewed and approved expeditiously has become a time consuming, convoluted process – as if people experiencing the emergency of homelessness have the luxury of time. 

For a simple analogy, imagine a four legged chair, each leg representing part of the local support network. One is for food support, one is for social support, one is for healthcare support. The organizations providing these services are successful in maintaining low barrier, accessible services. The fourth leg, working to provide emergency shelter and permanent housing can only partially achieve it’s mission. While three of the agencies have expanded their programs and capacity to meet the demand, the homeless services agency has hit a beaurocratic wall. 

And while a few residents have been advocating for restrictive zoning and voicing concerns like “if you build it they will come”, many more residents strengthen the safety net through their volunteer service. 

I urge the council and zoning board to finalize the new ordinance well before the moratorium expires. And please approach performance standards in the spirit of reasonableness and parity. Someone on Facebook recently commented that we do a better job rescuing stray cats than rescuing people without shelter. There is a sad truth in that and we must do better. 

Joanne Rosenthal 

Brunswick 


Auction will support Woolwich student trip 

For the past 20 years the Woolwich Central School 8th Grade classes have held a spring auction as a final fundraiser for their 8th grade class trip to Washington, D.C. Over the past two months parents, students, teachers, and the community have pulled together to bring the auction to fruition.  This year the auction will be held on April 6 in the WCS Gym (5-8 p.m.)
I feel very fortunate to be part of this process and to work with families and the community on this event. The community is pulling together to make it possible for an entire class of 8th graders to attend their Class Trip to Washington, D.C. Every student has the possibility to go regardless of their financial situation. We are all for one, and one for all with the students working at two public suppers, selling holiday wreaths, and now, finally, in working on the auction. 
I was a parent in this school as my two eldest children raised funds for their Washington, D.C. class trip, and was a co-chair for my son’s 8th grade class. All in all I’ve been involved with 14 auctions through the years and each year I am inspired by the hard work families are willing to do. But most of all I am totally humbled by the support the businesses in our community offer to us. Humbled and thankful.
If you get a chance to come to the auction – you’ll be treated not only to an auction of 300+ items, gift certificates, and services, you’ll also have the luxury of free daycare for the evening (Thank you to our Girl Scouts!), and a delicious array of finger foods and desserts, coffee and tea. It is an evening to relax, support the local community, and take home a few good items that you never knew you couldn’t live without. 
I’m so proud this is my community, where I live and work, and get to spend my days. Hope to see you there, but if you can’t come, remember that there are good things happening in the world, every day, and this is one of them. 
Leann Fisher,
Teacher at Woolwich Central School