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Homelessness is everywhere, but in warm areas of the country, the numbers of homeless people are generally bigger and caring for them poses a year-round challenge.
New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley is such a place, and in 2011 a camp for local homeless people was provided on city land. Dubbed Camp Hope, all it was was a place to pitch fifty or so tents. In the years that have followed, platforms have been built so the tents didn’t sit right on the ground and a nearby strip mall has been re-developed to provide social services, including a medical clinic and a soup kitchen where social workers connect with camp residents to help them with government aid.
To Mesilla Valley's credit, most of these services involve the work and effort of various local charitable agencies. But, the lack of real toilets and showers has always been a problem. In a place where dessert dust and dirt is a constant challenge, bathing out of a small bowl inside a tent is not very effective.
Enter Matt Holt, a professor at New Mexico State and his sister Julie Wilson, CEO  of a business development group in Ft. Worth, TX., who started a movement called Project Dignity to improve the sanitary facilities at the camp. The effort has raised $65,000 from individuals, businesses, and the local Lions Club and Good Samaritan Society. They plan to build a facility--with a lot of donated labor and goods--that will include showers and toilets, along with a covered patio area and outdoor kitchen that can be used for cooking.
What would it mean to any of us to live without our bathrooms and kitchens? How can the value of a generous effort like this be measured? 
So two people with comfortable lives, busy jobs and more than enough to do looked around and saw a place they could improve the existence of strangers living without basic necessities. 
Some of these strangers are homeless veterans, others have had lives of tremendous difficulty. But for everyone at Camp Hope, these facilities are going to dramatically improve the current quality of life--all thanks to a brother and sister who cared enough to do a great and generous thing.
Let's all look around and see what we can do in our own communities and when you do, let me know. I'd love to write about you!
-Nancy 


 


Comments

06/12/2016 11:12pm

It's sad that many people are homeless nowadays. But, It's nice to hear that there are authors about a certain book the inspires readers to write about. Generosity may come in different forms, it can be by a letter or by money. I'm really honored to hear that many of the people are being helped by the said community built for homeless people. I'm glad that some people made things like this and it really helped people on how reach their goal.

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02/13/2017 6:57pm

Reading your article brings tears to my eyes. It’s so sad to see homeless people without decent bath or kitchen. I can feel how difficult their living life has been. It’s a good thing that the commercial center redeveloped for the common good of all people. Maybe it’s one way of helping them out. I think it’s not only the government’s concern but of everyone else. We should help those who are in need while we still can.

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07/31/2017 7:51am

It is very sad to see that some of these homeless people are veterans. They did serve our country before, but now they are the extras of the economy. Once they were a soldier of war and a hero to everyone, who is willing to give up their lives for the sake of their mother land. But, now they are just strangers begging money to live, to survive, and some people doesn't care about them. They treat them as worthless people of the economy. It is depressing to see a person's life turn upside down. But, I am happy to see and hear that they are being helped by these good and blessed people. I hope this still continues.

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There are so many homeless people in my country! It's a real problem!

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