Homelessness. It seems like it might be an issue here. To the casual observer, we see the occasional person with all their belongings in a cart or on a bike is something that happens in Muskegon. It's sad, we all wish we could do more but on a world scale, we see nothing here when it comes to the impoverished and homeless. We are very fortunate to have organizations like Community enCompass here working at the very bottom of the grass roots level to help stave off homelessness and the collapse of some of the most vulnerable in our community farther than they have already fallen, and it's a heavy lift. A very heavy lift. Here's the thing too, it's not just a matter of throwing money at the problem hoping it will go away.
One of the key issues today that our homeless community faces is the inability to access services due to the lack of immunizations from the COVID virus. We're not here to debate whether or not people should be immunized or the efficacy of the shots, but in order to be able to receive aid or maybe even a place to stay, prevention of the spread is required at places. Some places like Sacred Suds operated by Community enCompass are not able to open due to the possibility of transmission between those who need their help. Combine that with the lack of awareness in some of the homeless population, some trust issues, some communications problems with homeless not being able to stay in contact the way they need to over things. You can see that spreading the word about vaccinations and the importance is a huge task to an organization who's hard pressed to put a plug in every gap that comes along from food emergencies to utility payments, housing crisis and affordable housing for those who can get up on their feet for 5 minutes. When I was setting up today for our chat at Community enCompass, the phone literally rang non stop for a litany of issues of people in dire need of help.
Working with partner agencies, Community enCompass is providing mobile vaccination clinics, the next being this Friday at the Scared Suds location tucked away behind Ryke's Bakery in Muskegon. The physical address is 289 E. Larch for Sacred Suds and it's an opportunity for not only the homeless, but anyone in the neighborhood who wants a vaccine to get it. It's a problem that's not going away and quite sadly, it's a problem that is effecting the most humble of our neighbors due to their lack of knowledge and opportunity. We can't let the most vulnerable among us slip. That's not how we work in Muskegon.
Kimi George is the Executive Director of Community enCompass and Steve Keglovitz cam on board with the organization in January to help their mission of building community. Take a listen to our talk about the work Community enCompass is doing in Muskegon and how they are trying to reach the 400 plus homeless we have here.
The effort is being made. It's a big hill to climb but the idea that we are somehow unable to at least attempt to help those among us with nothing is just not on the map in Muskegon. From a world perspective, even those who are in bad shape here are better off than billions who have no clean water....no sanitation....no medicine....nothing other than the ability to beg or sift garbage to live. This is the future Community enCompass is working to prevent in our community. It's a brutal reality, but poverty is growing and just forking over money isn't going to fix it. It's the dedicated work of organizations like Community enCompass who build people, and communities through their dedication that will have the most effect and to help share their work and message is key to all we do.