In this Nov. 24, 2021, file photo, Bangor Community Relations Officer Elizabeth Ashe and Torelin Jager, the city’s homeless outreach case worker (right), walk through the homeless encampment under the Interstate 395 bridge. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

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I have thoughts and ideas regarding our homeless situation here in Bangor. After working with several organizations connected to at risk people, I know there are no easy answers.

First, Bangor should not carry the full load of solving or implementing actions in helping to solve homeless management issues. The surrounding communities should also be contributing with ideas, actions and financial support. The homeless population does not come from Bangor alone.

Second, a centralized location for information and direction for services would be helpful. Maybe it could be staffed by someone with social work experience and  medical and addiction knowledge.

Third, there are two warming centers in addition to the shelters. They are at the Mansion Church on Center Street and the Brick Church on Union Street. Why are there only two churches doing this?

Fourth, what should we do about “tent cities”? Should we just go in and move them all out? Shouldn’t we have a solution for as many people as possible? I had heard that they were being moved to the Ramada Inn, but there is no one there now.  

We the people of Penobscot County should be taking responsibility for this important issue. It is not just a problem for the police department and some city employees who are working hard with limited resources.

We need to treat people with love and compassion. Our world needs it. We can start here.

Josh Peppard