The people calling themselves the “City of Keene” have offered Hundred Nights, the local privately run homeless shelter and drop-in resource center, $11,000 for 2013.
The shelter has never taken government money before, and as you might expect, there are strings attached. According to Hundred Nights founder Don Primrose, “By accepting money from the City of Keene, we would be expected not to speak out on issues of the homeless and displaced in our area.” Primrose explained further that, “I am guilty, of speaking out on issues that I am compassionate about and some of those issues have to do with an existing homeless shelter network that is disrespectful of individual rights and controls people’s voices and lives through fear.”
To be clear, Primrose is talking about the government-funded homeless shelters in town. Naturally the people calling themselves “the city” and “state” pose as though they are looking out for the downtrodden, but the reality suggests they are just looking out for themselves. Sure, some of their workers probably care about the homeless, but the government gets your money every year through taxes regardless of whether they do a good job with it. Charities like Hundred Nights only get your money if they do a good job and are of value to the community.
Speaking of value, the Hundred Nights “Open Doors Resource Center” is open year-round and is a constant resource for people down on their luck. It’s available weekdays all day and helps people with resume-building and job-seeking. In addition, the shelter itself is open for the coldest 100 nights of the year, providing a life-saving service to anyone who needs help, including those literally left-in-the-cold by the state system.
Primrose is admittedly tempted to take the state money, as times are tough. The economy is down, which only increases the burdens on shelters, while funding may be more challenging to obtain. That said, with a little effort from a relatively small group of people, we can match or exceed the government’s $11,000 in hush money. If we can do this before mid-January, Hundred Nights will continue as the area’s only independently run shelter.
Can you contribute $10 per month? If you and 99 other people do that via the “SUBSCRIBE” button at the top left of HundredNights.org, the shelter’s fundraising goal will have been surpassed. Please take a moment and do this today, then, share it with your friends!