Some problems are more than ‘city problems’

Many choose the Keweenaw as their home because it seems far removed from many of the negative aspects of life in the “big city.” High crime, gang activity and other urban blights are just stories on CNN for many.

But as two page 1 stories in Saturday’s Daily Mining Gazette showed us, the Copper Country is not immune from at least two problems we may choose to believe are not an everyday part of our lives … homelessness and hunger.

Dan Roblee’s story “Homeless in Houghton” showed that homelessness really does exist locally.

Roblee followed the story of Karen O’Connell and her son Derik who are currently spending their nights in a small tent in a vacant lot off of Sharen Ave.

Roblee showed that while many agencies would like to help, there are limited opportunities and resources. So they continue to sleep outdoors.

We know from talking to other experts that the O’Connel’s story is not the only instance of homelessness here.

Kurt Hauglie’s look at the need for supplies at the Angel Mission Food Pantry once again shines a light on a local problem we don’t like to think about.

We often come to feel that food pantries only need help during the holidays. But actually the opposite is true. With children who normally receive a meal or two daily at school now home for the summer, the burden on families and consequently food pantries is greater during this time of year.

We’ve often mentioned the spirit of charity that exists here in the Copper Country. We know our neighbors are ready to help.

The key is we need to know where help is needed. As uncomfortable as Roblee and Hauglie’s stories were to read, these are stories that need to be written. And they need to be read. And now it’s our turn, shelters, churches and non-profits are willing to help, with the appropriate resources.

Now that we have identified these problems we’re convinced the residents of the Keweenaw will see to it that we conquer them.