I DON’T like the derogatory term NIMBY (isn’t there a bit of that in all of us?), and I understand the concerns of the residents of Eisenhower Drive, as the unknown is always daunting, but I have some suggestions for them.
Firstly, in these days of increasing homelessness both locally and nationally, you might find that the homeless people being placed in the hotel are a broad mix of the more long-term (or ‘entrenched’) homeless, who are there as a result of a long history of problems beyond their control, others who are simply direct victims of the recession, and still others who have a different story altogether.
In all cases, I recommend taking every opportunity to talk to, and get to know, these short-term residents of the hotel.
You will find that some of them are not that different to you and you will find things in common. Others who have been through great adversity will be able to teach you much about life and will open your eyes to some of the terrible experiences that others go through: both you and they will benefit.
Mother Teresa said, ‘It is very fashionable to talk about the poor but not as fashionable to talk to the poor’.
By showing an interest in their lives, you will help to raise their self-worth as well as your own.
I guarantee you will find that compassion, empathy and understanding are of far greater value than a £400,000 house.