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Reader's View: Duluth can help homeless and boost economy

Growing homelessness is a nationwide problem, not a local phenomenon.

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The July 13 commentary, “ Duluth’s focus on homelessness snubs locals and shortchanges economic development ,” asked why Duluth’s “homeless population (is) growing so fast?” The column suggested the city is building “more and more homeless facilities to bring in more and more homeless” and that these efforts are taking a “priority over economic development.” No evidence was cited for either assertion.

Growing homelessness is a nationwide problem, not a local phenomenon. The Washington Post reported on July 3 that, “Rising housing costs, combined with persistent inflation for basic necessities … have left more Americans homeless and millions more fearing they’ll soon lose their homes.” The story also stated, “Soaring housing prices have allowed existing homeowners to see their wealth balloon … (while) for a growing number of Americans, simply finding a place to spend the night is becoming more expensive and out of reach.”

As for Duluth, providing for the homeless and promoting economic development are not mutually exclusive policy objectives. A humane and progressive community pursues both.

Roger B. Day

Duluth

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