Articles in previous papers include many issues such as Sunday's Pioneer (April 19) covering various budget shortfalls, homelessness and poverty in Bemidji and in Beltrami County. A few of the issues that I see repeatedly get printed are divided into two categories - needs and wants.
Needs: housing for the homeless, food for the hungry, understanding the issues of racism, funds to continue quality education, environmental issues of our area.
Wants: Event/convention center, hockey arena.
Perhaps the "powers that be," or the contingent of "Bemidji Leads!" or the supporters of the event center could balance out the wants and needs of our community.
There should be plenty of space in the "top of the line" facility to offer a bed and food (soup kitchen?) in our new event center. How about offering space and meals for the increasing homeless population as part of the Servant of Shelter program? Or proceeds from tickets sales of each hockey game could be put toward a non-profit organization serving their clients who are unable to afford to attend such activities. Others may have more ideas to present to the decision makers involving the basic concerns (needs) of Bemidji.
I was taught to weigh out and prioritize my personal "wants and needs." Could this be seriously put to work in our own community? Would there be a way while raising the funds for the event center that a portion could be set aside in the "needs" area?
The success of a society is based on how the most needy and vulnerable are taken care of. It may be that I'm a dreamer ...
Karen L. Ryan