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617 N. Liberty Street
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Ernest H. Pitt
The Chronicle is dedicated to serving the
residents of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County
by giving voice to the voiceless, speaking truth
to power, standing for integrity and
encouraging open communication and
lively debate throughout the community.
The homeless is coming to the minds of many
now that the weather is getting colder. Several non
profits provide for the homeless year-round in shel
ters but they do not serve many homeless people.
Those people are on the streets of Winston-Salem
without basic necessities such as blankets, gloves
and knit caps to keep them warm.
The Winston-Salem Police Department has
launched its second campaign to gather gently used
or new blankets, gloves and knit caps to help the
homeless this winter. During last year's inaugural
blanket drive, almost 1,500 blankets were donated
and distributed, said Cpl. Joshua Henry in a state
ment. "Last year's drive was so successful that this
year we are requesting knit caps and gloves, too."
The Bike Patrol initiated the blanket drive last
year to assist homeless people who, for various rea
sons, cannot stay at a shelter. "On cold nights they
come by our office and ask for blankets," Henry
Photo by Todd Luck
City of Winston-Salem Skyline.
said. "Thanks to the generosity of our citizens, we
were able to help them last year. We hope to be able
to do so again tnis year.
This is a noble gesture by the Police Department.
However, why didn't the department buy the blan
kets instead of ask residents to provide the blankets?
It's not clear why the police department has joined
the ranks of nonprofits that ask the public to help
needy people. Is there not a section of the city budget
to help needy people such as the homeless? Do the
residents who donate get a write-off for their dona
Police officers are helping the homeless find
warm places to stay. But is anyone helping them find
food, or better yet, jobs? Are other city departments
helping the homeless in other ways?
The police who help the homeless are being paid
by taxes paid by Winston-Salem residents. Then the
residents are being asked to pay something to pro
vide homeless people with blankets, gloves and knit
caps, whether they are paying to have the gently
used items they donate cleaned or are paying for new
ones. Nonprofits also are asking residents to help
needy people all over the city. What are city officials
^ome city oniciais were complaining auuui
homeless people who live in The Salvation Army's
shelter. The nonprofit wanted to move the shelter
across town to a better facility. City officials were
some of the NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) who
yelled, "We don't want them around us!" Yet, where
are the homeless who are getting the blankets living?
Could be in their backyards, after all.
Where is the united front from the city with con
cern for the homeless and other needy people?
It appears some matters have been left to resi
dents to handle. If that's the case, why do we need
city officials? All Winston-Salem City Council
members will be up for re-election next year. The
primary elections will be. in March. Voters need to
start grading the officials now to determine whether
they should get new terms or be left out in the cold
File Photos AP. The Chronicle
No time for foolishness, indeed
On Saturday, Oct. 10,
the Rev. Dr. William J.
Barber II delivered his
annual state of the N.C.
NAACP address during the
72nd NAACP State
Convention. This year's
convention was held in
Winston-Salem, which has
hosted a number of state
sponsored events this year.
Barber's speech was
titled "This is No Time For
Foolishness" and focused
on the NAACP fight
against lawmakers in North
Carolina who continue to
pass laws that oppress
minority voters and a coun
try that turns a blind eye to
the issues that plague the
nity, such as police vio
lence and racial profiling.
Barber also made
strong statements that
seemed to be directed at the
branch. During his hour
long speech, Barber said he
should never have to send a
state official to look over a
"I should never have to
send a state official to ref
eree any local branch," said
Barber. "We don't have
time to fight among our
selves, not when they are
suppressing our voting
rights, not when North
Carolina is the new
Although I will admit I
do not follow what is going
on with other branches of
the NAACP, I do know that
after hearing Barber's
statements, only one
branch came to mind.
Earlier this year, state
officials had to be called in
to oversee the executive
board elections after a
number of reported viola
tions regarding the
Where the annual con
vention was held would
also lead one to believe that
Barber was directing his
statements at the Winston
During his hourlong
speech. Barber also said he
wanted to see local branch
es become more involved
in the community.
Local branch President
Isaac "Ike" Howard and a
number of other members
of the local branch were in
attendance during Barber's
address, and I'm sure they
heard his statement loud
I'm not sure what the
plan of action is for the
local branch, but after hear
ing Barber's speech, I hope
the local branch finishes
out this year strong and has
a prosperous and produc
tive 2016. But, only time
Barber said it best:
"This Is No Time For
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