Last night, I went to the Anniston City Council meeting and after they went through the agenda which included passing Sunday alcohol sales and lowering the speed limit along Noble St. in downtown to 20 mph. I got up to speak about some people I know who are homeless. After I talked about how good a job Dianna Michaels is doing as the Spirit of Anniston director, I told Mayor Vaughn Stewart and the city councilmen about the homeless problem in Anniston.
After speaking, two other people also got up to talk about the homeless problem. This is a great start as there are way too many people who are homeless in Anniston. One of the people I know, Jeffrey Leachman, has been homeless for a few months now. Sure, I have let him take a shower and use the washing machine at my apartment here and there. And at times, I have provided him a good meal including this cooking video I did.
Jeffrey has a master’s degree in Information Systems from Kennesaw State University. His last job was helping with a Wal-Mart remodel around three years ago. Here’s his resume.
Jeffrey has joined with a few other people and sleeps in abandoned buildings around Anniston each night. During the daytime, they go the public library to use the internet. One of these people was a victim of domestic violence and is not allowed into any shelters. And Jeffrey has gotten away from the Atlanta Metro because of some abusive friends. I drove by one of the places Jeffrey and the group sleeps at. This building is an old barber shop. This is a place I would not like sleeping at each night.
Yes, there is the Salvation Army shelter along Noble St. in Anniston. It’s great for a short-term emergency. But after the first few nights, they begin charging to stay each night. This charging of people forces many people to sleep on the streets each night.
Jeffrey wants the city officials to know that there is an extreme homeless problem and unemployment problem in Anniston. Jeffrey has had no luck finding a job in the Anniston/Oxford area. He has even been to Birmingham and Nashville to find work. But after a few interviews, nothing happens. Jeffrey just wants to have a job, that’s all. Mayor Vaughn Stewart wants to have a meeting with me, Jeffrey, and the homeless group. I hope something can be done to get these people off the streets. I will keep you updated.
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