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Readers’ Views

Millions backed Sanders

To the Editor:

In reference to the ideas expressed in the April 11 Sentinel editorial titled, “Sanders calls it quits,” I must respectfully disagree.

The ideas of free health care for all and free education for all were trademarks of Bernie Sanders’ campaign. If these ideas became law tomorrow, college students would wake up to find that their education would no longer burden them with debt. They could not be saddled with $100,000 in loan payments before even entering the job market. Health care would be free. Never again could medical expenses cause people to lose their homes.

I wonder how the citizens of Fairmont would feel. Millions of Americans strongly supported these ideas and the campaign of Bernie Sanders.

Peter Engstrom

Fairmont

Bridging the gap

To the Editor:

During these unprecedented times, we are challenged to get by with less. Less travel, less socializing, less work, less freedom to go and do whatever we want. While we may not like it, we will survive and come out stronger for it.

Some people in our community live similar to this all the time. They might not have transportation to get back and forth to the store, medical appointments, church, or to visit friends or family. They might not have money to pay all the bills in any month. They might not have enough healthy food for their own sustenance. They are getting by with what they have, a no frills life. These people are in our community and unfortunately they are invisible to most. If you know someone in this situation, please help, however you can.

The Shepherd’s In, a local (Martin County) nonprofit, whose mission is to provide assistance that helps people improve their situation, has been assisting people in the community who have a need for a hot meal and housing. Prior to the coronavirus, The Shepherd’s In provided a free weekly soup meal to anyone. When things shut down due to the coronavirus, it began preparing and delivering daily soup meals to people’s homes in a non-touch delivery manner.

During the two-week period prior to Easter, The Shepherd’s In served 291 meals. On Easter, it provided 53 Easter meals to families in need.

The Shepherd’s In is currently pausing its meal delivery to re-evaluate how to best deliver its services during the balance of the governor’s stay-at-home order.

In addition, The Shepherd’s In has been assisting people in “the gap.” These are people who may be unsheltered, just getting out of prison/jail, facing the sudden loss of a job, recently completed treatment or are just down on their luck. The gap is that they have no money, no housing, no food or clothes resources, no transportation and, most times, no family or friends. They are free to move forward in their life, but they need a bridge for a couple of weeks until they get their first paycheck. Meeting the needs of those who find themselves “in the gap” is a priority for The Shepherd’s In mission. While these people are a small subset of our community, it is important this need is met.

The Shepherd’s In has been able to assist by identifying and providing short-term housing, furniture, food and transportation. It also has been able to assist with limited job identification and direct people to local resources, such as the CareerForce Center. Most of these people are looking for a hand up, not a handout and once past “the gap,” move on successfully.

Going forward, The Shepherd’s In will continue to offer these services to the community and has a vision to expand its capacity to continue to meet this community need.

Those who would like to volunteer or provide a monetary donation in support of this mission may contact Curt Moeckel, founder, at (507) 236-5362 or send a check to The Shepherd’s In, 1446 30th Street, Ceylon, MN 56121. All donations are tax-deductible as The Shepherd’s In is a 501(c)(3) charity.

Linda Meschke, chairwoman

The Shepherd’s In

Fairmont

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