A short spring season brought us to a sweltering early June, and more and more folks are enjoying the sights and sounds of outdoor life in the City. As always, many tourists are getting an early start on visiting Lancaster City, as it continues to be a popular destination. More employees are taking their lunch breaks outdoors enjoying the beautiful parks and benches at Penn Square, Binns and Musser parks.
All the while, folks who call the street “home” continue to use the parks and public areas to congregate, socialize and, unfortunately, sleep. As the numbers of those experiencing homelessness ebbs and flows, it is often at this time of year that the public seems to notice those who may have been invisible throughout the winter. Hot weather brings thoughts of swimming, barbecues and fun; but it also allows us to notice some not-so-pleasant smells, piles of unwashed clothes and folks sleeping on benches that some believe should be for more family-friendly purposes.
We all agree we want our city to be attractive, clean and welcoming. As you read this, professionals in the field are looking at ways to offer services to some of the most difficult to serve, who are often resistant to help.
Until a solution is reached there is a way for all of us to help make our city beautiful. Showing compassion and understanding to those less fortunate, smiling as you say “no” to a panhandler and accepting that these folks have many of the same wants and desires as you: to feel loved, worthwhile and accepted. Doing this can go a long way towards making Lancaster a great place to be.
While we value our magnificent buildings, parks and workforce, we make it a better place to be when we value the people, all the people, who comprise our city population.