Salina Featured

12/15/2022 - Mayor Davis' Remarks Regarding Homelessness Forum

"The city-wide forum on homelessness on December 14th presented Salina, Kansas at it’s best:  recognizing a need in our community and seizing the opportunity to discuss it openly and begin the process of finding solutions. The meeting reinforced the idea that conversation is most enlightening when it’s purpose is to “understand” rather than to “convince.” We left the forum understanding that because of the complexities of homelessness, solutions go far beyond simply finding a bed to sleep in at night. We learned of the many social hurdles in life – mental illness, financial distress, physical illness, substance abuse, loss of family structure, and criminal justice system complications, among a few – that place many of our citizens at risk for homelessness.  A negative spike in any of these influences provokes the downward spiral through intermittent homelessness down to chronic homelessness. While the chronically homeless are most often the object of social scorn and are the most visible, our opportunity to make significant impact on homelessness is early, when people still have, or appear to have, a roof over their head, however temporary and fragile it might be. Our social safety net organizations provide various forms of assistance appropriate for the different stages of housing distress and physical/mental health needs. These agencies and their committed representatives are following their moral imperative to be their brother’s keeper. The door is wide enough for each Salinan to contribute in some way to restore not only housing but the basic human dignity and life skills that so many of our homeless have lost.  Money will solve some of the problems; time, respect, effort, legislative reform, and just love for our fellow citizen will take care of the rest. Tall order? Obviously, yes. But this is Salina, a “can do, will do” community."

Dr. Trent Davis, M.D. - Mayor