Just Curious About Jesus Place?

Submitted by GiveFromTheHeart

A couple of months back I remember being upset after reading that
the "Jesus Place" mission was closed down by our city officials.  I asked myself
if the city realized how many people would be affected by this?  I asked myself if
the city knew how much this mission contributed to our community?
I asked myself if the city knew how many might go hungry?

The answer for all three questions had to be no.  Or is it?
Many in this town like to turn a blind eye to the less fortunate.  Many in this
town who are prosperous have little tolerance or understanding for folks
who aren't.  On more than one occasion I have heard people say that these
folks are lazy, welfare dependent or just losers who do not deserve or desire to
live better.  It's their own fault.

No one knows what circumstances have led a person or a family to poverty.  I
certainly don't believe that many choose this way of life, but it's a fact of life.  
And I certainly don't believe anyone should go hungry.

After reading the numerous articles regarding the closure of "Jesus Place"
I took a trip downtown to see what was wrong with the place.  While it appears
it could stand some exterior repairs, I can't imagine why it has been singled out
from all of the other abandoned, run down and nearly condemnable buildings in
the area.  I can't help but wonder if it has been singled out because of the "type"
of people it attracts.  There seem to be no problems with the old buildings
chocked to the roof with storage items, isn't their an ordinance against this?  
Isn't there a "warehousing" zoning issue here?  Why no limelight on these
buildings?  This intrigued me to the point of returning home to retrieve my
camera to take a few pictures

Why no code violations for the slum lords who are raking in monthly rent from
tenants who are living in what appears to be uninhabitable?  Why no signs on
the front of these buildings?  Isn't there a property inspector who is responsible
for these rentals?  Aren't our renters required to get a rental permit?  Are these
properties inspected at all?

I have sat on these pictures for several weeks, I have held my tongue just as
long.  That is until I read this evening the story about the hungry man digging
through the fast food dumpsters on Johnson Road.  Was this person someone
who "Jesus Place" fed in the past?  I once met a lady who moved to Granite
City several years ago from California.  She came to this area to start anew,
with little money and few possessions.  She told me that when her monthly
money got low, she could always get a meal at "Jesus Place".  She in turn
served food, cleaned the kitchen and volunteered in other ways at the mission
out of gratitude.  She was a proud, hard working woman, but with little
education, she made no more than minimum wage, she was "the working poor".

I can't help but wonder if the city was so quick to condemn because no taxes
were generated from this mission?  Or is someone interested in purchasing it?  
Also, is the old historical fire house that is attached immune from code
compliance?

No matter the real reason "Jesus Place" was closed, aren't there enough of us,
isn't there government money available, to help rehab this place and allow it to
serve the needy of this area?  Aren't there materials to be donated?  Labor to
be donated?  Are there other answers other than shutting down an entity with
such noble intentions?

Please take a look at what I captured with my camera...you be the judge.  What
do you see?
Thank you for reading this, and thank you for giving me a place to give my
opinion.