A group in Durango has proposed the building of a permanent, self-governed homeless camp.

The group, known as the Neighbors in Need Alliance or NINA, is hoping to provide a safe place for members of the town's homeless population to live and get back on their feet.

The proposed project would cost close to $90,000 a year to maintain and would provide 35 to 40 homeless adults access to shelter, water, electricity, sewer, and other utilities that they would normally not be able to find access to. The camp would also give residents access to activities such as art, gardening, and meditation.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this proposed idea is that the community would be self-governed by a camp manager that would be elected by its residents, oddly reminiscent of the several blocks in Seattle that are currently self-governed in protest.

However, this idea is far from what's going on in Seattle currently. It really sounds like a great way for residents of Durango who have fallen on hard times to transition back into regular life and get on their feet again.

I have a friend who walks around his community and talks to the homeless about their lives, and many of them have fallen on hard times because of mental illnesses such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and weren't able to get help when they needed it the most, and this idea would be perfect for someone in that situation.

Regardless of the situation, it's great to see an organization such as NINA strive to help these people, however limited the capacity of the camp, get back to a sense of normalcy.

[Durango Herald]

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