“We feed food insecure people,” she said to the council. “They have to stay awake at night or they will freeze to death. They are citizens of Marion.”
She added that she and other community activists are doing interviews with local homeless to find out more about their situation and are seeking to get an accurate count of how many homeless people live here. They are also seeking to pinpoint the homeless camps in Marion.
Many of the homeless don’t have a proper place to use the bathroom. Palmer said she and other activists are looking at installing a portable toilet near the Tabernacle Community Garden in East Marion so the homeless have a proper place to use the bathroom.
“We are one community, and it is going to take all of us to find a solution for this,” said Palmer. “Every single one of us is a human deserving of love, care, and a sense of belonging.”
After hearing from the group, Mayor Steve Little said the city of Marion is limited by law as to what it can do regarding the homeless.
“There are things we can’t do,” he said.
He strongly encouraged the activists to speak to the McDowell County Board of Commissioners about the homeless situation in Marion and McDowell.
“They are legislatively authorized to allocate resources in a way we are not,” said Little.