Last year, following December's horrible fire in Starkville, MS, Poverty in America blogger Diane Nilan called attention to the underlying causes of this tragedy--the lack of affordable housing options and/or lack of emergency shelter nationwide. The 3 women and 6 young children who perished were crammed in a 2-bedroom apartment, a result of "hard times."
Starkville's Mayor Parker Wiseman met with Diane this past February and he expressed his commitment to examine and strengthen his town's safety network.
Diane will be heading that way right before Thanksgiving. She wants to meet with the Mayor again. And she wants mayors to be put on notice--they are in part responsible for the well-being (or neglect) of their constituents, especially those struggling with poverty.
Urge Mayor Wiseman to meet with Diane and to utilize this opportunity to make sure families will have options to avoid potential tragedy if they become homeless.
Diane will be in your area right before Thanksgiving. She wants to meet with you (and anyone else you deem appropriate) about what has been done in the interim to prevent these tragedies as we enter what sadly becomes house fire season.
We urge you to meet with her and to use her pending visit to ignite the fire of compassion in Starkville, providing an important example for the rest of the country.