Opinion

Warehouse needed

Wanted: A large warehouse to hold everything that might be needed by local down-on-their-luck families in an emergency.

That's the plea sent out this month by a variety of local aid agencies after a tough July that drained their donated relief supplies. Twelve house fires during the month left 12 families in need of all the essentials -- food, clothing and shelter.

Those needs coupled with ordinary requests drained agencies such as the Salvation Army and the local chapter of the American Red Cross of their available relief supplies. But that problem might not have arisen if they had a warehouse to store supplies and large items such as furniture and appliances.

As it is, most agencies have limited storage space for such supplies. As a result, they often are forced to turn down donations that might come in handy during a month such as July when needs are high.

This is not the first time local agencies have wished for a larger storage area. Both the York Baptist Association and the United Way of York County have considered the need for a shared warehouse for months.

The warehouse, they believe, should be centrally located, ideally in or near downtown Rock Hill. It would be available to most local aid agencies, and it would serve not only as a warehouse but also as a clearinghouse for families needing a range of services. Visits could be tracked to ensure the same people don't come back every month and to avoid overlapping with existing programs.

Obviously, what these agencies are looking for is the largest available space for the least amount of money. But making such a facility available to these agencies would be a real boon to needy families.

As the local population grows, so do the needs of the less fortunate. A warehouse would help ensure that agencies can meet those needs quickly and efficiently.

We hope the community will respond with a workable solution.

IN SUMMARY

Local aid agencies need a warehouse to store items that can be used by families in trouble.

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