I have always felt that one of the greatest happenings in the City of Good Neighbors was the city's support of Friends of Night People. For years, the center has been a haven for single parents, troubled Vietnam veterans, little old ladies and confused young adults. No questions asked -- just loving arms reaching out.
The Night People Drop-In Center is a recognized and supported ministry of First Presbyterian Church of East Aurora, the Presbytery of Western New York and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. It is monitored, studied and reviewed.
The Drop-In Center is located where the people are. It does not attract these people -- rather, the group went to where its clients were and purchased a building, which it now maintains on its own by raising $400,000 each year. This money is raised all over Erie County.
We need to help the poor, the homeless, the forgotten and the lonely in the City of Buffalo. Homeless people have no place to bathe, no place to wash clothes and no place to urinate. What are they to do?
I would urge everyone to address these issues, rather than attack one of the few groups that is trying to help.
The Night People Drop-In Center is considered a model and is visited by representatives from other cities to see what is being done and how.
Get rid of the Night People Drop-In Center and see what happens. You would then have to look at a trail of devastation and need that will occur in our beloved City of Good Neighbors because the outstretched arms will no longer be present.
Rev. Dr. Paul Watson Jr.
First Presbyterian Church