Thursday Mar 29 2012
Our View: In rough economic seas, Auburn is a lighthouse to help
You’ll get no argument that times are tough. But it’s good to know we’re facing those rough seas in a city that has such a strong sense of community. It should be noted, and celebrated, the work that locals and organizations do in and around Auburn to make this community not only a better place, but helps us get through tough times. The homeless population has swelled over the course of the Great Recession. People have been homeless for the first time in their lives, while others find it harder to pull themselves out of it thanks to the down economy. One local man has shined the light on the folks we pass by as we pull into shopping centers, or walk through Downtown Auburn. Auburn’s Ryan Frew took his camera lens to that community and showed us the face of this population in a raw and uncompromising documentary titled, “Life is Mandatory.” The film will debut on April 14 at the State Theater in Downtown Auburn. While the Placer High School graduate will open others’ eyes to this group, there are many here in Auburn that already know the homeless’ plight, and have been going above and beyond to help them. Organizations such as the Salvation Army have stepped in to provide meals and clothes. And regional groups, such as The Gathering Inn have taken Auburn’s homeless off the streets, given them a place to sleep, a hot meal and help landing a job. Work, for so many in our small community, that’s a term that hasn’t been used in their vocabulary in awhile. But again, Auburn has been stepping up to reverse the unemployment trend. Local businesses, such as Dingus McGhee’s, have been putting people back into the labor force. After originally hiring 37 employees, many former workers from before, the restaurant recently expanded its work force by 10. “Those are all local people,” Dingus McGee’s co-owner Danielle Nelson told the Journal recently. “When we first opened we were cautiously optimistic but we’ve had to quickly up our staffing.” In North Auburn, monitor maker Ceronix has added three jobs, bumping its staffing level to 28. One of the new jobs found its way to Placer High grad Brett Bruce, who after losing his job went back to school at Sierra College where he was taking a mechatronics class. Going back to school parlayed into a full-time job at Ceronix for Bruce. Sometimes tough situations in life can lead to people acting out against others and substance abuse. But local faith leaders are stepping in to help guide individuals out of drug use, and giving others the tools to deal with bullies in their life. Auburn Christian Science Church along with the Auburn Hip Hop Congress are getting together to celebrate youth and find successful solutions to the problems facing our younger generation today. That effort paid off in a recent rally to raise awareness of bullying. While it may look bleak at times, all it takes in Auburn is to look out from yourself and you’ll see a hand there waiting, offering a better way to get through. So if you’re able to lend that hand, follow in the footsteps of those before you and continue the trend of positive action.