Michelle Knight was the first taken and so she endured the torture for the largest number of years. If media reports are correct she was beaten and held alone in the basement for years chained like an animal for a dozen years rarely even allowed outside. There were no rallies or even media reports and we did not see the hundreds of missing person flyers hung up for Ms. Knight. She lived a troubled life before her kidnapping, and her mom moved to Florida after not hearing from her daughter for a couple of years. The community was not aware that she was even missing, and so she is basically without a place to return upon her discharge from the hospital. She will need to be available to investigators and prosecutors as the proceed with the interviews and trial of her torturer. Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry returned to large crowds of loving and supportive families who never gave up hope. We do not even know what Knight looks like except for a grainy photo from high school. Knight's mother wants her to leave Cleveland, which we understand after the Imperial Avenue and now Seymour Avenue horror stories. But the Homeless Coalition staff hope that the community will step up to help these women heal.
Our proposal at the Homeless Coalition is to use public money and the donations that come in to provide "No Worries" for the women for at least the length of their captivity. We should buy each of the three kidnapping victims a home through the Cleveland Housing Network or Habitat for Humanity in the neighborhood of their choice that could be renovated this summer. We know the value of having safe and secure housing to the healing process. We know that veterans who are struggling with PTSD issues make a quicker recovery with intensive counseling and a secure place to live. If we can lift the burden of trying to pay the rent or having to pay property taxes off of these women, they will recover faster. They should not have to worry about housing and be secure in that housing for the next ten to twelve years. We should pay the property taxes or provide property tax abatement for the next decade. The women should have their groceries delivered to them weekly so that they can work on their mental health issues and attempt to make up for all the lost time. We should provide twelve years of landscaping and lawn care so that they look outside and can enjoy the outdoors which they were deprived for a decade. We have a debt to repay especially to Michelle Knight who we did not even realize was missing. We hope that the community can step forward and provide secure and safe housing to these women while they recover.
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