How Can We Help Herrin Out?

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” – Margaret J. Wheatley
Beautiful day out by Herrin City Hall.
Beautiful day out by Herrin City Hall.
Photography, Ella Holthaus

Every town has its issues, but what issues does Herrin have? The community needs to be aware of what is wrong with the town, so it can be fixed. Being unaware of town problems can lead to more problems in the area and an unhealthy community. 


A poll was created to see what students thought were the biggest issues in Herrin. The top spot was drug use with 79.2%, next was lack of meaningful youth participation with 55.2%, and a tie for third place was between pollution/waste management and poverty with 38.5%. 


When it comes to drug use, it is very hard to just stop it for users. However, there were a lot of ideas that came in through the poll on how to fix this. Ideas like slowly taking drugs off the street, creating more rehab centers, and enforcing more laws to stop selling to kids. These are some good ideas for the City of Herrin to make happen. Also, if Herrin were to clear out vacant houses, there would be less crime and drug use. 


It seems that our generation is known for being particularly lazy. It may not apply to everyone but it does apply to most of us. With technology advancing, it seems that our generation and the younger generation both are becoming more lax and less social. If Herrin, as a whole, were to have more outdoor activities and events during the summer and social gatherings, more of the youth would be active and try to participate. 


When you’re walking around town and look at our street, you pass by garbage almost everywhere you go. Our waste management system is poor, not in the sense of money necessarily. More so, not enough officials to care about the waste at all. If more funds were put into the system, townsfolk were to host fundraisers, and officials took waste management and pollution seriously it would help prevent waste in our town. 


Poverty is also a large issue in Herrin. As of 2021, our population has stayed roughly the same at 12,250 people. Also as of 2021, 12.9% of Herrin is poor or homeless. 12.9% may not seem like a lot but that would estimate around 1,580 people living in an almost moneyless life. If Herrin were to have more facilities and restaurants move into town, this would help create new job opportunities for those who have none or multiple jobs.


If everyone in Herrin were to come up with ways to help solve these problems our waste management could get better, facilities could move into Herrin, more jobs would be available, more houses could be built, and our population would increase. 

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    SusanJan 30, 2024 at 4:35 pm

    I drove around town today and am amazed at all the abandoned homes and derelict looking homes. Homes empty and lived in sitting to decay should be given notice to the owners to fix it up or tear it down. Have a better city ordinance on this situation and enforce it.