Shirley Thomas is a retired nurse who has lived in Jackson for over 20 years and has supported the Alliance since before moving here. She is a resident of Melody Ranch and an advocate for building a neighborhood for everyone, including wildlife, in Northern South Park.
“Northern South Park is possibly our last great opportunity to do something for our neighborhood, our wildlife, and our local people that want to live here,” she says. “We need to be able to balance and compromise on this whole situation while we still have the chance.”
Shirley is passionate about protecting local workers and seniors like herself from the high home prices in the valley. She is concerned that the cost of living is driving seniors away and would like to see the neighborhood in Northern South Park address this issue.
“As we get older, my husband and I would love to downsize to a home that is easier to maintain,” Shirley states “But we can’t afford to downsize because of the skyrocketing cost of homes. There’s no place for seniors like myself to move to, so we’re seeing a lot of seniors move away.”
Senior citizens are an important and integral part of our town. We are especially grateful that they are the population segment that volunteers the most with nonprofits. As the high cost of housing forces them to look for homes elsewhere, our valley stands to lose the rich, multi-generation mixture that makes the community so strong.
“The [landowners] definitely have a right to develop their land and make money from it… However, we also really need to get them to think about what is right and not just about building big expensive mansions for second homeowners. We need housing for our workers and our seniors.”
Thank you for speaking up on this important community issue, Shirley!