Alison Lair feels it’s time to shake the tree on homelessness in Amherst.

The community support co-ordinator with the YMCA of Cumberland spoke to Amherst Rotarians on Monday about the Homelessness Prevention and Outreach Program that recently began working with homeless people in the community.

“It’s an issue that we have to begin taking seriously in our community,” Lair said. “When you consider that 36 per cent of the people in Cumberland County make less than $20,000 a year after taxes and somehow have to support themselves it’s understandable that there could be an issue with stable housing.”