Re “Critics say those who help homeless do them no favors” (Page 5A, Dec. 29): I’m disappointed the authors consulted “critics” instead of experts. What they ended up with was a balanced but shallow debate between do-gooders and the not-in-my-backyard camp. The article did no favors to either.
“Homeless” is the sanitized euphemism for the old “bums” that falsely implied lazy freeloaders who like sleeping outdoors. A myriad of reasons are cited for being homeless: low minimum wage, housing costs, substance abuse, mental/physical illness, unable to mesh in the working environment, etc.
To understand the issue, one must picture all of humanity plotted on a giant bell curve. One shallow end for the billionaires, and the other for economic non-participants. This dynamic, stripped of the labels, is as enduring today as it was when the pyramids were built. This paradigm is probably intractable. As Jesus noted, “Ye have the poor with you always.” But that doesn’t give anyone biblical permission to wash their hands of human suffering.
We have laws to protect the treatment of criminals because there is no end to the cruelty mankind will dole out with little provocation. There is no safety net for our homeless beyond our conscience.
J. Jason Gale, Riverbank