Letters to the Editor

Joseph Homer: Bee fails to ask right questions about homelessness

Re “ ‘No panhandling’ signs installed to educate public” (Front page, June 6): Again and again I read articles unfairly representing people experiencing homelessness, misunderstand their plight and interviewing only the people who often put them in difficult situations.

Did the article interview any homeless people about how panhandling is the last means they have to make enough to stay in a hotel bed and not on concrete? Did the article describe the terrible deficit of available and affordable housing the county has? Does the article highlight how many of the people panhandling perhaps can’t work, are barred from work or who are doing the best they can to get by in an unforgiving economy? No. Again, The Bee – like so many others – furthers a moralized, incomplete understanding of homelessness as the result of poor individual decisions, i.e., drug abuse and alcoholism, rather than the direct and unequivocal result of an unfair economic system which radically underserves its population.

Precarious economic conditions cause homelessness; lack of a support network causes homelessness; inability to deal with emotions and difficult situations cause homelessness. If you want to know what causes homelessness, ask the person down the road: they will know

Joseph Homer, Modesto