Tuesday, May 11, 2021
May 11, 2021

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Letter: Offer help, not criticism of homeless

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Nela Nadeal’s recent letter calling the homeless lazy bums shows the mindset of the “haves versus the have-nots” (“Get a job, you lazy bums,” Our Readers’ Views, April 28).

While I agree that homelessness is a major problem not only here but nationwide, my experiences volunteering at FISH of Vancouver enlightened me to a group very frustrated, sad, tired, cold and in many cases the mentally-in-need.

The Columbian published a letter a year or two ago from a homeless person named Amy Lou (Our Readers’ Views, Dec. 27, 2019). She wrote, “Do you know how hard it is to get and keep a job when you are on the streets? When hired, you have to look nice when you don’t have wardrobe options. Employees want valid ID, birth certificates, or SSN — rarely readily available when you keep your life in a backpack. How can you make sure you make it work every day when you don’t have a phone, an alarm clock, or know where you are going to sleep? How do you maintain personal hygiene?”

My suggestion to Nela and others is to donate to a homeless shelter or write to congressional representatives with her suggestions for improvement, other than name-calling.

When you judge someone it says more about you unless you really have walked a mile in their shoes.

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter
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