Tuesday, May 11, 2021
May 11, 2021

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Letter: Offer help, not criticism of homeless


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.

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