To the editor:
Recently, I was on Wanamaker in Topeka and stopped for gas. I observed a young guy with a bedroll trying to make a phone call. I thought maybe he'd gotten a ride into town and was trying to reach a friend to pick him up, so I asked him if he needed a lift. I talked to the man through my window. He said his name was "Lucky." He asked me my name twice in the conversation and seemed unable to focus his conversation. It was apparent that this fellow was a wanderer. He asked for a ride to Lawrence.
I thought about the fact that Lawrence has no regular shelter and place for indigents to eat and wash. I thought about the fellow who was run over in an alley last summer because he had no home. I told Lucky, "Lucky, I think you'd be better off in Topeka. I'm sorry I don't know where to tell you to go, but I don't think you would be treated well in Lawrence." We said goodbye and I drove home.
I was raised to give Christian charity. Jesus washed the feet of these people and we in affluent Lawrence cannot offer them a safe place to sleep and a warm drink. The lepers will always be with us whether we choose to see them or not. I'm saddened that Lawrence has not elected to do more for those who cannot manage mainstream society.