To the editor:
So they've cleaned up that homeless site - again. Why, they almost had a real city down there! Now where are "they" supposed to live?
Shhhhh! None of us is entitled to judge the circumstances or choices that lead to homelessness. The issue of having a 24/7 homeless center with beds, bathing facilities, case management and resources to other vital services has become a circular debate in this town - for the last 10 years that I know of.
It seems that one underpinning of this debate has been some "Field of Dreams" philosophy that if we build it "they" will come. Hello : "they" are and have been here. Another underpinning has been the NIMBY syndrome: "Not In My Backyard." For all the private money in this town, for the progressive "blue spot in a red state" reputation many Lawrence folk like to tout, for the seeming awareness of issues like dignity, compassion, kindness, acceptance and unconditional positive regard for all, Lawrencians ought to be embarrassed that we do not have a permanent shelter where occupancy isn't based on the temperature, etc.
Are we practicing the caste system of India where homeless people are the untouchables? When is Lawrence going to get over itself and do the right thing for people who are homeless? There are many residents who are frighteningly one or two paychecks away from homelessness. Would you turn your backs on them? This election was about a time of change. In Lawrence this seems a good place to begin.