Letters to the Editor

Helping out

April 26, 2010


To the editor:

Although the City Commission decided at the 12th hour to approve a homeless shelter near the Douglas County Jail, it wasn’t, as we know, without a struggle. It’s lamentable that it took so long, lamentable that it was so hard-fought and, in the end (and we all hope this is the end), they settled on a less than desirable location in the city limits. Now that this Pyrrhic victory has been won, I urge the City Commission not to drag its feet any more.

Yes, you might say that I don’t have a dog in this fight, but, in a way, I do. You see, I have lived in my modest three-bedroom rancher in southwest Lawrence since 1993, and I would not object (and I can only speak for myself) to a shelter being here provided that we had assurances it would be supervised at all times and given adequate security.

What people fail to realize is that many people are not homeless by choice. Who would be?

Since January, I have taken into my home a 56-year-old woman whom I barely knew, who was on the verge of losing her trailer because, on her minimum salary job, she could afford neither the rent nor the utilities and had been living without heat and electricity for two years! She is no trouble at all, and I am more than glad to provide a temporary home for her. Can you do likewise?


smarty_pants 3 years, 12 months ago

I have worked with criminal offenders who want nothing more than to be back out panhandling in Lawrence (midwestern homeless haven) for their daily booze money. Somehow we have to make a distinction between those able-bodied but unwilling to work and those who have truly fallen into bad times.


IndusRiver 3 years, 12 months ago

The problem: There is always someone in need.


mr_right_wing 3 years, 12 months ago

I am astonished by your selfishness and short-sightedness. You have a 3-bedroom house and you are only helping out one other person? There is absolutely no excuse for you not taking in 3 people per bedroom. That would be 8 homeless plus yourself. You also need to thow out this 'temporary' midest. Each of the 8 people you welcome into your home should be allowed to stay as long as they want unconditionally...what ever happened to "my home is your home"?! I don't know how you can possibly sleep at night.


demonfury 3 years, 12 months ago

Eva writes: What people fail to realize is that many people are not homeless by choice. Who would be?

This answer is simple. The people who are hanging outside of the shelter all day waiting for the free handouts of food and everything else they can get their hands on. I drive by it twice a day, every day, and see the same group of people, day after day, week after week, and month after month. These are people who, by my observations, choose to be there. They are given all that they need to be remain homeless. This is their home now. They do not have to work for it. They do not have to do anything other than want, and show up to get it. Permanent homelessness is a major reason we have people like Loring Henderson. They allow him to do what he does. He may actually help a few people rehabilitate to semi-independent or full independent status, but it seems like those people are very few and far between. I just wish Loring's brain was in the right place. Helping is good, enabling is not.


rbwaa 3 years, 12 months ago

I admire your dedication to help others.


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