Letter to the editor: Lack of shelter is not real issue

To the editor:

I strongly agree with Ray Finch’s letter on our obligations to the homeless.

I do not think that the city owes these individuals a place to live. Temporary shelter during unusually inclement weather or for adults with children in an emergency situation is certainly appropriate, and the city has done a commendable job in providing such shelter in a downtown facility. The facility is indoors, heated, monitored and with complete bathrooms and showers.

Unfortunately, the facility was under-used this winter, as many individuals voluntarily stayed at the campsite on the north side, where they (and others) lamented the lack of flush toilets and showers.

These were available. The people involved chose not to use them.

Several years ago, the city rented motel rooms for the homeless. The results were a disaster. Many of the rooms were vandalized.

I flinch when I read statements that “We have an obligation to provide them with whatever they need.” Well, I need a new pair of shoes. And I need a haircut.

Our civic and moral obligation is to provide temporary housing in stressful, inclement or emergency situations. Lawrence has more than met that obligation.

As Mr. Finch observed, the problem is much more fundamental than simply lack of shelter.

Richard L. Warrick,



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