Letter to the editor: Easier said than done

To the editor:

As a long time resident of Old West Lawrence, I have closely followed the issue of homelessness for some time. While I can appreciate the frustration of the business leaders about the issue, their responses in a recent article reminded me of a remark attributed to Mark Twain: “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Though it’s clear they don’t like what the City of Lawrence is doing, no one seems to have an alternative plan.

Lawrence is certainly not unique in this regard — it’s a nationwide problem — but the city’s approach seems reasonable, e.g., if people are homeless, provide them with homes. Will this satisfy everyone? No. Will it cost money? Yes. Short of conducting mass arrests or erecting a barrier around the city, what else can be done?(If Ron DeSantis was in charge, he might bus people to Chicago, but, fortunately, he’s not.)

In the Beatles’ song “Revolution,” John Lennon sings, “You say you got a real solution — well, we’d all love to see the plan.” While it may sound un-American to say so, it may well be that this is a problem that has no perfect solution. Unless and until someone (say, a candidate for City Commission?) comes up with an alternative plan that is both effective and legal, I’m afraid the city’s approach is the best that can be done, at least in the short term.

Jeff Southard,



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