In simple English, both the older city ordinance and newer version carry the
 same message. They say, "You homeless people can use the parks and river area 
just as the rest of the public can, which means not at night and not to make up 
for a lack of a place to live." There’s no place for the homeless people in town 
to camp unless you have the permission of the owner of the private property or 
the city manager's permission to camp on public property. Not on the river, not 
under bridges, nowhere.

Try to imagine being without enough food or money.
 Imagine looking for someplace to rest, some kind of shelter, someplace where 
you might be appreciated as a human being.

Both the previous ordinances that were in force and the suggested new 
ones appear to be targeting the homeless. It's as though the homeless are the 
problem and not their circumstances, their plight. Public health and safety is
 cited as the justifications for these ordinances. But what about the homeless
 people? Are we not to worry about their health and safety? Aren't they part of
 the public? Aren't they citizens? There are over a hundred homeless children in
 town — how about them?

Among these human beings I've met among today's homeless I've found a 
deep sea fisherman, a homemaker, a carpenter, a railroad worker and a pipe
fitter. A goodly number of these people take jobs whenever they can. There are
 those that can find or take work and those who can't or don't. But both "live," or
 should we say "exist," with considerable physical and mental stress. They're 
unable to come up with enough to be allowed back into civil society. Our 
neighbors, if put in this situation, would be suffering the same hardships, pains,
 desperations, fears and anxieties.

If we or our neighbors were to find ourselves homeless, we would be
 able to get a hot lunch at the Salvation Army six days a week. Sunday the
 homeless pool their food stamps and/or money and share a meal with everyone 
that comes. The homeless have already formed mutual self-help relationships, 
and friendly people from the community are invited to add to the food and join
 them for a "barbecue" at Stillman Park every Sunday it is available.

Let's stand with the homeless.

George Winter


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(1) comment

Independent Thinker

What have you done George? Have you taken in the homeless, let them camp in your yard? Invited them to dinner? I didn't think so, but you're fine using other peoples money to help. A liberal by any chance?

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