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Opinion >  Letters

Compassion can be condemnation

Catholic Charities in Spokane means well by adding housing for the homeless. Indeed, they are providing temporarily homeless families needed short-term help. A relatively high success rate would be expected for this genuinely transitional population.

To emphasize the success rate for this group, as was recently done in a public forum, is disingenuous. Conversely, the efforts of Catholic Charities to help the formerly homeless, i.e., the chronically homeless, are misguided. While there may be some truly mentally ill people, they represent a small proportion of this population. The vast majority are addicts or alcoholics. To describe them as in transition is a misleading use of the term. If given the choice between going to Union Gospel Mission, where there are rules about being clean that are strictly enforced, or going to Catholic Charities, where there are no rules about being clean, they overwhelmingly choose Catholic Charities because they have no intention of doing anything about their addiction.

The leadership of Catholic Charities believes that compassion is paramount. What they do not comprehend is that they are condemning these people to a life of addiction by making it easy for them to do nothing about their problem.

Earle Canty

Spokane



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