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Opinion >  Letters

They’re still people

Mary Julagay’s recent letter (“Upriver ignored,” Oct. 28) lays bare Spokane’s primary problem with homelessness. “Mission Park is a large park that few people use because of the homeless.” Have we forgotten that people who are homeless are also “people”?

Our problem is NOT “homelessness,” but rather that people are homeless and many of the fortunate do not care.

People are homeless because they lost a job, because greedy landlords raised their rent beyond their ability to pay, because medical bills were so high they had to choose between health care and a home.

A minority became homeless as they became addicted to alcohol or opioids for pain, or street drugs – some of those addicted became so because their lives sleeping outside drove them to any comfort they could find. Some, more visible, are mentally ill, in a city with a service shortfall.

Any could be your son, uncle, sister …

The solution to homelessness must come from federal/state governments. Cities have only band aids, and apply them we must, as subsidized housing, tax breaks for building it, services.

I’m not religious, but have great respect for the new testament’s Matthew 25:35-40: “I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.”

Are these not words to live by, be we Christian or Muslim, atheist or Jew?

Marianne Torres

Spokane


 

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