Edwin Aldrich 
Member since Oct 23, 2017


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Re: “Reader: I want to live where people respect each other and the environment

Unfortunately, the writer of this letter reveals exactly the lack or respect towards the poor and homeless that puts the lie to the title "I want to live where people respect each other and the environment ". Calling less fortunate people bums and treating them like they are somehow less human is not respectful and does nothing to move forward what should be a very important conversation in our community.

Why is there trash everywhere? maybe because the city has removed many of the trash cans from the parks and areas downtown where the homeless gather. Why do homeless people go to the bathroom outdoors? Perhaps its because there are almost no public restrooms available anywhere. Businesses are restricting use of the restrooms to customers only or even closing them to the public altogether. The city has been keeping bathrooms in the parks locked and without other alternatives, where exactly are the homeless to go. Why are there so many homeless people in the first place? Perhaps we should look at the loss of high paying jobs over the last ten years and the dramatic increase in the cost of housing over the same period.

Additionally, what are the current viable alternatives for homeless people to panhandling? As a city, we need to explore creating low barrier work opportunities for homeless people as an alternative to panhandling. Perhaps we could find a way to pay homeless people to clean up our parks and open spaces. carrying a gun is no more the answer than giving money to a panhandler is the answer. We need to find ways to provide for the basic human needs of our most vulnerable populations and find alternatives to panhandling that serve to make our neighborhoods safer better places for everyone.

Some people in our community are working to find answers to these questions instead of complaining about them. One such program can be seen at http://www.hisurbanpresence.org/uplift-.html. By working together and learning to really respect every part of our community, we can truly turn this city into a place where everyone is valued and treated equally.

Edwin "Pastor FedEx" Aldrich
Executive Director,
His Urban Presence Ministries

12 likes, 23 dislikes
Posted by Edwin Aldrich on 10/23/2017 at 5:02 PM

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