Opinion & Editorial

In response to recent homelessness articles

Dear Editor,
In reference to the recent articles in our local paper in Creswell on homelessness, I would like to give an opinion. In the Feb. 7 Chronicle, Mr. Heyman, “The Colonel” stated his concerns about the safety of the people: if folks are allowed to sleep on sidewalks, etc.
I have not seen that in Creswell, but in Eugene — especially on Broadway and Willamette — as well as in the Saturday Market area. There are a lot of folks who sleep or just hang out on the sidewalks and in front of businesses. I have had to literally just walk around them as some folks do not want to move out of the way.
In one instance, my husband, Al, brought a meal from McDonald’s to hand to a woman in the street and she said, “What is this stuff?” threw it down and stomped on it, and said, “She wanted money instead.”
When I see a homeless person, I usually try to ask them their “story.” Most have told me that they feel rent is too high or that they simply want to be FREE and not be told what to do by anyone; a lot of folks simply do not want to work. It is a much different generation of people now, and a lot of folks have told me they feel “we owe it to them,” in reference to food, housing, etc.
We have helped a homeless man in the Thurston area for two years who has a small disability and does not want housing even though DDS says he qualifies for it. He wants to be “free” and also live on the streets. He has told me he does not want to pay rent.
Some of us have worked for decades to earn what we have, but it seems to be an epidemic of folks who simply want to “live off the system.” A lot of folks simply cannot even hold a job for very long, but it is a part of life. We all need to do our part to help solve the crisis of homelessness.
Of course, there are folks who do lose their jobs, homes, etc. and struggle to survive, and, of course, they deserve to get some assistance.
Kathy January



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