Opinion » Letters

Homelessness is complicated

San Luis Obispo



In response to the letter from Leela Sherbon (“Homeless in downtown SLO,” Aug. 23):

The city already has some laws in place, but laws can only do so much. What the situation really calls for is the upper middle class, who feels unduly threatened by people in need, to show empathy. You could cut down on shopping and dining out “a few times a week” and use that extra money to help the community bolster up on resources for homeless persons.

I personally am appalled by the insinuation that all homeless are drug abusers. You mentioned no less than four times that the homeless you encountered “appeared” to be on drugs, but with fairly wishy-washy explanations as to why. Seems more like you can’t fathom why people could end up homeless without a substance abuse problem, which is not always the case. Nor is someone expressing their frustration in an admittedly rude fashion cause to say someone appeared to be schizophrenic.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel protective of your family, but your letter reeks of overreaction when faced with lower-class individuals. You thought someone was going to abduct your child because he complimented them? Really? Are you sure you’re not hyperbolizing his actions because you expected SLO to be Stepford?

Count your blessings. I hope you never lose your job and your home, even if it would teach you humility. Your First World problems are not a reason to displace and penalize thousands of unfortunate people who may or may not be doing anything wrong.

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