Dec. 5 2012 09:29 AM

Our readers tell us what they think

Middle ground

Your Nov. 28 issue had a letter concerning the "lazy left's" cures for homelessness. While I hate hot right-wingers who always slur the liberal / progressive left, I couldn't help but notice a trend in the letter that's indicative of how the political left and right and media refer to people without permanent living situations.

There really is no one big huge blob of people who can be called "homeless people." While it may appear that way to someone who does not understand the situation, people living on the street are all individual personalities with individual histories and stories about why it is they're in the situation they're in. I don't agree with the local contingent of right-wing politicians who think throwing up a tent for a few months of the year is a good answer to the situation, but I become quite skeptical when our new mayor claims he wants to "end homelessness in San Diego."

There has to be moderation and a middle ground to both ways of thinking. When anyone refers to ending homelessness in a metro area permanently, does that mean people on the street are to be removed from the city by any means feasible? That's just another way of criminalizing homelessness, historically done by both sides of the political spectrum.

Until city workers get on the ground along with local charities that are attempting to help people individually, and until local police stop their constant harassment of people living outdoors while our mayor, City Council and police chief play nice guy behind blind curtains, and until local employers step up to offer employment to those of us who can prove we are not drug addicts, criminals or degenerates, allowing rehabilitation workers to help the rest, the current situation will remain the same.

Also, just a little rib at you, CityBeat: I couldn't help but notice that you poked fun at U-T San Diego for naming Sanders the best Mayor in San Diego's history, but then you had a three-page editorial about him. Heh, heh. Yeah, I guess you do like him just a little bit.

Benny A. McFadden, Downtown

Insulting letter

In response to Craig Thompson of North Park ["Letters," Nov. 28]: It sounds very much like the rhetoric spouted by the Republican Party's U-T San Diego, so maybe he picked up the wrong newspaper. I do agree with one of his points, that merely electing Bob Filner is only a victory of appearances, because he is a mayor, not a magician.

The liberal left of San Francisco, however, and other Democratic bastians, have made considerable progress toward decriminalizing and humanizing the victims of real-estate greed (the homeless), which is not helped by stereotyping us as lazy, loony or anything else listed, such as chain-smoking, addicted, criminal and collecting disability without deserving it. To say this is "typical" insults at least 80 percent of us.

As for the use of government help, that's a last resort due to the failure of such "worthy" organizations as Father Joe and the Salvation Army, which do very poorly on evaluations regarding human dignity and respect. There does need to be a handful of rich, high-overhead, inefficiently run nonprofits because they have trucks, kitchens, warehouses, volunteer organizers, parking lots and other expensive stuff that can sometimes be used by other organizations that really do help.

Yes, the government is a last resort, as the corporations couldn't give a crap about people except their shareholders, and the nonprofits are both corrupt and unsuccessful. Neither can print money nor establish laws, much less enforce policy using police and armies. Governments can.

John Kitchin, homeless


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