Stop, look, listen before judging local homeless
In a letter last Sunday, a writer voiced her dismay at “a man and what appears to be a child sitting on the ground on street corners holding a sign stating that he will work for rent.” This woman’s letter, “Is begging necessary?” is filled with incorrect assumptions and unnecessary judgment. (See above letter — Ed.)
The writer could have taken that same amount of time it took to write to ask these people how they were doing, if there was anything they needed or even how they ended up in this situation. She would then know that there are extenuating circumstances that keep these people stuck in a situation that nobody wants to be in.
While there are local agencies that can perhaps assist people with housing, each person’s situation is different and a solution may not be as simple as it appears to someone driving by. The writer may feel that if they can afford cigarettes and fast food they should not have to beg for anything, but no one really knows how a person or a family ends up homeless unless they walk a mile in their shoes.
If smoking is the worst habit a homeless person has, God bless them for that. We all know people who have all the material possessions they could need and yet are addicted to alcohol or drugs.
In this economy, many, many people in our Valley are one step away from homelessness, and we pray that it never happens to us, or even to the writer of “Is begging necessary?”
We are a group of caring downtown workers.
X Also signing the letter were Alisa Akuszewski of Canfield, Barb Balestrino of Youngsown and Megann Basile of Boardman.