Letter: In response to Messina’s letter on homeless issue
I find John Messina’s letter blaming churches, a synagogue and the operators of the Warming Room for attracting homeless to be mean-spirited and unhelpful. Keep Tahoe Kind indeed!
There is biblical authority for helping the poor. I lived in San Francisco from 1972 until 2002. On my way to work at 650 California, every evening I noticed a long line of scruffy-looking people waiting outside Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church to get shelter for the night out of the fog and wind.
At Glide Memorial Methodist Church, Pastor Cecil Williams fed three meals a day to a line of people going around the block. I have attended the services, clapping and singing and donating. I have also stood in the food line.
One Easter Sunday morning, I volunteered to stand at the top of a stairs greeting people in the breakfast line who had slept on the street. Happy Easter! Good morning! I collected some nice smiles. Glide had programs to help people find jobs, find homes, get job training, and even healing from drug addiction. Nobody at Glide labeled and dismissed as Mr. Messina has done.
It seems to me that the nice prosperous people who come here to have a good time and spend their big bucks are sweet, successful, upscale people. They might be surprised to learn how mean and grasping — even snobbish — so many of us are.
It is well known that we love our wildlife and care for every baby bird, squirrel, bear cub that can be rescued, raised and released. So why not unfortunate people? Why not the family of a foolish man who gambled away all they had?
Can’t the powers that be look at what other cities have done and work together to deal with this problem in a firm but kind way?
South Lake Tahoe, California
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