Letters to the Editor

'Wrong response'

Bill McEwen got it wrong in his column (Oct. 19) opposing the American Civil Liberties Union suit to stop the city from punishing the homeless by confiscating and destroying their documents. Does he support the idea that if the police kick the homeless hard enough and often enough while they are down, they will go away?

Mr. McEwen tells us the Rescue Mission and Poverello House have answers, with their programs "where rules are enforced and people are steered to the right agencies."

If you ask homeless beggars holding signs at intersections, "Have you tried the Poverello House or Rescue Mission?" you get another perspective. They are not interested in mixing up with meth addicts. After a one-year program (required commitment) the person is again on the street with no work record that any employer accepts, and no places to trade work for money other than the farm work corner -- difficult for the old.

Pretending that some drug rehab, then returning to the street is the solution is the wrong response to this genuine problem, which is an indictment of the city and its economy we allowed to be built.

Ronald J. Martin

Fresno

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