DEAR EDITOR:

I knew a homeless man a while ago. He had once been a VIP but due to circumstances he found himself penniless with no place to go. His possessions, once so great and magnificent, were now meager. Many respectable people shunned him because of his appearance and lack of resources. Many people thought him crazy due to the things he said. People feared him because of the things he did. Soon, the only ones who would live with him willingly were other homeless.

Like our City Commission, his local government officials acted. Public safety was their cry, much like the cries of our City Commission. Thank God for our City Commission and their recent ordinances about the homeless! Thank God, homeless people, like this man, will be warned by our government as he was by his local government.

Thank God, if they persist in their activities like he did, they will be arrested by our local government and jailed, as he was, their meager possessions confiscated, as his were by his local government. The name of the homeless man of whom I speak? Jesus Christ.

At least our City Commission did not make the penalty literal crucifixion as his local government did, but in kicking a person when they’re down and out, did our local government, in their rush to judgment, end up crucifying our homeless figuratively? What do they expect these unfortunates to do with the inadequate resources this community has at present to feed and house them? What can they do except camp outdoors and panhandle? Yes, even aggressively panhandle. Excessive hunger will do that to a person. You try going without food and shelter for an extended time and see what you might be willing to do.

Instead, the City Commission choose to put the cart before the horse by passing these ordinances before they fixed the two biggest issues which caused the problem of camping and panhandling: lack of housing and food for the homeless in this community. Instead, they put the homeless in this community on the fast track to incarceration. Merely for being hungry with no place to go. Instead of wasting our tax dollars on something so negative and demeaning, wouldn’t it be better to spend our taxes on something positive and uplifting? Like food and decent housing. You know, something without bars on the windows and doors. Like you have.

I am reminded of something the homeless man named Jesus Christ once said: What you do unto the least of these, you do unto me.

John Franclemont

Rome

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