Letters: Wednesday, December 26, 2007
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Backyard Debate

To the editor: I was appalled at Haley Hunter’s article last week about homelessness on the East Side (“Too Many in Their Backyard,” Dec. 12, 2007). Ms. Hunter’s approach to the article sounded more reminiscent of a University of Chicago economist than the sensitive, humanist Fort Worth Weekly with which I am familiar. She wrote about the homelessness problem as a drain on local business rather than as a fundamental failure to provide for the most basic needs of the most marginalized members of our society. It was as if she expected the homeless in Fort Worth to hide themselves in shame rather than seeking to meet their very human needs in the only way they can.
Ms. Conlin also needs a refresher course in empathy — to think that “the number of homeless has increased from 1,500 to 4,000 ... because there is no incentive for them to leave” shocks both my conscience and my reason. From where does Ms. Conlin assume these additional people came? The problem obviously has its roots in the cause of homelessness rather than any “incentive to leave” (as if it were that simple merely to pack your rucksack and leave homelessness behind). It’s a shame when neighborhood activists make city hall look progressive. Homelessness rarely, if ever, is truly a choice. I’m glad Mr. Bermes thinks it is as simple as deciding to pick yourself up from rock bottom, but I would recommend he experience homelessness for himself — maybe then he and others will realize that it’s not such a trivial matter.
Patrick Disney
Fort Worth



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