WHAT WORK HAVE YOU DONE?
I wonder if Michael Allen was volunteering at Homeless Connect at the Convention Center last week. Whenever I hear or read words like his about the "homeless crisis," I always want to ask: How much one-on-one time have you spent with a homeless person in the last six months?
I work with individuals in this demographic every single day, and I don't know how anyone who interacts with this population could carry the views of Mr. Allen ["A Nickel's Worth," 1/30/2020]. Had he spent any time with just one homeless man, woman, couple or family, he would know that being homeless is one of the most difficult ways to live and is the exact opposite of being idle. He would know that no one wants to sleep in fear that they may die of hypothermia in the night, and no one chooses to walk 10-15 miles a day to attend services and appointments.
It's amazing to see what happens when people's basic needs are met, when they aren't stigmatized and marginalized, when they are allowed some dignity and self-respect. Common sense shows us the problem is NOT the people. Homeless Connect merely reinforced this which we already know.
Don't worry, Mr. Allen. We won't be like Portland or Seattle anytime soon. There are FAR more people in those cities fighting hard to make sure people with yours and Nadine Woodward's attitudes do not prosper over empathy and self-determination.
Readers respond to a story about a judge's ruling that Value Village misled the public by giving the impression that the business is a nonprofit ("The Wrong Impression," 1/30/2020):
Nora Charles: I never thought it was a non-profit. I always thought it was a thrift store.
Beth Cunningham: This is not news. I drove by this store all the time chuckling about their nonprofit signs on Sprague. People are too busy to notice things right in front of them.
Darcy Dudley: I really wish we had some good thrift stores here in Spokane.
Tina Thorson: I was surprised to learn that this was a thing. All their signage states what they are.
Mary K Simmons: There's a reason why I call it Value Pillage.
Alex Baffi: This should have been common knowledge for years. It should have been pretty obvious that it was a for-profit business model. ♦