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Letter to the Editor: Give hand-up

To the editor:

Recent discussions on a homeless exclusion zone, and the general issue as a whole have made me want to comment. I heard a statement that a homeless person would be punished by being afraid to enter this zone at all, fearing being picked up. And because places like St. Vincent's meal program are in this zone that they would not use the service.

Another statement said The Dalles is seen as a inclusive, caring community and we need to do all we can for those that need our help.

Though this all sounds right and good, I believe this is not the whole story. There are some of our transients truly trying to better themselves and not be dependent on others for food or a warm place to sleep, etc. Do we know how many are addicted to some form of drugs or alcohol and choose to live said lifestyle because of these addictions? How many are repeat offenders in various crimes from theft to a recent home invasion? How many of you have noticed the remnants of a camping site or a partially abandoned RV and are filled with joy? Be a homeowner and leave your garbage in your front yard and see what happens. It is good and important to help those in need. But there is also a phrase. "

“Build it and they will come" Meaning the thought that if there are more homeless people here, we need to have more services, meals, etc. for them. Are we blind to the fact that word travels as to where the easy meals are?”

Let's try to give a hand-up, not a hand-out. Help people to be more self-sufficient and a productive part of society. Sure, this sounds harsh, but nothing good comes easy. And if they don't want to change, let's not enable that.

Eric Pyles

The Dalles


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