I am writing in response to your March article headlined “How to Help Keep Homeless on the Streets.” What I read instead is an article horrifying for its lack of compassion, filled with gossip, that completely defames a vulnerable and real human being who has been a part of our community for over 20 years.
Your lack of understanding and lack of investigation about women and homelessness, the scarcity of resources and safe shelter options available to homeless women, and the specific issues regarding women and homelessness is astounding. I wish you had spent time researching these things instead of interviewing people who remember isolated incidents with Margaret over a 20-year period.
How on earth is this possibly helpful to anyone? It would appear that at no time did you put yourself into Margaret’s shoes. How would you feel if someone wrote an article like that about you?
We don’t know, and we don’t have a right to know Margaret’s story. She has a right to dignity and respect and compassion and to not be the target of hearsay and malicious gossip in a newspaper.
There are appropriate ways to help the homeless and homeless women in particular. I am both disgusted and very sad that a newspaper in my community printed such a mean-spirited and unhelpful article about a real problem that involves real human beings.
I can only hope that the PPTFH meeting on March 19 will be helpful and actually shed some light on both the issues of enabling and on the plight of homeless women and their specific needs and experiences.
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