The face of homelessness
Published: Monday, January 12, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 11:09 p.m.
I would like to add my voice to Parker A. Small Jr. in his (Jan. 7) response to the Jan. 2 letter by Jack Feccia on the "homeless situation."
Feccia came up with some numbers he doesn't substantiate in which he claims that the majority of homeless are substance abusing leeches on society. I don't have exact numbers either, but I can tell you from experience that a large number of University of Florida employees exist on marginal incomes, and many work two jobs in order to make ends meet.
Many of us are one paycheck away from homelessness. This is particularly true of women in this community, especially if they have children to support. But even people like myself with no children at home have a difficult time making it from payday to payday considering the inflated cost of housing in Gainesville.
I live in fear and dread of an illness or other calamity that would take even one paycheck away and leave me living in my car or worse. How do I know this? Because it did happen to me. Fortunately, at that time I was young and resilient and I survived, but even then, it was brutal.
I am the face of homelessness that Feccia chooses not to see. Working, highly skilled and poorly paid.
I would hope that Feccia would agree to walk a day in the shoes of the many people of Gainesville that keep the University of Florida operable and yet have to live in fear of homelessness themselves.
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