Some compassion for No. 76 is in order

Published: Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 21, 2005 at 10:55 p.m.
How callous can we be?
In response to The Sun's Jan. 17 article on St. Francis House, the closing- door policy that is in effect is inhumane.
Picture this: You are hungry, cold and homeless. A long line of other folks like you is forming. Everyone is waiting for some hot soup and momentary shelter. The line moves slowly, but you tell yourself to be patient, because your stomach is empty and your throat is dry.
Finally, you reach the front of the line. You can see the door and smell the food cooking. You tell yourself your wait was worth it. As you prepare to enter, the door is suddenly closed.
"Why?" you ask. The answer is simple. You were No. 76, one person too late. The ordinance passed by the city has deemed it so.
You and others like you are told to leave. It isn't proper for you, the homeless, to be visible to lunch groups who prefer to enjoy their lunch and deny your existence.
You will not vanish, but you will go away hungry, while people dine in better restaurants in the area.
It is not the homeless who are evil. It is the people in Gainesville who do not fight this injustice to other humans. Why can't we protest?
If enough citizens understand that these policies are wrong, perhaps an advocate for the homeless will volunteer to lead others who are equally disturbed by the heartless attitude exhibited in our community.
The people of Gainesville can do better. Let's open our eyes and see reality as it is.
Ellen Guildries, Gainesville

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