Homeless need basic services

Published: Monday, January 16, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 11:07 p.m.
I read with amazement Ben Butler's evolution theory of homelessness (Jan. 9). Apparently, some of us are genetically programmed to be Einsteins and some of us are programmed to be too lazy to study math or are predisposed to overindulge on doughnuts.
Thus, sadly, we end up homeless. Too bad for us.
Here are just a couple of real reasons for homelessness.
About 60 percent are veterans, many with post-traumatic stress disorder, some with addictive disease. The VA doesn't have funding to house them. Once, they served their country. They stood on a (symbolic) wall and protected the rest of us. Now they are forgotten. This situation is going to get worse.
Some are single parents, some with kids. They had no health insurance, became ill and missed a couple of paychecks. Now, they live out of their cars having no one to turn to.
Many are just mentally ill. Federal hospitals have been closed. State hospitals have been cut down.
I don't think being lazy in math had much to do with this. Do you really think these people made poor choices?
In Gainesville, if a dog is wandering loose and starving, we take it to a shelter, clean it up and feed it. What kind of person can say that we should not treat our veterans as well? Or a single mother until she gets back on her feet.
Nobody's talking about building the homeless a four-star hotel. Just provide some basic services and a way to get through the winter.
I do agree giving must be balanced and there must be accountability in distribution.
We have so much prosperity in this town. Surely we can spare the little that is needed to provide these services.
Barbara Ann Wulff, Archer

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