Another Open Letter

Posted: July 23, 2008 in Children, Discrimination, Health, Homelessness, Mental Health, Misconceptions, Morality, Veterans

Note to my Readers:

I ask your indulgence as I use this post to deal with a comment that had been submitted in response to what I wrote yesterday morning. As you read I hope that you will understand my thoughts and feelings in this matter.

– m –

  


Paul,

As you have probably noticed, the comment you submitted to the post I published yesterday morning did not show up – nor will it. It had been "flagged" by the comments filter and was placed in the moderation queue because of two words, which the filter identified as profanity.

In that comment, as in the comment you submitted to my other post, Shock Therapy, you referred to me as stupid and as an idiot. No worries. You are, after all, entitled to your opinion. Besides, I have been called worse.

I also decided to check the blog’s archived emails and discovered that you have sent 53 emails since February of this year. I took the time to re-read those emails – all of which were derogatory and mean-spirited in nature.

I can only speculate as to the reason for your seemingly apparent hatred of the homeless.

It is possible that you have had a "bad experience" or encounter with one or more homeless persons. It is also possible that you have at one time or another experienced homelessness in your life and – as a type of denial and as a desire to distance yourself from the experience – have adopted a pseudo-superior attitude toward the homeless. I have met a handful of persons for whom this is true. I have also considered the possibility that you and I have, at one time or another, met and that your emails (and now, two comments) are a vendetta against me personally.

While I defend your right to voice your opinions, this is nonetheless my blog. As such, there are two things which I will not tolerate: willful foolishness; or deliberate mean-spirited or hateful speech. Those who visit here are worthy of better than that.

If someone wishes to disagree with my views and opinions, they are free to voice that disagreement through their comments – providing their comments create the potential for a healthy and positive discussion. Anything less, is unacceptable.

After careful consideration, I have concluded that it would be best to permanently block any future comments you attempt to submit. Please understand it is not a choice I have made arbitrarily, but rather is one which I have made out of respect for my other readers. I have also marked your e-mail address as SPAM, and therefore it will never reach my e-mail’s inbox.

If, however, you feel a need to voice your opinion regarding the homeless I would suggest that you author your own blog. It would be my hope that you would exercise integrity and present you opinions based on actual fact and not emotional speculations.

And to help you get started, I offer you these facts concerning homelessness:

  • Approximately 3.5 million people will experience homelessness this year.
  • 1.35 million of America’s homeless are children
  • 39% of those homeless children will be under the age of six.
  • Roughly 400,000 U.S. Veterans will experience homelessness this year.
  • 61% of homeless Veterans will have seen active combat.
  • Combat Veterans are twice as likely to experience homelessness than their non-veteran counterparts.
  • 2.2% of America’s homeless are senior citizens.
  • Nearly half of all homeless women are homeless due to fleeing relationships filled with domestic violence/abuse.
  • Approximately 22% of America’s homeless have some form of mental illness.
  • Roughly 25% of homeless have an addiction disorder.
  • Homeless persons are more likely to have chronic illnesses. Many have multiple chronic illnesses. There is also a higher incidence of chronic fatigue, malnutrition, and clinical depression among the homeless.
  • 1 in 4 homeless persons have either full-time or part-time employment – and in some instances, both.
  • Lack of affordable housing is one of the leading causes of homelessness.
  • Only 6% of the homeless are so by choice.
  • It costs American taxpayers substantially more to fund and maintain homeless support services organizations than it would be to provide true supportive housing for the homeless.
  • And one last fact which is irrefutable: the homeless are people, as as such are entitled to be treated respectfully and humanely.

As for myself: you have my pity.

Do not allow yourself to continue to be consumed by your hated of the homeless: a hatred which is predicated by misconceptions and prejudices. For your own sake, I hope that you find the inner strength let it go.

There is however, one question which I have – the answer which is irrelevant to anyone but yourself:

If you so vehemently disagree with my views and opinions, why then have you continued to visit this site?

Respectfully,

– michael –
SLO Homeless

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Comments
  1. Michael,
    Your compassion and sensitivity for EVERYONE in our community shows what you are really made of.
    You truly live what you write. This brings dignity and respect to your posts.
    Peace and blessings to you and all of the people whos hearts and minds are touched by your words.
    JML

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