Letter: The homeless must be part of discussions | PostIndependent.com

Letter: The homeless must be part of discussions

Eric Olander
Glenwood Springs

The homeless must be part of discussions

I’d like to thank John Stroud for the good journalism concerning homelessness in Glenwood Springs. Having been there, done that and also being instrumental in helping bring the day center into being and functioning in a manner that created positive interaction between our homeless community and the greater community, I welcome council’s desire for open dialogue.

But this dialogue should not take place with only with people from the various agencies that serve this community but also with the people on the streets themselves. In most cases you will find that these people aren’t problems but human beings with problems. Same as any other segment of the population save they don’t have the walls of a house to hide it all behind.

In the past I know that if we were having problems with people on the bridge or the along Seventh Street, dialogue would thin the crowd. Because we set things up this way, from the beginning, to give folks a place to rid themselves of alienation and gain enough dignity and support to participate as members of a community. It is a community.

They do look out for each other and do try to better comingle with the greater community when the town does treat them as fellow human beings rather than something unsightly for tourist dining experience. This is why it is imperative that all be welcome. In fact services only work when all are welcome. Otherwise you are dealing with a bunch of alienated and disoriented individuals.

I suggest council please take a moment in the busy day to actually go down to visit these people (the clients) at Feed My Sheep, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Lift-Up and its Extended Table, and, yes, there on Seventh Street and the bridge. Talk to them. Learn to understand communication is the great solvent that can handle any of the woes we face together.

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