Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Homelessness is not the problem

Letter by James E. Lake, Tacoma on June 22, 2015 at 11:14 am with No Comments »
June 22, 2015 4:24 pm

Re: “Homeless dilemma: Between rocks and a hard place” (Matt Driscoll column, 6-18).

Please, let’s discuss the real problem behind the City of Tacoma denying the “homeless” a grass strip next to the library.

We do not have a homeless problem. We have a drug problem, and we need to stop hiding it in feel-good euphemisms.

With a few rare exceptions, the “homeless” in our city are drug addicts and street alcoholics. They are not homeless because of the lack of housing. They are homeless and jobless because they are drunk and/or drugged 24/7. Any money they might come across is spent on drugs and alcohol.

I realize that calling these folks what they are – drunks and drug addicts – does not elicit much in the way of sympathy for them. However, it’s better than calling them “homeless,” because that moniker suggests that there is a simple remedy for the problem they present. There isn’t, and we all know it.

So, I will rephrase the issue. We don’t want a bunch of drunks and drug addicts lounging on the grass right next to our public library. The city’s solution was quite effective, and I applaud it.

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