[Hpn] Pols Need to Hear Wisdom from the Park Bench;NY Post;Column;7/1/01

Morgan W. Brown morganbrown@hotmail.com
Sun, 01 Jul 2001 15:45:55 -0400


-------Forwarded column-------

July 1, 2001
New York Post <http://www.nypost.com>
[New York City, New York]


July 1, 2001 -- THERE was a time when homeless families, under a
different city administration, were actually put up in the
Waldorf-Astoria - I'm not kidding.

And then there were times when scurrilous owners of rathole places
made fortunes from the city by putting the unfortunates in their
hotels and raking in giant gelt.

Things under Giuliani have gotten better, but putting up
the homeless for $3,000 a month in an apartment is madness.

Lest you think I'm insensitive to the plight of the
homeless, I should announce the following:

There is not one city in which I have lived - Sydney, Hong
Kong, Tokyo, Yokohama, Athens, London, New York - in
which I have not been, at one time or another, literally

I'm talking about park benches in all kinds of weather.

Obviously, homelessness has many causes, bad habits or just
plain damn bad luck.

But putting up a homeless person or family for $3,000 a
month, $36,000 a year, may be a compassionate gesture
which too many of us lack in these pressure-cooker days.

However, tell that to the working poor whose city taxes go
to support this idiocy.

Yes, I can afford those taxes today after being in my
seventh decade. But the working poor cannot afford it.

So a solution?

Look, homelessness will not go away, and we all share a
social responsibility for the less fortunate. It is not just
citywide or statewide. It is countrywide.

Today, Fort Dix in New Jersey doesn't even house regular
military any more.

OK, is the state of New Jersey going to tell the state of New
York, we will willingly help out and put your homeless in Fort
Dix? Probably not, but they damn well should.

If we can put Albanian refugees, in a humanitarian gesture,
at Fort Dix, we sure as hell can put our homegrown
unfortunates there.

If we can put our fighting men and women, who risk their
lives in Tuzla, Bosnia, in tent cities, we can do the same for
the homeless.

Having been homeless, I know the vicious cycle.

You have an offer for a job, but you can't get a shave or a
clean, white shirt.

But truthfully, $3,000 a month is not going to cure the
homeless problem, not if you are working poor who has to
pay for it.

It is about time we put our heads on straight with both
compassion for the unfortunate and an alternative design for
not ripping off the taxpayer.

---End of forwarded column---


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-------End of forward-------

Morgan <morganbrown@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA

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