you wouldn't believe the letters we get...

Coalition on Homelessness, SF (coh@sfo.com)
Mon, 18 Oct 1999 21:08:40 -0800


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>I can't believe your organization is defending the STEALING of shopping
>carts by and for the personal use of the homeless. It is stealing, plain
>and simple. Just because the homeless need a way to get their stuff from
>place to place doesn't mean they can steal from someone to do it. Should
>they be allowed to STEAL and use whatever they feel is necessary? What
>about cars?  While I do believe more should be done to help this group
>of people help themselves I do not believe they should get special
>treatment when the law is broken. Your organization should be on the
>right side of the law which is also, in this case, the right thing
morally. STEALING is wrong on both sides!

Hey Leigh-

It isn't an issue of STEALING.  If it was, they would arrest shoppers 
for taking the grocery carts home.  That's what grocers have 
identified as the number one reason why their carts ever leave their 
parking lots.

It's an issue of selective enforcement against homeless people, this 
time for possession of property that someone else took and abandoned. 
And believe me, it wasn't our defense of homeless people that killed 
the plan - it was the public's outrage that the Mayor can't even 
muster a convincing lie on the eve of his re-election bid.

I just wish your sensibilities were as outraged that 157 PEOPLE DIED 
HOMELESS ON OUR STREETS last year, as they are that someone might 
need to use some THING that belongs to a grocery store that has 
hundreds more just like it.

Stealing is wrong, no argument there. But placing a shopping cart, or 
any material object - stolen or not - above another human being's 
life is morally reprehensible.

Get your facts straight next time.

Peace,

chance martin
Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco


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HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn>
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chance martin
Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
468 Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
vox: (415) 346.3740
Fax: (415) 775.5639
coh@sfo.com
http://www.sfo.com/~coh