Letters to the Editor

Homelessness: Have we run out of ideas?

I am just writing in to say that one of the people you mentioned on the front cover of the Wednesday paper lost his living and working arrangements because of the article. Well done. Now he'll get more tickets and that way you'll have another article to write.

I think everyone agrees certain behavior shouldn't be tolerated, but there has to be another way besides criminalizing homelessness and certain personal issues. Sometimes it's needed, as with sex offenders, but why does every issue in our society have to be met with brute force? Have we run out of ideas?

Many people here in Ashland without housing are respectful and intelligent individuals. I don't think you see that in just any town. Many are artists. Ashland is an artist town. What about Art on the Streets, like in Europe? Those scenes draw more tourists and would complement other art venues rather than compete with those establishments.

How about, maybe, a house somewhere around Ashland where the arts are promoted. Where anybody could come and make arts and crafts as a means to make a living and as a way to work constructively together. That's just one possibility.

We as a people, with our hearts open, can find the solution to any of our problems. We need to be present on the scene and have fun with it and quit passing the sole responsibility to the officers on the street.

Dan Lehner


Ashland must do better on homelessness issue

Ashland is my home town. I love living here and want to be proud of my community.

I am not proud of the fact that our city government is considering implementing an exclusionary zone to address the perceived problem of loitering, panhandling, threatening and harassment of locals and visitors by a specific group of people. The city is saying that certain people will be excluded from a specific area. This does not seem like a very creative or reasoned solution nor compassionate.

There is no crisis which warrants such drastic measures. Although seeing people begging for money to meet minimal human needs like eating is not pleasant for some, I do not see that these less fortunate among us should be put out of sight because they are poor or have different values than most other citizens or visitors. Out of sight may be out of mind for some but it does not solve the problem of "repeat offenders." Ashland must do better.

Regina Ayars, member,Citizen's Coalition of Ashland


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