This is an open letter to you concerning the homeless in wilmington delaware. i hope you get a chance to read it. i hope you consider what it's saying and why. but most of all i hope you understand it. not from a poiitical point, not from a legal point, but from a humanitarian and reasonable point of view.
let me start with saying that i do not speak for the homeless population of wilmington, but i do speak as one of them. i walk in their midst every day. i speak as one who has the same struggles as they do on a daily basis. i speak for myself, but i also speak for what i hear, what i see and what i believe to be true. i also speak as a citizen of wilmington.
your clean and safe business district initiative is a very good idea. it was overdue. rodney square and market street were on the brink of being out of control. you see mr. mayor, we as homeless people are citizens of wilmington also. we live here. we don't like to be accosted, robbed, mugged, and bothered by panhandling any more than the people who work in the downtown area. don't assume all homeless people were the cause of the problem but also don't assume that the homeless population were the cause of the entire problem either. most of the homeless population do not panhandle. most of the homeless people do not use drugs. some of the homeless people do not drink. some of us are just temporarily homeless and are attempting to work our way out of it. we have to coexist with the homeless and the working people of wilmington.
i think your intentions are well grounded and i think you are basically a good person. i fully understand you have a job to do and a vision of what wilmington should be. but in the process of achieving that vision and those goals don't forget we are citizens of this good city also. we are your constituents also. we also live here and will work here again soon. we have the same concerns as all other citizens, perhaps more.
while your initiative was effective it didn't solve the problems with the homeless population and it certainly didn't benefit them any. while doing their job, some of the officers were abit over zealous in enforcing and carrying out that initiative. random stops and searches of the homeless people were not only disconcerting but also insulting in the cases where the person was doing nothing wrong and certainly not illegal. they were just homeless. you cannot eradicate the homeless population. yes, they are not in the business district now, but we are still here. they have shifted to other areas of the city and to relatively close outlying areas of the city. so the problem still exists.
if you truly want to address the problem of the homeless in wilmington, please do not rely on the council of organizations that have had little if any success in dealing with the homeless. do not rely on organizations that like to have meetings with you and get their names in the paper and receive accolades. deal with the organizations that actually help and do something for the homeless. do not deal with the organizations that we as homeless people do not respect. deal with organizations like the friendship house and the sunday breakfast mission. deal with rvrc. these organizations deal with and directly assist the homeless people every day. we know them. we respect them, we appreciate them. you have some outstanding churches who care about the homeless and some very compassionate people who would be glad to speak with you concerning these issues. the churches should take a more active role in dealing with this issue. you could give them that chance.
also mr. mayor, please remember that collectively we are a problem that needs to be addressed. individually we are people. we have aspirations and desires and concerns, just as all your citizens and constituents do. remember mr. mayor that a true leader is known for how he deals with the least of his constituents. we might very well be those constituents at the present.
do not waste money and the peoples taxes on free housing just to solve the issue of homelessness. it doesn't work in most cases. sure, we have a roof over our head for a period of time. but solving the problem of homelessness is so much more than that. it is job training, addiction treatment and reentering society as a contributing taxpayer and good citizen. again, be careful who you seek for counseling. choose your advisers on these issues wisely.
in closing mr. mayor, i would ask you not to forget us. do not push us aside or away. give us an opportunity and a chance to conquer our situation and we will do it. yes, we do need assistance. yes, we do need your help and the support of the city of wilmington. we need that help so one day in the not so distant future we can be the ones that help, we can be the ones you seek counsel with and we can be the ones whose votes you seek.