2002-06-15 / Letters

Stop Meanness to Homeless

Stop Meanness to Homeless

Dear Editor;

I just read the heartless letter from "AQ," the local teenager who says she is disgusted by some of the people she sees every morning when she stops to buy her breakfast sandwich on her way to school.

I am also a teenager who has lived in Rockaway my whole life. I started to read the letter because I wanted to find out what a panhandler was and by the time I was done reading I knew I had to say something. First of all "AQ" is a coward and an exaggerator. She has no problem naming Sheila, Joe and Butchie and calling them nasty names like "pathetic bums" and "homeless," but she didn't have the guts to sign her own name. Second of all I've been on 116th lots of times and so have my friends and no one has ever asked us for anything except when we are with an adult and then you can say yes or no. No one forces you to give them anything. Third of all who is she to judge them, who is she to say "there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these people, they don't need money, and can get a job."

Most of these people are sick, not lazy and we should be helping them, not criticizing them.

I don't know a lot about Sheila, Joe, or Butchie but I do know that Butchie was in the Army and spent a lot of years fighting in Viet Nam. Obviously, he has a serious drinking problem and that is why he is like he is. He is not homeless. He does not beg for money, just cigarettes, and if you don't have any he doesn't mind he just says, "thanks anyway" and if you buy him some he is happy he wants to shake your hand.

Just like "AQ" I also have two hard working parents, but my parents taught me and my sister and brother to be grateful for what we have and to never look down on someone who is not as lucky as we are. They also taught us to be kind to other people, especially those who really can't help themselves. My father would give someone his last dollar if they asked him and my mother thinks we should just feed everybody. I'm not saying you should give strangers money but you can ask if they are hungry or thirsty and buy them a sandwich or soup or Duncan Donuts. You won't believe how happy they get!

Not everyone in the world has what it takes to make the right choices for their life. How can "AQ" be so sure she won't get mentally ill? I'd like to tell "AQ" she should spend more time trying to find out why Sheila, Butchie and Joe are in the mess they are in and less time hanging out on 116th being mean and attacking people she knows nothing about.


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