I felt moved to write after hearing Supervisor Mike Maggard on the news speaking on the homeless. He said, "It isn't just homelessness, people don't need another pair of socks, they don't need, frankly, another meal. What they need is help to overcome their addiction." While I agree that there are many addicts on our streets, I find fault with the comment.
I always carry a bag of food, toiletries and a pair of socks in my car. I also try to have small bags of dog food for those with dogs. I am not handing out money. I know some want that, but as a person who has been in recovery for 36 years, I know they don’t need money. Having had a lot of contact over the years with people on the street, I also know they are not all addicts. They are mentally ill, which, by the way, explains some of the addictions. They are outcasts or veterans with PTSD. Some are just homeless by choosing to not conform to society. I am by no means a bleeding heart liberal, but I am a Christ follower who believes that as someone who has had love and compassion, it is my duty to extend the same to the "least of these." I am absolutely not an advocate of giving something for nothing, but a clean pair of socks, a nail clipper and some non-perishable food items goes a long way in bringing a sense of humanity for the lost. When I turn from them, I turn from Christ.
Sue Kelly, Bakersfield