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Letter: The real problem

Regarding Robert T. Baker’s column in the Jan. 5 Sunday Monitor, “To end homelessness, let’s fix our car-centric culture,” I think he got it wrong. The headline should have read, “To end homeless, we must reduce dependence on alcohol and drugs.”

DAN WILLIAMS

Concord

Like poverty, homelessness has no single cause or solution. I write from personal experience. A very close relative lived on the street until his untimely death. As far as I know, drugs, alcohol, lack of transportation, and a lack of resources had nothing to do with it. Having written that, I would argue that addressing all of the above should be high on our society's priority list. John Corrigan

When we turned thousands of patients out on the street form NH Hospital, this all got exponentially worse. Social decisions that we make for all of the wrong reasons has definitely had a negative impact, in the name of "patients rights' we almost completely dismantled our mental health system. As far as resources, well, that is a debatable point. We waste so much money. Obama vacations costing millions of dollars could do much to help the homeless. Federal and state programs throwing money down a rat hole certainly could be spent on the homeless. The GAO identified

Let's not forget that nationwide 13% of the homeless are veterans.

I think both of you ought to head to the Concord Shelter to volunteer for a season. In a small minority, drugs or alcohol is a problem, but it's hardly an overwhelming problem. Joblessness, mental health issues, and relationship issues can cause homelessness too. I'm old enough to remember when state mental hospitals were full of folks who were no danger to themselves, but were involuntarily committed because they they diagnoses that weren't comparable with taking care of themselves. That was ruled unconstitutional in the 60's or early 70's and homelessness has been a part of our fabric of society ever since. It's difficult, but in a free society, we have to think of a solution other than locking folks up.

Funny . . . after "that was ruled unconstitutional in the 60's or early 70's . . . " we started to see all those mass shootings. Hmmmmmm . . . .

You do have a point but with a caveat. Even if the correlation is factual, it does not comply with our Constitution or our justice system none the less. While I agree that it would be great if we could prevent tragedies from happening. How would one make the case against someone for something they may do in the future. Talk about the ultimate slippery slope.

With full back ground checks, people with mental problems would not be allowed guns

Correct they should not, we know that we will be safe with you.

Excellent point Dan!

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