Letter: Homelessness is not a crime

Anchorage Daily NewsOctober 13, 2013 

I can’t believe that there are still people who believe that the homeless should be treated as prisoners. Catherine Burke draws a parallel with Alcatraz and the residents “escap(ing)” from their home. Homelessness is not a crime but a condition of circumstances. Maybe Ms. Burke should try that argument on the soldiers who have made sacrifices for this country and who have come back from war deeply affected by the terror of combat. What about those who are afflicted with crippling mental and substance abuse illnesses? And the others, individuals and families, who suddenly find themselves homeless because of financial crises? 

Perhaps she should give a few hours of her life and spend some time at the shelters and she will find that these folks she fears actually have feelings and needs, and just want help to get themselves out of the cycle of dependence.

— Allen Levy

past member Anchorage Interfaith Council and advisory board of Brother Francis Shelter,

Denver, Colo.

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