Sunday, February 19, 2006

Plain Dealer Congrats

Plain Dealer Gives Space to a Homeless Individual...

There was a real fine piece in today's Plain Dealer. Of course, I am biased, but it refreshing to hear from citizen journalists (the basis for the Homeless Grapevine). Richard Swartz, one of the men who was sleeping at the airport, talked about his experiences. He wrote about how rough it was in the shelters. He talked about the reasons for sleeping at the airport. It was a very good piece--check it out in today's Forum section of the Plain Dealer. You should even spend the buck fifty to see the picture that goes with the story. It is a pic. by Scott Shaw that seems to represent how society has grown to ignore homelessness with a blur of three men in front of a white brick wall with a homeless individual sleeping on the sidewalk.

I hope that Mr. Swartz is rewarded with a good paying job for bearing his soul on the pages of the PD. He brings up a few issues that are constantly ignored by the mainstream social service providers. The need for pay to stay places with some degree of privacy, and the need for places that homeless people can store clothing and important documents. After 9/11 it became harder to afford storage. Greyhound stations became off limits and the other places with lockers raised their prices or closed all together. We had a homeless guy working on this issue in the past, but nothing ever materialized. I hope that Mr. Swartz keeps talking about these issues. Most homeless people are so traumatized by the experience that they never reflect on them after they find housing. Good luck Mr. Swartz, and thanks for the words.



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