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Letter to the Editor: Homeless need a helping hand

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mayor Jay Knudtson, talking about the proposed homeless shelter opening in Cape Girardeau, is quoted as saying that Larry Rice wants to give "those people" an address. Years ago, "those people" were generally alcoholics, drug addicts or bums. Today, however, "those people" have a new face. They're mostly hard-working people, and a lot of them have families. But due to the economy they've lost their jobs. If you have few job skills when you apply for a job and there are 300 to 500 other applicants, it can take a long time to become employed again.

Giving "those people" things like an address, food and clothing and helping them to improve their interview skills means they would become self-sufficient again. I'm not so naive as to think that I could never become one of "those people" or that a few nights' stay in a motel would solve my problems. I think Knudtson is out of touch and should visit other shelters to see who "those people" really are.

KATHLEEN WILLIAMS, Cape Girardeau