Pubdate: Tue, 15 Nov 2005
Source: Lethbridge Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 The Lethbridge Herald
Author: George Paddy



There has been a recent focus on panhandling here in Lethbridge. I
wonder if The Herald would be comfortable in publishing a letter that
does not necessarily conform to the "get tough downtown" focus. I feel
panhandling is an issue that will never entirely go away; a recent
article in the Herald seems to focus only on the needs of business and

There are issues that need to be looked at regarding homelessness,
poverty, and lack of affordable accommodation. Where do you propose
these people go? The article's opening sentence is "City council has
put drug users, panhandlers, and others on notice." So you've created
an image of the people downtown as drug users and panhandlers. Not
everyone is like that. Many have minimum wage jobs, no place to stay,
no access to cooking utilities, and nowhere to go on the days they
don't work. They make enough to get the basics, (food, clothing, bus
passes); not everyone can afford a home here.

Many of the people you are clumping together as "drug users and
panhandlers" are the working poor! There are people who can only find
casual employment and minimum wage. Sometimes they lose these jobs
because they don't have the appropriate clothing, or adequate
transportation (city transit does not go to all work areas in

Stop assuming you know all there is to know about the people downtown.
You don't. You live in your homes, blind to the reality that people
face in other economic levels every day. Everyone here has a different
story. You don't know them. Businesses care about money, not about

George Paddy

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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin