January 28, 2019

Homelessness is ‘deplorable’

I really appreciated the article on homeless people in the Jan. 21 issue. I work part time with homeless folks in a day shelter. Several have jobs in fast food or as cooks, yet cannot afford a place to live. Some work on resumes that include skills in health care; some have college degrees. Some deal with addictions or have medical and mental health issues for which they have little access to remedy. Most regularly look for work. They encounter transportation issues that restrict their ability to take jobs.

The day shelter is only open from 8 a.m. to noon. With temperatures in the 20s and snow on the way, they wonder where to go until the overnight emergency shelter opens at 4 p.m. Many find respite in the public library, but it is not open on Sundays. It is a daily struggle to maintain dignity and a sense of self-respect, but for the most part they succeed.

These conditions are what is really “deplorable” in this country. Only in a socialist society such as Cuba will we see an end to this.

Barbara Greenway
Millsboro, Delaware

Snatching Native’s babies

On Jan. 11, social workers and police descended on a hospital in Winnipeg in Manitoba province in Canada and snatched the newborn baby from the arms of a Native woman on the false charge that the woman was intoxicated when she arrived. Family members posted videos of the incident on Facebook. The Toronto Globe and Mail reports that such “newborn apprehensions” occur on average once a day in the province, 90 percent involving Native people.

A week before, the Saskatchewan provincial government felt the need to issue an “apology” to survivors of the “Sixties Scoop” in which about 20,000 Native children, from the 1950s into the 1980s, were seized from their families and placed in non-Native foster homes with the aim of erasing their language, culture and family ties.

These events are not exceptions but reflect the oppression of Native people in Canada.

Al Cappe
Montreal, Quebec