Alex Constantine - December 24, 2011
Letter to the Baltimore Sun:
I just read Rosalind Ellis' recent letter regarding the expansion of Beans and Bread ("Neighbors right to worry about Beans and Bread," Nov. 2). It is obvious to me that Ms. Ellis does not personally know anyone who is homeless or out of a job and on the verge of homelessness.
She states the "many who came to Our Daily Bread were drug abusers, shoplifters and aggressive panhandlers" and that the "filthy tent city housed criminals who broke into cars and shoplifted throughout the area." Apparently she considers the homeless to be the criminal element of our city. It seems to me from reading the newspaper that the greater majority of drug abusers, shoplifters and criminals are listed with addresses. Very few are listed as homeless.
She writes that the "bureaucracy" cares "nothing about the neighborhoods" and "no consideration is given to communities ... or to folks who put their life savings and 'sweat equity' into improving their homes." Has she met some of these people she considers to be such criminals? You will find your share of those who put their life savings and sweat equity into their homes, too, only to end up losing them because the company they worked for had to cut back. I have, and have had, friends who, through no fault of their own, lose their job and spend months or years trying every day to find a job only to be told "we're not hiring right now" or that they overqualified or they don't have the right "specialty."
I really don't think that the homeless are coming from all over the country to take advantage of Charm City's largesse. But God bless the people of Charm City who care enough to give of their time and their dollars so that those less fortunate can have a hot meal once a day, a bed out of the cold or heat or rain, and an opportunity to try and improve their situation at one of those "adjunct services."
She states "Beans and Bread shouldn't worry some neighbors, it should worry the entire city." I think Beans and Bread, and the city, should worry about people who think like Ms. Ellis.
- Sharon Edwards, Baltimore