To the Editor:
Lying in the snow, someone else’s yard, a familiar homeless woman, whose inner landscape is brave as brave can be, is completely exposed again, another day.
The police say they are working with her, have been for a long time. Has she been offered help she was unable to accept? I can’t imagine a reason why she’d not accept single-person housing if it were offered to her, but people on the street have problems with people and society. People and society don’t want to give away housing for free, especially when the working class die through the process of earning theirs. Whether side effect or intended, a familiar face symbolizes something of a middle finger to society, where she has no protection.
The problem seems to have been more substantial in Ottawa during a wave of immigration around the turn of the 20th century. Because La Salle County is so geographically vast, its population and opinion varies. In the early days, Ottawa was known as a vibrant cultural center sympathetic to the poor. Money poured into a problem that continually reappeared, and what is the payoff anyway?
I believe that privacy in the form of shelter is a human right within a society that requires all people to live with its psychological and economic constraints every day from birth to death.
Jennifer E. Nordstrom, Ottawa