Letter: The Homeless Ordinance

As I understand it, on Monday the assembly will be voting on an ordinance to permit the police to evict people camping in the downtown and make them move to a camping area in the Thane avalanche zone. I think that’s mistaken public policy. I’ve just hand delivered a 5 page letter to the CBJ in opposition. But what’s really needed isn’t my opinion. It’s a newspaper’s reporting of the facts. That said, if someone’s camped out in a doorway, it couldn’t be a more clear cry for help. And underneath that gruff scary homeless person is so often someone suffering the terrible diseases of mental illness and addiction.

Everyone should take 30 minutes to view Lisle Hebert’s 30 minute film ‘Crazy’, which is set in Juneau and is about this very problem. It’s at youtube.com/watch?v=8oOaSxA5sVw. Treatment for addiction — alcohol being the most devastating drug of all - costs tens of thousands. Yet the only help we’re prepared to give is to open a campsite in an avalanche zone that has killed before? I think this is unconscionable.

I also think it is worthy of a news story printed before the assembly meets — along with reference to the ‘tell it to city hall’ page that makes it easy for people to submit their own views. Thank you.

Walter M. Gregg

Juneau

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