Give city's homeless a little more time

Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2009

I was appalled to read in the Sunday edition of the Juneau Empire an article about homeless people being evicted from "The Hill," which is situated on Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. land.

I understand AEL&P's reaction to a tree falling on a power line, causing a power outage. However, their timing could not have been more detrimental to the folks who are residing on their property, considering the time of year, and the shortness of the eviction notice.

These folks have been residing there more than one year, some of them for many years. Many of them are veterans. With Veterans Day having just happened on Wednesday, I have to ask - is this how we treat those who went to risk their lives for our freedom.

I believe it is time for the city to address the homeless issue in Juneau. The city is the owner of a great deal of land in the Juneau area and should begin thinking of ways to provide for those who are less fortunate than the rest of us.

Many of those who live under these conditions are not comfortable living in apartments or housing that we consider a requirement for normal living. These folks are more comfortable living in the wilderness on their own. With all the land that city controls, there must be a place where they can relocate. However, this is not the time to force homeless people to find a new location.

Therefore, I implore the Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. to be charitable and magnanimous in allowing homeless residents to continue to reside in the "The Hill" area until next spring, when other arrangements (hopefully) can be made.

Sandra L. DeLong


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