The following Letter to the Editor was submitted for publication by Rick Allsup
However many agencies it takes
“Progress in America does not usually begin at the top and among the few, but from the bottom and among the many. It comes when the whispered hopes of those outside the mainstream rise in volume to reach the ears and hearts and minds of the powerful.” Sojourner Truth, 1851
Homelessness and poverty is growing in Amarillo and the nation as a whole. To ignore or disavow the fact is to be distracted, like the crow to sparkling objects, or simply have an apathetic affiliation with the entrenched status quo.
The Amarillo City Council, in my humble opinion, is myopically fixated on the idea of greater profit and a shinier bobble but perhaps at a cost of ignoring a primary purpose.
Should not the voices of those at the bottom have the same influence in a Democratic Republic as the more affluent? Do not the numerous empathizers and volunteers count and add credibility to listening to and affirming the individual as being an equal rather than being imbecilic.
Sam Tsemberis, creator of Pathways Housing First realized rather than have a bureaucratic think tank figure out a way to help the homeless, ask the homeless themselves what they want and need.
Affirming the person first and foremost with love and acceptance and helping them get into a safe environment free of communal drama, exposure to disease and the ever pervasive theft of anything not attached to the body, helps move the individual up the Maslovian pyramid toward inherent spiritual self.
To the Amarillo City Council: listen to what is being said by the homeless. The existing shelters do not fit the criteria of a person with social anxiety or PTSD. Separation from an unmarried-opposite-sex-partner during a time of psychological tribulation can be devastating as can taking away a beloved pet.
Viable alternatives are not replacements to the paragons of aid, only additions. If the reason of each helping agency is to assist an individual reach his or her full potential and not just agency profit, how can it make any difference how many possibilities exist; the goal should be the same.