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602 S. Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
Michael Haynes is right on with his article, “Spare Change” [Shot of Urban, May 9, 2013]. We should rarely feel threatened by the homeless that roam the streets downtown. Most of them are chronically needy and have, as he says, been practicing their “I need your help” lines for years. It does not diminish the fact that they are psychologically dependent on panhandling instead of gainful employment. Many are displaced, homeless veterans, and worse. Their livelihood is a co-dependent frame of mind. As Mr. Haynes says, if you can’t help just say “good luck” and walk on.
I have read and thought about homelessness for years and I am not sure how we can solve this social epidemic of outcast and needy. We need to be more aware of this obvious social problem and deal with it with compassion and forward thinking. I thank Metro Pulse for addressing an issue that should be important to all of us, and not ignored from lack of knowledge or interest.