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Homelessness is a reality for us all 

Since racism is no longer politically correct (or legal), the small-minded have turned to the last bastion of bigotry: homelessness.

In the grand fashion of cities across America, Kitty Crockett ("Pass the bug spray, please," Letters, March 24-31) has jumped on the anti-homeless bandwagon.

In an age of downsizing, outsourcing, insufficient health care and home prices/rents, the numbers of homeless are only going to grow. Most working-class families live paycheck-to-paycheck. This is a fact. It is also a fact that an illness of more than a few weeks, injury, or layoffs will burn through the scant savings of these families within a month or less. Many of those you see in shopping centers and on freeway ramps flying a sign do so because they have no other choice.

Our beloved government is working hard to fix this problem: They have made it illegal to be homeless. That's right; if you have no home, you can be busted for "illegal camping."

So, look at your credit card statements and your savings account balance and ask yourself, "How long could I pay my rent if I lost my job?" If you're like most of those with real jobs, the answer is likely to be, "Not very damn long."

The next time you pass a guy on the street, dirty and sleep-deprived and hungry, instead of turning your nose up in the air, stop and say hi and buy the guy lunch. You might find that he is a real human being after all.


Rev. James Shaffer

Santa Maria

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