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Enabling a crisis, part II 

I would like to thank Garland Miller ("Stop blaming the victims," Nov. 21) for taking the time to respond to my letter ("Enabling a crisis," Nov. 14). Its introduction of the causes and effects of capitalist macrocosm economics and its direct connection to homelessness is far beyond the scope of my core thesis: enabling or empowerment?

As a society, it is our moral obligation to ensure that the most vulnerable are given a safety net. Food, temporary shelter, clothing, medical care, and counseling are available thanks to a network of federal, state, local agencies, churches, and charitable organizations.

Focusing upon the groups with the highest need—such as women and children, the elderly and disabled, and veterans and those with mental illnesses—should always be prioritized. Some are fully dependent on these services indefinitely, possibly permanently. We owe it to ourselves and to them to ensure that they are taken care of.

The sinister sub-group that permeates throughout the homeless population consists of the chronic drug users, sociopaths, and renegades who see themselves as above the laws, rules, and mores of society. Counseling and services are available, and then it's a matter of choice. Everybody creates their own destiny every waking moment through conscious choices, homeless included. When we permit those who game and manipulate this diaphanous, perilous, safety net, those critical resources earmarked for the emergency needs of those who are most vulnerable are absorbed by these parasites.

"The quality of mercy is not strained," —Shakespeare.

By being merciful to our fellow man, we ignite the fire of the diamond in our own humanity.

We must be guarded against those whose selfish motivations seek to undermine the true meaning of mercy. To them, I offer the keys to the gates of hell.

Christopher Maccarone

Grover Beach

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