Letters: It seems to me that what it comes down to is there is ‘us’ and there is ‘them’

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Dear Editor:

I was listening to you last week on WMNH speaking about the homeless situation downtown.   I get that it is a complicated problem for all involved, and there is no one, easy solution.

I’d like to say thank you to you, Alderman Baines, and any others who take the time to walk downtown and talk to the people camped out on Elm Street.  It is so easy to just make them invisible and walk on by.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to live on the street – literally – and on top of that to struggle perhaps with other issues – mental health, addiction to name the biggest.  I’ve never found myself in those circumstances, and I hope I never do.  That doesn’t mean it can’t happen to any one of us.  No one living on Elm Street sidewalk dreamed of this life when they were a child.

It seems to me that what it comes down to is there is “us” and there is “them.”  “Us” have homes, jobs, stability, money and other resources.  “Them” have the belongings they can carry, lack of treatment for health and addiction, no stability, and no money.  “Us” doesn’t want to see “Them” clustering about as they try and conduct their business, or enjoy a night out.  “Them” are a reminder of what is wrong in Manchester, the state, and the country, and “Us” don’t want to see that.

I get it.

I remember last summer when the homeless camp along the river was cleared out.  I’m not sure on the reasons.  There would have to have been complaints about it, I would imagine.  I do remember hearing there were issues with trash and human waste.  So the city spent the money to pay crews to go in and clear it out.  I have to wonder why no one thought to instead provide the camp area with city trash cans that could be picked up on the regular trash day?  And a portable toilet or two that could be maintained?  It would not be a very large cost.

I’d love to find out how to become a part of the solution(s).  They are not bad people.

Melissa Riley