Feeding homeless in public under fire | Sept. 3, story
Compassion for others is lacking
I was deeply moved by this article.
To the credit of Times staff writer Cristina Silva, the article was very well-written. The same cannot be said of the depth of research done.
The dim and injudicious assumption of St. Petersburg's social services manager Rhonda Abbott that somehow the meals served "could be unsafe" could have been easily refuted by the lack of a single safety complaint in the nine years of Don McClendon's operation as a federal nonprofit organization.
Such truth, though, would not have built the case for the power brokers who wish to wipe the homeless blight from the shadows of the emergent high-rise downtown condo scene.
Many of these power brokers constitute the main pressure on Abbott and other city officials to make the "Chicken Man problem" a thing of yesterday.
Those of considerable wealth falsely reminisce of "better days" of once-lily-white St. Petersburg streets free of the unsightly presence of societal dregs.
Sadly, humanitarianism is balked at today. Moreover, law-abiding citizens like Don McClendon are ripped openly in the court of public opinion and surreptitiously by public officials.
This is simply because men like McClendon refuse to sit idly while their fellow man starves.
Donnie I. Ali, St. Petersburg
Letters regarding begging Sept. 3
Society has duty to help homeless
When it comes to the homeless, opinion everywhere is divided. I stand on the side that says it is wrong to relinquish responsibility for impoverished, dirt-poor homeless fellow citizens, many of whom are veterans who served our homeland with honor.
Sure, some homeless people are obnoxious and surly, with terrible dispositions, but there are reasons for that. Had these reasons been rectified or treated, the magnitude of their current deteriorations of mind and body could have been prevented. Past neglects result in future trouble.
There are many people who hate the homeless and regard them as subhuman scum, as Hitler regarded the Jews and Slavs. We know what happened next. But this is America, where people who want help should be helped and not discarded as hopeless trash. Every devout Christian also knows what Jesus Christ said about the poor and needy.
Robert B. Fleming, St. Petersburg
Booker Creek needs protection
I was so disappointed to read that county commissioners approved a new management plan for the Brooker Creek Preserve. What do they not understand about "preserve"? We are overdeveloped everywhere; there is nothing wrong with leaving areas as nature intended.
Preserve means to save and protect. If you have ever visited Brooker Creek Preserve, you realize how wonderful nature is, and it certainly should be preserved.
Maybe our commissioners should remind themselves, or look up the definition of preserve, and leave Brooker Creek alone. Shame on them.
Doris Montaigne, Tarpon Springs