LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Good enough to vote, but not to be seen

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For the inaugural celebration, local Washington shelters have been instructed to take in the homeless and keep them off the streets during hours the shelters are normally closed. While the world’s eyes are on the United States, the Secret Service finds it imperative to “clean up” the city and cover up the increasing numbers of jobless, homeless and impoverished Americans.

Those who sleep on the streets for various reasons, such as the inability to adapt to the harsh treatment and inhumane conditions of poorly funded shelter establishments, are being forced to evacuate celebratory areas so that individuals with means can enjoy themselves without the less fortunate posing an eyesore. One Washington native to whom I recently spoke has been homeless for more than four years, and he told me, “They don’t want the shelter buses running during inauguration time because no one wants to see the problem.” Another homeless Washington resident, told me, “[Politicians were] all over us about casting that vote, but now we’re not good enough to even be seen.”

The poorest of our nation’s capital, pressured to vote in last November’s election, are being sequestered according to their socioeconomic status. The probability that a homeless person would threaten the inauguration is slim to none, so the obvious implications of being kept off the streets break the hearts of the individuals most hopeful that President Obama would bring about change.



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