The Inconvenient Homeless

Regarding “Downtown Businesses Thank City for Nixing City Hall Shelter” (EW blog Nov. 15): Call me naive, but I see the “stakeholders” as the ones who risk, literally, freezing their butts, fingers and toes in Eugene’s winter cold.

Maj. Thomas Egan comes to mind. So does Mama Carrie.

Talk about being “fragile.” I suggest that Downtown Eugene business owners try surviving one night on the street, much less weeks or months on end, and you’ll discover just how fragile you are.

As a resident of downtown Eugene, I support businesses in the downtown core. But I do not support patronizing self-interest, no matter how “fragile,” parading as wisdom of “we the sheltered” telling our unsheltered and truly fragile co-Eugeneans where to go.

There will always be perfectly reasonable reasons why we can’t respond to obvious human needs. But people locked out of the House of Economic Belonging beg a clear and unified moral response — no matter how inconvenient — from the people (and businesses) that hold the power to rally blessed remedy and mobilize common justice.

While downtown Eugene may want to work “in partnership with our elected and public officials to solve problems together,” why not include members of the unhoused community in the conversation? While they are part of the problem for you, you are part of the problem for them.

And their problem is life-or-death. Just ask Maj. Egan. Or Mama Carrie.

Mary Sharon Moore