In response to the letter “Get Rid of the Poor” (Feb. 7): How might one recognize a “lawbreaker” if they’ve not witnessed a crime committed? What is “squatting” when there is no legal place to sleep? Does the “vagrant” not dream of a brighter future like you and me?
Someone asking for food outside a grocery store is not a beggar; they are hungry. A person sleeping on concrete is not a “bum”; they are tired. The people selling things on our streets are not panhandlers; they are entrepreneurs.
To title a person “panhandler” is to deny their humanity, and to outlaw their trade is to outlaw their existence. We must not forget the humanity of our neighbors.