Letters to the Editor, Aug. 20

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Appreciating coverage on people and animals

To the Editor,

First, my thanks to T&V for some wonderful issues in the depths of our summer when so many are away. I especially appreciated the editorial (and letter) on the homeless and Steve Sanders column (in T&V, Aug. 13).

I give regularly to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, which is wonderful and has constantly expanded since 1982 when the congregation thought it would be temporary. They have added a social service unit to connect their guests to services they didn’t know they qualified for. I hope Mayor De Blasio’s plan will enable the Bellevue Shelter to increase their services, and that the change in who it serves will not take forever as your editorial so beautifully stated.

Don’t know if it helps but The Chief (Aug. 14, page 2) mentions several names along with agencies involved in the mayor’s plan that our community might approach.

Speaking as a psychotherapist, it is very tricky to define who is potentially violent so don’t be shy if you’re worried about an individual. As for who is mentally ill, if you have no money or home and you’re hungry, might you not get angry and try to bully a clerk into giving you food? Being upset and in agony is not per se mental illness but it can be.

Steve Sanders’ column (“Killing our sacred cow”) is so rich with insights and well-reasoned that I can not only agree but also hope it will be published again when the news will probably make it needed.

That Cecil the lion suffered has been glossed over to some extent. I heard it was 40 hours of living with an arrow in him before he was found and shot. The American dentist who shot the arrow apparently had no concern for the suffering he was inflicting. Lions seem to have been symbols for we humans for as long as we have history. It’s patience and fortitude who grace the entrance to the 42nd Street library. Can you think of another symbol there? I can’t. C.S. Lewis in Narnia made Aslan a lion. Steve Sanders did a beautiful job of detailing our American culture of guns and killing. With Cecil it felt like Aslan was not only slain but tortured and many of us wept. Let’s hope we can live on with more grace and love.

Joyce Kent, Gramercy

Challenges in reaching out to the homeless

Re: Letter, “How we can help the homeless around ST,” Aug. 20

I appreciate Susan Turchin’s compassionate letter and suggestions. A homeless woman has been sleeping outdoors in Stuy Town since at least mid-May.

She is evidently afraid of homeless shelters and is burdened with a large suitcase and a shopping cart. I contacted the Dept. of Homeless Services through 311: they have a mobile outreach team that will come if the person is ill or the temperature is above 90 or below 39. In the heat they sent the team to the bus shelter where she often stands, sometimes for hours, and phoned me back to say she was not there that day.

I also called the Coalition for the Homeless, which helps people with food, crisis services, housing, job training, special programs for kids. For a donation they sent me copies of a pocket-size, eight-page resource guide that I’ve given to a few homeless people who wanted to accept it.

Though I gave “my” homeless woman one of these and a MetroCard, she probably won’t leave her belongings.  It’s complicated and distressing.
Maryann Downing, ST

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