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Letter: Clearing camps gives homeless no place to go
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In the article titled “More Gainesville homeless camps to be cleared Monday,” I would like to quote a sentence that reads: “And like a game of ‘Whack-a-mole,’ local law enforcement has prepared to stamp out these camps without the promise of alternative shelter. “

I am a member of the Veterans and Community Outreach Foundation here in Gainesville. I have been working with the Rev. Victor Lamar Johnson in his homeless ministry.

I watched as the Community Service Center worked with the homeless living under the Queen City Parkway bridge. I heard of many who had gone into rehab. I heard of one who even found a job. But I also met some who had no disabilities nor addictions, so the organizations around Gainesville could not help these people. Many of them moved to other camps. Now the city and county are beginning to (sweep) these camps?

I have a problem with this. If these homeless people are being moved around town, moving them out will only make it necessary for them to “move somewhere else.” They can find no help from the organizations around town. They are downtrodden, they are broke, but they have no addictions or disabilities. They have no resources for finding ways of establishing themselves within the community.

Many have lived in homelessness a good portion of their lives. They know no other way of life and they are afraid of any other way of life. What is to become of these people? They will only move to another location.

Doesn’t this appear to be a recurring problem that will only get worse as we move these people from one point to another? Where else do we really expect them to go?

I seriously wonder who actually thinks this moving homeless out of one campsite, only to force them to find another is a answer to Gainesville’s homeless situation. We are not only not helping the homeless, we are not helping ourselves, either. And we definitely aren’t helping our city or Hall County.

Becky Prince
Veterans and Community Outreach Foundation, Gainesville

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